The City of Markham began updating its Diversity Action Plan during the fall of 2021. We sought input from residents, community leaders, Advisory Committees, community and service organizations, business owners and entrepreneurs, and individuals who work in Markham through a series of discovery meetings, community consultations and an online survey.
As one of Canada’s most diverse cities, the City of Markham is proud of its rich diversity and strives to ensure that everyone feels welcome and a sense of belonging and can participate freely in society without fear of discrimination, stereotyping and racism.
We understand that diversity is our collective strength and drives our vitality and success. The City of Markham has a longstanding history of ensuring that diversity and inclusion are embedded in its strategic plan, Building Markham’s Future Together. Building on the City’s diversity allows the harnessing of our communities’ collective strengths and contributes to the City’s quality of life, prosperity and innovation by attracting growth, creativity, new businesses, visitors and new residents.
The City seeks to be a diverse, socially inclusive and cohesive municipality where policies, practices, services and programs, spaces and decision-making are accessible and inclusive to all, not only in intent but also in day-to-day delivery and experience.
As part of Building Markham’s Future Together, the City launched its 10 year Diversity Action Plan 2010 to 2019 - Everyone Welcome in 2010. This was a bold step to articulate the City’s values and vision in the area of diversity and inclusion. The Diversity Action Plan was developed through extensive public consultation with members of the public and with more than 200 community entities and contains 68 recommendations to further strengthen the City’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and ensuring that everyone can live to their potential and have equitable access to spaces, services, programs and same opportunities.
At this time, the majority of the recommendations in the Diversity Action Plan 2010 to 2019 - Everyone Welcome are either complete, or are in active development or are underway.
While Everyone Welcome was a transformational strategy for the City, it is recognized that the City’s diversity and inclusion strategy and approach needs to be updated to represent the current realities and changes occurring in society, not only in Markham, but also in Canada and globally.
The City’s updated Diversity Action Plan also needs to represent today’s evolving issues, concepts and language occurring in the diversity, equity and inclusion space. The City understands the ongoing and critical need to ensure that inclusion, social cohesion, respectful dialogue as well as the ability to live life to one’s potential free of discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes, racism and systemic racism is absolutely essential for the City to uphold and strengthen.
The City plans to listen to the needs and insights of its communities and stakeholders through extensive public consultation in the fall of 2021. As part of the Diversity Action Plan update, the City will continue its efforts to undertake and influence change within our municipal jurisdiction and our sphere of influence as well as proactively partner with other entities to help create sustained change. The updated Diversity Action Plan will provide the City with a framework, recommendations and actions that support policies, programs, services, spaces and decision making that are inclusive, fair, accessible and equitable.
The updated Diversity Action Plan will focus on the years from 2021 to 2031 and will be focused on the needs of the City’s communities and stakeholders.
We hope that all Markham residents will participate in the community consultations during the fall of 2021 that will form the foundation of the City’s next iteration of its Diversity Action Plan.