London is now in Step 3 of the Provincial Roadmap to Reopen. In alignment with Step 3, the City of London has expanded additional in-person City services in accordance with the new regulations.
The City of London announced today that Rumina Morris will be joining the organization as Director, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression, effective May 31. Earlier this month, Alizabeth George-Antone joined the organization as Indigenous Community Liaison Advisor.
This new division will provide leadership, tools and resources that will educate employees, raise awareness, and support training for employees to take proactive steps to address systemic racism and oppression within the workplace, and within London. The focus will be on addressing racism and oppression, directed towards Black people, Indigenous people, Asian people, and all people of colour. The division will also focus on ableism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, and on other equity seeking groups as necessary.
Morris is a London-based equity and inclusion expert who has provided consulting and leadership coaching services to organizations and individuals committed to affecting change. For more than 15 years, she has held leadership positions, managing diverse teams in the human services sector. Morris has been a strong advocate for social justice and human rights and has used her privilege as a leader to draw attention to systemic inequities and influence change. Morris is also a volunteer who has played an active role in the development of the Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and was elected to chair the work focused on the priority of zero tolerance for oppression, discrimination, and ignorance.
“I am deeply humbled to join the City of London to support their anti-racism and anti-oppression journey both within the corporation and throughout the community,” said Morris. “This is a unique opportunity to bring people together and create a more equitable future for all. I am most looking forward to connecting with others, to listen to their lived experiences, and to use my voice to help project theirs to improve outcomes for Londoners.”
George-Antone is Bear Clan from the Oneida Nation and is a community builder who has a strong passion for building relationships and for helping to keep her language and culture alive to ensure a stronger, healthier community for future generations. Her most recent work experience was teaching Oneida language within her home community and teaching Indigenous Studies courses at the post secondary level. She is also a member of the elected Chief and Council for the Oneida Nation of the Thames.
In this new role, George-Antone will work to develop and strengthen the City’s relationships with Indigenous people and communities as the City continues to develop its path to understanding and reconciliation. As well, she will help develop initiatives and programs to ensure that employees have the skills, training, and resources necessary to perform their duties with respect to developing and advancing relationships with Indigenous people and promoting respect and understanding.
“I have a personal understanding of the oppression and intergenerational trauma that has been inflicted upon all Indigenous communities. I also have a deep understanding of the importance of healing and re-building trust into all relationships” said George-Antone. “I look forward to raising awareness about the unique experience of Indigenous people, and to strengthening the relationships between London and Indigenous people and communities.”
“We are thrilled that Rumina and Alizabeth have accepted these new roles, and we value the experience and leadership they will each bring to the City,” said City Manager Lynne Livingstone. “Council has identified a commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression as one of their strategic priorities. With Rumina’s many years supporting individuals and other organizations in this work, and Alizabeth’s commitment to community and relationship building, we are creating a team that will help us address systemic racism and oppression that exists within our organization and within the community.”
Additional roles that will be part of the anti-racism and anti-oppression division include a Black community liaison advisor, accessibility specialist, and a workplace diversity and inclusion specialist. It’s expected that the division will be fully staffed in the fall.