Ronnie Haidar and Clinton BeckfordDoctoral student Ronnie Haidar and Clinton Beckford, UWindsor vice-president for equity, diversity, and inclusion, are set to host a symposium today of more than 35 community organizations exploring ways to advance EDI values.

Community symposium to centre values of equity, diversity, and inclusion

Representatives of more than 35 community organizations will gather on the University of Windsor campus today to discuss practical steps to making the Windsor-Essex region as inclusive as possible.

“For Windsor- Essex to succeed in anything we do, equity, diversity, and inclusion must be at the centre of everything we do,” said Ronnie Haidar, a doctoral student of argumentation studies and co-chair of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Symposium Working Group.

“Furthermore, initiatives that revolve around these important themes should reflect our community and be community driven. The vision of this symposium is to bring Windsor-Essex together to discuss how the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion exist and operate in our region and across various sectors and disciplines.”

Irene Moore Davis, president of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society and co-founder of Black Women of Forward Action, said that too often, champions of these values operate in relative isolation within their respective environments.

“This symposium will be one step towards building an infrastructure and a network of support to unite community members who are working in EDI and establish a high-functioning community of practice here in Windsor-Essex,” she said.

Social worker Riham Al-Saadi provides therapy through her agency, Transparency Counselling Services. She looks forward to the symposium — with more than 70 individual registrants — as a way to combine efforts to move from the abstract to the concrete.

“The aim is to courageously and clearly start the conversation to tackle these concepts not only theoretically, but also practically,” she said. “We can bridge all areas of learning, leadership, and professional practice to engage in a critical dialogue on equity, diversity, and inclusion.”