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When recruiters from the Canadian Armed Forces looked at scrawny, 18-year-old Chinese-Canadian, Albert Wong, they voted that he would be the first person to fail basic training. He ended up serving for 39 years, and today he is a Citizenship Judge in the Greater Toronto Area. During this episode, Albert talks about the discrimination that he faced during his career as a result of his heritage and the color of his skin, and how he is using what he has learned from his experiences to effect systemic change with regard to diversity and inclusion. Albert shares why Canada’s approach to treating its citizens is one that the rest of the world would do well to emulate, why empathy is one of the most important qualities in a leader, the factors that are essential for social cohesion, and the sacred obligation of all Canadians. This Remembrance Day, take the time to honor the unsung military heroes! Key Points From This Episode:Stories of some of the Canadian military’s unsung heroes.How the sacrifices made by men like Hasan Amat and Buckam Singh opened doors for minority populations in Canada. An overview of Judge Albert Wong’s career in military service. Awards that Albert has been awarded.Albert shares what motivated him to join the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 18.Challenges that Albert faced as a Chinese Canadian soldier. A memorable moment from the early days of Albert’s military career.  Albert’s approach to mentorship.The culture of the Canadian Armed Forces.Why Albert always constantly felt like he had to prove himself while working in the military.How Albert practices active allyship. Why Albert believes Canada is an example to the rest of the world of how to treat people fairly. Albert's advice for how to be a better leader. Why Albert admires Thomas Bata. Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.What Albert believes to be the key factor that enables social cohesion. Albert’s thoughts on how to integrate veterans into the workplace. What citizenship really means.The inspirational determination of Nav Bhatia. The sacred obligation of all Canadian citizens. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Albert Wong on LinkedInCanadian Armed Forces
Yin Brown is a first generation immigrant of Chinese descent, and the Director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) at the Abilities Centre in Ontario. She also happens to be blind. Her passion is employment for people with disabilities, and she has led many advocacy groups to fight for the cause. Join us today as she reveals the work that the Abilities Centre does to facilitate inclusivity both within their organization, and for others seeking to accommodate their employees. We touch on the role of managers in initiating the conversation about access needs, what you should always avoid as an employer, and how the HR department can accommodate inclusivity on all levels. We discuss what it means to shift the paradigm to reflect the necessity of inclusivity for everyone, and not just those whose access needs are not currently being met. Next, we talk about employee support, eligibility for government funding, setting goals for inclusion, and much more. Thanks for tuning in! Key Points From This Episode:An introduction to today’s guest, Director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility at the Abilities Centre in Ontario.What made Yin passionate about advocating for the employment of people with disabilities.The work that the Abilities Centre does to facilitate inclusivity, with variations available.How the HR department accommodates inclusivity on all levels.Why people experience fear at disclosing their disability.The role of managers in initiating the conversation about access needs.What you should absolutely avoid as an employer: any and all assumptions.The Lead program facilitated by the Abilities Centre to support other organizations.Recommendations for supportive organizations in Montreal.How virtual meetings have contributed to accessibility in the workplace today.Presenting a business case that shows the benefits of inclusivity to win over senior management.Shifting the paradigm to show that inclusion affects everyone, and not only those with disabilities.Supporting employees by drawing on their past successes to create present-day solutions.Eligibility based on how your business impacts your sector and your community.Why inclusion is not totally dependent on government funding.Navigating employers who insist on returning to the office.Setting goals for inclusion and assuring employees of confidentiality with the option of not disclosing.Emphasizing what you can do during a job application.Initiating the conversation about the accommodations you need during the onboarding process.