Towards a Community Where No One Is Left Behind

By: Binu Dhas, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee

Today we are announcing the update to The Foundation’s Reconciliation, Equity and Anti-Racism Statement as well as the equity-focused top-up funding for the 2023 GIVEOakville campaign.

Reconciliation, Equity and Anti-Racism Statement

The Statement was originally developed in 2022 as a commitment to reduce inequities in our operations and our community, in turn creating a welcoming and safe environment for everyone— a community where no one is left behind. As we recognized at the original time of publication, “this statement is not a one-time check mark but a process of learning and adapting.”

To that end, The Foundation has produced an updated statement reaffirming its commitment and values while updating the status of a number of tasks and activities and providing results where applicable. 

Since the original publication, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to meet the objectives of REARS:

  • The continued work of Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project including the launch of Oakville’s first Treaty Report, the Ally Leadership Council and Treaty Day event with the Mississaugas of the Credit;
  • Impact Investments aligned with the Social Development Goals, including our first gender-lens investment with the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund and the impact investment with the Canadian Canoe Museum, and;
  • Additional equity-focussed top-up funding for racialized-led organizations and organizations with equity mandates.

Accompanying the statement is updated data on the makeup and diversity of our Town including: since 2016, there has been an 11.7% increase in racialized members of our community and that 43.2% of Oakville residents report as racialized or with Indigenous ancestry.

This statement was developed and updated with the input of a number of community members and we are grateful to all of the stakeholders who shared their insights and expertise to make this an inclusive document.

We encourage you to read the full statement and its updates, here.

Equity-Focused Top-Up Funding

In 2021, The Foundation’s Board of Directors took the step in its commitment to be equitable and approved that within any matched-funding program going forward, a pool of these funds will be earmarked specifically for racialized-led organizations and organizations with a gender equity mandate.

The Foundation uses its Community Granting Funds to amplify gifts from donors and Fundholders and, this year, will be providing $187,000 in funding support to GIVEOakville. These funds will be allocated on a prorated basis to all organizations that received support prior to the GIVEOakville closing date of December 11, 2023. Organizations that receive their full funding request before the closing date will not be eligible for a top-up.

This year, The Board of Directors determined that of the $187,000, 20% ($37,400) will be allocated as an additional top-up to racialized-led organizations and organizations with a gender equity mandate.

To be recognized as a gender-equity organization, the organization’s mandate must be to serve this equity-deserving community. Through its mission and activities, the organization has demonstrated a long-term commitment to empowering women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people. Gender equity organizations are defined as those that are at the “heart” of the women’s movement. 

To be recognized as a racialized-led organization, the mandate of the organization must be to serve a specific equity deserving community where two of the following three criteria must be met: 

  1. where a majority of senior staff positions are held by those who self-identify as racialized;
  2. where a majority of board positions are held by those who self-identify as racialized, and/or
  3. where the Founder of the organization identifies as racialized.

As the Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, we are committed to sharing updates and learning from the community as it grows and changes.