The City of Red Deer Diversity Team
The City of Red Deer
Our best practice is our Diversity and Inclusion Framework. The Framework is intended to fully integrate diversity and inclusion into strategic decision-making of the organization to enhance overall effectiveness, help achieve goals and overcome any challenges that we encounter. We will maximize each employee’s individual potential and productivity by incorporating diverse and innovative ideas.
The Diversity and Inclusion Framework currently consists of:
• Demonstrated Leadership
• Commitment of Resources
• Employee Engagement and Effective Communication
• Employee Education and Awareness
• Community Engagement, Education and Awareness
On March 13, 2013 Red Deer City Council passed a motion to become a signatory to the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination. Our Corporate Leadership Team, City Manager, and Directors, support the commitment. The City continues this commitment when they hired a full-time Diversity and Inclusion Specialist in May of 2015.
The City’s unique plan of action to address CMARD’s Ten Common Commitments is an integral part of The City’s vision, strategies and policies. The work of being a welcoming and inclusive organization cannot be done by one person. We now have an internal Diversity Team of 19 City employees representing all Divisions and an external Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network of over 45 people. Both groups meet monthly and are coordinated by the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist.
Red Deer supports CMARD’s statement that “Municipal governments in Canada, along with other levels of government, have responsibilities under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as federal, provincial and territorial human rights codes, and therefore have an important role to play in combating racism and discrimination and fostering equality and respect for all citizens.
Making a Difference:
We now have a Diversity and Inclusion Vision of ‘being a vibrant, healthy and diverse organization that supports a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone feels safe and can fully participate in community life.’ The Diversity and Inclusion Specialist is a resource to City staff and the community. The Specialist is developing diversity champions. She supports the Diversity Team and the WIC Network. The purpose of the Diversity Team and WIC Network is to increase awareness about challenges, barriers, racism and discrimination and provide education on reducing them.
With such large numbers in the memberships of the Diversity Team (City employees) and the Red Deer Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network (community members), the main challenge has been around gathering everyone together on a monthly basis.
Vision for the Future:
A year in review report (2015-2016 now available) will identify achievements and recommendations for future work. Some examples of these priorities identified for 2017:
• Include external piece to reflect diversity and inclusion work being done in the community,
• Improve Upon City’s Policies, Procedures & Practices Related to Diversity and Inclusion ,
• Development of Diversity and Inclusion Policy ,
• Identify opportunities for improvement Increase Employee Awareness of Diversity and Inclusion,
• Employee Resource Groups will be developed,
• Improve Relations with Red Deer’s First Nations Communities,
• Work collaboratively with First Nations people on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to Action,
• Improve Upon City and Community Connections ,
The Diversity Team and WIC Network have specific objectives.
• Encourage division to take part in all diversity and inclusion training modules being offered.
• Assist with assessment of policies, procedures and practices related to diversity and inclusion.
• Take part in the pilot of internal diversity-related training and provide feedback to the HR Specialist.
• Provide education and awareness to decrease institutionalized racism and discrimination by actively connecting with organizations and employers; • Build a safe environment where people have an equitable voice by including them and asking how they want to be represented;
About the City of Red Deer
Located in Central Alberta, the municipality of Red Deer serves a population of 99,832 making it the third largest city in the province. Our community is becoming more and more ethno-culturally diverse; therefore being a welcoming and inclusive community is a priority in our strategic direction. The face of our community is constantly changing and we are proud to be one of five communities in Alberta who receive government-assisted refugees.