Allied for Inclusivity in LTC: A Forum to Build Connections


Where: Online Cost: Free

This event was held on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Thank you to all presenters, facilitators, attendees and planning committee members who made this event possible!

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COVID-19 has shone a bright light on the systemic injustices, inequity and significant disparities experienced by individuals marginalized by society. As we focus on action moving forward, our Forum aims to build collaborative conversations towards inclusive, equitable and affirming care, services and work environments in LTC communities.

Every resident has a right to be themselves in their own home. 

Everyone deserves to feel safe and included when they go to work. 

The Ontario CLRI Supporting Diversity and Inclusion Committee is hosting a free, virtual forum: Allied for Inclusivity in LTC: A Forum to Build Connections to help demystify EDI-related topics and provide effective ways to influence change within your organizations.

Our forum will provide an opportunity for LTC home representatives to come together with researchers to learn more about equity, diversity and inclusion in the LTC sector, and take home practical solutions for increasing the inclusivity of their organization.

Event highlights

  • Opening keynote presentation from an expert in the field of equity, diversity and inclusion in health
  • Presentations from Ontario LTC homes sharing equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives they are implementing in their home
  • Presentations from Canadian researchers focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion relevant to the LTC sector
  • Breakout Rooms with the opportunity to deep dive into specific topic areas and network with other attendees


Opening Keynote:

Safe, Respected, Included: Promoting Dignity, Belonging and Safety for All in LTC

Erin Beckwell, Social Worker, Consultant and Educator

A life-long “pot-stirrer” and “boat rocker”, Erin is a social worker, consultant, and educator who is passionate about helping create communities and organizations where all people can feel safe and connected and be as well as possible. She loves the challenge of finding creative ways to share information and stories, support one another, and provide compassionate care.

She is currently serving as President of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers and is a recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award. Raised on a farm in Treaty 4 Territory in Southwest Saskatchewan, she and her wife have called Treaty 6 Territory & Homeland of the Métis (Saskatoon, SK) home for over 20 years.



If not now, when? Starting our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Journey

In 2020, Kensington Health began formalizing its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with the creation of its first EDI strategy. This presentation provides an overview of how the Toronto-based LTC home began its journey toward creating an environment in which residents, families and employees can feel safe to bring their whole selves to Kensington.

Sagal Ali HeadshotSagal Ali, Manager, Health Equity and Community Relationships, Kensington Health. Sagal Ali is Manager of Health Equity and Community Relations at Kensington Health. She is also the Health Equity lead for the Mid-West Toronto Ontario Health Team.



Equity and Inclusion: Learning from Promising Practices in Integrated Care Programs

Care design and delivery impacts clients and carers differently along class, gender and race/ethnicity lines. Policies that promote equity are more likely to reduce fragmented care for all groups while providing extra support for those in marginalized positions. This study of Integrated Care Programs offers timely and highly relevant recommendations regarding equity and inclusion for people living and working in LTC.

Krystal Kehoe Headshot

Krystal Kehoe MacLeod, PhD, Researcher, Carleton University. Krystal Kehoe MacLeod is an interdisciplinary scholar with training in the life sciences, international development, and public policy and administration. Her doctoral research, supported by an Ontario Women’s Health Scholars Award and the Canadian Policy Research Network, is a comparative study of the gendered, classed and racialized impacts of policy techniques used in integrated health and social care programs for the vulnerable elderly. Her academic work is informed by policy making experience with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Cabinet Office in Ontario and the Department of Health in New South Wales, Australia.

How do South Asian Seniors Perceive their LTC needs?

We will provide an overview of a qualitative study in which we interviewed 15 South Asian older adults, one family caregiver and three key informants about their perspectives on LTC in Ontario. Participants discussed their culturally-informed perceptions of LTC, the role of family, stigma attached to LTC, and their wishes for care, which focused on food and integration with other cultures.

Catherine Tong Headshot

Dr. Catherine Tong, University of Waterloo. Dr. Catherine Tong works with a range of stakeholders to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults, with a dedicated emphasis on foreign-born older Canadians. She does this primarily by engaging in community-based and patient-oriented research, employing qualitative methodologies in multiple languages. As a research scientist with the Geriatric Health Systems Research Group at the University of Waterloo, she is currently leading data collection in six languages for a CIHR-funded study focused on patient engagement with racialized older adults. She recently completed a term as the Social Science Section Editor for the Canadian Journal on Aging.


Neil Arya HeadshotDr. Neil Arya, Family Physician. Neil Arya is a family physician in Kitchener, Ontario and he is the president of the Canadian Physicians for Research and Education in Peace (CPREP), chair of the PEGASUS Global Health Conference. He remains assistant clinical professor in family medicine at McMaster University (part-time) and adjunct professor in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. He is a past vice-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize and former president of Physicians for Global Survival (PGS) and has written and lectured around the world about peace through health. He was founding director of the Global Health Office at Western University.

