All forms of diversity

Resources by type of diversity

Diversity is a source and driver of cultural vibrancy and innovation.

The WIC initiative aims to help municipalities adapt to and celebrate the increasing diversity of Alberta’s population. 

Diversity refers to attributes that are used to differentiate groups and people from one another. Being inclusive means being respectful and appreciative of differences in ethnicity, skin colour, race, religious beliefs, gender, age, place of origin, income, occupation, social class, immigration status, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, language, education, and physical or mental ability. Furthermore, everyone offers diverse perspectives, work experiences, lifestyles, and cultures. 

Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected, and supported. It is about ensuring the right conditions exist so everyone can achieve their full potential. In simple terms, diversity is the mix; inclusion is getting the mix to work well together.

We have compiled valuable resources and categorized them by specific dimensions of diversity. Diversity is expressed in many, many ways, so we are providing some starting points and inspiration.

A team of emergency services personnel stand in front of a fire hall


Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Toolkit

Alberta Municipalities' Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Toolkit offers a framework to help guide users to create a more welcoming and inclusive community. The toolkit walks you through the stages of recognizing the issue, building commitment, designing a vision and strategic plan, designating actions and responsibilities, and celebrating the accomplishments. 

The toolkit expands on what needs to happen during each phase and provides current case studies and best practices from around the province.

Measuring Inclusion Tool for Municipal Governments

Revised in 2019, Alberta Municipalities' newly-improved Measuring Inclusion Tool for Municipal Governments helps you to identify areas where your municipal government can improve its policies and practices to become a more inclusive employer, service provider and leader in the community. The Tool offers an easy-to-use approach to survey employees and key stakeholders to rate the municipal government’s inclusiveness across a range of topics such as leadership, human resource practices, employee engagement, infrastructure and land use, social services, resident engagement, economic development, and other topics.

Take the assessment, determine your municipality’s rating, and then check out the Strategies to Improve document for suggested actions to improve your inclusiveness. By repeating the process every few years, you have a valuable method to measure your performance.

While the full version of the Measuring Inclusion Tool is available above, we understand that it can also be helpful to access individual sections of the Tool. The following links may be helpful if you want to email individual sections to users:

Municipalities can use this PowerPoint template to inform an audience on why the municipality is choosing to evaluate its inclusiveness and provide an overview of Alberta Municipalities' Measuring Inclusion Tool.

Warning: Digital users of the Measuring Inclusion Tool must save the document to a device prior to use. Failure to do so will result in all answers being erased.

Planning together: Guide to municipal immigration action planning in Alberta 

Alberta municipalities are acutely aware of issues around dwindling populations and labour shortages, and know that attracting and retaining newcomers can help with growth. We also know that newcomers will be more attracted to communities that make them feel welcome and included. To help you prepare for their arrival, we have developed the Planning Together Guide. This guide is a tool for municipal immigration action planning in Alberta. It provides ideas to get people working together and helps set targets and develop action plans that complement work already being done in your community. With its step-by-step instructions, this guide includes information on who to include, how to run your meetings, how to create and implement your plan and sample action plans.

Engaging ethno cultural communities: A guide for municipalities

The purpose of the guide is to assist municipalities in developing effective engagement plans that result in building trust and relationships with diverse ethnocultural communities.  

How to create a terms of reference for a WIC committee

This how-to guide will help you create a successful terms of reference for your municipality’s WIC or newcomer committee. A terms of reference will help improve the performance of a committee as it creates a structure through defining the purpose, roles and responsibilities, scope, membership, and decision-making of the committee and generally help you stay organized so that you can produce better outcomes.

Example governance structures used by municipalities:

Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) Campaign Kit

The WIC Campaign Kit is a brand and visual identity tool to ensure that all visitors, residents and stakeholders immediately recognize the role of WIC in your community. The kit includes poster and newspaper ad templates, suggested t-shirt applications, a rink board template and much more! Please review the Campaign Guidelines for further information about the resources available, guidelines for their usage and instructions for customizing the templates in Adobe InDesign®. For the full suite, users can download the files in Adobe InDesign® or access a selection of files in Microsoft® Word format below.

