Evolving Diversity – Is Toronto in it?

Have you ever wondered what diversity really means? Is it merely a buzz word made popular by the developing global markets? On a surface level, yes it is! However, I think it is much more.

Positive diversity in action: embracing, celebrating, accepting, and seeking that which is different.
More on that later. I think defining the term deserves a whole blog to itself.

Anyhow, I attended a symposium yesterday, hosted by Heritage Toronto on Our Shared Past: Toronto’s People, Places & Events, seen here –  http://heritagetoronto.org/culturalheritage/

It was a panel discussion, and quite an enlightening experience. Some very valid points were made. One, that heritage is not a past tense term. It is past, present, and future. It is part of our identity, and is constantly evolving. Two, that Toronto as a community contains many culturally isolated pockets, and very rarely do these sub-communities have an opportunity to interact with each other, much less the general populace. To summarize everything would constitute an entire book, but those are the points that stuck with me.
An example that was brought up is that cultural festivals showcase a rather surface level snapshot of who people within these groups are. We meet a myriad of individuals daily, but how many of them do we really see?

I was well aware of such communication droughts within Toronto, though seeing it through this new lens has helped me piece together how I can in some small way work towards solving the dilemma. Having recently completed my education in Diversity and Inclusion, I’ve been inspired to funnel my passion into something productive and when things go well, helpful. The concept(yet to be revealed!) needs work, but by combining my love for culture, learning, people, and tea, I hope to create a workshop tool that will aid Toronto in overcoming cultural barriers to establishing a sustainable inclusive environment. Some hard questions need to be posed. Ex. What is our current heritage? As a city? As a collection of smaller communities? How can we maintain our identities while exploring others? And more. Much more!

There is a lot to do and even more to organize, but I’m compelled to deliver this project.
Wish me luck!

Yours,
~HRSlinger

P.S. Yes, I did mean tea! Green, black, white… it is more relevant than you know!