How do I use this website?

    This site is your one-stop shop to stay up-to-date with our Municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice (DEIJ) Strategy. 

    Sign Up for Updates

    Here you can sign up for email updates about the Municipality of Chatham-Kent's DEIJ Strategy.

    DEIJ News

    This is where you'll find updates about the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Strategy and related news in Chatham-Kent. 

    Contact Us

    Use this form to contact the Municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice Team.

    Who's Listening 

    Find Rebecca Haskell-Thomas, Coordinator - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ,  Amrit Khaira, Intern - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or Cathy Hoffman - Chief Human Resource Officer & General Manager of Corporate Service's contact cards to reach them easily! 


    This visual tells you where we are at in our work and what's coming up.

    Safe Spaces

    Visit this section to learn about our responsibilities and expectations as we engage in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice work.


    Not sure what a specific term means? You can find it here. If you have suggestions about other terms to include in the glossary, please contact us. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    The FAQ panel is listed (right-side) of the homepage. There you can find information about: 

    • How the Strategy is being developed
    • The areas of focus
    • How and why to be involved  
    • Next Steps


    If there are questions that are left unanswered, please contact us.

    Support Resources

    Talking about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice can bring up a lot of different feelings and emotions, trigger people, and/or lead people to feel overwhelmed or distressed. 

    This section has resources that can help. 

    If you have any recommendations about resources that we should include, please feel free to share them with us. 

    Important Dates

    Learn about important dates related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice. Share important dates upcoming in your communities and organizations with us here.

    Why are we developing a DEIJ Strategy?

    Our existing systems and structures have resulted in under-representation and inequities for specific groups of people. Municipal decision-making, policies, processes, and services can contribute to unequal access to opportunities, resources, employment, and other ‘social determinants’ that support health and wellbeing at an individual and community level. People most at-risk of being excluded and experiencing inequities include those who identify as or who are:

    • Indigenous, including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis
    • In faith-based groups
    • 2SLGBTQ+
    • Immigrants or newcomers
    • Living with disabilities
    • Living in poverty
    • Racialized
    • Women
    • Francophones
    • Older adults
    • Youth[1]

     Legislative Requirements & Agreements

    Municipalities have legislated duties to protect specific groups (including those listed above) from discrimination and to prevent direct or indirect exclusion or preference of a specific group of people. These legislated duties can be found in the following: 

     In addition, several policies and agreements set out requirements, recommendations, and frameworks for Indigenous-Municipal governance, land use, and relationships, including:

    Locally, authors of a recent environmental scan of Urban Indigenous Services in Chatham-Kent made several recommendations to support mainstream organizations to provide culturally relevant programs and services for Urban Indigenous Peoples, including recommendations specific to the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.[3] As a foundation, the authors called on mainstream organizations to build relationships with and learn from Indigenous partners to better understand Indigenous worldviews, ways of knowing and being.  

    Alignment with Municipal Policies & Plans

    The Municipality of Chatham-Kent, like many organizations, has a Respectful Workplace Policy and Program that aims to provide a workplace free from discrimination and harassment and promote respect and dignity. The Municipal Code of Conduct reinforces the principles set out in the Respectful Workplace policy. In addition, The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has engaged in ongoing efforts related to accessibility and inclusion. A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice strategy will build on and support these existing policies and initiatives.

    Promoting and embedding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in our work aligns with and supports several existing priorities and strategies in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, including, but not limited to CK Plan 2035 and 2018-2022 Term of Council Priorities.

    Return on Investment

    As employers, ensuring the municipal workforce is representative of the community provides equitable and inclusive opportunities for all. In addition, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in the workforce benefits organizational performance on multiple levels, including: 

    • Increased talent pool and ability to overcome skills gaps 
    • Increased innovation, creativity, and diverse thought
    • Increased employee satisfaction 
    • Reduced employee turnover 
    • Increased team performance 
    • Increase in decision-making quality
    • Reduction in biases and improved accountability. [4]

    Attending to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in municipal policies and programs increases efficiency in, and customer satisfaction with, municipal services. At a community level, equitable municipal programs and policies contribute to:

    • increased social capital, engagement, feelings of belonging & safety
    • decreased health care and social service costs
    • increased economic productivity
    • increased growth and tax revenue
    • better understanding and empathy for decisions made by the Municipality.[5]

    Ultimately, the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Strategy is about ensuring every one of our staff and residents feel included, see themselves in our workforce and services.


    [1] City for All Women Initiative. (2015). Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities.