Presentation template to gain buy-in on WIC

Successful WIC initiatives involve buy-in from council, administration, citizens and community groups.  The WIC buy-in presentation which includes suggestions on how to create a business case for diversity, key messages from the WIC Toolkit, and some general examples of what Alberta municipalities have been doing around WIC.  The presentation includes many areas of focus and allows you to customize the presentation content to meet your needs. Download the presentation here.

WIC Glossary of Terms

New to welcoming and inclusive communities work? Find all the terminology confusing or overwhelming? The language of inclusion is constantly evolving as we develop more sophisticated ways to understand social dynamics and find better language to describe it. The WIC Glossary of Terms is a valuable resource for municipalities to keep up to date with current terms.

Job descriptions

The following municipalities have provided job descriptions as examples of positions that are responsible for inclusionary activities.

If you would like assistance in using any of these tools, wic [at] (contact us).

10 Ideas for Engaging People with Lived/Living Experience

Published by the Tamarack Institute, this guide outlines ten high-impact ideas to meaningfully engage people with lived/living experience. While written with a focus on poverty reduction, the suggestions can apply to many other types projects where there is a goal to engage and gain input from people with lived/living experience.

17 Characteristics of a Welcoming Community

Developed by the Government of Canada, this document highlights 17 key characteristics of a welcoming community and includes indicators for measurement and promising practices to achieve each characteristic. 

Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities

The City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) developed the Advancing Equity and Inclusion guide to support municipal elected officials to create mandates and strategic plans that are responsive to constituents and for municipal staff to establish policies and practices that reflect the population it serves. The guide integrates promising practices from across Canada including significant input from the City of Lethbridge. The guide is applicable to municipalities of any size. Users may benefit from using this tool in coordination with Alberta Municipalities' Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Toolkit.

Beyond Hate: A Resource Toolkit

Developed by the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee, this Toolkit helps communities to build a response plan to counter hate. It offers insight into the many forms of hate and effective methods to deal with it.

CCMARD Toolkit for Municipalities, Organizations and Citizens

The Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) Toolkit offers practical information on how to join CCMARD, develop a plan of action and monitor your community’s progress. It provides numerous examples of best practices and is recommended for any municipality that is considering joining the Coalition.

Multiculturalism in Communities: A Guide to Developing and Sustaining Dialogue

Developed by the Government of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, this guide is for leaders and organizations who wish to use dialogue to strengthen the multicultural framework of their community. It offers tools and guidelines for convening diverse communities and increasing knowledge on multiculturalism, racism and welcoming and inclusive communities.

2019 Municipal Inclusion Symposium (co-hosted with the Alberta Human Rights Commission)

Building Internal Corporate Support for Inclusion

Inclusive Citizenship and Community Engagement

Facilitating Change and Creating Safe Spaces

Measuring Progress

Come Together Alberta Conference 2018

May 15 Hate Hurts – Renee Vaugeois, Alberta Hate Crimes Committee

May 15 Intercultural Competency Training - City of Edmonton

May 16 Opening Keynote – Derek Cook’s speaking notes

May 16 Municipal Leadership in Inclusion Panel – Bill Elliot’s speaking notes

May 16 Gender-Based Analysis Plus Workshop – Alberta Status of Women

May 16 Looking Internally: Are You a Diverse and Inclusive Employer? – Tymmarah Sheculski

May 17 Overcoming Apathy and Resistance – Ricardo Morales, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

May 17 Promising Practices by Municipal Governments – Caitlin Downie, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

May 17 Promising Practices by Municipal Governments – Melissa Engdahl, Town of Cochrane 

May 17 Promising Practices by Municipal Governments – Libin Joseph, City of Brooks

May 17 Promising Practices by Community Organizations #1: Outreach – Kristy Harcourt, Pride Centre of Edmonton

May 17 Promising Practices by Community Organizations #1: Outreach – Oliver Kamau, Edmonton Immigrant Services Association

May 17 Working With Your Business Community – Doug Piquette, Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council

May 17 Working With Your Business Community – Meagan Reid, Bow Valley Immigration Partnership

May 17 Promising Practices by Community Organizations #2: Creating Inclusive Built Environments – Irene Martin-Lindsay, Alberta Seniors Communities and Housing Association

May 17 Promising Practices by Community Organizations #2: Creating Inclusive Built Environments – Armand Mercier, Habitat for Humanity

May 17 Promising Practices by Community Organizations #2: Creating Inclusive Built Environments – Maureen Murphy-Black, Voice of Albertans with Disabilities

May 17 The Power of Storytelling – Kathleen Waxer, Municipality of Jasper

May 17 The Power of Storytelling – Tammy Forbes, Women Building Futures

May 17 Tools, Tools, and More Tools – Darren Reedy, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

May 17 Tools, Tools, and More Tools – Cam Stewart, Alberta Human Rights Commission

General diversity

17 Characteristics of a Welcoming and Inclusive Community -- Jeny Mathews-Thusoo

Jeny Mathews-Thusoo from the City of Calgary presents at the 2014 Come Together Alberta Conference.

Community Inclusion grant projects - Presentations by 13 municipalities at the 2017 Municipal Inclusion Symposium

Creating Welcoming Spaces - Lesley Winfield from the Olds Municipal Library presents at the 2011 Come Together Alberta Conference. View the PowerPoint slides.

Using a framework to create a more inclusive community

An Alberta Municipalities' webinar (2016) featuring speakers from the City of Edmonton and the City of Red Deer on how to use a strategic framework to guide inclusion work.

What is Gender Based Analysis+ (GBA+)

An Alberta Municipalities' webinar (2016) featuring Alberta’s Ministry of Status of Women to explain GBA+. 


What is Islamophobia and how to counter it

An Alberta Municipalities webinar (2018) on how to counter Islamophobia, which features Nakita Valerio of the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council and Irfan Chaudhry of MacEwan University's Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity.


Inter-cultural relations

Sarah Apedaile from the NorQuest Centre for Excellence in Intercultural Communication presents at the 2011 Come Together Alberta Conference. View the PowerPoint slides.

Ashima Sumaru from the Centre for Race and Culture presents at the 2011 Come Together Alberta Conference. View the PowerPoint slides.

Annie McKitrick with Strathcona County presents at the 2011 Come Together Alberta Conference. View the PowerPoint slides.

Karen Fong with the Vancouver Dialogues Project presents at the 2011 Come Together Alberta Conference. View the PowerPoint slides.

Alberta Human Rights Commission

The Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is an independent commission created by the Government of Alberta.  The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General is responsible for the Commission. The Commission has a two-fold mandate: to foster equality and to reduce discrimination. It fulfills this mandate through public education and community initiatives, through the resolution and settlement of complaints of discrimination, and through human rights tribunal and court hearings. 

Alberta Hate Crimes Committee

The Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (AHCC) is a provincial collaboration of community, police and justice representatives that is committed to bringing comprehensive insight to the issue of hate crimes in Alberta. AHCC offers many resources on how to identify hate and take action to counter it.

Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+)

Status of Women Canada offers a free online course on GBA+, which is an analytical tool used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The ‘plus’ in GBA+ recognizes that the tool goes beyond gender to recognize other identity factors such as race, religion, age or ability.

Preventing racial profiling in customer service: e-course

The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) offers a free online course called ‘Serving All Customers Better’, which helps businesses to train front-line service staff to prevent consumer racial profiling.

Safe Harbour: Respect for All

Safe Harbour is a long-standing program that creates opportunities for businesses, institutions, agencies, and entire municipalities to create more welcoming communities. Organizations commit to welcoming clients/customers respectfully and providing an immediate safe place for someone experiencing discrimination. Training is provided to prepare staff to implement these commitments.

