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Kingston Speaks Inclusion

Media coverage

We have finished the process of collecting data and stories from the community and have produced a final report that we have presented to Kingston Police. We are in the process of planning events to release the findings and report to the Kingston community and will share details as soon as we have them. In the interim, we have produced a one-pager outlining some of the key findings of the report as well as suggestions for next steps.

About Us

In January 2021, Chief Antje McNeely and Kingston Police’s CORE unit met to discuss the start of Kingston Speaks Inclusion (KSI), a new EDI project aimed at learning about the experiences of Kingston, Ontario residents. Kingston Police partnered with Dr. Anita Jack-Davies and relied on her expertise as a cross-cultural expert and founder of the Badges2Bridges program to support Kingston Police with their EDI strategic planning. This led to the creation of a Caucus focus group and individual interviews with Black Kingston residents. Feedback gained from the preliminary consultations that took place in Spring 2021 provided Chief McNeely and her leadership team with invaluable information on the experiences shared by those residents who participated.

Kingston Police would like to thank those Kingston residents who participated in the initial consultations for their feedback and insight. The feedback also served as a guiding point in the creation of their partnership with KCHC and formed the basis for the community engagement sessions that KCHC led in fall 2021.

The Kingston Police believe that their partnership with KCHC will help them learn about the thoughts and concerns of Kingston residents in ways that we may not be able to, if we were to work alone. They state that “to this end, we cannot underscore enough the important role that KCHC played in leading the consultation process. ” 

Ultimately, this partnership will inform the creation of the Community Inclusion Council (working title), a new advisory body that will bring together community members and the law enforcement community in the Kingston area. Plans are under way for the Council to be created in early 2022.

The project is partially funded by the Kingston Police, but the partnership is arms-length: the Kingston Police will not be involved in the collection of data or the consultation process. From the start, the team felt it was crucial to provide safe and accessible spaces for people to share their honest and thorough thoughts, experiences, and stories about policing in Kingston. As such, the team working on the data collection and analysis are all staff members of KCHC, specifically hired for the Kingston Speaks Inclusion project. The Kingston Police will receive a final report with anonymized data as well as a concrete set of recommendations and calls to action shaped and guided by the feedback of the participants.

Connect with us

We would love to hear from you at or about any phase of this project – whatever your perspective or experience with policing in Kingston. Please reach out to one of us if you would like to be involved in a focus group or community consultation, or if you have questions about the project. We want to connect with as many people and organizations as possible, so look forward to hearing from you. Our contact information is below.

The KCHC Kingston Speaks Inclusion Team

Roger Romero, KSI Project Lead

Roger Romero is a first generation Canadian who came to Canada as a refugee from war torn El Salvador in the early 1980s. Roger grew up in Kingston’s North End and faced newcomer challenges associated with poverty and Adverse Childhood Experiences. His lived and work experience fuel his passion for community-building and positive social and health development. Roger has been active in the community with 10 plus years of service with the Kingston Community Health Centre. Roger currently serves as the Manager of Youth Services. Roger is an educator, mentor, and consultant. He has supported various organizations in different leadership roles.  You can reach Roger at [email protected]

Sanket Sathiya, KSI Community Facilitator

Sanket Sathiya is a physician (M.O.) in India, who came to Kingston in August 2019 as an international student. He has completed the Healthcare Administration program at St. Lawrence College and has worked as an administrator in EDI and Anti-Racism at KCHC. Sanket wants to advocate for immigrants, equity deserving groups and marginalized people in the community as he has lived experience of racism, ACEs, discrimination, and newcomer challenges. He is currently the acting coordinator for the Kingston Immigration Partnership at KCHC and is a Direct Support Professional at Community Living Kingston and District. You can reach Sanket at [email protected]

Giselle Valarezo, KSI Researcher

Giselle Valarezo (pronoun she/her) has a PhD in Human Geography with a focus on social justice and (im)migration.  She is the Queen’s Health Sciences EDI Program Manager and Adjunct Faculty in the Bachelor of Health Science Program.  Giselle has numerous years of experience conducting research in the area of EDIIA, policy analysis, and supporting social justice initiatives in Canada and countries across Latin America.  Her parents immigrated to Canada from Ecuador over 35 years ago and she self identifies as a Latinx, cis-gender woman.  You can reach Giselle at [email protected]

Kate Archibald-Cross, KSI Communications

Kate Archibald-Cross (she/her) works in Communications at KCHC, and has an extensive background in community activism, journalism and publishing, and has recently completed two courses in EDI with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. As a lifelong Kingstonian, she is thrilled to be part of the community collaboration and dialogue involved in this innovative project. You can reach Kate at [email protected]

Wendy Vuyk, Director of Community Health at KCHC

Throughout her career, Wendy’s passion for identifying measures to better serve equity-seeking populations, especially children and youth, has been demonstrated by her heartfelt commitment to co-designing effective, evidence-informed programs and initiatives.  EDIIA has been at the core of her work and her volunteer roles as she has remained a committed volunteer on various boards of directors.  The many community health programs that Wendy oversees serve various demographics including children, youth, seniors, newcomers, and parents. Equity and inclusion as well as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are strategic priorities for both Wendy and KCHC.  Wendy is a resourceful and innovative thinker who is truly solution-focused while remaining naturally curious about trends in social innovation and inclusive workplaces as they pertain to social determinants of health.  You can reach Wendy at [email protected]