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City staff provide update on Inclusive Community Plan

City of BrantfordCity staff provide update on Inclusive Community Plan

Staff from the City of Brantford provided an update on the actions and progress of the Inclusive Community Plan (ICP) during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

In May 2022, the City of Brantford joined over 100 Canadian municipalities by becoming a member of the UNESCO Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. Consistent with our commitments to the Coalition, the City collaborated with numerous organizations to create the Inclusive Community Plan 2024-2026, that was approved by Brantford City Council in June 2023. 

To facilitate full community participation in economic, political, social, and cultural life in Brantford and in line with goals set out by UNESCO, the ICP is driven by three guiding principles including: Listen to Each Other, Stand Up for Each Other and Celebrate Each Other.

“We are very pleased with the progress the City of Brantford’s Inclusive Community Plan has made in its first year,” said Councillor Linda Hunt, Acting Mayor of the Month. “This plan reinforces the City’s dedication to inclusion, improving quality of life for all residents, and upholding our commitment as a member of the UNESCO Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.”

The staff report outlines a number of community-based initiatives from the past twelve months to support a welcoming and diverse community, including:

  • The inclusion of Lunar New Year and Diwali in the City’s permissible dates for consumer fireworks. This update reflects the City’s commitment to inclusivity and recognition of the changing demographics in our community.
  • Community Peace Mural: Inspired by the Pieces for Peace project, the City collaborated with a professional muralist and workshop facilitator to engage community members in designing a mural in the downtown that reflects our community’s diversity.
  • Healthy Kids, All Kids: By providing training and tools, the City’s Healthy Kids program will focus on accessibility to local children’s programs over the next five years.
  • Express Yourself: 2SLGBTQIA+ youth art pilot hosted at the Brantford Public Library through three drop-in sessions in July 2023. Partners on the pilot included Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Pride, and The Bridge Brant.
  • Fusion Beats: Fusion Beats is a celebration of multi-cultural music and dance, developed in partnership between the Laurier Hub for Community Solutions and the Sanderson Centre for Performing Arts in Brantford, featuring the following performers in September 2024:
  • Youth Peer-to-Peer Conversation Video Series: In partnership with the Brant Youth Council, the video series features youth voices around themes of belonging and inclusion, healthy relationships, and mental health.
  • Women in Governance: A Candid Conversation: The event provided an engaging and insightful discussion, exploring the challenges that women face in the political arena and the inspiring stories of overcoming these obstacles.
  • 2024 Accessibility Expo: On June 1, 2024, the City of Brantford hosted an Accessibility Expo at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in celebration of National AccessAbility Week. The event featured the premiere of the “A Day in the Life: Understanding Accessibility in Our City” video, as well as an Awards presentation to the recipients of the 2024 City of Brantford Accessibility Awards.

Throughout 2023, the City of Brantford also formally recognized 25 days of significance through official flag-raising ceremonies and illuminations of Brantford City Hall to demonstrate the City’s support for various organizations, causes, and commemorative dates.

Upcoming initiatives for 2024 include ongoing recognition of UNESCO International Days of importance, growing understanding of community diversity through the support of community-led inclusion initiatives, and supporting celebrations for cultural awareness months such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Disability Pride Month.

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