Statement from The City of Red Deer
The City of Red Deer is joining people in our city, region and around the world in expressing our solidarity with minority communities, those that are most vulnerable, visible minorities, and indigenous communities who continue to experience racism and racial discrimination. We want to be a part of the voice of change.
The City of Red Deer has a vision to be a vibrant, healthy and diverse organization that supports a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone feels safe and can fully participate in community life. We view diversity as a human strength and are committed to an ongoing strategy of inclusion. For us to meet this commitment, we need to support you by providing an environment that fosters this vision. We need to identify and address barriers to participation and be skilled at working in an inclusive and respectful manner with each other and the community.
The City of Red Deer has made it a priority to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion. So far, our efforts include becoming a signatory to The Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities in 2013, the establishment of the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network in late 2015, the creation and support of an internal Diversity Team and Employee Resource Groups for our LGBTQ2S+, Spirit Circle and Newcomers employees, all staff training on diversity and inclusion and hosting the 2016 Fostering Diverse Communities Conference.
But we know that’s not enough. Hate does exist in Red Deer and the entire community is needed to stop it. Many people are unwilling to accept that racism exists in our area – if they don’t acknowledge that there is a problem, then it is impossible to make efforts to change. We all need to be allies. And we, at The City of Red Deer, commit to be allies to our community and to our employees. We are listening. We are learning.
We welcome residents from Red Deer and Central Alberta to show solidarity for black and indigenous people in our community and around the world who, for far too long, have experienced racism. We stand with you. We support you. We will do everything we can to look inside our organization and the community to evaluate what changes can be made.
Over the last several days, you have proven that we, as a community, can come together and support each other in a peaceful, respectful and safe way. We are in awe of our community, and the way you are standing up for each other. Thank you.
We have all opened our eyes wider to the realities many face, and look forward to working with our local community groups, our great people of Red Deer and our amazing employees to put an end to systemic racism in Central Alberta. Please continue to stay safe, and hold each other up.
The City of Red Deer