Find a centre near you... FIND HELP

B1-1: Advancing Equity Through a Community of Practice Experience

Equity work is ultimately about advancing society towards equality by eliminating racism and oppression at the individual, organizational and systems level.  At the heart of equity work sits community, and “communities in practice” provide a wonderful mechanism to share, learn and grow in our capacity to affect change.

Our presentation on the CMHO Equity CoP will discuss and concurrently role model cooperative learning by sharing our work with participants, asking them to share in the reflective process.  The purpose of our presentation is to advance cooperative learning in the EDI space, by role modeling the working principles of community learning.  More specifically we will share,

  • The “why” of this kind of practice and how it advances equity;
  • What we have learned through our practice experience over the past two years;
  • Our reflections on that experience;
  • Our plan to move forward with the work.

Our plan is to provide some information regarding our experience, engage with participants on how to use this in differing contexts, and to leave with some key ideas on how to use community learning as an effective model for change.


Diane Walker works and lives in Thunder Bay community which is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, more specifically Fort William First Nation.  She is the CEO of Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.    She is an avid champion of equity and justice within the systems we work and live within.  She has had the pleasure of co-chairing the CMHO Equity Co-OP and believes strongly in learning together.

Debra Williams is the Director of EDI at Strides Toronto and is a co-chair with the CMHO Equity Community of Practice. She is a firm believer that society must go far together with one eye on history and the other on the future we want to create. Debra pursues purposeful knowledge exchange for continuous dialogue and system improvement, and supports courageous leadership for measurable, equitable outcomes, because equity isn’t pie. There’s always more left over for someone who hasn’t gotten any yet.

Evelyn Ascencio is a junior policy analyst at Children’s Mental Health Ontario where she supports the CMHO Equity Community of Practice. She studied public health, specifically health promotion and brings this expertise along with her lived experience into her equity work. Evelyn lives in and works in Toronto/Tkaronto.



B1-2: Finding Our Way Together: The Haliburton County Experience

We will share the pathway Point in Time has taken to promote and operationalize Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Our presentation will outline the array of initiatives, internally, between agencies, and at they system level. Speakers will share their collaborative contributions at advancing these efforts at each of these levels. Internally includes recruiting, hiring, and supporting an Indigenous person for the Indigenous Peer Navigator position, training and capacity building to support cultural safety, and conducting land acknowledgment and blanket exercise training to enhance our understanding our shared histories and foster cultural safety. At the system level participation in CMHO EDI working group, leadership at system tables, strategic planning, and utilizing data.

We have also worked regionally to from a community of practice, with shared coaching and utilization of assessment tools, training and organizational and community capacity-building to promote cultural safety and inclusiveness. We are on a journey together, relying on “outside” help, but also working on engaging stakeholders in the process, and utilizing a solution focused approach to overcoming hurdles. We don’t have all the answers but we are prepared to speak about innovations, successes, challenges and how we are coming together to find solutions.


Marg Cox is the Executive Director of Point in Time and the Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub. As a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community, Marg is committed to championing EDI in her organization and the community.

Laraine Hale is an Indigenous Social Worker of mixed ancestry. She is deeply committed to Truth and Reconciliation and wears many hats including coaching, advising, training, and walking with Point in Time to support their Truth and Reconciliation work.

Skip to content