Centering Diversity for Workplace Equity Conference

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Keynote Speaker:

Evelyn Myrie, Principle & Founder, EMpower Strategy Group

Evelyn Myrie is a passionate, results-driven professional with a breadth of leadership experience particularly in government and not for profit sector. She is currently Principal and founder of EMpower Strategy Group —a boutique leadership development organization specializing in creating strategies to foster empowering leadership at work, at home, and in the community. Over the past 2 decades, Evelyn has held numerous leadership roles in government, business and non-profit sector with a strong focus on helping organizations translate their mission into action. Evelyn served as Executive Director of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion a community based organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion across all sectors. In 2013, she organized the city’s first Diversity Recognition program for business and community. She also launched DiversityonBoard program in Hamilton. Evelyn was the inaugural Director of Peel Newcomer Strategy Group from 2007 to 2010 where successfully developed the action plans for immigration settlement.  Evelyn also served in various leadership roles at Status of Women Canada and Canadian Heritage. Evelyn has been a member of numerous organizations including United Way Burlington Hamilton, Social Planning and Research Council, Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, African Canadian Legal Clinic  to name a few. For her professional and community contributions she has been presented with several citations including, Hamilton Woman of the Year Award in Public Affairs, Ontario Volunteer Award, Queen Elizabeth the second Golden and Diamond Jubilee awards. In 2011, she was inducted into Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction and in 2016 she was named one of the 100 Accomplished Black Women in Canada. Evelyn loves to travel and enjoying walking and running the many beautiful trails in Hamilton.

Capacity Building Sessions: 

The capacity building sessions will explore two key DEI anchors that significantly impact workplaces: organizational culture and competing rights. Not only are these anchors central to creating a positive workspace, but managing these anchors at times poses challenges to organizations as they attempt to sustain DEI within the workplace. So how can we re-think, re-define and revitalize how we work with these two anchors to navigate DEI in today and tomorrow’s context?

A. Organizational Culture

This capacity building session will explore: 

  • Why is organizational culture a key component of an organization?
  • What impact does organizational culture have on people, services, and clients?
  • How can we build and sustain an equitable and inclusive organizational culture to address current and emerging DEI issues?

Lianne Picot, Executive Director, Peel Leadership Centre

Lianne has worked as a practitioner, Executive Director and CEO in the nonprofit sectors in the UK, Ireland and Canada for over 25 years. In that time, she worked and led in various areas of need including homelessness, women’s housing, mental health, youth engagement, employment and volunteering. Lianne is passionate about great leadership and supporting non-profits to have maximum impact in their communities. Currently undertaking her Master’s in Education, Lianne is an experienced facilitator with a commitment to creating high quality learning experiences. Lianne also ran her own business as a Story Coach and consultant for nonprofits and leaders before joining PLC in 2016. She shamelessly utilizes stories to influence staff, engage learners and entice funders!

B. Competing Rights

This capacity building session will explore:

  • Have we not already addressed the competing rights conversation?
  • What impact does arising and managing competing rights have on DEI in the workplace?
  • How can we manage competing rights in an inclusive manner?

 The Regional Diversity Roundtable

RDR is a leader in building the capacity of the human services sector to institutionalize diversity, equity and inclusion. Through a variety of innovative initiatives, projects, programs, services, resource development and community engagement, RDR empowers the sector as well as local communities to create a vibrant and thriving region. 

Centring Diversity for Workplace Equity: Race(ialized) in the Workplace Conference 2016







Whether it’s carding, the #blacklivesmatter movement, contested arrival of the Syrian refugees, the release of a scathing Truth and Reconciliation report, or the irony that our taxi drivers are international doctors and lawyers, racism exists and is embedded in the daily lived experiences of racialized people. As research highlights, the intersection of racism and employment significantly impacts access to stable positions, hiring opportunities, pay/salary, promotions, and inclusion into the workplace culture. Without adequate sustainable employment, individuals, families and communities are unable to grow and thrive. While the provincial government has responded with the creation of an Anti-Racism Directorate, the question around what we can do locally remains.



Thank you to everyone who attended and presented at our conference. To say the conference was a success, is an understatement! We had the largest turnout since the launch of the conference, with over 90 people attending from Peel region and beyond. We look forward to bringing another great conference to Peel in 2017!

Conference Package

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Jane Ngobia, Assistant Vice-President Diversity and Human Rights, University of Guelph

Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Professor / Director, Women & Gender Studies Institute & OISE, University of Toronto - cancelled


Capacity Building Workshops:

Race & Precarious Work: Dr. Stephanie Premji, School of Labour Studies, McMaster University

Race & Organizational Data Collection: Bipasha Choudhury, Legal Services & Inquiries, Ontario Human Rights CommissionDr. Bobby Siu, School of Public Policy & Administration, York University


Centring Diversity for Workplace Equity: Tools For Change









Thank you to everyone who attended and presented at our annual diversity and equity conference. To say the conference was a success, is an understatement! Our keynote speakers challenged attendees to think beyond diversity 101 by providing key ways in which to implement diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations. In the Capacity Building Sessions, experts in healthcare, evaluation and education shared their success, challenges and tips in implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. We look forward to bringing another great conference to Peel in 2016!

Find more pictures on our facebook page! -


Keynote Speakers:

Naveen Mehta, General Counsel & Director Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, UFCW Canada

Dr. Denise O'Neil Green, Assistant Vice President / Vice Provost Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Ryerson University


Capacity Building Workshops:

Andrew Taylor, Principle, Taylor Newberry Consulting

Waheeda Rahaman, Director of Organizational Development & Diversity, The Scarborough Hospital

Saleha Khan, Instructor, Ontario Police College


Conference Resources: 

Dr. Denise O'Neil Green
Andrew Taylor
Waheeda Rahman


Centring Diversity for Workplace Equity: RDR Conference 2014

Our speakers provided attendees with practical insight on inclusion practices across sectors. Attendees learned about: (1) recent immigration law changes and its impact on the workplace, (2) an employment equity action plan and (3) mental health & welness workplace initiatives.


Debbie Douglas, Executive Director, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)

Jewel Amoah, Human Rights Advocacy Lawyer and Manger of Workplace Equity, Peel Distrcit School Board

Sarika Gundu, National Director of the Workplace Mental Health Program, Canadian Mental health Association Ontario Division (CMHA)

Access the conference resources under RDR Resources


Centring Diversity for Workplace Equity: RDR Conference 2013

Attendees learned about the effective implementation of diversity strategies, how to acheive equity in the workplace and the role of government in building inclusive communities. 


Navdeep Bains, Keynote Speaker

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh - Achieving Social and Economic Equity: How Do We Get There?

 Saleha Khan - Champions for Inclusion: Towards Professional Practice

Access the conference resources under RDR Resources