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Yin Brown on LinkedInYin Brown on TwitterAbilities CentreDisabled Women’s NetworkAnne-Marie Pham on LinkedInCanadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to help us learn and reflect on what we need to know and do. The Indigenous residential school system was designed to isolate Indigenous children from their culture, religion, and identity to assimilate them into the dominant colonial culture. The impacts of this repressive system are still felt today and injustices of the past have still not been reconciled.To help us unpack the history and these complex ideas is Laura Arndt, Chief operating officer of Survivors’ Secretariat, a survivor-lead organization mandated to uncover the truth about unmarked burial grounds. Laura is dedicated to the importance of dialogue and focuses her work on the complexity of kinship, relationships, and community through the lens of culture, identity, and belonging. She has diverse experience and is deeply committed to her work, community, and family. Laura is proudly Mohawk and clan member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, on the board of directors for Feathers of Hope, and regularly volunteers at the Jays Care Foundation. To add to her exhaustive list of expertise, she serves on the Ontario Law Society Tribunal, the Indigenous Advisory Circle for Right to Play Canada, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at Queens University. In our conversation, she shares her knowledge as we discuss the history and the lasting negative legacy of the Canadian Indian residential school system. We learn about the important work she is doing, her personal connection with the work she does, and what motivates her. We also discuss the importance of justice, cultural identity and community, and how she approaches her work. She also shares simple steps to begin dialogue and book recommendations that will get you started. Don’t miss out on this inspiring conversation with Laura Arndt!Key Points From This Episode:Laura gives us background about the Survivors’ Secretariat and its purpose and mandate.Learn about the many people and agencies Laura has worked with during her career.The focus of the Survivors’ Secretariat.How to support the work she does and build a path towards truth and reconciliation.Why survivors having a voice, feeling protected, and cultural identity is essential.The importance of engaging communities, establishing dialogue, and knowing the facts. Book recommendations that will inspire listeners to question and take action.A simple approach to practice in the workplace to begin a dialogue.An important takeaway message that Laura has for listeners.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Laura Arndt EmailCentennial CollegeSurvivors’ SecretariatSix Nations of the Grand RiverFeathers of HopeJays Care FoundationRight to PlayQueens UniversityLaw Society TribunalA Knock at the DoorUnsettling CanadaAnne-Marie Pham on LinkedInAnne-Marie Pham on Twitter
Diversity and inclusion is a hot topic in the world right now, but knowing how to make a difference can be tricky. Joining us in conversation today is Erin Goodpipe, a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher from the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation. She shares her story of being the first in her family to graduate from high school, learning that education far extends beyond what we learn in the four walls of a classroom along the way. You’ll hear why she prioritizes putting herself in indigenous spaces, and how she goes about honoring the relationship we have with everything around us in her daily life. Erin tells us all about the theatre work she has done with the Making Treaty 4 Collective, which they were invited to perform at the Globe Theatre. We explore the way that stories inform culture as we live them out, the unconventional introduction to theatre that led her to work in it today, as well as what she gained from the theatre-making experience. We talk about the pivotal period of youth, how to engage with youth work in a meaningful way, and Erin fills us in on her latest projects to look out for. Join us to hear more today!Key Points From This Episode:•    Today’s guest: Erin Goodpipe, multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher.•    Her educational background, studying Indigenous Education to Masters level, and film.•    Erin’s work as a television host on the Other Side on the ATP Network.•    Erin introduces us and welcomes us to the episode in her language.•    The belief her community has had in her which she wants to carry forward for others.•    Her experience being the first one to finish high school in her family. •    What she has learned about education: that it goes beyond the four walls of a classroom.•    Why she chooses to prioritize putting herself in indigenous spaces. •    How she goes about honoring the relationship we have with everything in daily life.•    Why youth is a significant period of life: a time to find out how you are connected to others.•    The work she is doing with the Making Treaty 4 Collective which she was invited to perform at the Globe Theatre.•    Why stories are powerful and how they create culture as we live them out.•    Her unconventional introduction to theatre during her studies through her former boss.•    The experience of creating theatre that went far beyond the performance element.•    Erin’s ideas to make the art scene in Canada more inclusive: resources, space, and funding. •    Building trust and committing to relationships and ‘ongoingness’ as you engage with people.•    Holistic learning: engaging with the mental, emotional, and physical through experience.•    The projects she is currently working on: Treaty Road on ATP, and Sir John A at the Globe.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Erin Goodpipe on LinkedIn  Making Treaty 4 on FacebookThe Other Side 
