The Future We Want - achieving equity for students and staff

In the past, many people who believe in diversity, social justice and valuing the worth and dignity of all people have quietly been working to pave the way for the Peel District School Board – students, staff and community - to take a journey. The journey is toward the future we want - a welcoming future that is symbolized by fairness, respect and inclusiveness.

The Peel District School Board is one of Canada's largest public school boards and it continues to grow as communities in Peel Region expand. The diversity that is represented by our students, staff and community is extensive. Where others are struggling to redefine what equity means, Peel board has set itself on a clear course.

In May 1996, board staff began to formalize the efforts of all the people who supported various equity initiatives. The result of this considerable work was the creation of two resource documents – Manifesting Encouraging and Respectful Environments (MERE) and The Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum (TFWW). In 2000/2001, the board incorporated the achievement of equity for students and staff as one of its seven system planning goals for student success. All of this work is now captured as The Future We Want.

All Peel board stakeholders are strongly encouraged to commence the journey that will help us examine our presence in order to shape our future. Use MERE to identify and understand some of the 'isms' and inequities facing us today. Use TFWW and other resources as the tools that will help us achieve the future we want. Use this website - The Future We Want - to stay informed, to share ideas and celebrate the work and achievements of our community.

In our commitment to equity, we need to go beyond words to ensure that it is an active part of our polices, practices and an intrinsic aspect of our culture. Remember the words of Alice Walker from the Temple of My Familiar (1989) – "Keep in mind always the present you are constructing. It should be the future you want."

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Manifesting Encouraging and Respectful Environments*

As a matter of public policy, Ontario recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of every person and provides for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination. This policy has been codified in the Ontario Human Rights Code (the "Code"), special legislation designed to create a climate of understanding and mutual respect so that each person feels a part of the community and able to contribute to its development and to that of the province.

Building the Code's underlying principles and the Peel board's respect for the dignity and inherent worth of all students, staff, parents and community members, the 'isms' initiative promotes the idea of respectful school and work environments that encourage growth and learning. Creating equitable classroom and school environments involves ongoing efforts; it can be likened to a journey. The task does not end, but requires continual advocacy and responsiveness to the ever-changing face of diversity.

Encouraging, respectful environments become manifested in outcomes that: 1) value the inherent dignity and worth of each student, staff, parent, and community member; and 2) validate and respect the endless potential of diverse experiences, bodies of knowledge and histories. This document simply offers an introduction to developing and maintaining such environments. It should be viewed as a living document that itself requires continuous development. The seven 'isms' discussed in this document provide the starting point for the journey.

Please note that the selection of 'isms' included in this document does not represent a prioritization of some oppressions over others. The Peel board believes there is no hierarchy of human rights. As the Diversity Initiative Work Team had no mandate to create an all-inclusive document, it focussed on the needs identified by schools as most pressing. The lack of attention to some groups that are protected from discrimination by the Code should not be interpreted as a statement about their worth and value as members of the broader Peel board community. Consistent with the values expressed by the Code and the Peel board's commitment to developing equitable and respectful school and work environments, groups not explicitly discussed in this document are nevertheless included in its spirit. In fact, as part of their progress on "the journey" towards and equitable and respectful school and work environment, readers will hopefully develop additional resource materials – that include the diverse perspectives and histories of persons not explicitly mentioned here.

Key Concepts

It was not until I was almost full grown and left my village that I found our village was like no other. For the men live in SQUARE houses, and the women, in ROUND ones! To me, this seemed the natural order of things….[emphasis added] (Grifalconi, 1986, p.1).

What is the underlying thread common to all 'isms'? Power. The ability to exert control and influence. Those who have power define what constitutes "the natural order of things" and what is considered "normal", thus determining relationships of dominance and subordination. We learn these relationships and can therefore "unlearn" them. But first we must recognize and acknowledge them.

