New Anti-Racism and Equity Training Program launches in the Capital Region

​​Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ territories | November 8, 2021 – A new workplace initiative designed to address racism and discrimination has launched in the Capital Regional District, developed by the the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria in partnership with Canadian Heritage and United Way Southern Vancouver Island.

The new program, Tools for Equity, addresses inequality in the workplace from a structural and systemic lens in order to create meaningful and lasting impacts on systemic issues that affect the Greater Victoria community.

“Studies have shown that one-off diversity workshops are not effective in creating sustainable shifts in culture”, says Paulina Grainger, Manager Arts, Equity & Community Engagement at ICA. “Instead, Tools for Equity is a series of training models that require both genuine time commitment and action from every member of an organization in order to take a collective first step in addressing historical roots of racism and discrimination.”

 According to a recent city-wide survey conducted by the ICA, 61 per cent of residents felt that anti-racism policies in workplaces were critical to addressing issues of racism in Victoria.

“Racial disparities and employment barriers affect immigrants, refugees and communities of colour every day,” says Mark Breslauer, CEO of United Way Southern Vancouver Island. “Addressing these issues is how we start to further enrich our communities to create a space where everyone feels welcome. Tools for Equity is an ideal resource for organizations looking to promote equity, diversity and inclusion within the workplace.”

Before committing to the program, ICA recommends organizations first go through the Equity Homework Guide. The full program includes five training modules, between 2-3 hours long. Once all five modules are completed, participants are offered a suite of educational EDI (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) workshops that fill in any knowledge gaps.

To learn more about the Tools for Equity program, please see ICA’s website.

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ABOUT INTER-CULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF GREATER VICTORIA

 The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) supports the full integration of newcomer immigrants and refugees into the social, economic and civic life of the Capital Region of British Columbia. Through community engagement programs, ICA serves residents, organizations and businesses in Greater Victoria to help foster an equity framework to build a truly welcoming, equitable and inclusive community where everyone can feel safe and thrive.

ABOUT UNITED WAY SOUTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND 

 United Way Southern Vancouver Island (formerly United Way Greater Victoria) is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change. United, we accelerate change to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making our local community stronger. We believe everyone in the Greater Victoria region, which includes 13 municipalities and 11 First Nations and the Southern Gulf Islands should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Our priorities are focused on assisting isolated seniors; families in need; diversity, equity and inclusion; and individuals struggling with mental health challenges and/or addictions. Last fiscal year, United Way raised $6.2 million thanks to over 7,000 donors and 200 workplaces opening their offices to run employee giving programs. Through our community partnerships, over 125,000 people on Southern Vancouver Island received support. Show your local love today by making a gift to United Way at www.uwsvi.ca

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