Developing a Divisional Strategy to Confront Anti-Black Racism

In June 2020 the Seniors Services and Long-term Care division (SSLTC) at the City of Toronto started the important work of confronting anti-Black racism within the workplace. Our presentation will share the approach the division has taken to date, ongoing initiatives and future plans.

Meena Bhardwaj HeadshotMeena Bhardwaj, Management Consultant, City of Toronto Seniors Services and Long-Term Care. Meena Bhardwaj is a Management Consultant on the Seniors Service Team at the City of Toronto in the Seniors Services & Long-term Care Division. The team drives the recommendations of the Toronto Seniors Strategy V.2.0, is leading a review of City services for seniors and is working on the development of the Integrated Service Model for 83 Toronto Community Housing seniors buildings. Meena’s portfolio includes co-leading the development of a divisional strategy to confront anti-Black racism within the division. Meena has a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion and Public Health Policy and a degree in Gerontology. Meena is passionate about equity driven public policies and racial health equity.

Jahmelia Allen, Administrator, True Davidson Acres, City of Toronto Seniors Services and Long-Term Care

Jahmelia Allen is the Administrator of True Davidson Acres long-term care home located in the City of Toronto. She has worked in the long-term care industry for eight years, and with the City of Toronto for 17 years in roles ranging from accounting, finance, administration and operations. Jahmelia holds a Hons. Bachelors of Business Administration, Diploma in Finance and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Business Administration. Jahmelia co-leads the Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) initiative for Seniors Services and Long-Term Care and is committed making positive changes for the staff and residents within the organization.

Bambo Oluwadimu,  Administrator, Kipling Acres, City of Toronto Seniors Services and Long-Term Care

Bambo is the Administrator at Kipling Acres and a registered nurse with extensive and diverse background in clinical practice, compliance and administration. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Masters of Science in Health Administration and a post-graduate Diploma in Public Administration. Bambo is passionate about seniors care as well as coaching and mentoring future leaders. As a senior leader and a person with lived experience, Bambo co-leads the Confronting Anti-Black Racism initiative for the Seniors Services and Long-Term Care division.


The Journey to the Other Side of the Rainbow

This session will cover The Village of Winston Park’s journey to becoming a village that is inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. The journey began January 2017 and continues today. Presenters will share what activities they have done from the beginning all the way up to having the PRIDE flag flying 365 days a year. They will also share reactions they received from residents, team member and families over the course of their journey.

Christine De Castro headshotChristine De Castro, Administrative Coordinator, The Village of Winston Park. Christine has been a team member at the Village of Winston Park for 7 and a half years. She is an ally for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and is the Chair of Winston Park’s Pride Committee. In addition, Christine is also the Chair of the  Village Advisory Team and an active member of the Schlegel Advisory Team.



Supporting Gender and Sexual Fluidity in LTC

This session will focus on better supporting gender and sexual fluidity in long-term care. Building on long-term ethnographic research with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) older adults living in long-term care homes, it amplifies resident perspectives and shares ethnographic insights about care practices and norms that constrain and facilitate fluid gender and sexual expressions in this care setting.

Celeste Pang HeadshotDr. Celeste Pang, Senior Research Officer, Egale Canada. Celeste Pang is a sociocultural and medical anthropologist. Celeste’s research focuses on questions of aging, disability, gender and sexuality, and care. Over the last ten years, she has led and collaborated on multiple projects that consider issues of access and equity in relation to health and aging, including work on long-term care, palliative care, end-of-life care, and intergenerational storytelling. Her doctoral dissertation, based in 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork, focused on the social dynamics and norms shaping the experiences of LGBTQ older adults living in long-term care homes. Celeste is currently a Senior Research Officer in the Research Department at Egale Canada.

Improving Access and Inclusion through the Universal Language of Dance

Developed by Baycrest and Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), Sharing Dance Older Adults is an inclusive program developed to engage older adults in expressive dance activities. Sharing Dance Older Adults supports individuals regardless of health conditions by offering accessible dance opportunities focused on creative expression.

Emily Sitter, Therapeutic Recreationist, Jewish Home for the Aged, Baycrest. Emily Sitter received her Bachelor Degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Psychology minor from Brock University. As a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Emily has over five years of clinical experience in long-term, community, and post-acute care. Emily has recently returned to academia to simultaneously work and pursue a Masters of Health Administration (Community Care) program at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. As a Therapeutic Recreationist and allied health professional, Emily is motivated to further integrate arts-based programming into healthcare, identify barriers to accessing quality, client-centered care and contribute as an advocate and leader in a fully integrated care system for older adults.

