I was born in …Toronto
And I currently live in …Roncesvalles where you can catch a streetcar anytime of day and it’s home to Another Story Bookshop – my favourite bookstore in the city.
Diverse leadership is important because… the uncomfortable spaces is where the magic happens. Diverse leadership brings a range of perspectives which can be challenging to deal with. However this is where we see new ideas born and innovations flourish, whereas a lack of diversity can only lead to stagnation. It is an absolute necessity to have individuals of varied experiences, backgrounds and beliefs in leadership roles to ensure our city continues to grow and thrive in an equitable manner.
The issues in our region that keep me up at night are… As a city we wear our diversity and multiculturalism as a badge of honour, and we should. However, i think sometimes that badge covers up some of the tough issues we still face in the areas of equity, representation and socio economic disparity particularly for IBPOC. We’re a great city, but we still have a lot of work to do. Rather than spending time and energy explaining that these issues actually exist, I’d rather us continually working to actively address them.
My greatest city-building accomplishment to date is … rather than a specific project I think my greatest accomplishments have been diversifying tables and discussions through inclusion. When I’m involved in a city building discussion or initiative I ask myself who is not at this table and what can I do to change that?
One thing I do to ensure I continue to grow and develop as a leader is… I’m always reminding myself that in the grand scheme of life what I know is actually very little, so there’s never an excuse to stop learning. One of the best ways to learn is to always be listening.
To me, an inclusive city/region/GTHA looks like… one that acknowledges all people and their needs equally. It would be a city in which all individuals—including the most vulnerable and marginalized have a representative voice in governance. All residents would have equal access to all basic services and sustainable livelihoods.