"Psychologists once believed that only bigoted people used stereotypes. Now the study of unconscious bias is revealing the unsettling truth: We all use stereotypes, all the time, without knowing it. We have met the enemy of equality, and the enemy is us…" [emphasis added] (Paul, 1998, p.52).

Shaped by the culture around us, we develop biases and stereotypes without even noticing. Through close examination, the 'isms' project highlights the biases that influence both classroom and overall school environments. It then suggests ways to alter these environments, making children's school experience inclusive and respectful of the diversity they represent.

We not only mirror the ambivalence we see in society, but also mirror it in precisely the same way. Our society talks out loud about justice, equality, and egalitarianism, and most…accept these values as their own. At the same time, such equality exists only as an ideal, and that fact is not lost on our unconscious…We learn the subtext of our culture's messages early. By five years of age, many children have definite and entrenched stereotypes about blacks, women, and other social groups….Children don't have a choice about accepting or rejecting these conceptions, since they're acquired well before they have the cognitive abilities or experiences to form their own beliefs…no matter how progressive the parents, they must compete with all the forces that would promote and perpetuate these stereotypes: peer pressure, mass media, the actual balance of power in society…We create stereotypes to explain why things are they way they are…Stereotypes don't have to be true to serve a purpose (Paul, p.55).

People who hold power, i.e., those from dominant groups, learn that they represent the "norm". These individuals then form assumptions about the world and about the centrality of their vantage point, because they have the power to construct and control whole "bodies of knowledge". Those in the dominant group learn positive messages about themselves, although they often do not realize it. When this happens, they learn to internalize their own dominance, under the guise of normality. Internalized dominance is marked by its invisibility to those who have it. Those with power assume that everyone shares their reality and operate as if their perspective were universal. As a matter of fact, everyone – whether dominant group members or not – learns and absorbs positive messages about dominant group people (Sawyer, 19 , p.1).

On the flip side of dominance stands "subordination" or "oppression". On this side, mirroring the positive messages we all learn about those in the dominant group, our society teaches us (everyone) negative messages about those without power – people in "target groups". "We all hear, from childhood on, these negative messages and stereotypes about target groups; we cannot help but absorb them, even though we may also learn intellectually that they are not true. Not surprisingly, if we are in a target or oppressed group, we soak in negative messages about ourselves" (Sawyer, p.1).

'Isms' seldom arise in isolation. They usually carry close connections with other issues of subordination/oppression. In examining our own (often unconscious) values, assumptions, and methods of operating to recognize where they may, even unintentionally, exclude other groups of people, we must understand that:

  • although different types of oppressions may have different origins, whole systems operate to keep people powerless
  • members of target groups experience each form of subordination/oppression differently
  • there is no hierarchy of oppressions – all are connected
  • a victim of one oppression may be a perpetrator of another oppression
  • working to overcome any one oppression is legitimate, but ultimately we must challenge they system(s) that maintain all oppressions (Toronto Board of Education, 1990).

In creating equitable and respectful classrooms, we must recognize the world view being presented and address the hidden notions of dominance and subordination embedded in the curriculum. Once able to critically analyse the exclusionary relationships of dominance and subordination within the curriculum, we can begin the journey of shifting the paradigm to be more inclusive. This results in the manifestation of encouraging and respectful environments for all students, staff and community members.

*Source - Peel District School Board, (2000). Manifesting Encouraging and Respectful Environments. Mississauga, ON: Peel District School Board (ISBN 1550381520)

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The Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum* (excerpt)

Although ostensibly directed to classroom teachers, The Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum can be used by all manner of educators – teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and members of the community. It supports those who recognize the importance of social justice issues in a society made up of many diverse groups by: 1) encouraging and assisting those who wish to adopt an inclusive approach in their curricular program; and 2) affirming the practice of those who have already done so. This document should help move us towards a world where everyone feels included, valued, and empowered - a world where equity is a reality and more than just a word, a world where our students will realize all that we envision for them.

For students to learn at their optimum, they must feel included. Our students need classrooms and schools committed to an intellectually engaging curriculum, delivered in an emotionally safe environment. All students must feel valued and able to take the risks that will help them become responsible and socially active individuals. Our curriculum* must proceed from an unbiased, inclusive perspective that respects diversity and embraces a social justice approach to all forms of discrimination and oppression.

School should be a place where students and teachers feel secure and cared for, and where all forms of diversity are accepted and respected. Students need safe space, language, and opportunities to talk about their lives, struggles and visions. Teachers must ensure that their classroom programs and practices respect their students' many differences; they must find a valued place for those differences in the daily curriculum. This resource offers a guide to creating and working with an inclusive curriculum – a philosophical and practical approach to learning that recognizes and values the rich diversity of our classrooms and our society as a whole.

*Curriculum includes textbooks and storybooks; pictures displayed; classroom seating plans; group work; posters; music; announcements; prayers and readings; languages spoken in the school; food served in the cafeteria; visitors invited to the classrooms; reception offered to parents in the office; racial makeup of the office staff, the custodial staff, teachers, and administration, displays of student work; makeup of school teams; sports played; clubs; school logo or emblem; field trips; assignments and projects; facial expressions and body language; clothes worn, …in short, the whole environment (Allingham, 1992, p.20).

Building on principles of social justice, as this guide suggests, will help students see the importance of equity for their futures in our society. Students will understand that their classrooms represent a microcosm of their world, their communities, their families, and that the learning taking place there has genuine meaning on a broader scale.

When educators are prepared to change their pedagogy to promote an inclusive curriculum because they recognize the diversity of society reflected in the classrooms, they give their students the education to which they are entitled. In her book, The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker aptly summarizes the motivation behind this document: "Keep in mind always the present you are constructing. It should be the future you want."


Discrimination hurts; it devalues people and inhibits their learning. It is also a fact of life for many of our students, and one which we, as educators, must acknowledge and work to correct. We have been trained to help students attain academic success, but not necessarily in a way that includes their diversity. The Peel District School Board believes its schools should offer a safe and supportive environment in which students can learn and in which their beliefs, ideas and range of experiences are valued.

As part of its commitment to excellence in education and to equitable educational outcomes for all students, the board confirms and upholds the principles enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code. It is committed to removing institutional barriers, eliminating both systemic and individual forms of harassment and discrimination, and ensuring that the needs of all students and staff are addressed. The board acknowledges that students and staff need to understand, respect and appreciate the spectrum of diversity in our society and reject discriminatory attitudes and behaviours.

At the Peel board, we have set high expectations for ourselves. But we have set them with the realization that we must face, and must help our students face, a world that is not always fair. Meeting the expectations we have set for ourselves involves confronting discrimination on both a personal and an institutional level. Having acknowledged discrimination and its consequences, we must undertake to reduce it through an examination of ourselves, our curriculum, instructional methods, and assessment practices. It is an introspective task, the difficulty of which has led author Sandra Parks to point out that:

Learning to face [discrimination] and to talk about it transformatively with others requires compassion toward oneself and others and sufficient intellectual character to not abandon the effort as it becomes distressing (Parks, 1999, p.18).

Ours is an interdependent, "people-help-people" world. An inclusive curriculum will help students understand that all peoples and cultures are part of a larger, interconnected global community. This view is reflected in the Ontario Curriculum document Choices Into Action: Guidance and Career Education Program Policy for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools:

Students will learn to demonstrate self-discipline, take responsibility for their own behaviour, acquire the knowledge and skills required for getting along with others both within and beyond the school, and choose ways of interacting positively with others in a variety of situations. They will also learn about thoughtful and non-violent problem resolution, social responsibility, working cooperatively with others, and caring about others (Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, 1999, p.7).

This view is further expanded upon in the Social Studies, grades 1 to 6, History and Geography, grades 7 and 8 curriculum document:

Students need to develop the attitudes or habits of mind that are considered essential for the development of responsible citizenship in a complex society characterized by rapid technological, economic, political, and social change. These include positive attitudes about learning; respect, tolerance, and understanding with regard to individuals, groups, and cultures in the global community; respect and responsibility for the environment; and an understanding and appreciation for the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of citizenship. [p.7]

And again in Ontario secondary schools, grades 9 to 12, in the section entitled Anti-Discrimination Education:

…When planning their programs, teachers will base their decisions on the needs of students, taking into consideration their students' abilities, backgrounds, interests, and learning styles. Learning activities should be designed to help students develop respect for human rights and dignity, and to develop a sense of personal, social, and civic responsibility. These activities should reflect diverse points of view and experiences, and should enable students to learn about the contributions of a variety of peoples, in the past and the present, to the development of Canada. Students should be encouraged to think critically about aspects of their own and their peers' backgrounds, and to become more sensitive to the experiences and perceptions of others. [p. 5-9]

An inclusive curriculum supports the Peel board's stated commitment to providing a supportive and secure environment – one that changes to meet the needs of students, respects differences, and provides opportunities for all students to succeed. An inclusive curriculum is an essential component of any School Success program and is necessary to address the needs of the community and students.

To support School Success and continuous improvement, administrators and teachers must evaluate the level of inclusiveness in their programs and student assessments. An inclusive curriculum can help focus school priorities, contribute to effective planning and meaningful communication with students, parents and communities, and foster a school climate of cooperation, student involvement, student recognition and positive student behaviour. The Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum outlines a process for doing just that.

Key Concepts

The Future We Want takes its fundamental principles for developing inclusive curriculum from James A. Banks' Multicultural Education: Historical Development, Dimensions, and Practice.

Banks outlines for approaches to curriculum reform (contributions, additive, transformation, and social action), and details five dimensions of that reform (content integration, knowledge construction, prejudice reduction, equity pedagogy, and empowering school culture). His model focuses primarily on racial and ethnic minority groups, but we have redefined the: "approaches" and "dimensions" below to include all diverse groups and to explain their application in this document. Please note that in actual teaching situations, the four approaches and the five dimensions are often combined and used together.


Adding diverse hero/ines to the curriculum, selected using criteria similar to those used to select mainstream hero/ines for the curriculum.

Adding a variety of content, concepts, themes, and perspectives to the curriculum without changing its basic structure.

Changing the actual structure of the curriculum to help students to view concepts, issues, events, and themes from the perspectives of diverse groups.

Social Action
Allowing students to make decisions on important social issues and take actions to help solve them.

The four approaches work as four levels on a continuum. For example, the "contributions" approach offers a starting point, but can also be sued as a way of moving on to other more intellectually challenging approaches, such as the "transformation" and the "social action" approaches. As Banks explains, we should develop a curriculum which goes beyond hero/ines and holidays to one that is transformative and teaches decision-making and social action skills.

Similarly, the development of an inclusive curriculum can begin with the dimensions of "content integration", though it should not stop there. The dimension of "knowledge construction" is essential to an inclusive curriculum, as is an "empowering school culture" if students and teachers are to achieve a social action approach.


Content Integration
Using examples, data and information from a variety of groups to illustrate key concepts, principles, generalizations, and theories in particular subject areas or disciplines.

Knowledge Construction
Understanding how people create knowledge and how implicit cultural assumptions, frames of reference, perspectives, and biases influence the ways that knowledge is constructed within a discipline.

Prejudice Reduction
Using characteristics of prejudicial attitudes and strategies to help individuals develop more democratic attitudes and values.

Equity Pedagogy
Using techniques and methods that facilitate the academic achievement of students from diverse groups.

Empowering School Culture
Restructuring the culture and organization of the school so that students from diverse groups will experience educational equity and societal empowerment.

The Future We Want is predicated on the firm conviction that all teachers at all grade levels and in all subjects can, over time, incorporate a social action approach in their teaching practice, and can develop and inclusive curriculum that relies on the five dimensions described above.

Peel District School Board (2000) The Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum. Mississauga, ON: Peel District School Board. (ISBN 1550381539)

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The 'Isms'

Most people would agree that racism and sexism are wrong - and

they are. Yet they are just two of many 'isms', as we call them -

stereotypes and biases that we might hold regarding one group or


Everything we do at the Peel District School Board is designed to

help students learn and do well in school. The board aims to offer

respectful school and work environments that encourage growth

and learning. To improve student success and achievement, we

must ensure that students continue to feel welcomed, respected,

safe, and included.

Peel Board has produced two documents, Manifesting Encouraging

and Respectful Environments and The Future We Want: building

inclusive curriculum, which have provided the foundation for creating

inclusive school and work environments. So…what do the 'isms'

mean? And what can we – as individuals, as a school board, and as

a society – do to stop perpetuating some negative and harmful

stereotypes and biases?

There are many forms of oppressions or 'isms' but the Peel board

has chosen seven as the focus for TFWW. It is important to note

that the selection of 'isms' does not represent a prioritization of

some oppressions over others. The board believes there is no

hierarchy of human rights and recognizes that all forms of oppression

are interconnected.

Here is an overview of seven of the key 'isms' – ableism, ageism,

classism, faith as an 'ism', heterosexism, racism, and sexism – what

they are, and why they are such important issues to the board.

Understanding the seven 'isms' provides us with a starting point for

our journey towards equity.

The isms are:

Related Issue Papers

A series of issue papers have been developed on each of the seven 'isms'.

An introduction to the series introduces the papers and provides

background on their development.

Related issue papers and summaries are available on each of the 'ism'

links. These papers explore why the particular 'ism' poses an issue within   

the Peel board, any relevant recent social and legal developments, significant

days to be acknowledged or honoured with respect to the specific 'ism' and

other sources of information.

Intersectionality, the interconnectedness among the 'isms' and the danger

of ignoring the relationships either at the individual or systemic level, is also

explored in a full discussion paper and summary.


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What's New

The Triangle – an online conference for GLBTQ Peel students

"The Triangle" conference, is a way to reach out to some of our most vulnerable students and provide a safe, supportive, and supervised online forum for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered students to interact electronically with their peers. It will provide students with an opportunity to discuss their experiences and concerns and, as warranted, receive advice and assistance from the moderators.

If you are interested in becoming a moderator and are sensitive to and understand the issues affecting GLBT youth, have an understanding of the board's equity goals, policies and Human Rights Code, are able to communicate via an electronic forum and are committed to social justice, please contact, Mary Samuel by e-mail at

TFWW Video Study Guide – Challenging Myths and Stereotypes

In 2001, the Peel board produced a video to support the implementation of The Future We Want and the board's goal to achieve equity for students and staff. "The Future We Want Video Study Guide – Challenging Myths and Stereotypes " complements this video. The guide is designed to support and assist teachers in using the video with elementary and secondary students to:

  • support the implementation of TFWW
  • enhance the ability of students to talk about and explore ableism, ageism, classism, faith as an ism, heterosexism, racism, and sexism (the isms) and why this is an issue for our schools
  • strengthen the understanding of and effectiveness of school practices, programs and rules to create a safe, welcoming inclusive and respectful environment
  • encourage students to take a leadership role around TFWW and creating a safe, welcoming inclusive and respectful environment

The guide will be available Fall 2003.

The Future We Want Isms Poster

This poster highlights the seven 'isms', which are the challenges to creating The Future We Want. The poster carries the key message, "I Belong, You Belong, We Belong" to encourage us to think beyond ableism, ageism, classism, faith as an 'ism', heterosexism, racism, and sexism.

Posters will be available Fall 2003.


TFWW Evaluation

TFWW foundation documents were introduced in 2000. Achieving equity for students and staff has been part of our system goals since the 2000/01. Many people have been working on the implementation of TFWW since 2001 and this fall we will assess the extent and impact of the implementation of TFWW.



Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice Part 1

A four part series intended to support elementary and secondary school teams (administrators and teachers) in their use of Manifesting Encouraging and Respectful Environments and the Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum to implement TFWW. Participants will be provided with practical strategies and resources that will enable them to address the curricular needs of their school community.

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice Part 2

This workshop series (6 sessions) is based on an action research model. Participants will learn to incorporate the theories of James Banks and other inclusive assessment methods and instructional strategies in their classroom program and practice. This series is open to participants who have completed Part One or its equivalent.

We're Erasing Prejudice for Good

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has published a kit called "We're Erasing Prejudice For Good". It is a literature-based comprehensive anti-bias curriculum document, which contains integrated lessons consistent with Ontario's K-8 curriculum. The Erasing kit is a good starting point for schools as they begin working toward The Future We Want. The workshops are aimed at a school team consisting of an administrator, teacher-librarian and classroom teacher(s). School teams attending the workshop will receive a kit for their schools. Additional kits may be obtained through EFTO. Picture books to support the kit are sold separately.

For workshop details, watch for flyers, Broadcast and e-circular announcements.


For more information on these courses or to register online, visit

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Resources to support the implementation of TFWW


The Future We Want Kit

The Future We Want Kit (2003) contains all the key support documents that have been developed or used by the Board to support the implementation of The Future We Want. The development of the Kit was a collaborative effort of The Future We Want Issues Team, Communications and Strategic Partnerships Support Services, and Staff Development and Student Support Services. Contents include:

  • Manifesting and Encouraging Respectful Environments
  • The Future We Want: building an inclusive curriculum
  • The Future We Want video and discussion guide
  • The Future We Want resource guide
  • A series of issue papers on the 'isms'
  • The board's Human Rights Policy #51
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy on Creed Observances
  • Peel board system goals
  • Additional resources (including the 2003 multicultural calendar and the multifaith information manual, 4th ed.)

Each Peel school has a copy of the kit. Contact your principal for more details.

Bibliography of Diversity Material

J.A. Turner Professional Library

J. A. Turner Professional Library staff have been improving and increasing the selection of professional resources that support professional development in the areas of equity, social justice and inclusive curriculum. Peruse the list of diversity materials available and check out a book. Also, check out the wide selection of picture books that may be used as classroom resources or as professional development tools.

Bookstores in and around Toronto also supply inclusive literature and resources.



Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice Discussion Group

Ask questions, share strategies and access resources to develop a more inclusive curriculum. Discussion focuses on strategies to challenge our thinking about equity issues, expand our commitment and understanding of how the 'isms' impact on learning and teacher practice.

To register for the discussion group you must be a Peel board staff member. Go to board’s intranet Broadcast page, click on “Personal” on left menu. Then click on “Edit Profile”. Scroll down to “Open Discussion Group” and click on "TFDSJ". Scroll back to top tool bar menu and click on “Save Updates”.

To enter a discussion, go to the board’s intranet Broadcast page, click on “Discussions” on left menu, click on "TFDSJ", and click on “Using this app” for a tutorial.


The Future We Want is just a starting point on issues of social justice and creating welcoming, safe, respectful and inclusive environments. Here are a few web-based resources to help you learn more:


  • The Peel board launched Go Beyond Words ( as part its Human Rights Campaign in February 2002. The site helps to improve communications around human rights issues and to create a forum for dialogue.

Together, we share the duty to prevent and eliminate discrimination and harassment and it must be demonstrated by our actions every day. By learning more about human rights, we can go beyond words and help achieve our goal to create equity for students and staff. Visit the site to see the Human Rights policy, download free screensavers and e-Postcards, suggest a quote or share how you have helped your school or department to go beyond words.

  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission web site ( has a wealth of information on human rights in Ontario and offers policy papers, discussion papers, legal developments touching upon all of the grounds of discrimination covered under the Ontario Human Rights Code. You can also check out Teaching about Human Rights in Ontario Schools.
  • Visit to learn more about the Ontario Human Rights Code and other laws and statutes
  • The Social Planning Council of Peel is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes social justice by facilitating citizen participation in the identification of social issues and in the planning and implementation of collaborative actions. Papers, studies and statistics on various areas including disability, race, gender, and class are available at
  • Statistics Canada's Teachers' Kit provides classroom friendly material and activities using 2001 census statistics, which reflect the diversity of Canadian society. Visit for more information on the kit.
  • The Lester B. Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Nova Scotia does all the training of UN peacekeeping troops. There are only two training centres in the world – the other is in Norway. They have intern programs available for students interested in peacekeeping initiatives and have partnered with Nova Scotia schools to develop peer mediation programs as a result of racist incidents -


  • Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee is a grassroots group lobbying provincial government for stronger legislation -
  • ARCH is a legal resource centre for persons with disabilities. To learn more, visit
  • Accessibility Ontario, a division of the Ministry of Citizenship, provides access to information for organizations including cities and towns, hospitals, school boards, colleges and universities that have obligations under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 as well as for people with disabilities who want to participate in making Ontario more accessible, and for those in the private sector who want to make their workplaces and facilities accessible to people with disabilities –


  • The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, a division of the Ministry of Citizenship, influences and supports policy development across all government activities on behalf of Ontario's 1.5 million seniors. The secretariat identifies issues and trends, through research data, demographic projections and regular dialogue with key seniors' groups. It also challenges government and society to be sensitive to the issues and needs posed by a rapidly aging population –
  • UNICEF was created by the United Nations General Assembly ( in 1946 to help children after World War II in Europe. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations, its task being to help children living in poverty in developing countries and it helps children get the care and stimulation they need in the early years of life and encourages families to educate girls as well as boys. It strives to reduce childhood death and illness and to protect children in the midst of war and natural disaster. UNICEF supports young people, wherever they are, in making informed decisions about their own lives, and strives to build a world in which all children live in dignity and security –
  • United Nations Associations in Canada has all kinds of links to youth initiatives on their web site -


  • Canadian Council on Social Development is a non-profit group that promotes social programs that serve children, families and communities and provides details on poverty in Canada -
  • The Daily Bread Food Bank is dedicated to eliminating hunger in and around Toronto by feeding hungry people. Visit their web site to get informed and to get involved –


  • Positive Space Coalition of Peel (905-791-7800 ext. 7414) is a new organization combining: Positive Space Peel Community Collective and The Coalition for Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Youth in Peel. It attempts to make Peel a safe, accepting and inclusive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgendered residents -
  • PFLAG Canada is a national organization that provides support, education and resources on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity for: PFLAG Chapters and Contacts; lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (transgendered and transsexual), two-spirited, and questioning (LGBTTQ) persons, and their families and friends; diverse cultures and societies; and the community at large. YOu can reach the Brampton/Mississauga chapter at 905-457-4570 -


  • In 1988, the Government of Canada and the National Association of Japanese Canadians signed the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the federal government also promised to create a Canadian Race Relations Foundation, which was proclaimed into law on October 28, 1996, and the Foundation officially opened its doors in November 1997. The Foundation aims to help bring about a more harmonious Canada that acknowledges its racist past, recognizes the pervasiveness of racism today, and is committed to creating a future in which all Canadians are treated equitably and fairly –


  • Ontario Women's Directorate (OWD), a division of the Ministry of Citizenship, provides focus for government action on issues of concern to women - in particular, social, economic and justice-related issues. It has two key areas of activity: preventing violence against women and promoting women's economic independence -


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intro | MERE doc | TFWW doc | the 'isms' | what's new | resources | go beyond words |