Establishment of Affinity Groups to further ARIDO’s EDAA Committee Work

As ARIDO continues on a transformative journey prioritizing diversity, equity, accessibility, and reconciliation, we believe strongly there exists opportunities to evolve our framework that is inclusive and representative of our members, and the broader community. Last month, we shared with the ARIDO membership the results of The Matrix DIV.e.IN™ Survey Insights Report (click here to read). The Matrix DIV.e.IN™ survey was sent to all 2,753 ARIDO members in spring 2021. That participation rate for the survey was 35%. The data collected is reflective of the overall membership and ARIDO recognizes the need to consistently collect, measure and report on an annual basis.

We also shared The Chandy Principle™, Phase One Report (click here to read) which was developed following the results of the DIV.e.IN Survey, organization-wide sensitivity training, and through ongoing discussions between Matrix360 and ARIDO representatives. The report identifies a strategy roadmap for the association which outlines categories of actions. The ARIDO leadership, Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Advancement Committee, and ARIDO Board of Management will all be involved in the action plan to lead ARIDO through next steps.

The next steps within the action plan are officially commencing and will continue for a 36-month period.

As part of our action plan, the ARIDO Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Advancement Committee is establishing several subcommittees which will form ARIDO’s Affinity Groups. The power of Affinity Groups is critical to the success of members’ experiences and will contribute to the success of ARIDO. They allow opportunities for connecting members based on their commonalities while intentionally embracing differences. This will strengthen what diversity is within ARIDO and recognize the value of each members’ experiences, identifies, skills, and competencies.

This is an open call for any ARIDO members and our interior design community partners who are interested in joining this work to do so at this time.

We currently have 4 subcommittees which are being formed. Their duties will be to help ARIDO design, develop, manage, and execute the Plan of Action under the oversight of the Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Advancement Committee.

The subcommittees are as follows:

Foundation Subcommittee

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Work with Matrix360 on an audit of the organization through a diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility lens. The audit will form the creation of inclusive policies within ARIDO that embrace diversity and equity learning and accountability within ARIDO. The committee will also focus on formalizing the Plan of Action for the organization.

Education Subcommittee

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Research and develop important programming such as educational workshops and seminars, mentorship program for underrepresented members and design companies, Internship Program for diverse professionals and a resource library all members with a focus on diversity and equity learning, knowledge and experiences.

Awareness Subcommittee

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Promote ARIDO’s involvement and commitment to diversity, equity, and accessibility. This committee will also work on promoting the design industry to underrepresented communities, newcomers and diverse professionals. While also creating better methods that include accessibility as priorities.

Community Outreach

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Subcommittee Advocate for accessibility for people with disabilities, along with accessibility and equity in all areas of the design industry including academia and government relations (both federal and provincial). This committee will also focus on community outreach with a target to build BIPOC and underrepresented communities outside of the GTHA, along with other diverse groups and associations.

If you are interested in joining one of ARIDO Affinity Groups, please express your interest by completing this form no later than Friday, December 10, 2021.

For any questions, please reach out to Sharon Portelli, Executive Director at sportelli@arido.ca.