TORONTO, May 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Best-selling author and social entrepreneur, John Amaechi, helped the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) launch its Leadership, Inclusion, Diversity and Accessibility (LIDA) series today at the Canadian Club in support of the Organizing Committee's diversity and inclusion goals.
During this inaugural event sponsored by TO2015's Lead Partner, CIBC, Amaechi brought a strong message of inclusion to his keynote at the Canadian Club. Amaechi stressed how major international multi-sport events can and should drive positive social change and economic development for Pan/Parapan Am Games host communities, two significant priorities for TO2015.
"We want to leverage the Games as a platform to advance and build awareness ofthe social and economic value of diversity, inclusion and accessibility," said Ian Troop, TO2015 Chief Executive Officer. "The creation of this speaker series, combined with John Amaechi's presence here today, is just one of the many steps TO2015 is taking to advance this discussion."
"CIBC is proud to partner with TO2015 as lead sponsor of the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games, because we believe that sport has the power to foster communities and strengthen nations by bringing people together and promoting greater inclusion," said David McGown, Vice-President, CIBC. "We are honoured to be acknowledged as a corporate leader in the area of diversity, and extremely proud of our 42,000 employees who come from so many different backgrounds, all bringing unique perspectives, skills and experiences to serve our clients."
The first National Basketball Association (NBA) player to come out as a gay man, Amaechi currently serves as a member of the London 2012 Olympic Games Diversity Board. He works with his colleagues to ensure that everyone in the community—regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socio-economic status—is engaged in the London Games. His athletic achievements include being part of the basketball team that won a bronze medal for England at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
In March 2011, TO2015 announced its groundbreaking diversity policy—the first implemented for a Pan/Parapan American Games. Since then, TO2015 has successfully:
- Implemented a Supplier Diversity Policy for TO2015 requests for proposals.
- Worked with community organizations to deliver more than 30 business information sessions on procurement opportunities with the Games.
- Engaged social purpose suppliers such as Phoenix Print Shop and spent 30 per cent of its procurement dollars with companies that meet its supplier diversity policy.
- Developed a regional network of more than 60 employment services and community agencies to help promote the Games and create a diverse candidate pool for employment and volunteer opportunities.
- Established more than 12 advisory councils to ensure its programs are relevant and that the Games connect to communities.
- Hosted more than 20 community engagement forums to ensure that the Games connect to communities.
About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
The Pan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Games comprise all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will draw 10,000 athletes and officials and feature 48 sports in municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10-26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit toronto2015.org.
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