Simcoe County Local Immigration Partnership public education campaign encourages collective action against racism and discrimination.


AUDIENCE   Settlement, social and health services providers and leaders

POPULATION OF INTEREST   Immigrant and refugee populations

LOCATION   County of Simcoe, Ontario

THE NEED   Canada’s population is becoming increasingly diverse as people of different, race, class, culture, ethnicity, religion, and language make Canada their home. However, newcomers can be confronted with intolerance, racism and discrimination based on their social identity. Racism and discrimination are social determinants of mental health and impedes the settlement process on multiple levels. Changing attitudes and behaviour requires intersectoral collaboration.

WHAT'S PROMISING   The IT STARTS public education campaign mobilizes community partners from different sectors to plan and lead the annual one month media campaign. It works with local citizens and uses the infrastructure and expertise of partners to increase the reach of media messages

KEY TAKEAWAY   The campaign model uses ambassadors and community champions who are willing to engage in collective action to address racism and discrimination. This initiative can be implemented in other communities since the same types of organizations exist in most jurisdictions.

Simcoe County Local Immigration Partnership public education campaign encourages collective action against racism and discrimination.

​​​The Simcoe County Local Immigration Partnership (SCLIP) is a collaborative of community organizations that work together to create settlement strategies for newcomers. SCLIP strategies bring together and support service delivery for immigrants and refugees in Simcoe County, Ontario, while promoting positive relationships, opportunity, and effective use of local resources.

In 2017, the SCLIP and key community stakeholders launched the public awareness campaign with the goal of facilitating dialogue among residents about racism and discrimination, and promote practices that encourage equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The campaign is conducted annually during the month of March. Media messages on social inclusion and acceptance are disseminated in public spaces and through social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The intervention engages two types of partners: residents as ambassadors and organizations as community champions.

  • Ambassadors are persons interested in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion and willing to share anti-racism messages within their formal or informal networks. Ambassadors participate in an information session before the campaign begins and are provided with the resources on how to start a discussion on anti-racism.
  • Community champions are organizations from various sectors. Champions are school boards, law enforcement, non-governmental organizations, universities and libraries. They help plan and implement the campaign in their own organization and share messages through their social media platforms to reach their followers.

The campaign is demonstrating positive results. Its reach has been increasing over the years. In 2017 when the campaign began, it reached 1.5 million social media users; in 2021 it reached an impressive 5.1 million users. The number of ambassadors is also increasing each year.

Visit Pathways to Prosperity to learn more about why this is a promising practice or visit Simcoe County’s website for specific information about the initiative.

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