Windsor

This grassroots group wants to help Windsor-Essex be more inclusive

There's a new Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce that's been created in Windsor-Essex that's committed to seeing changes in political, public and workforce landscapes to insure inclusion.

Group says they want to empower people, make change happen

Nour Hachem-Fawaz has helped start a new task force that hopes to raise awareness around issues related to diversity and inclusion. But the group aims to take action and make change. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

There's a new Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce that's been created in Windsor-Essex, but it's not a government agency and it wasn't created by a city council.

This grassroots group has sprung from the community by people who want to see change — to show that as a community we really do value diversity and inclusion.

"What prompted the task force was a recent discussion regarding the Black Lives Matter movement in our community and feeling a little discouraged and disappointed in some of the comments and some of the solutions that were proposed from the leadership," explained Nour Hachem-Fawaz, one of the founders behind the group. 

"So I had asked a few of the leaders across different sectors about how they felt about it, and if they were interested in putting together a grassroots task force that not only looked at the challenges and barriers but really committed to change and committed to looking at all angles."

The group has set some goals they hope to take action on including raising awareness on issues related to diversity, applying for funding to support local initiatives, and holding governments and businesses accountable when it comes to inclusion and representation. 

"Every election, after the election, we talk about our disappointment or hope for greater representation of women greater representation of diversity on council," said Hachem-Fawaz. "Yet four years passes by and no targeted initiative is trying to engage those demographics."

The task force is made up of about 15 local leaders, many of whom are already working on some of the issues the group hopes to tackle, said Hachem-Fawaz. 

Irene Moore Davis said a major issue for the group is underrepresented minorities in local politics. (Rob Heydari/CBC)

Underrepresentation in politics is one that Irene Moore Davis also hopes to challenge. She said women, people with disabilities, Indigenous and other minorities need to be included in politics. 

"We just want to make sure that not only in elected capacities but also in boardrooms, in senior administration roles and those opportunities for further equality and progress in various workplace sectors," she said. "We want to see that representation increased and enhanced. We really believe that it is for the good of the entire community if we have a truly representative workforce, a truly representative leadership across all sectors."

LISTEN | Hear more about how this task force will reach their goals:

Irene Moore Davis and Nour Hachem-Fawaz are two women behind a new diversity and inclusion taskforce created in Winsor-Essex. They speak with Windsor Morning host Jonathan Pinto about their vision for Windsor-Essex. 10:25

The group also hopes to launch projects that will collect data to inform some of the decisions and policies happening locally. 

The members have also outlined they are missing people from the key demographics they represent — like those with disabilities and new Canadians who have immigrated here. They hope to continue recruiting more individuals who can contribute to their work. 

WATCH | Taskforce hopes to empower new voices:

Hadeel El-Zubeidi explains what she sees the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce doing for Windsor-Essex. 3:05

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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