New director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion named at Peel CAS
At Peel CAS our work is guided by our commitment to diversity and anti-oppression and being respectful of others. Our job is to listen, respect and work with families to create strong and safe environments for children and youth. Recently, Peel CAS welcomed Chima Nsitem as the new director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
Chima has been working with Peel CAS for 15 years, first as a front line worker and then as a team leader. His has never wavered in his commitment to putting respect and fairness first when working with children, youth and families. It is his passion to ensuring families receive equitable services that led him to his new role at the agency.
“I came to Canada from Nigeria in 1986 and pursued a career in social work to champion the issues of social justice and equity for families,” says Chima. “I am committed to children’s advocacy and to building and strengthening families and communities. In this role, I look forward to working with staff and the community to enhance services to ensure they are equitable, inclusive and reflect the uniqueness of those we serve.”
With more than half of residents in Peel identifying as a visible minority, Peel is one of the most diverse regions in Ontario. “Issues such as racism, discrimination, marginalization, poverty and food insecurity impact families in our community,” says Chima. “I have faced some of these issues and want to work with others to make a positive change.”
Engaging the community in the work we do is a big area of focus for the agency. “Working with families to keep children and youth safe is a shared responsibility,” says Chima.” We have an opportunity to collaborate with organizations that serve families in our community. By reaching out and hearing from those we serve, we can build relationships and engage others in our work. At the same time, we want to take time to celebrate the cultures and diversity of those within the agency, and the families we work with, because it is our diverse voices that make us unique.”
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in action at Peel CAS
As Peel CAS continues on its DEI journey, here are some highlights of ways we provide culturally safe and supportive services for the families we work with.
• The creation of an alliance between Peel Children’s Aid and Black Community Action Network Peel (BCAN) to lead the development of an anti-racism, community capacity-building and systems change initiative in Peel
• The Village – a created space where youth of African and Caribbean descent in the care of, or affiliated with Peel CAS meet once a month to connect with mentors (staff members) who are sensitive to their needs and identity
• South Asian Youth Alliance (SAYA) – a created space where youth of South/West and Arab heritage in the care of, or affiliated with Peel CAS meet once a month to connect with mentors (staff members) who are sensitive to their needs and identity