Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Find out what the city is doing to address systemic barriers and support equity-deserving groups.

On this page

  1. Learn what actions the city is taking
  2. Meet the team
  3. Find resources to learn more
  4. Contact the team

Learn what actions the city is taking

There is increased awareness and a sense of urgency about the need to understand the systemic barriers to equity and inclusion that exist, and have persisted for centuries. The City of Waterloo is working to:

Review internal challenges and working to remove systemic barriers:

  • support internal training, policy development and evaluation of programs, services, policies and practices to ensure they are accessible and welcoming to racialized populations
  • explore how the city can respond to complaints and enforcement with a restorative justice lens;
  • support the corporation to meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance;

Collaborate with local action groups:

  • work closely with the Waterloo Region’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working group
  • develop and maintain relationships with local Indigenous communities, building on a foundation of trust, respect and transparency
  • create meaningful relationships based on trust with the numerous equity-deserving groups and members in the community
  • support the ongoing efforts of Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee (GRAAC)

Communicate our goals and include the community:

  • share resources and information about the work of the team internally and externally
  • build relationships with individuals and organizations in the disabled community to ensure their voices are included in the development of the city projects and plans

Meet the team

Sanjay Govindaraj

Sanjay Govindaraj (he/him), Director, Reconciliation, Equity, Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion, has a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Economic Development. He has over 30 years of work experience including a clinical psychotherapy practice, community engagement, policy development, advocacy, equity and anti-racism work. He started his social work career in India working in the field of HIV/AIDS, child prostitution, and watershed management. He also spent some time with Mumbai police; this early experience gave him the much-needed grounding on the complex systems of power, politics and privilege and its impacts on the most vulnerable.

Sanjay immigrated to Canada as a settler in 2000 and worked with the Region of Waterloo for 21 years. There he supported projects that included food systems, poverty prevention, policy development and community engagement. His most recent role before moving to the City of Waterloo was supporting the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) unit at the CAO's Office. 

Contact Sanjay by email or call 226-751-6809.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill (he/him), Indigenous Initiatives Advocate, is from the Oneida of the Thames First Nation and has been actively involved in the promotion and advancement of Urban Indigenous human rights for over 40 years.

He brings extensive experience building strategic partnerships through his work with City of London, United Way, Thames Valley District School Board, Children’s Aid Society and the London Police Service.

Brian is currently a Board and community member of the N’Amerind Friendship Centre in London as well as the president of the Board of Directors and first vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. 

Contact Brian by email or call 226-750-3845.

Amy Ross (she/her), Accessibility Advocate, is a long-time City of Waterloo employee whose roles have included research and policy analysis, cultural planning and neighbourhood development, strategic implementation and project management. She is an active Staff Association vice-president.

Prior to her career with the city, Amy earned a Master of Public Service from the University of Waterloo, and completed the Core Community Leadership Development Program with Leadership Waterloo Region, served as an HR coordinator for a disability focused organization, an AODA consultant and coordinated the local activities of Special Olympics Kitchener-Waterloo.

Amy has served as a community representative for both the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Grand River Transit Specialized Services Advisory Committee.

Contact Amy by email or call 519-884-6294.

Image of Paulina RodriguezPaulina Rodriguez (she/her), Anti-Racism and Social Justice Advocate, has held roles in the non-for-profit and municipal sectors working in community development, research, evaluation, and policy development. She has been a Waterloo Region resident for almost ten years and has worked for organizations like The Working Centre, Immigration Waterloo Region, and the Region of Waterloo’s Office of Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Paulina’s early experiences as a settler in Canada and her education have taught her about the importance of equitable and welcoming communities.

Contact Paulina by email or call 226-753-2517.

Find resources to learn more

Race, gender, sexual orientation, ability and other aspects of identity impact everyone’s experience in daily life. Specifically there are disproportionately negative outcomes for members of equity-deserving groups and Indigenous peoples locally and across the globe. More generally, members of equity-deserving groups face systemic barriers to inclusion in all aspects of life. 

A surge of international and local movements have influenced and made headlines across the globe and our community over the last number of years. 

Regional studies and resources:

National and international movements:

Contact the team

You can reach out to individual team members with contact information in their bios or send an email to or