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CSI’s Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination Policy

This policy was written in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Bill 168. A special thanks to our good friends at Bento Miso for their guidance and inspiration. 

You are welcome at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), and we ask that you be welcoming too!

Diversity and inclusion is in our DNA. We welcome and advocate for the presence and contributions of all people regardless of ability, age, body size, cultural background, education, ethnic origin, gender expression, gender identity, immigration status, language, marital status, nationality, physical appearance, political affiliations, perspective, race, religion, sexual orientation, sexuality, status as a parent, socioeconomic status, or other such considerations, and intersectionalities therein.  We recognize, embrace and value our differences.  We believe that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity; our diversity and unique perspectives are integral to the culture of CSI and to our commitment to putting people and planet first. We also know that everyone needs to be a part of the solution.

Our staff, volunteers and community are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and dignity.  We are constantly learning and ask for your understanding and solutions as we co-create a model of the just world we want – a place where everyone feels welcome, comfortable and empowered. To give us feedback or report an issue, please contact

Who cares?

Who does this matter to?  Who is responsible?

Everyone! We expect everyone who enters our space to treat each other with respect and dignity. This includes all members, staff, volunteers, event renters, program participants, guests and service providers — that’s right: Everyone!

Who benefits from this?

You got it… Everyone! A welcoming, inclusive and safe environment is beneficial to all who enter it. It’s not only a human right, but a road to success. Diversity provokes discovery and ensures an environment shaped by unique and varied perspectives — all of which are necessary and welcome to the culture we curate at CSI.

What if I make a mistake?

We all make mistakes; we are human. Having said that, we ask that you treat others with respect and dignity, with the aim to listen, to learn and to grow.  (Please see the “resolving an issue” section below).

But, what’s considered unacceptable behaviour?

The Centre for Social Innovation is committed to a culture of diversity, free of discrimination in which all individuals are treated with respect, are able to contribute fully, and have equal opportunities.  We do not permit discrimination or harassment of anyone in our space, such as:

Harassment: deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; disruption of events; aggressive, derogatory, or threatening comments; and unwanted physical contact or sexual attention.

Destructive behaviour: Damaging or altering any part of the building, inside or out, including furniture, equipment, or other people’s belongings

Physical violence: intentional or unintentional physical force, statement, or behavior that is reasonable to interpret as a threat. Anyone who believes they are at risk of violence including domestic violence, must advise their employer and/or CSI. No physical aggression will be tolerated in our space.

Psychological and Emotional Violence: characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Exclusionary actions: denying certain participants opportunities to share views, skills and other contributions; and creating or reinforcing an inequitable learning environment.

Oppressive behaviour: any conduct that demeans, marginalizes, rejects, threatens or harms anyone on the basis of identity, background, race, gender, socioeconomic status, appearance or ability.

Community Intentions:

Words can hurt and we try to take responsibility for the words that we use and the harm that they might cause. This is a learning process for many and we encourage you to be an active listener and seek to grow.  It is important to default to recognizing hierarchy, power dynamics and privilege when addressing difficult issues. Default to trusting the lived experiences of those you are speaking with; avoiding defensive reactions, and remaining respectful when having difficult conversations is key, and strongly encouraged!  You can always ask CSI staff if you are unsure.

We ask that everyone who is a part of CSI take responsibility for their speech and behaviour and remains mindful of:

  • Using words that are inclusive and avoiding exclusive language that is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobicclassisttransphobiccissexist or ableist.
  • Always acting out of respect and concern for the free expression of others (within the limits of this policy)
  • Actively listening to others, sharing speaking opportunities and not dominating discussions.
  • Respecting physical and emotional boundaries. Always ask before touching, and be thoughtful about discussing topics that may be emotionally triggering.
  • Not making assumptions about identity, experiences, or preferred pronouns.
  • Not engaging in favouritism

We invite you to humbly accept respectful correction (or correcting yourself!), keeping in mind that the impact of your words on other people is more important than your intent. In this way, we will all learn and grow while building an inclusive community.

What are the steps to resolve an issue?

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. CSI Management will investigate and deal with all complaints or incidents in a fair, respectful and timely manner. Information provided about an incident or about a complaint will not be disclosed except as necessary to protect others in the space, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action, or as otherwise required by law.

If any issues or concerns, please be aware of our process:

1.   An informal complaint: involves discussing the issues with a CSI staff* to collaboratively understand and resolve the issue(s). 

2.  A formal complaint process: must be put in writing and given to a CSI staff* member. The scope of the ensuing investigation or process will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

3.  Mediation:  involves an objective third party.  If mediation is determined to be the appropriate process, a discussion occurs with someone from the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Committee to select an appropriate trained mediator, either internal or external depending on the nature of the complaint.

*Please note: if the nature of your issue involves a CSI staff member, please contact hr[at]

Have a suggestion for us?

We are always looking to improve! If there’s something you think is missing here, or if you have any questions or feedback, please contact hr[at]