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Canadian Centre for Diversity’s educational programs get new life Add to ...

When the Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD) announced that it was winding down its educational programs last September, the decision seemed to mark the end of a once-powerful charity that began life in 1947 as the Canadian Council of Christian and Jews (CCCJ).

But apparently there’s still room for diversity in the crowded charitable landscape. On Wednesday, the non-profit Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI), which focuses on workplace issues, announced a joint operating relationship between the two bodies that will sustain the Centre for Diversity’s work in schools.

The move is effectively a merger: The plan is to blend the two organizations into a single brand encompassing both student-centred and corporate diversity programs.

“We’ll have a full backpack-to-briefcase solution where CCD is preparing the future and we’re preparing the work force of today,” said Michael Bach, a former business executive who launched CIDI last year. “Their work in schools really needs to be done because there’s a big void there. But it just needs a new set of eyes, a breath of fresh air to move it forward.”

Mr. Bach plans to contact the 10,000 people on the CCD mailing list to determine why donors moved away from the organization, which in 2007 changed its name and its focus: Instead of fighting anti-Semitism specifically in a Judaeo-Christian context, it broadened its mandate to deal with non-sectarian issues of inclusivity and diversity.

The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion relies on corporate sponsorships and is secure in its financing, Mr. Bach says.

But he hopes to tap into his partner organization’s support base and create educational programs that will appeal to donors who support issues of specific concern to the Jewish community.

“There are definitely some people we won’t get back,” he said. “It’s not that they stopped giving, it’s just that they stopped giving to us.”

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