Diversity and Inclusion

Vaisakhi celebration

The Diversity and Inclusion Award celebrates outstanding leadership to foster inclusion across diverse communities.

2017 recipients

Zool Suleman

Individual category

Canadian Immigration lawyer and policy consultant Zool Suleman has been advocating against racial profiling and Islamophobia since the events of 9/11. As a lawyer and a publicly engaged advocate, Zool has served as a powerful civil rights champion for immigrants, refugees, and those who face discrimination.

After being a Law Clerk at the Federal Court of Canada’s Appeal Division in 1990-91, Zool opened his own law firm, Suleman and Co., practicing Canadian immigration and refugee law. A refugee from Uganda who arrived to Canada in 1972, Zool’s clients have often described him as both compassionate and understanding.

Since 2005, he has been an active member of the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Working Group. He has also organized many seminars, made numerous presentations and published papers on various immigration topics for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International and the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association.

He has also presented talks on immigration and social justice issues at the University of British Columbia Law School, Simon Fraser University, and at the University of Windsor Department of Communications. In addition, he has been a sessional law instructor at Douglas College.

Zool calls Vancouver his home and is a strong supporter of arts and multicultural activities happening throughout the city. He founded and published, Rungh, a national South Asian multi-disciplinary arts journal in the ‎1990's, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, amongst others.

Out On Screen Film & Video Society’s Out in Schools Program

Organization category

The Out On Screen Film & Video Society is one of Vancouver’s leading queer organizations. Out On Screen works to bring light to, celebrate, and advance queer lives through film, education, and dialogue, and has produced the Vancouver Queer Film Festival for nearly 30 years. In 2004, the complementary Out in Schools program was created to address the root causes of homophobia, transphobia, and bullying.

Out in Schools harnesses the power of film to bring the lived queer experience into Vancouver classrooms. The main goal of the program is to use independent film and video with facilitated group discussion to create transformative experiences in schools about the LGBT2Q+ experience in order to combat homophobia, transphobia, and bullying. Its aim is to transform British Columbia schools into inclusive spaces for all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Previous recipients

How we honour diversity


Official celebrations and observances

We recognize the valuable contributions of Vancouver's diverse communities is through special celebrations of International Women's Day, Black History Month, Vancouver Pride, Diwali, and others.