Region announces Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group

Posted on Friday November 13, 2020

Waterloo Region – A community-led selection committee has recruited 11 members for the Region’s Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group (ARAWG).  

“The ARAWG members will play a significant role in helping eliminate systemic racism in our workplace and our services by providing recommendations, advice and information to Regional Council through an Anti-Racism Plan,” said Karen Redman, Regional Chair. A selection committee of five community leaders, suggested to the Region through public input, created the criteria and terms of reference for the advisory working group. They then chose 11 members from a group of over 70 passionate and qualified applicants.

“We are grateful to Omi Ra, Ismail Mohamed, Jean Becker, Grace Ibrahima and Lois MacDonald for taking such time and care to recruit members with the perspective, experience and skills needed for this important work,” said Bruce Lauckner, CAO, Region of Waterloo. 

“Choosing 11 people out of so many applications was a daunting task as many were excellent candidates,” said Jean Becker, Interim Associate Vice-President, Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, University of Waterloo. “It was a privilege to be a member of the dedicated selection committee who made those hard but thoughtful choices.”

Selection committee members chose applicants based on their: history of community engagement; personal lived experience and interest; and experience using an anti-racism and anti-oppressive lens in activities/projects.

“Before the first meeting, I felt skeptical and hesitant about the anti-racism initiative, however, I quickly became energized by the committee’s mandate to help open minds, promote new ideas and help our community understand the devastating effects of racism,” said Grace Ibrahima, Author and Black Elder.

The Region welcomes the following members of the new ARAWG for a two-year term:

Kathy Hogarth

Victoria Oywak

Tammy Webster

Amy Smoke

Ciann Wilson

Fauzia Mazhar

Donna Dubie

Geraldine L. Stafford

Cheyanne Thorpe

Krishna Karur Badrinarayan

Maedith Radlein

The Region plans to collaborate with local municipalities also working on anti-racism initiatives.

The ARAWG will have its inaugural meeting in early December 2020.

“It’s a time for change, and this is the first step in the process of change working towards the better good of all in a respectful way, always remembering what we do today, will affect seven generations down the road,” said Lois MacDonald, Elder, Missanbie Cree First Nation.




For more information, please contact:

TJ Flynn, Acting Director, Corporate Communications at 519-575-4400 ext. 3301 or








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