The J.E.D.I. Journey With Alka: September

A Colourful Fall Welcome to our Readers

Here’s sending out warm and friendly greetings to all our readers, and our well-wishers, also to all our allies as well as organizational partners of CMCCF…

As the leaves turn colour, welcoming another beautiful Fall, we too move forward! And as we embark on our second year of the JEDI Initiative, I guess this is a good time to reset our goals, name and proclaim them too as this will keep us accountable. Do visit our website, or go to our social media to learn more about CMCCF plans, processes, and upcoming events.  

Recapping the CMCCF Message, Renewing our Promises

For those of you joining us more recently, I should perhaps reiterate that this monthly blog is another additional space on our website (and in the public domain) where we try our best to create community together- where we clarify and make transparent our intentions and our objectives, specifically relating to J.E.D.I, i.e., (social) justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

As our friends’ and allies’ base has grown over the summer months, it may be useful to provide a brief recap of our mandate and our vision; and if you have interest in learning more about our work and our back-story, you could also go to previous blog posts as they present a good record of our journey together in the past year.

At CMCCF, we believe that a blogspace such as this is important-both to serve as a channel of open communication, and also where we may at times step back and reflect on the complexities of the world we live in, especially as members of cultural and ethnic communities who have chosen to make Canada our home. (While I say this, I want to be sensitive to the fact that for many individuals and communities who come to Canada, touched by forced migration, like, refugees, asylum seekers, or undocumented individuals, leaving their homeland was not a decision they may have actively made; and life then may be even more complicated and doubly challenging for them). 

This is an open space for conversation and mutual dialogue-and we encourage you to respond to the blogs and stories we share, either through our website or through your comments when these stories are posted on social media platforms-in the form of op-eds, blogs, videos, or reports on engagements held with community members.  

All Voices Matter for Communities to Thrive

At CMCCF, in addition to sharing our experiences through the blog and other narratives shared on our website, our goal is also to document the work we do, and reflect on our learnings. Through doing this, hopefully we would be developing tools that can help us measure the impact our work together might produce- on the health and well-being of families and cultural communities who live in Winnipeg, and more widely in Manitoba and in Canada. 

You could participate in a variety of formats, contributing to community engagements, training programs, and learning events we organize, or catch up on the storytelling activities that are central to what we do- and all information can be easily found on our website or on our social media. From an organizational perspective, the posts also ensure that we stay accountable to our commitments, and that we keep everyone who follows CMCCF and our work in the loop, so they too may contribute to creating the future they want to live in. 

In brief, the design and delivery of all our programs at CMCCF come from our belief that all voices matter; and that to arrive at a place where cultural communities in Canada can flourish, they must first experience a sense of well-being; this in turn can only happen if the playing field is level for everyone.  

And for such a goal to be actualised, we must truly be in a scenario where equality, diversity, and inclusion are not just feel-good buzzwords but that true potential exists, for opportunities to be created by each and every one, in an environment where systemic inequities are removed, and individuals and communities can thrive. In the following months, together we will continue to explore what the future of cultural communities in Canada can look like; how do individuals and diverse communities imagine their own futures, and what challenges do they see along the way; and lastly, how can they play a proactive role in the enhancement of their capacity and their participation in shaping these important conversations?  

If you participate in the CMCCF process, what your next few months could look like…

As you know, CMCCF’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) framework centres on the fundamental principle that cultural communities affected by public policies must have their voices heard and be actively involved in both the creation and implementation of these policies within their communities.

To this end, over the next few months, we will seek your participation in a series of upcoming engagements and learning events, as well as leadership and training opportunities where together, we will contribute to community conversations that help us identify and address issues of inequality and discrimination. This will hopefully move us forward, and, help us achieve the goals of promoting processes that are more inclusionary, and that support the physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being of all members.

Based on previous discussions with individuals and members of several cultural associations in Manitoba, important themes have emerged that need our (and your) attention. A few examples are listed below. From trying to build clarity around the most inclusive definition of `cultural communities’ to considering what their representation in the most respectful way in the broader fabric of Canadian society might look like seem to be topics of interest to many. 

Further, sometimes, living in an (officially) multicultural society like Canada, we may experience tensions between preservation of cultural practices, feeling `culturally safe’ (or unsafe) in a diverse environment, and the real pressures we face, (and aspirations we have), of integrating into Canadian culture and workplaces. Reflecting on some of these difficult topics is really critical, especially when we begin to consider and respond to the big question- of Envisioning the Future of Manitoba Cultural Communities- but together, we can definitely try! Using processes of reflection and robust conversations, perhaps we can learn more about interventions that can be made that can lead to solutions-making processes too. 

Creating Spaces for Healthy Relationships, Paving a Pathway to Well-being…

I feel fortunate that through a forum such as this blog-The J.E.D.I. Journey with Alka-I also get to create a space-hopefully a safe and a courageous one- where I may feel comfortable sharing my personal reflections around embedded issues like racism and discrimination that impact our everyday lives-both in our interactions with service providing agencies, and with other important stakeholders-these may be employers and other members of the business community; or they may be part of systems of higher education; or they may be those responsible for policy-making.  

The relationships we have with members of our own communities, and individuals belonging to other ethnic communities also play a critical role in how we experience our lives wherever we live; if these relationships are healthy and caring, as well as mutually supportive and can help us create real connections with each other, then our chances of `feeling’ a sense of well-being improve. On the opposite end, if they are full of conflict, and stemming from fear or threat; or a shortage of resources, further complicated by competition and ego; as well as a lack of communication, then those factors create disconnections, and they colour how we experience our everyday environment.

As already stated in my bio on the blog page, I take full responsibility for my views. However, through sharing experiences- mine and those of others-as well as lived-reality-stories; and through reflecting on the multiple perspectives that emerge, I believe that we can become more deeply aware about the impact and influence of others’ actions and points-of-view, on ourselves. 

This also creates an open-ness in our own mindsets, and our capacity to learn from each other can be enhanced.  Further, this blog is one of the spaces on the CMCCF website where diverse voices can be expressed and amplified, and individuals and communities can participate in dialogue, and other civil society activities, not just sharing their thoughts and views but also helping through providing thought leadership and cultural safety for members of their community (and other communities too), thus helping shape the future they aspire to be a part of.

See you next month, but we hope to hear from you before that, on our socials…We’d love to know: does the above post speak to you? Do share your thoughts, and suggestions. 

The views expressed in this blog post are mine, and I take full responsibility for them. We are always wanting to hear from you – please share your thoughts and feedback by completing our contact form here or by emailing

To learn more about our Intercultural and Intergenerational Diversity and Inclusion Engagement Project, go to our J.E.D.I. Initiative landing page here.

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