The Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Awards for Service and Innovation (DEIAS Awards)


The Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Awards for Service (and Innovation), better known as DEIAS, is an awards program that recognizes the work of individuals and organizations across the province that are trailblazers in matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of organizational change and community engagement.

As an experienced community advocate and organizer, Donna founded the Nubian Book Club (NBC), a decade-long intergenerational community initiative that supports predominantly Black youth and their families. This one-of-a-kind initiative encourages racialized and minority youth, their families and community leaders to engage collaboratively in rich dialogue through literature to tackle issues that face Black youth in support of their advancement. NBC supports numerous youth to engage with African Canadian role models in the community and provides avenues of mentorship for participants. With the notable success, NBC has been featured on TVO, in Share newspaper and other local media outlets to recognize the positive impact of this unique community initiative designed to support local youth and their families. Donna is also the recipient of several awards such as, the Herb H. Carnegie Future Aces Award, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizen, 100 Accomplished Black Women and the YMCA Peace Medallion.


Not only does the Nubian Book Club provide avenues of networking for youth, the organization also consistently gives back to community and beyond. The Nubian Book club has been a staunch supporter of local charitable organizations and has regularly supplied the Hohle Intermediate School in South Africa with books to fill the school’s library.


Donna is currently a Community Support Worker in the Toronto District School Board. This role is most fitting given Donna’s passion and expertise in connecting with community and providing students and families who are most marginalized with the necessary supports for improved access, opportunities and outcomes.

Parent Engagement and Community Development Advocate

Donna Cardoza

DEIAS 2019 Recipient

Individual Category (York Region)

Tana has been a champion and leader in African, Caribbean and Black communities where she has been instrumental in mobilizing professionals, creating culturally responsive resources/learning tools against the harmful effects of anti‐Black racism, and moving them into real action. This inspiring professional has 30 years of experience in the public sector and is a well sought out consultant. She obtained a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Toronto, with a focus on research methods and race and ethnic relations. For the past 16 years, she has worked as an independent consultant providing diversity, equity, human resource expertise, along with research, program evaluation, community consultation services to a range of clients.


In January 2018 Child Development Institute’s (CDI) partnered with Turner Consulting Group on a ground breaking initiative (funded by the Ontario government) to ensure its evidence‐based children’s mental health middle‐years model program, SNAP was culturally responsive and safe for Black and African Canadian children, families and communities. This journey started with Tana compiling a team of professionals, organizing and facilitating eight community consultations across Ontario to hear directly from the community (135 participants) and provide a safe environment for diverse perspectives. This then informed the development of useable vital resources for clinicians and organizations delivering SNAP in their communities. Tana also compiled a 12‐member Advisory Committee (members were professionals selected from the Black community across Ontario that brought expertise from a variety of sectors including education, children’s mental health, youth justice and child welfare).

Principal - Turner Consulting Group

Tana Turner

DEIAS 2019 Recipient

Organizational Category (Provincial)

Kike Ojo is currently the Project Manager for, One Vision One Voice, a project whose goal is to change the Child Welfare System for African Canadians by implementing the 11 Race Equity Practices outlined in the One Vision One Voice Practice Framework, at all Children’s Aid Societies, in order to address the disproportionalities and eliminate the disparities in outcomes for African Canadian families when engaged with Ontario child welfare agencies.


Prior to joining the OACAS, Kike spent 9 years at Peel Children’s Aid Society as the Senior Manager of Diversity and Anti-Oppression. In her time at Peel CAS, Kike provided leadership to the agency on the strategy and implementation of the anti-oppression journey, successfully shifting the agency culture towards anti-oppressive practice.


Currently in Ontario African Canadian children are 41% more likely to be investigated than White children1 and in specific regions such as Toronto, Guelph, Peel, London, and Halton are 3-5 times overrepresented compared to their population for children in care. Under Kike’s leadership, the One Vision One Voice project has developed a number of key resources and made significant changes to the way in which African Canadian families experience the child welfare system.










Principal- KOJO Institute

Kike Ojo

DEIAS 2019 Recipient

Individual Category (Provincial)

The Regional Municipality of York is one of the fastest growing and most diverse communities in Canada. Our community’s diversity is a source of strength, vitality, and economic opportunity. The Inclusion Charter for York Region is a one of kind initiative that embraces a powerful vision: working together to create welcoming and inclusive communities.

The Charter has been developed by the Municipal Diversity and Inclusion Group (MDIG) which includes twenty organizations that serve people who live, work and visit York Region. York Regional Police is one of these partners and would like to nominate York Region for their leadership on this project. York Region identified the Charter model as an effective way to respond positively to rapidly changing demographics and provide a framework for promoting communities and workplaces that are inclusive. York Region was instrumental in the development of the Charter, including the formation of MDIG in 2017. Since then they have acted as the secretariat for this group, driving the initiative forward in the community. They also launched three rounds of community consultations and discussions with individuals and various organizations. This helped inform the final design of the Charter that is designed to be customized by each community partner. The first two paragraphs are consistent for all organizations. The third paragraph is customizable and unique to each organization. While other Charters exist, none exist in this format. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognizes this as an innovative approach that communities around the world could use to become more inclusive.


Knowing that our community embraces all dimensions of diversity is important to us to understand, celebrate and leverage. York Region has been and continues to be a leader and key driver of this change.


The Regional Municipality of York

DEIAS 2019 Recipient

Not-for-Profit Category (York Region)

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