Harmony Movement Closes After 25 Years

Harmony Movement Closes After 25 Years

Toronto – March 11, 2019

After 25 years of service to the community, Harmony Movement will cease operations on June 30, 2019. Drastic funding cuts from the Ontario government in equity and inclusion have had a devastating effect to the entire education community as well as the agencies that serve them.

“Harmony Movement’s operation is no longer viable without annual funding from the Ministry of Education,” said board chair Bernice Carnegie. “It’s with sadness that we say goodbye to our passionate team, one that has advanced equity and inclusion in Canada.”

The social enterprise, Harmony@Work, will continue to focus on workplace diversity, equity and inclusion training. Since 2016, Harmony@Work’s workplace training has impacted over 2,000 professionals and leaders in the social service, government, manufacturing, labour and tech sectors.

Community leaders Mary Anne Chambers, Gordon Cressy and Dr. Joseph Wong founded Harmony Movement in 1994 to combat racism and discrimination, and the “us vs. them” mentality that was pervasive at the time.

“Harmony Movement was a game changer when it first arrived on the scene,” said Chris D’souza, equity consultant and former educator at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. “It has had a long- term, significant impact on tens of thousands of students and educators in the province.”

During its first decade, Harmony Movement concentrated on public education, carrying out the national project “Them = Us: Photographic Journeys Across Our Cultural Boundaries” that toured 60 communities from St. John’s to Victoria. The project had two offshoots: a photography book, Harmony Harmonie; and a resource kit for educators, Exploring Harmony.

Beginning in 2005, Harmony Movement delivered diversity workshops to Ontario schools, culminating in a collaborative relationship with the Ontario Ministry of Education to support the implementation of its Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy.

Since 2012, Harmony Movement has delivered student and educator training programs to 59 of 60 English school boards across the province.

Over the past nine months, with funding support from Canadian Heritage, Harmony Movement organized and conducted 13 youth conferences, one in each province and territory, in its Voices of
Canadian Youth project.

“We’ve had a brilliant run and we’re all proud of the organization’s legacy,” said Cheuk Kwan, Executive Director. “This legacy will live on through the work of a whole new generation of ‘social changemakers’.”

Harmony Movement expresses our deepest gratitude to our educational and community partners, sponsors, donors, board and staff past and present, as well as to everyone who has supported us through the years.