The Role of Municipalities in Advancing Women’s Equity in Canada

Developed by the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, this reflection paper highlights key issues facing women and suggests opportunities for municipal governments to take the lead to improve women’s equity.

Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination

The Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) uses a blog to showcase inclusion initiatives by members of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD). 

City of Brooks

Once per year, the City of Brooks closes its operations and hosts an all staff meeting where half of the day is devoted to a training seminar on diversity. This annual training is part of a broad initiative to create and maintain a culture of inclusion within its workforce.   

City of Edmonton

In 2017, the City of Edmonton began a process to implement the gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) tool in its services and operations. To help residents understand why the City is using GBA+, the City created this short and informative video that explains GBA+ and how it will benefit the residents of Edmonton. 

City of Lethbridge

Social media plays a key role in the City of Lethbridge’s efforts to celebrate diversity. The City’s ‘CMARD – Lethbridge’ Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag #SayNoToRacismYQL serve as active mediums to promote events and information. It has also shown to be an effective method to bring together groups of people to protest organizations and events that are not inclusive of all persons.

The City has developed a three-phase training program for its downtown businesses to learn about how to be inclusive of employees and customers. After a business completes a phase of training, it can display a sticker in the storefront window to promote its commitment to be an inclusive space.

City of London

The City of London’s Workplace Diversity Statement and Plan is an example of how a municipality can construct a strategy for supporting workplace diversity and enhancing the work environment.

Municipality of Jasper

In 2003, the community of Jasper began hosting a weekly community dinner cooked by volunteer groups and businesses. As of 2017, the dinner program continues and now draws between 250 and 500 people each week. The cost of the dinner is funded through blind donations and the municipality provides up to $2,000 in funding each year to cover any shortfall. The dinners have shown to unite residents of diverse backgrounds and increase awareness of diversity in the community. Despite public concerns over the immigration of Syrian refugees, Jasper’s community dinner experienced its largest turnout ever in spring 2017, when the new Syrian refugee families cooked a Syrian themed meal for the community.


2017 Municipal Inclusion Symposium Report

On March 16-17, 2017 the Alberta Municipalities and the Alberta Human Rights Commission hosted a Municipal Inclusion Symposium in Edmonton. The event brought municipal administrators, elected officials and selected guests together to present, share, and learn about the initiatives that Alberta municipalities are involved in to create more welcoming and inclusive communities. The report summarizes the ideas and strategies discussed by participants and highlights the key outcomes of the event. 

2014 Come Together Alberta Conference Report

On February 6th and 7th 2014, municipalities, businesses, community organizations, academic institutions and other stakeholders met in Calgary to dialogue, learn and share best practices on making Alberta communities more welcoming and inclusive of diverse populations. Participating organizations learned how they can play a role in building vibrant, sustainable communities that are inclusive of all residents. To view the conference video, click here.

2012 Needs Assessment Report

In 2012, Alberta Municipalities conducted a needs assessment to determine the current state and needs of municipalities in regards to immigration and working with newcomers. Fifty municipalities participated in the assessment, which led to findings that municipalities want to be involved in attracting immigrants, supporting settlement and integration, or building a welcoming and inclusive community. The Needs Assessment Report illustrates how AUMA’s WIC initiative has offered value to municipalities and where there are opportunities to improve.

2011 Come Together Alberta Conference Report

In December 2011, representatives from over 20 municipalities gathered in Edmonton to discuss how to create communities that foster the wellbeing of newcomers and the communities they settle in. Come Together Alberta brought together municipal officials and staff, community organizations and government representatives to share experiences and take home cutting-edge knowledge about working with newcomers. Attendees were introduced to new frameworks for thinking about inclusion, innovative ideas for community projects and municipal policy, and a number of resource materials they can draw on to support their work.