Diversity committee ‘very angry’ they were left out of Windsor’s new $200K anti-racism project

posted on August 23, 2021

By Katerina Georgieva ·| CBC News | July 27, 2021

The chair of Windsor’s diversity committee says he’s furious that city council chose to award $200,000 to the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County (MCWEC) for an anti-racism initiative — given that the committee was already working on a similar project.

“I am angry. I am very angry,” said Peter Ijeh, the chair of the diversity committee.

“The carpet was pulled underneath us.”

Ijeh explained that a few months ago, the committee had been given the green light by city council to put together an anti-racism initiative in partnership with the Windsor-Essex Local Immigration Partnership (WELIP).

The official wording of the approval by council on May 3, 2021 was that WELIP and the Diversity Committee could undertake a community consultation in conjunction with the diversity and inclusion initiative “to address racism in the community.”

Ijeh said the two organizations were in the process of establishing strategies and methodologies when they learned about the proposal from the MCWEC — which was approved by council last week.

“It was a little bit of confusion and shock at the same time,” said Riham AlSaadi-Attia, a member of both the diversity committee and WELIP, who has played a key role in the partnership between the two entities.

“It’s basically discrediting or dismantling everything we’ve been working on,” she said, explaining that the initiative just approved is almost a “replica” of what the committee had already begun.

CBC News reached out to WELIP but officials who could speak on behalf of the organization declined to comment.

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