City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the November 16 Meeting?

Back in June, 5,000 people gathered in front of Guelph City Hall to show their support for a more equal and just society. Five months later, the people that work inside City Hall (or are temporarily working remotely from home) will be meeting to look at how they can reflect those values, and try to strive towards solutions, in the latest in a series of council workshops.

NOTE #1: This is a council workshop, so there will be no delegates for this meeting.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

Guelph’s Community Plan -As you may have heard, there was a sweeping demand for reforms earlier this summer as people looked to getting justice for racialized populations suffering from police brutality, and create a more equitable system. In this special workshop, city council will figure out how to do their part.

Community activist Marva Wisdom, and Giidaakunadaad (Nancy) Rowe, an acknowledged elder of the First Nations people in this territory, will lead council in how they can use their influence and position to encourage the City and the community to “work together to set the community standard for the elimination of systemic racism.” By the end of the meeting, it’s hoped that council will have a better understanding of systemic racism, what work needs to be done to eliminate it, and how they can support community groups and organizations in that goal.

This work is being done under the Community Plan, which, among other things, is meant to work towards the goal of creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace, and to embed anti-racist and inclusion practices in local government whether that’s in services, policies, or decision-making. The workshop will review work already complete to ensure those goals are achieved, and will look at what other actions can be taken to quash out systemic racism and “learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Among the links for additional reading for councillors is the website The Black Past in Guelph, a English department project at the University of Guelph that sheds a lot of light on the racism in Guelph’s past and the forgotten contributions to local history made by People of Colour in our community.

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