Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Region of Waterloo wants to make sure that all residents can access our programs and services. We do this by:

  • Implementing actions to identify, prevent and remove barriers to services
  • Following legislative requirements (Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Ontario Human Rights Code) and our strategic priorities to build equity and inclusion into everything we do
  • Engaging with the community and stakeholders on key Regional issues and decisions
  • Being an inclusive employer to attract and retain a skilled, talented and diverse workforce

Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group (ARAWG)

The Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group has 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. The members were selected by a committee 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.

Read more on the Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group

Tammy Webster

Tammy is an expert and leader in anti-oppressive practices and Indigenous education for over 30 years. She brings vast knowledge and comprehensive experience to stakeholders and the Waterloo Region in order to build Indigenous and Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity practices into a system wide vision. Tammy provides insight into the educational system for Indigenous children, as she is the K-12 Indigenous Education Lead Consultant for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Tammy also has a Masters Degree in Education from York University.



Amy Smoke

Amy Smoke is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River. Amy is a Two Spirit IndigiQueer parent, public speaker, and community organizer. They have graduated from Conestoga College General Arts & Science, University of Waterloo with a BA and BSW, as well as Wilfrid Laurier University with a Masters in Indigenous Social Work. Amy has won several awards for Social Justice and Leadership, and is the co-founder and co-organizer of O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp.


 Amy Smoke

Ciann L. Wilson

Ciann L. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Wilfrid Laurier University who is of Afro-, Indo- and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within African, Caribbean and Black communities across Canada - first as a youth programmer and now as a health researcher. Her research interests build off her community-engaged work to include critical race theory, anti-/de-colonial theory, African diasporic and Indigenous community health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive wellbeing and community-based research. Her body of work aims to utilize research as an avenue for sharing the stories and realities of African diasporic, Indigenous and racialized peoples, and improving the health and wellbeing of these communities.  Ciann is a Steering Committee member of the African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) Network of Waterloo Region and has worked with the Coalition of Muslim Woman.


 Ciann L. Wilson

Fauzia Mazhar

Fauzia is the Executive Director at the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW, a not-for-profit organization actively working in the Region of Waterloo to address Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia at the interpersonal, systemic / institutional , and societal levels while providing opportunities for personal and professional growth, and leadership and skills development for Muslim women. She has over a decade of leadership experience working with culturally, socially and economically diverse communities in K-W. She holds a Masters of Social Work degree with specialization in Community, Policy, Planning, Organizations (CPPO), and a postgraduate certificate in Leadership and Management from Wilfrid Laurier University. Additionally, Fauzia was the only person of colour who ran for Regional Council in 2018.


 Fauzia Mazhar

Donna Dubie

Donna is Haudenosaunee of Six Nations, Turtle Clan. She is the founder of The Healing of the Seven Generations. Donna has a long standing history of advocating for First Peoples community members in their struggles to oppose the racism and systematic-racism that they face on a daily basis within. She supports individuals within a multitude of governmental systems such as the Justice system, Family and Children services, educational systems, health care system and mainstream organizations that provide services to First Peoples without having the knowledge or knowhow to work with First Peoples.





Geraldine L. Stafford

Geraldine grew up in the Kitchener Waterloo area. She has experience working in government as a Special Policy Advisor for Diaspora Relations.  Geraldine is also a committee member of Black Professionals Network at Bell (BPN), a group created to help make an inclusive, accessible and supportive work environment where everyone has the opportunity and support to achieve their full potential. Of late, BPN’s  focus has been on maneuvering and addressing anti racism and systemic racism in the Bell workplace and the group’s mandate has pivoted to supporting Bell employees in conversations around recent events and providing materials to help learn about and confront racism.


 Geraldine Stafford

Cheyanne Thorpe

Cheyanne is a community organizer, where recently she led efforts towards advocating for the removal of the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Baden, Ontario. These efforts were solely volunteer run and the labour that was shared by many was long lasting, strenuous, and emotionally tasking for everyone involved. In the end, Cheyanne and other organizers and volunteers were successful in carrying a strong and direct message through peaceful protest and community enlightenment and engagement. Cheyanne is also experienced in public speaking and possesses formal training in customer service and de-escalation tactics.


