For a City of Red Deer employee, being named to a federal anti-racism committee is a dream come true.
“This is something I’ve been doing for a long time,” said Tymmarah Sheculski, the city’s Human Resources specialist — Inclusion and Diversity.
“It’s a passion. I think we need to do some more collaborative work and approach it nationally.”
Sheculski has been appointed by the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a City of Red Deer representative to the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination. She has worked with CCMARD since 2006.
She lived in Grande Prairie at the time, and a community member when the city became a CCMARD signatory and that spurred her interest in inclusion and diversity. Red Deer became a CCMARD signatory in 2013.
Sheculski earned masters degree in international and intercultural communications through Royal Roads University while working for for the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association as the program coordinator for welcoming and inclusive communities.
In May 2015, Sheculski was hired to work in Red Deer, and helped initiate the Welcoming and Inclusive Community Network.
The network hosted the vigil in Red Deer in response to the Quebec City mosque shooting in January and responded to the anti-Islam protest at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School in May.
“The city, through their support of the WIC Network, gives the community a say in addressing racism and discrimination,” said Sheculski.
The WIC Network and city’s communications department are developing steps to follow should racism or discrimination occur such as hate protest, racist graffiti or even racial slurs.
“There will be procedures in place that people can follow to remedy it,” said Sheculski. “It’s about how we support people who are experiencing racism and discrimination.”
Working with CCMARD will allow the city to learn how other communities handle discrimination and racism, Sheculski said, but also allow the city to share it’s successes.
“I’ve been called by (representatives) in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Grande Prairie and Chestermere about how we do things,” she said. “They’re seeing the success we’re having with the WIC Network.”