City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the April 19 Meeting?

For this third Monday of the month, a time when there’s usually no meeting of city council, the horseshoe will be called together for a very timely, and very important conversation about race in our community, and systemic racism in our city structures. Get ready for another council workshop!

NOTE #1: Since this is a council work ship, there will be no delegations or correspondences from the general public 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.

Systemic Racism: Local Data and Municipal Leadership Workshop – Guelph City Council will meet again to discuss the topic of how best to fight systemic racism in the walls of City Hall. This comes on the heels of a council workshop held on the subject last November, and council’s decision to join the UNESCO Coalition of Inclusive Communities earlier this year. From this workshop, the goal is to get a better understanding about what was learned from the local data about race and discrimination, and what the best practices are from other municipalities.

To help in this effort, council will be joined by several special guests starting with Denise Francis and Kween Gerber, the president and executive director respectively of the Guelph Black Heritage Society. Francis and Gerber will talk about the #ChangeStartsNow Anti-Racism Summit, which will have all sorts of talks and activities for the whole Guelph community as well as special events meant for the Black community alone.

After that, council will hear from Leen AlHabash, Project Manager for Guelph Wellington Local Immigration Partnership. In this presentation, council will learn about the make-up of Guelph’s immigrant community, and how many newcomers are settling in Guelph with advance degrees in health, management and engineering while working in manufacturing, sales and service. University-educated immigrants are also making one-fifth the income per hour than their Canadian-born peers.

In the third section, Marva Wisdom will lead a panel on municipal leadership and collaboration. Members of the panel include:

  • Denise Andrea Campbell Executive Director of Social Development, Finance and Administration at the City of Toronto
  • Dr. Cara Wehkamp Special Advisor to the Provost on Aboriginal Initiatives at the University of Guelph
  • Mohammad Mousa Coordinator of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
  • Steve Anderson Manager, Transportation Engineering at the City of Guelph

The panel will look at what new information and additional learning that council would like to pursue, and what actions to fight systemic racism that council would like to take.

No formal decisions or direction will come to a vote at this meet.

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