The Alliance is a community-based network addressing racism and discrimination to help make Lethbridge more welcoming and inclusive. The Alliance supports the City’s leadership as a municipal signatory to Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities (CIM).
MISSION & HISTORY.
Vision: Lethbridge, honoring diversity and embracing inclusion.
Mission: Shaping a welcoming, inclusive and safe Lethbridge for our diverse community through education, advocacy and collaboration to build strength to combat racism and discrimination.
In 2007 Lethbridge City Council passed a motion to become a signatory to the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities (CIM), previously named CMARD to address racism and discrimination and build a welcoming and inclusive community. A Lethbridge CMARD Committee was established. It was supported by an Inclusion Consultant within the Community Social Development (CSD) department, funded by Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). Over the years the City of Lethbridge has been highly recognized provincially, nationally and internationally as a leader in its work building a welcoming and inclusive community.
In 2010 and 2015, The CMARD Committee was provided funding by Lethbridge City Council to deliver their mandate, which included the creation the Building Bridges Action Plan. The 2011 – 2021 Building Bridges Community Action Plan was created and presented to Council on January 24, 2011. The work was primarily supported by the City’s Inclusion Consultant and although some of the action plan items were the municipality’s responsibility, most of the items were the community-related actions. In 2017 the Inclusion Consultant left the position and was not replaced within the same capacity.
Since that time the community’s momentum, motivation and interest diminished as did the connection between the City and the community CMARD Committee members. With this stagnation, there was a need to revitalize and refocus to ensure the work continues. The community needed commitment from the City and the City needed assurance that the work being done in the community aligned with their goals as a CIM signatory.
In May 2018 the CMARD Committee held a planning session with a consultant; however, a formal action plan was not developed at this time. In Fall 2018 the Committee requested funds from Lethbridge City Council that would span over 4 years. Council directed the committee to come back by April 2019 with a plan of action with their funding request. The City of Lethbridge Community Social Development department received funding from the Alberta Human Rights Commission to hire a consultant to assist the Committee with their development of a new action plan.
In January 2019 an ad-hoc committee was struck to recommend next steps: 1) move forward with their strategic planning with the goal of reimagining, refreshing and remodeling the CIM model; and 2) a remodelling of the existing community group, to work separately but in collaboration with the City towards the CIM commitments.
The recommendation lead to a new community-based Alliance of community individuals representing the diversity of our community as well as other organizations. The Alliance would be a hub of the diverse groups already existing, networking everyone together in a collective impact model. The Alliance would be supported by, but at arm’s length from, the City of Lethbridge to aid its commitments to CIM, in particular # 8. In addition:
The Alliance will have autonomy from the City but work in collaboration with them.
The Alliance will report directly to City Council rather than through a City Department.
The Alliance will have the autonomy to make statements about community issues or incidents related to racism and discrimination, and diversity and inclusion.
The Alliance will look to the City to speak out against racism and discrimination as a signatory to CIM.
In April 2019 the new group, now known as the Lethbridge Diversity and Inclusion Alliance (LDIA), brought forward a revised action plan (2019 - 2022) to Lethbridge City Council and received funding for four years.
The work of diversity and inclusion is only possible through collective impact, collaboration and partnership. We are proud to be able to do this work alongside many great community individuals and organizations. We thank our main partners in supporting us to do this work.