March 2022 – IAP2 Canada’s DEI Committee

IAP2 Canada officially launched a committee of the board for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in 2021 to support the goal of overcoming systemic barriers within the organization and practice, and ensuring representation is at the table. 

The DEI Committee is co-led by Rajvir Rao (left) and Katherine Cole, both members of the IAP2 Canada Board of Directors. While IAP2 committees of the board typically have chairs and vice-chairs, the co-chair model was important to demonstrate the value of allies working side-by-side with those who have been marginalized. 

Rajvir Rao is a first-generation Canadian, a woman of colour, who has shared her stories of racism, systemic barriers and overcoming these obstacles through allyship. Katherine Cole is a white Canadian whose family came from the United Kingdom. She recognizes her privilege and strives to be an ally to break down systemic barriers. 

A group of passionate and experienced volunteers stepped up to contribute to DEI in IAP2 Canada, including:

  • Tanushree Pillai
  • Jack Brooks
  • Rosshane Vignarajah
  • Pardeep Purewal
  • Laine Watson

We are also pleased to have the support of fellow Board member, Kim Alison Fraser. Together, the Committee is planting the seeds to ensure that DEI is woven throughout the fabric of the organization. It is also focused on increasing opportunities for engagement professionals, both up-and-coming and established, from marginalized communities. 

We recognize that for IAP2 Canada to be diverse, inclusive and equitable, we need to challenge and change existing practices and procedures. While the committee is defining its path forward, and will share more as plans are finalized, it is focused on issues that impact the Public Participation (P2) profession and practitioners. 

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