DiverseCity

DiverseCity Project Launched to Promote GTA Diversity

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and the GTA is certainly the most diverse region in Canada. We gladly welcome immigrants from all over the globe every day, and yet the leaders around town do not reflect our multi-ethnic fabric. The DiverseCity project was launched to counter this nagging problem.

Countless immigrants cannot get a job in their field or their credentials recognized, much less achieve a leadership position. And as an immigrant myself - from the remarkably foreign U.S.A. - I felt the pain of unanswered resumes, left to wonder if my non-Canadian experience was working against me. Of course I don't have an accent (or much of one, anyway) and I do have white skin, so my problems pale in comparison to those faced by thousands of immigrants.

Nonetheless, I was very curious when I discovered DiverseCity and their mission: "Over three years, the project will expand our networks, strengthen our private and public institutions, advance our knowledge on the role of diversity in leadership and track our progress."

DiverseCity aims to achieve its goals through its 8 initiatives. There are two initiatives for each of the four main categories in the mission statement.

There will be speakers, fellows, placement, training and more. The project has established numerical targets to achieve in 2010, such as "300 senior level executives will have created new networks across ethnic and racial groups." An ongoing speaker series debuts January 26th with the Partner Launch at the Canadian Club.

So who is behind DiverseCity? It's a partnership between the Toronto City Summit Alliance and The Maytree Foundation, and they're recruiting additional partners. The 8 initiatives are a product of the steering committee.

But after all the rhetoric and good intention, will this project have an effect? Will we really see more ethnic and racial minorities in leadership positions around the GTA? I suppose only time will tell, but any effort to utilize the enormous talent and connections of our many residents seems like a darn good idea to me.


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