Community engagement

The Commission engages and collaborates with communities and organizations throughout Alberta on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Our approach

Fostering equality and reducing discrimination takes all of us working together. The Commission meaningfully engages and works with stakeholders and groups to effectively influence positive social change.

We work with all communities impacted by discrimination, with a focus on historically marginalized groups, including:

  • Indigenous people
  • ethno-cultural and racialized groups
  • women
  • 2SLGBTQ+ individuals
  • persons with disabilities
  • faith-based groups
  • people living in poverty and homelessness
  • newcomers, immigrants, and refugees
  • youth and seniors

The Commission's engagement services

The Commission partners with organizations, businesses, associations, governments, and communities to support major initiatives that strategically address hate, racism, and discrimination in the province. We advance human rights and work to address discrimination in the justice, health, education, housing, employment, immigration and settlement, hospitality, and service sectors.

Consultation and advisory work

We help guide organizations, businesses, associations, governments, and communities in advancing their human rights programs and initiatives. This includes offering input and advice, supporting strategic planning and policy development, referrals to agencies, helping with system navigation, and sharing best practices.

The Commission consults with key stakeholder groups to gather input and identify gaps to better respond to current trends and issues impacting Albertans. For example, in 2017, the Commission held conversations with community groups to identify key human rights issues, learn about current actions to address them, understand ongoing barriers, and support communities in addressing them.

From this report, we created the Coalitions Creating Equity initiative to help advance human rights and address local human rights issues and priorities throughout Alberta. The initiative started out as a two-year pilot project, in partnership with five communities, to help advance human rights and address local human rights issues and priorities. It has since expanded to include over 15 Alberta communities. The initiative includes both local and province-wide approaches to deal with equity, racism, and human rights.

Examples of Commission-led stakeholder consultations include:

Capacity building and education

The Commission leverages resources, offers expertise, and provides training, tools, and skills to build knowledge and equip organizations, businesses, associations, governments, and communities to address hate, racism, and discrimination.

The Commission has hosted or partnered on education events related to human rights issues impacting the community, including:

  • Duty to Accommodate Students in Post-Secondary Institutions webinar (2021)
  • Duty to Accommodate webinar (2020)
  • Barrier Free Alberta webinar (2020)
  • Not In Our Town events in Calgary and Wood Buffalo (2019)
  • Indigenous Funding Gatherings (2018 and 2019)
  • Come Together Conference (2018)
  • Municipal Inclusion Symposium (2017 and 2019)
  • Calgary Community Round Dance (2009 – 2019)
  • Aboriginal Human Rights Network and Gathering (2014 – 2015)
  • Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies Conference (2011)
  • Globalfest Human Rights Forum (2007 – 2019)

Convening and facilitation

We bring groups together to develop new initiatives that address human rights issues. By connecting systems, organizations, and communities, we help groups avoid duplicating efforts, pool their resources, and build capacity. This helps make initiatives more impactful.

The Commission has convened, facilitated, or actively participated in a number of networks, coalitions, and committees including:

Engagement and collaboration

Successful engagement builds relationships and trust between organizations, businesses, associations, governments, and communities. Engagement and collaboration are effective ways to prevent hate, racism, and discrimination, including systemic discrimination and harassment.

The Commission partners with stakeholders on initiatives that have wide-scale impact. This includes working on new and existing initiatives that promote and strengthen human rights efforts. For example, we are currently collaborating on the following initiatives:

Human Rights and Multiculturalism Grants program

The Commission previously administered the Human Rights and Multiculturalism Grants program, funded by the Alberta Lottery Fund. Alberta’s 2019 Budget transferred the Alberta Lottery Fund to the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance on behalf of the General Revenue Fund and the fund was dissolved.

At present, the Commission no longer offers grant funding. Funding support for human rights projects may be available through other grants programs:

City of Edmonton

Government of Alberta

Government of Canada

History of the program

Between 1988 and 2019, the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund (HREMF) provided grants to support community organizations in developing and implementing projects that foster equity and reduce discrimination. The HREMF provided three types of grants:

  • Human Rights Projects Grants
  • Community Inclusion Grants
  • Access and Equity Grants

These grants assisted non-profit organizations, public institutions, and communities in developing outcome-based community initiatives. Projects addressed discrimination and barriers to equity for all Albertans, including for Indigenous people, newcomers to Canada, racialized groups, religious minorities, women, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and persons with disabilities.

Many of these projects addressed systemic issues, as well as the intersection of human rights with issues such as social exclusion, inequality of opportunity, racism, discrimination, and other barriers that limit Albertans' ability to fully participate in society.

For more about previous grant recipients and their projects, refer to the following: