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Region appoints new director of diversity, equity and inclusion

(Photo courtesy Durham College)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

Durham Region has appointed a new director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Allison Hector-Alexander, a senior director, advocate and policy professional, will join the region effective March 15.

Hector-Alexander has worked in anti-racism training, anti-discrimination and oppression, equity, human rights, and accessibility in organizations within the not-for-profit and education sector, according to Durham Region CAO Elaine Baxter-Trahair.

Hector-Alexander joins the region from Durham College, where she held the role of director of the office of equity, diversity and inclusion.

In this role, she had oversight of the college’s diversity and inclusion services, the Ontario accesses and inclusion program, the sexual violence mandate, the First People’s Indigenous Centre, and orientation and transitions programs for new students.

“Working across the organization and with the community, Allison will provide a dedicated focus in the establishment of community based anti-racism task force and help to strengthen our efforts to address systemic racism and promote community development,” says Baxter-Trahair.

“Her insight will help ensure that the region’s policies and programs are designed to address systemic racism of all kinds.”

In her new role, Hector-Alexander will work to ensure regional staff are equipped, structured and supported to affect change on systemic racism, establish an anti-racism task force with an initial focus on anti-black racism, and provide a dedicated focus and enable staff to undertake broader community-facing activities and provide coordination and structure to existing diversity, equity, inclusion and community development functions.

In addition, she will create clear accountabilities for both internal and external stakeholders, coordinate cultural competency training for staff and council members, champion anti-racism initiatives – internally and within the community, and create an Equity and Inclusion Charter for Durham Region.

“I am delighted to be joining the region to lead this very important work,” says Hector-Alexander, who notes her goal is to engage both internal and external stakeholders to build an anti-racist and inclusive region.

“Diversity exists within all of us and we all have the ability to make real systemic change,” she adds. “Transformative change requires a shared responsibility. I am excited to be part of that journey.”