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Toronto, ON. December 13, 2011. This week at the fourth UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Forum in Doha, Qatar, DiverseCity onBoard was awarded second prize in the Intercultural Innovation Awards. The program was selected from over 400 proposals submitted from 70 countries.
According to the UNAOC, “This award represents a new kind of partnership between the private sector and the UN system, aiming to select highly innovative projects that promote dialogue and inter-cultural understanding and to make a vital contribution to safety and peace in societies around the world.”
DiverseCity onBoard connects qualified candidates from racially and ethnically diverse communities with governance positions in agencies, boards, commissions and nonprofit organizations across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The project works to ensure that regional governance bodies reflect the diversity of the people who live and work in the GTA.
“We are extremely honoured to receive this award,” says Ratna Omidvar, co-chair of DiverseCity and President of Maytree. “Agencies, boards and commissions and voluntary organizations deliver a wide range of essential services and programs to local residents. Yet there is a disconnect between the leadership of these organizations and institutions and the population of the region. DiverseCity onBoard was created to directly address this challenge.”
While some progress has been made in the GTA, the annual DiverseCity Counts report in 2011 found that visible minorities in the GTA are still under-represented in leadership positions. According to the report, only 14.5 per cent of leaders in the GTA are visible minorities relative to 49.5 per cent of the population studied.
“DiverseCity onBoard brings local governance closer to the demographics of people who live in the city” adds Ms. Omidvar. “It connects boards looking for people with real qualifications, with real capacity to provide value, but a different point of view and a different perspective. We have seen incremental change in the GTA and we are excited about the possibilities of bringing this project to the attention of global partners working towards similar goals in civil society. Through our replication toolkit, we encourage all of them to look at DiverseCity onBoard as something they can introduce to their communities.”
About DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project
DiverseCity is a joint project of Maytree and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, co-chaired by Ratna Omidvar and John Tory, and funded in part by the government of Ontario. With its nine initiatives, the project is changing the face of our region’s leadership. It is expanding our networks, strengthening our private and public institutions, advancing our knowledge on the role of diversity in leadership and tracking our progress. For more information, visit www.diversecitytoronto.ca.
Markus Stadelmann-Elder, Communications Manager, Maytree, 416-944-2627 x284, email@example.com
Tina Edan, Manager, Leadership Programs, Maytree, 416-944-2627 x245, firstname.lastname@example.org