News & Updates

HCCI Chair of The Board Statement at 2020 AGM

Dec 14, 2020

Hello and welcome,

My name is Crystal Mark and I am the Chair of the Board at Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion. For the past year, I have been honoured to contribute to an organization that centres equity, diversity and inclusion at the heart of its work. In my professional life, I am a Writer and Equity Educator at one of our province’s most diverse universities. In my personal life, I am a new Hamiltonian who is invested in the community I live in and ensuring Hamilton is a safe place for all.

This past year as Chair has brought so many positive observations: Our Interim Executive Director, once our Program Manager has been promoted to the role of full time Executive Director. He has led the charge for mobilization on issues that affect Hamilton’s social, cultural and civic consciousness.

We have made amazing strides and as a steward of the organization, I am both humbled and proud to be working with such a multifaceted, talented, diverse team of staff, volunteers and board members who are committed to a vision where all Hamiltonians are valued, accepted and engaged in civic leadership that impacts their lives and those of our generations forward.

Youth engagement, organizational mentorship, care-mongering through the pandemic, founding the first province-wide Disability Justice Network of Ontario, and mobilizing the resources through caring Canadians to support financially what they stand for politically has given us a whirlwind year. The impacts of the global pandemic have been challenging for many of us – isolation, illness, social distancing have all had an impact on how we live and participate in Community. Yet, despite these challenges, HCCI has managed to thrive under the global crisis and establish itself as an organization the public can put its support and trust behind and funders can rely on to deliver programs that engage our civic duty, provide education, resources and mentorship and support our youth. It is these things that allow me to say with confidence, that we have had a fabulous year.

Our donor memberships and our fundraising has been critical to our ability to do more in the Hamilton community. Please consider donating to our cause. Each investment draws us closer to our goal: a Hamilton community where restorative justice, civic engagement and equitable inclusion are the hallmarks of our reputation.

I’d like to make a special acknowledgment for the grassroots work happening down at City Hall with the Disability Justice Network and the community mobilizing for movement to divert funding from the police to establish safe and equitable housing strategies in Hamilton.

For this we give thanks to our partnerships in solidarity for sovereignty and landback with Indigenous people of Hamilton, our continued mobilization to eradicate anti-Black racism, our support of the 2SLGBTQ community, our commitment to create greater accessibility for all bodies that live and work in Hamilton and our support for newcomers to our community who desire to build Hamilton as Home.

Thank you for your continued support of the work, ethos and courage of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion.

Crystal Mark,
Chair, HCCI, 2020