DIERAC Impact: Leveraging Diverse Voices and Experiences to Enhance LTC

This session will highlight the benefits of continuous engagement with individuals living, working and caregiving in Long-Term Care. Team members from FCO will provide an overview on the role their Diversity, Inclusion and Equitable Representation Advisory Committee (DIERAC) has played in amplifying multifaceted lived experiences, informing organizational priorities and improving programming and service delivery.

Tiffany Fearon Headshot Tiffany Fearon, Policy and Research Manager, Family Councils Ontario. Tiffany is passionate about enhancing Long-Term Care through policy dialogue and community engagement to ensure Ontarians have equitable access to quality care. Tiffany holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in Gender Studies, Sociology and Criminology and obtained a Post Graduate Certificate with Honours in ADR from Humber College. Her most recent academic feat was the completion of a Public Policy & Administration certificate from the University of Guelph. Tiffany joined the FCO team in 2018 to head Client Services and transitioned into the Policy & Research Manager position in Fall 2021. Although her role has shifted, she will continue to lead the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion and Conflict Resolution portfolios.


Cathleen Edwards HeadshotsCathleen Edwards, Education Manager, Family Councils Ontario. Cathleen is dedicated to supporting families and championing for inclusion. She draws inspiration from her previous work as a Recreation Professional in Long-Term Care. Cathleen holds a BHK of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor and an MA in Health & Physical Education from Brock University. At Brock University, she completed the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and earned her Graduate Teaching Assistant Practicum Certificate from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technology. She is an experienced instructor and professor, facilitating various courses in Physical Education, Recreation and Activation Coordination in Gerontology at Brock University, the University of Alberta, Seneca College and Durham College.



Breakout Sessions

Two breakout sessions will be offered. Participants will be randomly assigned, and all participants will have the opportunity to participate in discussions on both topics. Facilitators will support the dialogue through thought-provoking questions.

Topic #1: Ideas for Change: Tangible Things Everyone Can Do

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) requires a team effort. How are we already considering EDI in our day to day work? How can we consider the full humanity of all persons affected by our decisions? How might we prioritize time and space for listening?


Erin Beckwell, Social Worker, Consultant and Educator. A life-long “pot-stirrer” and “boat rocker”, Erin is a social worker, consultant, and educator who is passionate about helping create communities and organizations where all people can feel safe and connected and be as well as possible. She loves the challenge of finding creative ways to share information and stories, support one another, and provide compassionate care.

She is currently serving as President of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers and is a recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award. Raised on a farm in Treaty 4 Territory in Southwest Saskatchewan, she and her wife have called Treaty 6 Territory & Homeland of the Métis (Saskatoon, SK) home for over 20 years.

Topic #2: Ideas for Change: Catalyzing Institutional Shifts as an EDI Change Agent

Institutional change can feel overwhelming at times. Individual champions are vital to the collective change that’s needed in LTC. What does an equitable LTC system look like? What are the systemic barriers experienced by people in your workplace or by the people you support?


Woman with long black hair, glasses, smiling, wearing a blue zip up topKimberly Lopez, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo.
Kimberly Lopez (she/her) works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. As a community-engaged qualitative researcher, Kim is interested in aging and long-term care, helping work, and well-being. Kim is interested in critically examining structures that (re)produce oppressions affecting experiences of aging, long-term care, care labour, leisure, and well-being. Kim values working collaboratively to amplify individuals who identify with justice-deserving groups. To do this, Kim looks to influencers of anti-racist feminisms, anti-colonial and restorative practices, and corporally informed literature/art to hear knowings held in bodies that labour to care. She teaches and researches in the areas of inclusive recreation, well-being, and critical qualitative methodologies. Ashley is a member of the Ontario CLRI’s Supporting Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.


Ashley FlanaPhoto of woman with short blonde hair and glasses smilinggan, Research Fellow in Diversity and Ageing at the National Institute on Ageing. Ashley (she/her) is a Research Fellow in Diversity and Ageing at the National Institute on Ageing, a Ryerson University think tank focused on leading cross-disciplinary, evidence-based, and actionable research to provide a blueprint for better public policy and practices needed to address the multiple challenges and opportunities presented by Canada’s ageing population. At the NIA, Ashley’s research focuses on 2SLGBTQIA+ ageing and old age with the goal of advancing comprehensive health and wellness policy, programs, and services for older adults with diverse gender and sexual identities. Ashley completed her PhD in Aging, Health, and Wellbeing at the University of Waterloo. Ashley is a member of the Ontario CLRI’s Supporting Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.




Event Sponsors





Event Organizers

Thank you to the members of the Ontario CLRI Supporting Diversity and Inclusion Committee who have supported the planning of this event. We are grateful to you for sharing your perspectives, ideas and your time with us!


Venue Information


Organizer Information

  • Ontario Centres for Learning, Research & Innovation in Long-Term Care

  • Bruyère

About the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care

The Ontario CLRI is funded by the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and hosted at Baycrest Health Sciences, Bruyère, and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.

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