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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Our DEI Statement of Intent

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is Essential for a Just and Humane Society.

Moving Beyond Doing Nothing

At Toronto Humane Society, we believe change is long overdue. As a humane society that wants to build a more compassionate world, silence and indifference over racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism, and other forms of oppression are against the very foundation of our organization. We admit that in the past we did not value all people the way we should have, and we must do better. We are committed to lead by example and push for real change in our organization.

Why We Care About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Toronto Humane Society

We understand that creating a culture of inclusion and belonging–where people’s unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives are valued, respected, and seen as an asset–helps us serve our community and animals better. Improving the lives of animals is tied to the well-being of people and the protection of our shared environment. A focus on DEI will help us address access to care challenges, strengthen the human-animal bond, and build a more caring society.

Understanding and Overcoming Challenges

Organizational and individual change is challenging and messy work. Despite this, we are committed to following through. We will not settle for quick fixes that do not make a real difference. Instead, we will strive to push for long-term, meaningful change.

Our Approach

Build a diverse workforce that is representative of the community we serve

Foster a culture of inclusion and belonging for all members of our Toronto Humane Society community, namely, staff, volunteers, foster parents, board members, clients, and donors.

Embed DEI framework within all policies, programs, practices, and services.

Definitions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity is about recognizing the unique dimensions, qualities, and characteristics we all possess. The protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) serve as essential reference points; however, we believe that to promote diversity genuinely, we must strive to take into account the entire range of human differences based on everyone’s distinctive background, identity, and lived experiences.

Equity is about promoting fair, just, and impartial treatment and access to opportunities and resources. Rather than treating everyone the same, equity is about levelling the playing field by identifying and addressing systemic barriers and discrimination at the individual, interpersonal, and organizational levels.

Inclusion is about building and sustaining a nurturing and safe environment where all people can bring their full self to work and reach their full potential. Authentic inclusion requires real accountability and meaningful change.

Our Journey so Far of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In June 2020, we shared our response to the Black Lives Matter movement. We made a commitment, a promise, to ourselves and to our community, to advocate for real accountability and systemic change. However, before we could advocate for such change, the change had to happen within our own organization first. In July 2020, Toronto Humane Society launched a six-phase DEI Program. With the foundational work complete, we are now committed to implementing our DEI Strategic Plan. As we work on executing our DEI Strategy, we will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of our initiatives and measure our overall progress.

We want to hear from you

Engaging in an open, transparent dialogue is an integral aspect of our DEI program. Please reach out to us at dei@torontohumanesociety.com to share your thoughts, provide feedback, or ask any questions. 


Phase 1: Strategic Imperative
Phase 2: Current State Assessment Summary
Phase 3: Creating a DEI Strategy
Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
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