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Budding civic leaders recruited to boost diversity in high places

By Sabrina Nanji

A new report suggests Toronto isn’t living up to its motto that diversity is our strength — and 25 budding civic leaders were recruited Tuesday to help turn that around.

They’re part of Civic Action’s Diverse City Fellows program, which the non-profit has run in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for almost a decade. Over the next year, the 25 “civic-minded rising leaders” will get a free crash course in leadership development with an eye to amplifying diverse voices — something they think the local decision-making table lacks, according to a recent survey of Civic Action’s leaders.


In the GTA, where nearly half of residents identify as a visible minority, “shrinking the sidelines of the leadership playing field has never been more important,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, Civic Action’s CEO.


So last fall almost 200 community advocates got together for Civic Action’s annual city-building conference to draft their own playbook for an inclusive GTHA. That work, and an Environics poll gauging their personal experiences thus far, were released in a report last Thursday that shows “we have a long way to go” when it comes to diverse leadership, Palvetzian said.

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