    [2] Treaties are legally binding agreements that form the basis of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, set out rules of governance, and land use. Although most were signed more than a century ago, Treaties still apply today. In addition to being familiar with written Treaty documents, it is important to understand what was said, done, and/or exchanged when Treaties were created. Symbolic records like Wampum Belts and oral histories provide insight about the spirit or intent of Treaty agreements that may not be reflected in written form. For more information see: Treaties |

    [3] Medcalfe, M, & Taggart, C. (2021). Environmental Scan of Urban Indigenous Services in Chatham-Kent. Funded by United Way of Chatham-Kent.

    [4] Diversity Institute (2020). Diversity Leads. Diverse Representation in Leadership: A Review of Eight Canadian Cities. 

    Cukier, W. (2020). Diverse Representation on Boards [presentation]TRSK Diversity Institute.

    Bourke, H. (2018). The Diversity and Inclusion Revolution: Eight Powerful Truths. Deloitte Review, 22. 

    [5] Cukier, W. (2020). Diverse Representation on Boards [presentation]TRSK Diversity Institute.

    What are the 3 strategic areas of focus of the DEIJ Strategy?

    We're still early on in our work and our priorities could shift. The Municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Strategy will be an internal Strategy focused on:

    Workplace and Workforce

    This area of focus is about ensuring our Municipal workforce is representative of the candidates available, and of the various communities that make up Chatham-Kent. It includes providing welcoming, enriching work experiences that reflect the diversity of our Municipal workforce. 

    Council and Committees of Council

    This area of focus involves ensuring that Municipal Council and Committees of Council are accessible to, and reflective of, the various communities within Chatham-Kent. Initiatives will focus on supporting Council with tools, resources, and training to support diversity, equity and inclusivity. 

    Municipal Policies, Processes, and Services

    This area of focus reflects the need to integrate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice into Municipal strategies, plans, policies, and processes. Work in this area will include adapting and developing resources that can be used to support us to consider Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in our policies, processes, and services across the Municipality.

    Have feedback about these areas of focus or want to know more? Contact us.

    How can I or my organization be involved in the Municipal DEIJ Strategy?

    As we develop the Municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Strategy, we hope to listen and learn from community members and partners about where we're at and where we need to go. For example, when it comes to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice:

    • How would you like to be involved in the development of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Strategy?
    • How can we build relationships with and support you and the communities you are a part of?
    • What do you feel will be important to include or address in the Municipal DEIJ Strategy?

    Please contact us if you are interested in having a conversation.

    Although the Municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Strategy will be internal - helping us to build our capacities within our organization - we want to be aware of, promote, and support community efforts related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice in the community. Please feel free to contact us to share what you are doing.

    How is the DEIJ Strategy being developed? What are the timelines?

    We're following a general planning framework to develop the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice (DEIJ) Strategy 

    Planning Framework

    The planning cycle we're using moves through assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Engagement is in the middle of the circular cycle to show that it's at the center of our work.

    Timeline of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Work 2022-2023

    The image below outlines the activities and timelines we'll be following to develop and implement the DEIJ Strategy.

     At the bottom of the chart, a line represents the time beginning in 2022 and moving in quarters until the end of 2023. Above the line, boxes describe activities that will be carried out. Pre-planning takes place in Quarter 1 of 2022, Assessment from Quarter 1 2022 to Quarter 4, Planning from Quarter 4 2022 to Quarter 2 2023, and Implementation and evaluation from Quarter 2 until Quarter 4 2023. The team is also identifying early opportunities to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice before formal implementation of the strategy. Arrows indicate key deliverables on the timeline, including establishing a DEI Strategy group & champion network in Quarter 1 of 2022, Communicating assessment findings in Quarter 4 of 2022, and formally sharing the strategy in Quarter 2 of 2023. Progress reports will be shared each quarter. Engagement will happen throughout the work timeline.

    What have we done so far?

    In the pre-planning and early assessment phases, we’ve already completed the following activities:

    • review of best practices, resources, and tools for developing municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice strategies
    • review of other municipal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice strategies
    • consultations with other Municipalities about the process of developing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice strategies
    • Initial conversations with  municipal staff, a cross-section of Councillors, and partners to learn about current strengths and gaps, upcoming opportunities, and facilitators of success when developing the municipal DEIJ Strategy.

    What are we doing next?

    Over the coming months, we’ll continue to gather information and have conversations to understand the current situation in relation to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in the Municipality.