As we celebrate Canada Day, we look at how we can take pride in our country but also be more proactive in making it a more equitable and inclusive society. Joining us for this conversation is the former mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi. Naheed is a passionate Calvarian, an accomplished business professional, and a community leader with a solid track record of getting things done. While he served as mayor from 2010 to 2021 he successfully led Calgary through a massive flood, spearheaded some major infrastructure projects to revitalize the city, and he even won the 2014 World Mayor Prize. In this episode, he shares the story of how his family came to live in Canada, why they chose this country, the flaws in the Canadian immigration system, and how we need to change this. Tuning in you’ll hear Naheed’s thoughts on how to address inequity and racism in the workplace. Naheed provides some profound insight on the creation of empathy, the value of setting aside our egos, the importance of letting go of our own defensiveness and assumptions, as well as other steps we can take toward equity in our country. Naheed is famous for his Three Things for Calgary initiative. To find out how you can make Canada more equitable and inclusive by doing just three things, tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:An introduction to today’s guest Naheed Nenshi and his impressive career.The story of how Naheed’s family came to Canada and why they chose this country.The importance of welcoming immigrants to Canada in order to create harmony and inclusion.How the Canadian immigration system unfairly functions as a bait and switch system and the need for this to change.How we need to be proud of what we’ve built but also understand that we are not an anti-racist society.Speculation as to whether or not we are ready as a society to become completely equitable.Naheed’s thoughts on how to address inequity and racism in the workplace. Why we have to let go of our own defensiveness and our own assumptions.The importance of investigating institutional or systemic barriers to employment or promotion in your workplace.How to support minority-owned businesses through adjusting procurement and supply chain policies.A real-life example that demonstrates how we need to challenge our most basic assumptions. How putting the blame on systemic racism lets racist individuals off the hook.Questions on how to create a sense of empathy. Setting aside your ego and accepting that nobody is getting everything that they want as a step toward equity. Thoughts on meritocracy versus diversity in the hiring process and how these are not mutually exclusive.Insight into Naheed’s Three Things for Calgary initiative and how you can do three things to make Canada more equitable and inclusive.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Naheed NenshiNaheed Nenshi on TwitterBuilding Up: Making Canada’s Cities Magnets for Talent and Engines of DevelopmentCanadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
Spécialiste réputé.e en équité, diversité et inclusion, Moe Hamandi est une personne libano-canadien.ne parfaitement imparfaite. Entre ses implications communautaires, artistiques et corporatives, l’artiste scientifique a réussi a accompagné plusieurs leaders dans leur chemin vers l’inclusion. Dans cet épisode, Moe rejoint Anne-Marie pour parler de sa vie au Liban, de son expérience d'immigrant.e à Montréal (sa deuxième mère) et de son cheminement vers la découverte de soi en ce qui concerne son identité de genre et son orientation sexuelle. Joignez-vous à nous pour cette discussion animée alors qu'iel plonge dans la véritable signification de son nom, les défis auxquels les communautés LGBTQ2S+ sont encore confrontées et sa vision pour Fierté Montréal.Liens mentionnés dans l'épisode d'aujourd'hui :Moe Hamandi sur LinkedInFierté MontréalBanque Nationale du CanadaCentre canadien pour la diversité et l’inclusionBalado Conversation entre leaders
Today’s episode is a special fireside chat with three very interesting Asian Leaders from across Canada, who will be sharing with us their insights and unique perspectives on what we do in our communities and workplaces to address anti-Asian racism. Anti-Asian racism, over the past two years, continues to trend upwards in Canada according to research. To talk more about it and better understand the issues at hand, we welcome our guests: First, Bhavna Duggal, a global financial service leader with over 16 years of finance management and advisory experience across Canada, Europe, and Asia. Next, Elizabeth Lim, an experienced and committed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategist and practitioner as well as a culturally curious leader who quickly understands organization and client needs. Lastly, we welcome Andi Shi, who is the Executive Director at CPAC, a multidimensional, not-for-profit organization that is a professionals association, a career service provider for internationally educated professionals and underprivileged youth, and also an independent research, training, and education organization for the advancement of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. Please join us in our fireside chat with our panel guests as we dive into the much needed conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion, the anti-Asian racism trends in Canada, hindering Asian stereotypes in leadership roles, and more.Key Points From This Episode:We hear some research findings regarding the anti-Asian racism trends in Canada.An introduction to the panel guests. Elizabeth’s journey of being a diversity, equity, and inclusion leader with an Asian heritage.Andi elaborates on their study about how different Asian stereotypes hinder Asian-Canadian people in leadership positions.How Chinese/Asian culture affects perspective when it comes to leadership qualities.Bhavna shares how Ascend Canada is working towards breaking down barriers for pan-Asian talent to reach their full potential.Why making things awkward helps kickstart things into action.Elizabeth comments on the responsibility of workplaces to sustain conversations around anti-Asian racism and support Asian colleagues and clients.Programs to implement: DE&I strategies that address barriers and intersectionality.  Andi talks about the current pulse of current concerns and opportunities at the community level; lack of awareness and lack of capacity.The importance for Canadian citizens to learn about Asian history in the growth, expansion, and being of the country.Bhavna shares tips on mindset, attitudes, and skills that have helped her be a more effective advocate for diversity and be an ally to address racism. We end off the episode with a live Q&A. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Andi ShiAndi Shi on LinkedInCPAC-CanadaBhavna Duggal on LinkedInAscend CanadaAscend Canada ResourcesEmotional Tax StudyEmotional Tax Ascent ArticleElizabeth Lim on LinkedInWe Were Dreamers
