The Toronto for All initiative is a municipal tool that supports the civic resiliency for all Toronto residents. Civic resiliency is the capacity of a group of residents or community to adapt to the evolving complexity and diversity of their social environment by building good relationships and viewing these changes as a strength. Civic resiliency can be measured in residents’ awareness of – and engagement with – the systemic barriers that exist for people in their environment due to group membership. Implicit biases, negative attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices negatively impact our civic resiliency.
The City, as the government closest to residents, must lead public dialogue that can support the civic resiliency of Torontonians for the benefit of all Toronto residents. The initiative is also designed to support customer service improvement efforts across all City divisions by equipping staff to better understand their own biases or stereotypes that may prevent them from providing the best service to Torontonians from equity-seeking groups.
Ageism is the most socially accepted, normalized and tolerated form of discrimination today. It is the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups based on their age. Ageism, like racism and sexism stems, from the assumption that all people of a group (i.e. older people) are the same. Within the workplace, older adults are less likely to be hired, receive training and experience more discrimination than their younger colleagues.
Five ways you can combat ageism in the workplace:
Anti-Black racism still exists in Toronto – especially in the biases we hold that inform the decisions and judgments we make every day. Working with our friends at the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), we want to be leaders in helping people both confront their biases and learn how they can do to make our city an inclusive and prosperous place for everyone.
The global pandemic in 2020 and prolonged local shutdowns have put pressure on all of us, but especially East Asian communities – who are being scapegoated because of the coronavirus and facing increasing incidents of anti-East Asian racism and discrimination. Toronto’s motto – “Diversity Our Strength” – has been put to the test. Resilience must be our response.
While we all share mutual and common identities of being both Torontonians and Canadians, the City of Toronto is asking allies in the fight against racism to acknowledge and learn about our diverse histories within the context of living in this city.
Anti-Asian racism is not new. It is entrenched in our systems and is intertwined with local and national narratives. Here are some ways you can help us to grow, thrive, and contribute:
While the majority of Torontonians understand and support the values of diversity and human rights, accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities are often overlooked. People with disabilities often face barriers in their daily lives, especially in employment and cultural activities.
Over 400,000 Torontonians with disabilities feel left out every day. Here are five things you can do to make Toronto more accessible:
Homeless men are among the most vulnerable residents in our city, the way we tackle housing them needs to change. Instead of traditional shelter models, we are moving forward with a housing and services model that provides enhanced support to men experiencing homelessness. This means men can receive more personalized and focused support as they begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Services will also be delivered in a way that engages and enriches communities across our city. The first step is one that we all must take – do we want to include our most vulnerable, or ignore them? Which Toronto do we want to be?
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Talking to someone who is experiencing abuse, may be the help they need. It may help to talk to them just once or twice, or it may be doing it over and over and over again. Small, frequent and meaningful actions are effective. It’s important to understand that stepping in doesn’t have to be a drastic intervention. One in three Canadian women has experienced abuse at some point in their life. Addressing Intimate Partner Violence is everyone’s responsibility and friends, family members and coworkers all play an integral role in sharing that responsibility.
The land I am standing on today is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. I also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaty signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.
Toronto is one of the most diverse and welcoming places in the world, but some Muslims still experience harassment. We partnered with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) to remind us all that Toronto belongs to everyone – and that Muslims are as much a part of the fabric of our city as any other group of people. Everyone who lives here deserves the benefit of the inclusiveness and support that has made our city envious to the rest of the world.
We want a welcome, safe and inclusive environment for trans youth of colour in Toronto. For this to happen, it’s imperative to understand the complexities of gender and race as well as the difference between sex and gender. Trans youth of colour are part of Toronto’s LGBTQ community yet they are underserved and often experience neglect, bias and violence because of transphobia and racism. We partnered with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) and a committee of trans youth of colour from across the city to develop this campaign and inform, educate and create opportunities to learn about these issues.
Torontonians understand and support the values of diversity and human rights. Meanwhile, undocumented residents in Toronto or those with precarious status are often discriminated against because of harmful misinformation and stereotypes.
The City of Toronto has partnered with FCJ Refugee Centre, and other key agencies, to help humanize undocumented residents in our city. It’s acknowledged that the term “undocumented residents” is an imperfect term because “undocumented” can be perceived as a person that does not exist and “resident” suggests they share the benefits that other residents living in Toronto thrive on. The reality is undocumented residents are merely without valid immigration status and are forced to live in hiding in fear of deportation. Their situations are often severely misunderstood and even worse, criminalized. This campaign strives to educate Torontonians on the realities of being undocumented in our city.
Take a moment to consider what life would be like without access to healthcare, safe work or school, safe housing, and with the constant fear of being removed from the place that you know as your home.
Five things you can do to make Toronto more inclusive of undocumented residents: