Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable Begins New Term

Port Coquitlam, BC – Nov. 16, 2021… Eighteen people representing a broad range of under-served and equity-seeking groups will provide their input to Port Coquitlam as the City’s Roundtable on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion begins its second year. 

The individuals were among those who recently applied for a spot-on year two of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Roundtable, launched in 2020 by Mayor Brad West to demonstrate the City’s commitment to removing barriers and developing welcoming, inclusive and equitable practices and policies for the City. The Roundtable Members will have the first opportunity to view Port Coquitlam’s first anti-racism policy and provide feedback, with a goal of Council approval in early 2022. 

“Once again, we happy to see so much passion and interest from the community to help us take on this important work,” West noted. “We thank everyone who applied. The 18 appointees represent a broad cross-section of our citizens, and will provide our City with a deeper understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion issues and opportunities as we build on the progress made last year.”

Reflecting the community itself, the new EDI Roundtable members offer the diverse voices of Indigenous people, Black, people of colour, LGBT2SQ+ and gender diverse people, people with disabilities, immigrants and newcomers, people living in poverty, seniors, women and youth.

The EDI Roundtable acts as a resource to staff on City priorities concerning diversity, equity and inclusion in the community. Members have the opportunity to share feedback and provide input on eliminating systemic barriers and creating inclusive opportunities that celebrate diversity through programs, events, services and policies.  

Input from the EDI Roundtable’s first year informed and led to City initiatives that included beginning to develop the City’s first anti-racism policy, EDI training and education for all City employees, the City’s first Pride in PoCo event in July, a greater breadth of diverse voices to signature City events, and the Little Library Read in Color Program,which encourages neighbourhoods to read and share books reflecting diversity and inclusion.

The appointed advisors for the upcoming one-year term are:

  • Jas Qualitz, Service Representative
  • Adeebah Chowdhury, Merchant Success Team Lead
  • Meena Dhillon, Lawyer and Social Worker
  • Diana Barry, Program Manager
  • Katrina Shelast, Salon Owner
  • Renu Seru, Counsellor
  • Arun Ghag, Student Leader
  • Ali Afzali, Clinician with Ministry of Children and Family Development
  • Chris Joustra, Welder
  • Courtney Catterall, formerly of the Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Roundtable
  • Fernanda Friedrich, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Content Strategist
  • Leeann Tolentino, Supported Child Development Consultant
  • Jolanda Ng, Paralegal
  • Shala Symonds, Social Worker
  • Jackie Ryan, Human Resources Professional
  • Partap Tiwana, Student and TELUS Sales Representative
  • Jodie McNeice, Retired Community Police Manager
  • Liz Carr, SD43 Education Supervisor

For more information about this and other citizen roundtables in Port Coquitlam, visit portcoquitlam.ca/roundtable.

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Ximena Ibacache
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5499
Email ibacachex@portcoquitlam.ca