Collaborative event discussed what is being done to make Thunder Bay a better place to live

Photo of Dr. Charles Levkoe

Dr. Levkoe is part of the working group for the Voluntary Local Review Report. He is the Associate
Professor in Health Sciences at Lakehead University and Canada Research Chair in Equitable and
Sustainable Food Systems.

November 30, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont. 

Lakehead University organized a collaborative event today to discuss positive initiatives on social issues affecting Thunder Bay, in partnership with Diversity Thunder Bay, the City of Thunder Bay’s Anti-Racism and Equity Advisory Committee, Confederation College, and several other community organizations.

Community Voices and Dialogues for Social Justice included two panel discussions. One was a community presentation of the First Voluntary Local Review Report 2022 – a systemic and comprehensive evaluation of Thunder Bay’s progress toward achieving the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The other panel had representatives from local community organizations discussing what is happening in Thunder Bay that gives them hope for positive changes going forward.

“Engaging with the people doing work on the ground and incorporating a social and environmental justice lens is an essential part of good research,” said Dr. Charles Levkoe, Associate Professor in Health Sciences at Lakehead University and Canada Research Chair in Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems.

Albert Brulé, Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Thunder Bay, said the United Way will use data gathered through the First Voluntary Local Review Report to support evidence-based, locally-relevant solutions to improve the quality of life at the community level.

“We look forward to sharing results and raising awareness by way of a new community engagement platform we are launching with our community partners called Empower the North,” he said.

“Through Empower the North, we aim to inspire civic engagement, to provide focus for public debate, and to help a range of players to take action and direct resources where they will have the greatest impact,” Brulé said.

More information about Empower the North is available at

The City of Thunder Bay’s Anti-Racism & Equity Committee, Diversity Thunder Bay, and the Chronicle-Journal have been running the monthly One City, Many Voices column since 2012, featuring community members’ experiences on equity, diversity/multiculturalism, and inclusion.

The networking event celebrated the column’s 10th anniversary and acknowledged the authors and their contributions.

“This monthly column and the discussions that we had today are a way of bringing people together to explore the many views of those who live in this area.”

Dr. Roopa Rakshit, One City Many Voices Coordinator, said the newspaper column is a platform where diversity is considered a valued sentiment and not an abstract identity.

“Celebrating the column's 10th anniversary is a testament to the commitment this community has made to foster progressive ideas on race relations and social justice issues. Today's event brought a lot of partners together for collective actions and deliberations,” she added.

“On behalf of Diversity Thunder Bay (DTB), on the 10th anniversary of the One City Many Voices column, I would like to congratulate the contributors to the column for they have helped us in our work and struggle to make Thunder Bay a safe, inclusive, and equitable community free of all forms of racism and discrimination,” said Walid Chahal, Co-Chair of Diversity Thunder Bay.

“As a co-founder of the column, DTB’s aim was to encourage the writers of the column to not only expose the reality of racism, racialization and other forms of discrimination, but also reflect their diverse experiences, social backgrounds, and perspectives to help us foster better understanding and create harmonious relations between groups.”

To read the One City Many Voices columns, follow this link.


Photo of authors

Authors who wrote stories for the One City Many Voices column were honoured for the 10th anniversary
of the Chronicle-Journal column.


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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8110 ext. 8372 or


Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2023 World Universities Rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit