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Making Red Deer more welcoming to minorities is the goal of upcoming meetings

Organizers hope to get widespread representation at the five sessions
Community meetings to discuss diversity and inclusion will be held in Red Deer. (Black Press file photo)

Red Deerians are being asked to share their ideas about diversity and inclusion and what’s needed to make this community more welcoming to minorities including people with special needs.

With Canada’s Indigenous history and the Black Lives Matter movement gathering attention in recent years, the time is right to discuss how all of Red Deer can move the ball forward on inclusivity, said the City of Red Deer’s community development supervisor Bobby-Jo Stannard.

She feels the well-being of our community will be enhanced by celebrating our diversity and adopting more inclusive practices and equitable access for all.

Local citizens, as well as businesses, agencies and people working in health care, education, law enforcement and justice, are therefore invited to attend community meetings organized by the City of Red Deer.

Stannard hopes to have broad representation from businesses, agencies and citizens who will help form a future Red Deer Diversity and Inclusion Community Plan.

This isn’t just a plan for what the City of Red Deer can do to be more accommodating, but what we all can do, said Stannard.

She hopes that the plan’s tangible indicators of success will lead to widespread policy updates throughout the public and private sectors, making hiring practices more equitable, along with the handling of housing applications and other services.

A different topic will be explored in each of the sessions. They will all be held at the Red Deer Culture Centre (the former Intermediate School) at 5205-48 Ave. in downtown Red Deer.

Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity and Responsibility will be featured in the first session on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Understanding and Equity will be discussed on Wednesday, March 1 from 6:30 - 8 p.m, while the Economics of Diversity are the topic for Thursday, March 2, from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

The Safety of Inclusion will be discussed on Wednesday, March 8, from 6:30 – 8 p.m., and finally, Systems Accessibility will be featured on Thursday, March 9 from 1 - 2:30 p.m.

“We want to work with the community to develop a community plan that… celebrates our unique community’s diversity, and creates inclusive practices that can be adopted throughout our city,” said Stannard.

To register for the sessions, please visit