Anti-Racism Commitment

July 2020

The Immigration Partnership has witnessed the recent police-involved deaths of Ejaz Ahmed Choudry, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd and others. We express solidarity with Black, Indigenous and racialized community members in Waterloo Region and the tens of thousands of residents that recently marched in Kitchener and Cambridge to affirm that Black Lives Matter.

For more than 10 years, the Immigration Partnership has been a collaboration of over 60 community service, business, municipal and post-secondary organizations and Waterloo Region residents working together so immigrants reach their full potential and contribute to creating and sustaining a thriving, prosperous community for everyone.  Immigrants living in Waterloo Region have told us that racism and racial discrimination negatively impact their experiences and opportunities here. In the past, the Immigration Partnership has brought awareness to those experiences and called organizations and residents across Waterloo Region to take action to end racism and racial discrimination in our community.

We need to do more. Addressing racism and discrimination in Waterloo Region through a regional Anti-Racism strategy is now a goal in our recently-approved Community Action Plan 2020-2025. We affirm the Immigration Partnership’s commitment to helping eliminate systemic and individual racism and racial discrimination in Waterloo Region. We will do this first and foremost by looking inward as a Partnership, with a focus on our own accountabilities and action. We will immediately mobilize to create a concrete action plan, which will include:

  1. Reviewing, at least annually, our governance and membership with an anti-racism and equity lens, to ensure we are representative of the community and centre the voices of immigrants in our work.
  2. Listening to the experience and calls to action of racialized immigrant and other community members, and continuing to create and consider disaggregated data that provides insights into racism and systemic barriers in Waterloo Region as it relates to immigrants, as the foundation of our work.
  3. With our Leadership Council and partners, establishing parameters for engagement in anti-racism work across our Partnership and elaborating accountability mechanisms.
  4. Working with and supporting our community service, municipal, business and post-secondary partners to confront racism.  
  5. Using our voice and platform to advocate for long-needed systems change to redress systemic racism.
  6. Working with and supporting others who are engaging in this collective work towards the development of a regional anti-racism strategy.

Our work in this area will be grounded in our guiding principles which focus on having community-driven impact by being responsive, collaborative and results-oriented.

On behalf of the Immigration Partnership Council.


Pari Karem, Chair
Tracey Hare Connell, Vice Chair
Tara Bedard, Executive Director