Important conversations about diversity and inclusion need to be coupled with effective action, and real change. Figuring out the best steps for this is not always easy, and today we shed some light on the intricacies of the topic, and hopefully offer some practical solutions to these challenging questions. Joining for a CCDI Fireside chat are Tyjondah Kerr and Mark Harrison, who are both doing amazing work on a number of different fronts for positive change within Canadian workspaces. Tyjondah has had a long career working in the gaming space, working at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, or OLG, for over 20 years. She holds a degree in psychology from the University of Windsor, and is a multiple award winner, recently being honoured by 100ABCWomen and receiving the Vaike Murusalu Empowerment Award! Mark Harrison is an experienced entrepreneur, having founded T1 Agency, MH3 Collective, the Black Talent Initiative, co-founded Park Street Education, as well as being elected Chair of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters Toronto. In our chat with these two amazing guests, we hear some personal reflections and lessons they learned in their work, some larger ideas on progress, and thoughts on the areas that are most pressing at present. Both Tyjondah and Mark are generous and honest in their answers, talking about the challenges that we face, and the hope that we can have. For all this and more, join us today.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Tyjondah Kerr on LinkedInMark HarrisonMark Harrison on LinkedInT1 AgencyMH3 CollectiveBlack Talent InitiativePark Street EducationBig Brothers and Big Sisters of TorontoCMHA FoundationUniversity of WindsorCasino of WindsorOLG100ABCWomenNoughts & CrossesAnne-Marie PhamCanadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
Truly diverse and inclusive organizations are places where employees from many different backgrounds come together and feel that they belong. This in turn creates an environment where complex problems can be solved by teams that bring a rich set of perspectives to the table. Today’s special guest is Ellen Melis, President and Head Coach of Unlimited Potential, and she joins us to talk about how organizations can place a higher value on EDI as well as what is possible for them through doing so. We kick things off by hearing about Ellen’s experience as a leadership coach and student of EDI, and from there she talks about the work being done to make healthcare policy more informed by diverse experiences. We talk about how to make a case for EDI to organization leaders, how to take steps toward it once it has become a priority, and how much more effectively communities can be served once it is achieved. If you want to begin working toward EDI on a personal, team, or organizational level, today's show is a must-hear.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Ellen Melis on LinkedInUnlimited PotentialCanadian Centre for Diversity and InclusionLeader Talks Podcast
Canada calls itself multicultural, but today’s guest challenges this assertion. The lack of education and public discourse around African Canadian heritage caused Nathan Hall to feel a diminished sense of belonging from a young age. As his life went on he began to realize more and more how people of color are excluded and discriminated against in a multitude of different situations. Uncomfortable and discrediting personal experiences that he has had as a black male living in Canada led Nathan to found Culture Check, a social impact business which focuses on enhancing inclusivity in the workplace. Everyone experiences the world differently, and the first step towards building an inclusive future is the simple act of listening, and being open to understanding a perspective different from your own. Join us today for an enlightening conversation which will make you rethink your role as a leader! Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Culture CheckNathan Hall on LinkedInCanadian Centre for Diversity and InclusionLeaders Talk Podcast
Kiersten Mohr is an openly transgender woman and invests her time away from work giving back to her community. She was inspired and emboldened by the positive experience of her gender transition in 2017 and is now passionate to use her visibility and voice to help promote positive public awareness as well as understanding and inclusion of transgender and gender diverse individuals. 
Join Anne-Marie Pham as she talks with  Amanda Kennedy, an innovative Indigenous leader, anti-racist educator, consultant, strategic community planner, program developer, and facilitator/trainer. 
Anne-Marie Pham, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, speaks with Indigenous leader, Tim Fox, who shares his incredible story and insights for addressing anti-Indigenous racism at the systems level.
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