Applications have opened on a grants program to make Muskoka more inclusive.
The District’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA) Advisory Group is offering up to $2,500 to organizations through its community grants program.
Mark Nakamura, chair of the advisory group, says they have two streams of funding for initiatives involving those four principles. The first is aimed at local employers.
“From an employment perspective, it would be making sure their policies and procedures are compliant with human rights principles,” says Nakamura. “That they’re not discriminatory, that they’re inclusive. It might involve employee training to ensure that discrimination is not happening within the workplace. It could also mean looking at their service provision, making sure what they’re providing is accessible to the whole community, not just certain elements of the community.”
The other stream is geared towards community organizations, going to not-for-profits, service clubs, and grassroots groups.
“With respect to community grants, it is focused on promotion, public education activities,” says Nakamura. “It could be hosting events that are trying to promote inclusion and diversity, or combatting hate. Having the community engaged in promoting these principles.”
According to Nakamura, the deadline to apply is Feb. 28, with the grants likely paid out in mid to late March. He says the money will need to be used within the calendar year, and organizations will need to report back to the district on how and why the money was used.
Nakamura says the advisory group is also looking for new members on its two committees. The Champions Committee consists of local residents, mainly people who belong to a marginalized group, while the Partners Committee is made up of representatives from various partner organizations in the area.
“What they’ll be doing is assisting us in providing the best advice to the district on how to promote IDEA within the organization, within the community, and perhaps to look at possible activities that might be engaged in to make that happen,” Nakamura says.
To apply for the Community Grants Program, or to join a committee, visit the District of Muskoka website.