Leading diversity awareness

In anticipation of #ITSTARTS month in March, the County of Simcoe Local Immigration Partnership is hosting Cultural Ambassador Training Sessions to provide education and tools to support participants in leading diversity awareness in their workplace and communities. The sessions also provide an overview of the #ITSTARTS social media campaign running throughout March.

#ITSTARTS aims to raise awareness about multiculturalism and reduce racism and discrimination in our communities. The social movement encourages Simcoe County residents to complete an #ITSTARTS card and share a photo or video through social media using the hashtag #ITSTARTS. Residents are asked to tag @simcoecounty (Twitter), @CountyofSimcoe (Facebook) and @ExperienceSimcoeCounty (Instagram) in their messages.

“The ambassador training program and our #ITSTARTS campaign are important and impactful initiatives that help demonstrate just how open and welcoming our communities are,” said Warden George Cornell. “We have a growing immigrant population, exceeding 61,000 newcomers, and we encourage residents to embrace immigrants who enrich our communities.”

Remaining Ambassador Training sessions are occurring at the following dates and locations:
• Tuesday, February 12 – Collingwood Public Library – 2-4 p.m.
• Thursday, February 14 – Simcoe County Administration Centre – 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• Tuesday, February 19 – Orillia Public Library – 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• Thursday, February 21 – Barrie Public Library (Painswick Branch) – 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Online registration is available, however space is limited.

During county council on February 12, councillors and attendees will receive an overview of the #ITSTARTS campaign where staff will launch a unique cultural cooking component: #ITSTARTS… with a meal.

#ITSTARTS cards, available in both English and French, are available through local libraries. It can also be downloaded through www.simcoe.ca/Itstarts which hosts resources, tips, and tools on taking safe and purposeful action against racism and discrimination. Videos and photos throughout the month will be shared and promoted through the county’s website and social media channels.

The initiative, in its third year, is supported by the Local Immigration Partnership including Barrie Public Library, City of Barrie, Georgian College, the Ethnic Mosaic Alliance, Lakehead University, OPP, Simcoe County District School Board, South Simcoe Police, Welcome Centre Immigrant Services (mobile unit), YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka.

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