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ASIS Toronto chapter forms diversity committee


The ASIS Toronto chapter recently formed a new Diversity, Equality and Inclusiveness (DEI/EDI) committee as a means to build awareness on diversity issues amongst chapter members and the security community the chapter serves.

Pride, a DEI advocacy group for 2SLGBTQ law enforcement professionals, and still teaches a DEI course at the Ontario Police College.

Launched in December, the committee is made up of eight volunteers: Brian Mitchell (co-chair), Vivian Chiu (co-chair), Chelsey Herman (secretary), Matthew Bergeron, Jason Conley, Colin Adeyemi, Jaspreet Sidhu and Nike Coker.

Mitchell, who is the manager of campus safety and security at Appleby College in Oakville, Ont., joined ASIS just over a year ago. A former police officer, Mitchell was the president of Serving with more of a nice-to-have as opposed to a must-have,” says Mitchell.

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In terms of headline makers in 2020, diversity was second only to the COVID-19 pandemic. While those headlines might be an effective starting point, they are only the beginning of the discussion. “There’s a lack of true focus on EDI, where EDI has become openly share experiences, skills and knowledge. This vision will be realized through a strong focus on education, advocacy and holding our community accountable.

His approach to this new Toronto committee (Mitchell also serves on the ASIS Global ED&I Committee and the ASIS Unconscious Bias Workgroup) is one of education and knowledge building.

According to the Toronto committee’s mission statement: The ASIS DEI committee vision is to create a safe, respectful and an inclusive environment where the diverse members of the ASIS Toronto community are encouraged to openly share experiences, skills and knowledge. This vision will be realized through a strong focus on education, advocacy and holding our community accountable.

“I’m majorly focused on training. I trained over 6,000 people at the Ontario Police College and I continue to go out there three times a year,” says Mitchell. “Training is key. You can’t have active conversations in the workplace about diversity, equity and inclusion if you don’t have the knowledge, terminology and background to be able to facilitate those conversations.”

Mitchell is a relative newcomer to the ASIS organization — “I’m still learning the ropes at ASIS… Lots of interesting stories,” he says — but he’s keen to see ASIS, at the chapter and international levels, actively engage in an EDI dialogue with education as the driving force.

“We need to build something that will have longevity,” he says, “but at the same time providing folks with knowledge to actually have these conversations.”


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