City of Waterloo appoints first director of Indigenous Initiatives, Anti-Racism, Accessibility and Equity

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The City of Waterloo has hired its first Director of Indigenous Initiatives, Anti-Racism, Accessibility and Equity, according to a municipal press release.

Sanjay Govindaraj, a former equity and anti-racism advisor in the chief administration office, will take the position starting Aug. 16.

City of Waterloo, CAO, Tim Anderson is happy that Govindaraj will be joining the city and taking on a significant leadership role, according to the release.

“Sanjay brings a wealth of lived and professional experience to this role,” said Anderson. “He has cultivated strong and mutually beneficial relationships throughout the region and we look forward to the contributions Sanjay will make in the areas of Indigenous Initiatives, Anti-Racism, Accessibility and Equity.”

While at Waterloo Region, Govindaraj developed actionable plans to support Indigenous reconciliation, anti-racism, accessibility, equity and inclusion. One of Govindaraj’s first tasks will be to complete the hiring for the city’s new division. Roles to be filled include: an Indigenous initiatives advocate; an Anti-racism and Social Justice advocate; and an Accessibility advocate.

“These are difficult and challenging times with the discoveries of Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves, inequity laid bare with a disproportionately larger number of Black and racialized communities impacted by COVID-19, and the recent hate fueled attacks against Muslims, Asians and Trans people,” said Govindaraj. “In this climate, I am incredibly honoured to work with a City and Council that understands the importance of addressing Reconciliation, Equity, Accessibility and Anti-Racism in a meaningful way. I look forward to getting to work in the city I call home and actively engaging with the community.”

Genelle Levy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cambridge Times

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