Urban Equity blogs

Global Conversations: Introducing Season 2 of Urban Equity Chats

28 July 2022 by André Darmanin0

Season 1 of Urban Equity Chats was a success. I brought together a wide array of guests to discuss burning topics for equity practitioners. Some of the topics included:

  • Equity, inclusion and belonging should be an organization wide initiative rather than be a human resources function.
  • Ditching the D in EDI work, especially when practitioners are still discussing diversity instead of advancing equity
  • Mixed race equity practitioners navigating this space, why we feel like imposters and solutions to overcome it.
  • Organizational leaders who talk about diversity and being inclusive, yet are not being held accountable to their words and are therefore being performative.
  • Self-care strategies for equity practitioners

Now I am introducing Season 2 with the theme of Global Conversations. My conversations for the most part have been biased towards North American perspectives and responses to racial and social justice. Equity, fairness and justice are global issues.

My colleague, fellow Canadian, and EDI in the Workplace instructor Diya Khanna forwarded me a Harvard Business Review article: “Do Your Global Teams see DEI as an American Issue” by Poornima Luthra. This article was met with some resistance because their organizations are local. Yet their customers, clients, citizens, and even their employees come from various cultural backgrounds.

For years within my previous profession of urban planning, we have benefitted from extensive research, data, literature and best practices from the United States, to which Luthra concurs. But if our organizations want to be more Luthra mentions, leaders and middle managers must be cognizant that biases, discrimination and inequities are not just an American (or Canadian) issue, but expression is contextual. Equity practitioners need to be less insular, and think more globally and become more culturally aware.

Cultural intelligence or CQ, a topic I am planning to have a discussion on, according to the Cultural Intelligence Centre is “a globally recognized way of assessing and improving effectiveness in culturally diverse situations. CQ is the strategic link for EDI efforts.

Other topics will include:

  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Neuroinclusion
  • Data equity
  • Nomenclature in EDI

Stay tuned for dates and future topics. As well, if there is a global conversation you would like to see being discussed, drop me a line.


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