By Kalinowski, Tim on November 13, 2019.
The City of Lethbridge, local businesses and community organizations are being asked to commit to fighting discrimination and racism by signing on to a new Lethbridge Diversity and Inclusivity Charter on Thursday.
The request came through the city council meeting on Tuesday from the Lethbridge Diversity and Inclusion Alliance (LDIA) formerly the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD). LDIA co-chairs Victor Iyilade Jr. and Jerry Firth made their pitch, and hoped council would be open to signing on both as individuals and on behalf of the City as a whole.
“(We are) just inviting council to sign up and show that symbolism is something that is a priority to council,” said Iyilade. “And to see overwhelming support from council in that regard … This would be one of the first city councils in Canada to state or declare something like this.”
Iyilade explained the symbolic significance of such a signing.
“It’s a way of unifying ourselves, and attaching ourselves to one another (in this statement),” he said. “A person can say they are personally committed to fighting racism and discrimination, and it’s also symbolic for agencies and organizations to say, ‘Hey, as an organization we are standing with this initiative.'”
Firth added the signing wouldn’t just be limited to the City and council, but to anyone who comes out to view the signing being held at the Multicultural Centre over the noon hour on Thursday.
“We invite the whole community whether as individuals, or people who are affiliated to organizations or businesses, to sign on Thursday at the Multicultural Centre,” he confirmed. “And this isn’t a one-day event. The intention is to post the charter up publicly so that people can print it and sign it as they will.”
In the end, council voted unanimously to sign the charter on the City’s behalf.
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