Windsor is one of the most diverse communities in Canada. We have a rich multicultural history and are a destination of choice for many. 27% of Windsor’s population are newcomers. More than 100 cultures are represented in Windsor. Between 2006-2001, over 10,000 newcomers chose to relocate here. Since 2015, we’ve welcomed more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. The number of International students has multiplied from hundreds a decade ago to more than 10,000 in 2019. Windsor has long been a destination for those seeking a better way of life and was the first city in Ontario to join the UNESCO Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination.
Mayor Dilkens spearheaded a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative – the first of its kind in the City’s history – adopted by Council in 2018. Council committed significant funds and resources to see it through. The Initiative outlines a road map to help us better understand, engage, serve, and respond to needs the needs of Windsor’s multicultural community.
Throughout 2020, Mayor Dilkens hosted or participated in approximately 25 meetings, discussions, or consultations on the topic of racism, on the over-arching theme of ‘Talking with people who make you see the world differently’. These conversations involved Mayor, Mayor’s staff, members of City Council, regional government colleagues, City Administration, City’s Diversity Committee, Windsor Police Service, cultural groups, not-for-profit organizations, community leaders and stakeholders, and educational institutions. In response to these consultations, Mayor Dilkens and Council allocated funding to support a two-year Anti-Racism Initiative that will support forward-focused, new and innovative, goal-oriented projects aimed at creating an environment that makes life better for everyone in our community. Partnerships will be sought to leverage expert external resources with experience in training and programming related to anti-racism and multicultural integration.