In a world that is becoming increasingly diverse, fostering intercultural collaboration and challenging racism and discrimination is vital for building stronger and more inclusive communities. The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) has taken a significant step in this direction with the successful implementation of its Intercultural Collaborative project in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
CASSA’s Intercultural Collaborative project is a commendable initiative aimed at increasing diversity and membership within the realms of art, recreation, and civic engagement. It goes beyond the surface level of diversity and delves deep into the core issues of racism and discrimination that persist in our communities.
The project’s primary objective is to recruit participants from racialized communities and pair them with mainstream agencies in the fields of arts, sports, and youth engagement. These participants receive training in anti-racism, anti-oppression, and project management. This training equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to co-develop subprojects that will diversify programs and services within these sectors.
CASSA’s commitment to empowering individuals from racialized communities is evident in the training they provide. Anti-oppression and anti-racism training serve as crucial tools to equip participants with the ability to identify and combat systemic biases. Leadership and project management training, on the other hand, empower them with the skills to plan, execute, and oversee projects effectively.
After receiving this comprehensive training, participants are connected with partner agencies to develop and deliver projects together in their respective communities during the summer. These collaborative projects not only bring together individuals from different backgrounds but also contribute to the enrichment of community programs and services.
The significance of these agency partnerships and projects is not lost on CASSA. They plan to highlight and recognize the achievements of these collaborative efforts in public community forums later this year. This recognition not only celebrates the hard work and dedication of participants and partner agencies but also showcases the tangible impact of intercultural collaboration.
CASSA’s Intercultural Collaborative project isn’t just a localized initiative—it’s a model that has the potential to be replicated in different cities across Canada. Post-project, CASSA intends to meet with member agencies and national sector partners to share the model and results of the Intercultural Collaborative. By doing so, they aim to inspire similar initiatives in various communities, fostering diversity and inclusion nationwide.
In a time where diversity and inclusion are more important than ever, CASSA’s Intercultural Collaborative project serves as a beacon of hope and progress. By providing comprehensive training, fostering collaboration, and challenging systemic issues, this initiative is making tangible strides toward a more inclusive society. As CASSA’s model spreads to other cities across Canada, we can hope to see a ripple effect of positive change, ultimately leading to a more harmonious and equitable nation.