City of Kitchener Director, Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives
The City of Kitchener is a vibrant and dynamic city of over 240,000, in the heart of southwestern Ontario, recognized as an innovative leader in city-building. Kitchener is currently leading a comprehensive update of its Strategic Plan, building upon its existing commitment to building a caring community by enhancing people’s sense of belonging and connection. With a strong organizational culture, the City’s People Plan champions a collective set of values that help drive a workforce of people deeply committed to public service. As the fastest growing community in Canada, Kitchener has an increasingly diverse population, a strong and thriving economy, and is committed to advancing an equitable, inclusive workplace and city. A dedicated 5-person team has been established to guide the organization forward on issues of equity, anti-racism, Indigenous initiatives and social justice.
To lead this team, Kitchener is seeking a Director, Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives. The Director will provide the organization and City Council with exceptional leadership, expertise and senior-level competencies in issues of equity, anti-racism, inclusion and Indigenous reconciliation. City Council and the Corporate Leadership team are deeply committed to advancing and fostering meaningful change within the organization through the implementation of anti-racist and anti-oppressive policies and practices, building accountability for change through workplace culture, and supporting the removal of systemic barriers.
The Director is responsible for leading the Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives team and will:
- Lead the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) in an ongoing process of identifying and eliminating systemic barriers and inequities based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religious practices, and/or disability (and other Code protected statuses).
- Lead CLT and the Human Resources team in the ongoing work of creating a more inclusive workplace culture and workforce through foundational changes to policies, practices and accountability mechanisms in place to uphold human rights.
- Work with CLT to enhance the City’s engagement with members of the community who have been traditionally excluded from municipal decision-making and service provision, as well as community-led organizations and other local municipal governments focused on equitable access to municipal supports/services.
- Recommend new municipal programs/initiatives (or changes to/cancellation of existing ones) that support equity seeking groups who have been traditionally excluded from municipal programs, services and decision making, as well as community organizations focused on equity, anti-racism, and Indigenous reconciliation.
- Lead a high-performing team by fostering a culture of collaboration, accountability and action.
- Implement and oversee a multi-year evaluation and accountability strategy to monitor, measure and publicly report on the City’s work on equity, anti-racism, and Indigenous initiatives in order to identify successes, challenges, gaps and areas for improvement.
The ideal candidate for this role is a person with lived experience of racism and oppression, and direct experience determining and leading strategies to respond to racism and oppression in complex organizations. You have a deep understanding of the impacts of colonization in Canada, with a strong commitment to reconciliation. You bring credibility to this role based on a strong track record of collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders to increase equity, implement anti-racist policies and practices in complex environments, and advance Indigenous reconciliation. You possess the following skills:
- Superior cross-cultural communications skills, both verbal and written;
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, with the ability to foster and cultivate relationships across a diverse group of stakeholders, with strong facilitation and mediation skills;
- Excellent insight and ability to place equity, anti-racism, reconciliation and inclusion objectives in a larger organizational context;
- The ability to inspire people around a common vision, build consensus and motivate action;
- Experience developing others, managing effective teams and delivering results;
- Municipal experience, or deep knowledge of municipal/government process is an asset.
To help ensure the important work of the Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives team is embedded within the operations and decisions of the entire municipality, the Director will have access to a variety of supports such as: regular strategic dialogue with the entire Corporate Leadership Team, a formal relationship with the Chief Administrative Officer, and access to a dedicated training/development budget for their team.
The City of Kitchener especially encourages applications from Indigenous persons, Black persons, non-Black racialized persons/persons of colour, women, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ persons and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas and experiences.
In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), upon request, accommodation will be provided by both Odgers Berndtson and the City of Kitchener throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process to applicants with disabilities.