Flags flying high across Simcoe County for #ITSTARTS Month

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County of Simcoe Warden Basil Clarke raised the #ITSTARTS flag at the Administration Centre in Midhurst March 1 to kick off #ITSTARTS Month and support inclusion, acceptance, and equity across the region.

“Simcoe County is now home to over 82,000 immigrants,” said Clarke. “Immigrants add a lot to our growing communities and support many industries, including health care. It’s important that we continue to build welcoming and supportive communities across our region.”

#ITSTARTS Month, now in its seventh year, is a nationally recognized, innovative campaign that helps to support settlement and integration, while also raising awareness about the importance of developing welcoming communities in Simcoe County. To help businesses learn more about the value of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), this year, the County is working with Harmony Movement, a leading provider of DEI training programs, to offer businesses workshops in March. The in-person workshops in Collingwood and Midhurst will introduce the topic of DEI and help businesses develop actionable goals.

In 2023, for the first time, #ITSTARTS flags will be flying across Simcoe County at various municipal offices throughout March. The social media campaign will also be supported by 21 Community Champions, many of which will also be flying the flag.

The Local Immigration Partnership #ITSTARTS campaign is supported by the Barrie Chamber of Commerce, Barrie Persian Association, Barrie Police Services, Barrie Public Library, Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County, Catulpa Community Services, City of Barrie, CLASS, College Boreal, E3, Ethnic Mosaic Alliance, Georgian College, Lakehead University, Making Change, Ontario Provincial Police, Orillia Public Library, Simcoe County District School Board, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, South Simcoe Police, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.

To take part in this social movement, complete an #ITSTARTS card and share a photo or video through social media using the hashtag ITSTARTS. Tagging @simcoecounty (Twitter), @ CountyofSimcoe (Facebook) and @ CountyofSimcoe (Instagram) helps to get your message out.

To get your #ITSTARTS cards in English, French, or a number of other languages, visit www.simcoe. ca/itstarts. The site also offers helpful resources, tips, and tools on taking safe and purposeful action against racism and discrimination.

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