'Crucial to effectively do this': Orangeville seeking volunteers for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

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As communities grow and expand, the needs of those they serve continue to evolve. Orangeville, and by extension Dufferin County, continues to become more diversified, resulting in a need for greater understanding and development of inclusive policies, activities, and actions.

Following the Town of Orangeville’s commitment to building that kind of inclusive committee, they have developed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee.

The committee will consist of one representative from town council, Coun. Lisa Post, and a number of volunteers from the community.

“I’m excited that we are moving forward towards inclusion in our community,” Post told the Banner. “The involvement of our citizens is so crucial to effectively do this.”

Along with providing recommendations and advice to council, the EDI Committee will also be mandated to work with town staff and the community, focusing on liaising with groups who have historically experienced discrimination.

On Nov. 26, the Town announced they are now seeking volunteers to serve on the committee. These volunteers will represent the diversity of Orangeville’s community across national origins, ethnicity, language, race, colour, sexual orientation, gender identity and age.

It is expected the committee will work actively during its first year to move critical work ahead, meeting formally at least three times per year or at the call of the committee chair.

Initial areas of focus may include:

· Identification of issues and matters related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in Orangeville.

· Identifying best practices

· Raising awareness in the community about EDI

· Identifying systemic and institutional barriers in Town processes, services, programs, and/or facilities.

· Identifying barriers that impact the social, health, and/or economic well-being of members of the community, then proposing solutions.

· Providing advice on programs, services, and processes from an equity, diversity, and inclusion perspective.

“I hope anyone who has knowledge or experience to lend will consider applying to share that with us,” said Post.

Application forms are available on the Town’s website and must be received by the Clerk’s office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2021.

Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner