The Regional Diversity Roundtable (RDR) is a charitable non-profit organization in Peel Region that is committed to building diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) competency in the human services sector. RDR’s objective is to institutionalize DEI in core values, structures, workforces, policies and services through a collective impact framework. By engaging in cross-sectoral collaboration, it supports the public, non-profit and social services sector in Peel. RDR builds capacity through trainings, workshops and conferences, alongside offering multiple other DEI resources to ensure organizations are not only equipped to serve a diverse clientele but also that the Peel community is reflected in all aspects of organizations. The RDR is the lead organization for the Diversity & Inclusion Charter of Peel Initiative. For more information please visit www.regionaldiversityroundtable.org.
D&I Charter Project Staff
Saira Zuberi, Project Lead
With an academic background in area studies and in gender, Muslims laws and reproductive rights, Saira Zuberi has deep roots in South Asia, and has lived, studied and worked across all continents, fulfilling the meaning of her name (one who travels). Saira is a linguistics geek, a lover of languages and music from around the globe, a lifelong advocate for gender/social justice, and most recently, a very reluctant “gym-rat.” Saira also has a deep personal interest in critical disability theory; neurodivergence, equity, diversity and inclusion; and holistic approaches to mental health. She volunteers as a Crisis Counsellor with Victims Services Toronto, and serves as Global Communications Lead for the Society of Gender Professionals (SGP) practitioners’ network.
Frishta Bastan, M.A, Community Outreach Coordinator
Frishta Bastan is a passionate activist, spoken word artist and a religious coffee drinker. Inspired by her Afghan background, Frishta uses her poetry to raise awareness about social justice issues both at home and around the globe. She facilitates workshops called Poetic Resistance that teach and encourage attendees to express themselves safely in poetic form. Aside from spoken word, Frishta also is Co-Founder of the Non-profit initiative #ShowTheLoveTO that distributes winter necessity kits to the homeless in Toronto every Valentine’s Day. Frishta has worked with various diverse youth communities across the GTA for the past decade. Frishta graduated from McMaster University with a Masters of International Relations.
D&I Charter Phase 2 Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is comprised of five collaboration partners. Together, they represent the diverse expertise that is informing this multi-stakeholder project.
Peel District School Board
Representative: Varsha Naik, Community Relations Coordinator, RDR Chair
The Peel District School Board (PDSB), Canada’s second largest Public school board provides education to children and youth (K-12) in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. Guided by its mission, vision and values, PDSB builds positive places for learning and working for its 246 schools, 153,700 students and 15,868 full-time employees.
PDSB’s Report Card for Student Success drives the system. It clearly highlights the Board priorities on equity and inclusion in the workforce, student achievement, diverse partnerships and community relations and is aligned with the Ministry of Education’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. Human Rights and Equity are the foundations that guide all policies, programs and activities in Peel board.
PDSB is recognized as a leader in many innovative education and DEI initiatives provincially, nationally and internationally. Peel board staff envisioned, developed and continue to lead the implementation of the D&I Charter in the Board and throughout Peel region. The Director of Education, Tony Pontes signed the Charter at the official launch on April 18, 2013. For more information please visit www.peelschools.org.
Representative: Sarala Uttangi, Manager of Diversity and Adult Services
Brampton Library enriches the lives of Brampton residents by promoting literacy, and by providing access to recreational materials and information in a welcoming environment that fosters connections with others and with the community.
One of the underlying values of public library system is the concept of inclusion. Being an inclusive library is about making sure that the library is welcoming and accessible for everyone. Through its collections, services and programs, Brampton Library is a key partner in supporting the growth and socioeconomic and cultural diversity of the city, and serving residents from 200 distinct ethnic backgrounds and the 90 different languages that is spoken within the city. For more information please visit www.bramlib.on.ca.
The Peel Multicultural Council (PMC) is a non-profit, charitable umbrella organization founded in 1977 to address social, linguistic, racial and cultural needs of the rapidly diversifying population of Peel. It pioneered promoting multiculturalism, Canadian citizenship, equity, diversity, and positive race relations in the Region of Peel. Its vision is to promote a harmonious multicultural society and its mission is to be committed to lead and empower communities through education and by providing the necessary tools for creating a healthy and integrated society. Its five key service pillars consist of settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada, neighbourhood development, health and wellness, education & training and employment support.
It has 30+ employees and 220 volunteers that reflect the diversity of Peel. It has received numerous awards for its services including Citation of Citizenship Award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 2001. For more information please visit www.peelmc.ca.
William Osler Health System
Representative: Sundeep Hans, Diversity Projects Coordinator, Health Equity and Inclusion
As Ontario’s largest community hospital, William Osler Health System (Osler) serves a population of over 1.3 million in one of the fastest growing and most culturally diverse regions of Canada. Osler includes Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health & Wellness.
Dedicated to delivering innovative health care without boundaries, equity and inclusiveness is ‘in our DNA’. Osler’s 6,000+ highly qualified staff, physicians and volunteers reflect the diversity of our communities and we are pleased to share that Osler has been awarded one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the third year in a row. For more information please visit www.williamoslerhs.ca.
Credit River Métis Council
Representative: Dr. Bill Morrison, Senator
The Métis Nation of Ontario Credit River Métis Council represents Métis citizens in the areas of Halton and Peel. The Credit River Métis Council is a not for profit council of volunteers, which supports citizens, plans events and hosts council meetings for its catchment. Dedicated to offering programs incorporating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, the Credit River Métis Council is committed to disseminating the Charter within Métis communities and beyond in the Peel Region. For more information please visit www.creditrivermetiscouncil.ca.