Founder's Blog

Why I am hopeful this holiday

[themify_quote]If everyday was Christmas
If we could make believe
If everyone would care a little more
There’d be harmoney

~ Hey Santa! by Carnie & Wendy Wilson

So our world leaders have come to an accord in Paris, France during COP21 – United Nations Conference on Climate Change. This gives me hope, though George Monbiot seems to disagree about that, with him thinking the politicians undermined the deal’s potential. Here in Barrie the temperature averages anywhere from 0 – 10 degrees celsius, and we still have no snow on the ground. Global warming, anyone?

I always enjoy a Christmas day with snow, it’s just a classic holiday for me. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Some celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Winter Solstice, Festivus, and many other festivals this time of year. (Airing of Grievances, anyone?)

I am thankful for my friend Shawn who helped with the transition from our previous web host to this one, and for his help in installing our SSL certificate! (See the green lock in the left corner of your browser address bar? That’s new!)

I am thankful for Susan, Lucas, Stephen, Caitlin, and Craig, who are our board members! I am also thankful to Silvia, she knows who she is, and she’s super smart!

I am hopeful for good food, friends, and company. That’s what Christmas means to me. It’s a time to reflect, be thankful for what we have, and spend time with loved ones, and friends. To take the time out of our busy lives to play that board game, or enjoy a cup of hot coco (or if you’re my parents, hot apple cider.)

Finally, I am thankful each day for those who have chosen to support Journey to Diversity Workplaces. Without you, none of this would be possible.

On behalf of the board, I’d like to wish you Happy Holidays, and all the best for 2016.

Peter V. Tretter
President & CEO
Journey to Diversity Workplaces



Voices of our Nation

How to maintain Holiday Diversity in the Workplace

Now there’s something we don’t often take into consideration: diversity in the workplace during the holidays. Since a good majority of the population in Canada is Christian – or assumed to be – we often don’t think that something so small as saying “Merry Christmas” to our fellow workers might be offensive or make them feel uncomfortable. Here are a few ways to make everyone feel equal in the workplace during the holidays!

1) Keep it minimal when decorating the office. Remember, less is more. Minimal decor includes things such as Christmas lights, while keeping in mind to avoid any lettering, unless they read “Happy Holidays.” Feel free to string up those red and green or icicle lights! Ribbons and bows are acceptable as well. Santas, reindeer, Christmas trees, nativity scenes – definite no-no’s!

2) Avoid “Secret Santa.” Seriously. Unless you know for sure that everyone in your office is a devout Christian, then you run the risk of offending that guy who sits in the cubicle next to Joanne who may be, say, a Jehovah’s Witness (hint: they don’t celebrate any holiday, under any circumstances). Remember, Christmas is considered a Christian holiday, so think of all the other religious groups who don’t celebrate it. And while Santa isn’t mentioned in the Bible, the whole concept of receiving presents, putting up a Christmas tree, and so on, is considered to be for those of Christian faith. If you absolutely must give a few select people in the office a gift, do so discretely.

3) Giving your employees a Christmas bonus? Start calling it the “Holiday bonus.” Well, either that, or just not give them a bonus at all. However, if the entire office is putting in those extra hours just to get that bonus they’re expecting, then rewarding people with a “Holiday bonus” keeps everyone happy.

4) Change the way you greet your employees. It seems like nothing when wishing them a “Merry Christmas.” The easy solution – if you absolutely must, start wishing them a “Happy Holiday.” This applies to when you are sending out a group email at the office, or just speaking to someone face-to-face.

Your employees will take notice of you putting in the effort to make the workplace comfortable for everyone during this Christmas season. To avoid any unnecessary issues, don’t be afraid to encourage people to do the same!

This article was contributed by volunteer blogger Sara McKerracher.

Founder's Blog

Moments of Action

[themify_quote]Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare[/themify_quote]

This past weekend, I went to see The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 1. It was an exceptional movie, as the previous movies have been. It inspired me, and made me think a bit about what we are doing.

I am pleased to report that we are on the cusp of something significant. This past Thursday, the board approved two actions to move forward. The first is to start up a low cost business from scratch. The other, to investigate a business listed in the MLS database. Both are being worked on as I type this.

Coming up in just over a week is Giving Tuesday. This is your opportunity to help us reach the finish line, to move past the cusp into reality. How can you help?


  1. Become a member. Or purchase a gift membership for the holidays.
  2. Donate today, or on Giving Tuesday.
  3. Purchase donation certificates as stocking stuffers.
  4. Volunteer for us!
  5. Join the board!


There is a reality we face as a brand new non-profit, and that is we have no credit rating. That means for whichever business we start and/or purchase, we will likely need a co-signer to get a loan. If you’d like to consider becoming a co-signer, contact us!

Coming up the day after Giving Tuesday will be our one year anniversary.

During the month of December, we’ll have more blog posts from our Voice of our Nation series, plus we’ll be profiling our board members in a new series titled Profiles of Diversity.Please help us to make our upcoming goals a reality!

[themify_quote]It changed the future .. and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future .. or others will do it for us. It showed us that we have care for one another, because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places. Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope .. that there can always be new beginnings .. even for people like us.

~ General Susan Ivanova, ‘Sleeping in Ligh’t, Babylon 5[/themify_quote]