Cheyanne Thorpe

Krishna Karur Badrinarayan

Krishna is a licensed Paralegal, Advocate, Notary Public and member of the Law Society of Ontario. He has provided legal services in Ontario since 2004 and his main area of practice has always been disability and human rights. His passion is to advance human rights in his community. Krishna has represented clients before the Ontario Human Rights Commission and subsequently thereafter, before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario as well as the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Krishna is currently a member of the Equity Advisory Group (EAG) at the Law Society of Ontario. The EAG’s mandate is to assist the Equity & Indigenous Affairs Committee in the development of policies and further assist in the promotion of equity and diversity in the legal profession.


 Krishna Badrinarayan

Maedith Radlein

Maedith was formerly a teacher and principal with the Waterloo Region District School Board. As a teacher, she chaired the teacher union's Anti-Racism Committee and led workshops that introduced diverse learning materials to teachers.  As an administrator, Maedith chaired the committee that developed and implemented the school board’s first equity policy. She was also a member of the Hiring Practice Advisory Group. Maedith founded and chaired the Coalition for the Success of African-Caribbean Youth, a community led initiative for at-risk students. Now retired, she spends much of her time volunteering in the community and was named Senior of the Year by Waterloo City Council in 2018 for her extensive community work. Maedith is currently on the school board’s Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee.

 Maedith Radlein

Gebre Berihun

Gebre Berihun lives in Kitchener (since 1998). Before coming to Canada, he taught for five years at Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) in the Department of Sociology and Social Administration. Gebre has been working with the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre, different communities and organizations, developing programs and services which address health and social issues. Part of Gebre’s work involves developing and coordinating programs and services, writing grant proposals, designing, and delivering educational workshops and forums focused on diversity, equity, social justice, human rights, organizational change, civic participation, cultural competency, and intercultural communication. Currently, he works with Woolwich Community Health Centre, as the Manager of Community Programs and Services. He also teaches part-time at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Faculty of Social Work (MSW Program). Besides his full time work, Gebre has been involved in many regional and provincial organizations. A few include: The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area, Community Coalition on Refugee and immigrant Concerns (Founder), and African-Canadian Association of Waterloo Region and Area (Founder).


Aalaa Rehman

Aalaa Rehman is a muslim youth activist, and owns a small non-profit company called Aalaa Conseil, which aims to help children in the community through various projects. She also creates video games to spread messages and deliver important topics in a smaller way, which can reach youth and young people. Along with her siblings, she is one of the Youngest Canadian Radio Show Hosts, with her radio show #CANYouthVoteMatter & #CANMinorityVoteMatter Awareness Campaign, which aimed to help youth and minorities realize that their vote is essential and to break down the barriers that stood in the way. Aalaa is the Youth Representative of the Anti Racism Advisory Working Group. To learn more about her, please go to www.aalaaconseil.ca



Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee (GRAAC)

  • GRAAC is a cross-disability municipal advisory committee. Its members advise the Councils of the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo and the Townships of Woolwich, Wellesley, Wilmot, and North Dumfries. GRAAC helps these municipalities fulfill the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Members are chosen for their experience in the field of disability, and are people with lived experience with disability issues.
  • Please visit the GRAAC page for details about the next meeting and more information about the committee.

Accessible customer service

Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, we are committed to providing accessible customer service:

  • Your guide dog, service animal or support person is welcome on Regional premises to help you access our services
  • You can ask for our publications in a different format
  • Our staff are specially trained to provide services and goods to persons with disabilities. We are prepared and willing to meet your needs
  • The Region will provide notice of temporary disruptions to services or facilities used by people with disabilities. Notices will be placed in the facility and on the internet, as appropriate. Advance notice will be given where possible.

Service animals 

  • If you have a service animal, own a business that serves the public or just want to learn more about service animals, take a look at our Guide to Service Animals
  • The Region of Waterloo welcomes service animals at Regional facilities. If you have a service animal, and the animal does not wear a noticeable vest or harness saying that it is a service animal, you may be asked to show identification that the animal is needed for reasons of a disability. 

Language supports

  • If you use TTY (for Deaf or Hard of Hearing customers), you can access all Region of Waterloo services by calling 519-575-4608.
  • Questions about our services? Call the Region at 519-575-4400. Talk to a real person 24/7 in over 200 languages.

Training for contractors, volunteers and others 

Contractors, volunteers and other parties can access free online accessibility training modules by selecting the links below:


Policies and plans 

 Visit our Accessibility and Diversity data page 

Website accessibility

The Region of Waterloo strives to make this website accessible to people with disabilities and aims to reach the WCAG 2.0 standard. To learn more about using the accessibility features of this site visit the Website Accessibility page. 

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