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Forging Your Path: A Journey to Improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

By: MPI Toronto Chapter Board of Directors | Published by MPI Toronto Chapter | Oct 18, 2021

Forging Your Path - Graphic - MPI Blog Socials

Part 1:  Summary of MPI WEC Chapter Leaders Lounge Session

Quick Facts

  • Session title: FORGING YOUR PATH: A journey to improve diversity, equity andWEC 1 inclusion
  • Date: June 16th 2021
  • Format: Hybrid
  • Platform: Weframe
  • In person location: Las Vegas
  • Participants: 25
  • Wifi: Strong
  • Coffee: Strong
  • Panelists: Kind of nervous

Session description:

The MPI Toronto Chapter has been on a journey to improve diversity, equity and inclusion making it a focal point and have embraced partnerships in order to help them succeed. Join in the conversation and share your Chapters journey.

In person facilitator:

  • Carolyn Browning (Location: Las Vegas, Previous Chapter President – MPI WestField, MEETingNeeds, LLC)

    In person panelist:

  • Zoe Moore (Location: Las Vegas, MPI Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee Co-Chair, formerly of CADAZO Consulting Group)

    Virtual Panelist:

  • Dwayne Rutherford (Location: Toronto, MPI Toronto Chapter DEI Co-Chair, Debonair Events)
  • Virtual Panelist: Christina Northcott (Location: Toronto, MPI Toronto President-Elect, Canada Info Heathway)
  • Virtual Panelist: Mandy Moon (Location: Edmonton, MPI Toronto member, Explore Edmonton)

Part 2 by Mandy Moon, Business Development Account Manager, Explore EdmontonWEC 2

The Session title is so fitting.  Forging. Your. Path. A path leads to the journey.

MPI Toronto has been on a journey to make diversity, equity and inclusion a focal point by lifting barriers. I want to reference Zoe formerly from CADAZO Consulting Group as they use a GROW analysis which identifies desired Growth, projected Risks, Opportunities and recognized Weaknesses. This is exactly what I can observe as being part of this journey.

I myself represent Explore Edmonton and am physically based in Edmonton and although I am not a DEI expert by any means I do believe that partnerships can create positive outcomes.

A typical partnership has a dash of a consumable, a hint of ROI and a splash of expectations. When the DEI partnership opportunity was introduced by Christina Northcott, I jumped at it. This was raw and can be the start of some positive change that would be mutually beneficial from both sides.

Partnerships and outcomes don’t evolve without:
- clear direction/ vision from leadership (that is where Christina comes in)
- strong support system of passionate doers (that’s where Dwayne comes in)
- expertise. (That’s where Zoe comes in)

“Oh you’re on mute!” the phrase one doesn’t think they would hear after being in virtual meetings for the past 18 months. “Oh it’s me!” Sound and tech check were complete and suddenly we were ‘LIVE’.

There was a sudden energy as the in person participants found their way into the beautiful appointed breakout room and the virtual participants navigated through the Weframe platform. The two groups would make their way to bridge the physical gap that was between the two groups.

We all convened and kicked things off with a verbal land acknowledgement and a sample video: (if you don’t already, I highly encourage to incorporate an Indigenous element into your events.) One of the best ways to show respect to Indigenous communities you are working with is through acknowledging the host community, its peoples and First Nation treaty lands at the beginning of a presentation, meeting or event.


Carolyn Browning was the in person Las Vegas facilitator. With her Vana White like moves she gracefully tabulated and organized all participant answers as the Panel was engaging the audience with the first few questions.

Distance did not deter from productive conversations. 

The following were questions that peaked the most interest:

Does your Chapter have a formal DEI role in place?


What is your current process/journey?


What additional support are you seeking?


It was refreshing going through the stages of vulnerability together as a group. Through the buzzing interactions between the in person and virtual attendees; a strong call to action was clear.

Even if you wear a physical leadership hat or not, everyone has it within themselves to take the first step in showing leadership. Share and vocalize your desired DEI needs whether it is resources, supports, or partnerships. Especially through MPI Global.

As I reflect on the journey the MPI Toronto Chapter has started on the DEI road so far, I see it as a similar experience to joining this panel. It is something new, it’s a bit scary with some unknown factors (especially a new platform and technology) but with the help of partners, and EXPERTS you will always be moving in the right direction for that positive outcome you are trying to achieve. Knowledge sharing is huge for both DEI and hybrid events.

Sharing is caring. It always has been but during this time it is that much more impactful.

*Please note I am not a blogger/writer and more of a rambler.



MPI Toronto Chapter Board of Directors | Published by MPI Toronto Chapter

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