Immigrant Welcome Centre

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Reflecting on the Welcoming Communities Coalition's 2020 Forums ahead of next week's Collaboratory

At the end of 2020, The Immigrant Welcome Centre's Welcoming Communities Coalition held its first ever virtual Community Forums in both Campbell River and the Comox Valley, looking at ways to respond to discrimination and racism in our communities. Following valuable insight from our two speakers from North Island College, Elder in Residence Daryle Mills and Sociologist Jen Wrye, together we discussed key learnings, lived-experiences and solutions to work toward ending racism and discrimination in our communities.

So how do we move forward? Here are a few points and suggestions from our community discussions:

  • We need to listen to communities and what people say they need, in the unique context of each community.
  • Decolonize thinking and examine where systems of power come from – these are often commerce-based and people in power are resistant to change because of a fear of loss of power. When advocating for policy change, keep in mind that worthiness and equality for all is essential in every policy.
  • Recognize white privilege – avoid being fragile and be open to and respectful of feedback from people of colour.
  • Strive for diversity in leadership/boards of local organizations.
  • As an individual action, diversify media consumption.
  • Conduct an audit of local organizations to break down racist systems.
  • Role model behavior.
  • Coordinate activities to bring diverse groups together in the community.
  • Listen to elders.
  • Call out microaggressions.
  • Learn about racial profiling in our communities.
  • Examine different ways to structure organizations –ex. The Elders in Residence program at NIC has had an incredible impact on the Nursing program.
  • Create a Centre for Equity – a place where people could seek resources and expertise – for North Island or a large geographic area
  • Develop a multi-year plan for working with organizations – to support local governments, NIC, and non-profits in decolonizing their practices.
  • Focus on education, but also examine the ways in which education systems perpetuate racism.

Please join us as we continue this conversation at our virtual Collaboratory event on
February 24th, 2021 from 2:00-4:30pm around the theme Beyond Inclusion: Focusing on Equity/Equality and Leveling the Playing Field for Everyone to Thrive. Our speaker, Dr. Moussa Magassa is the UVic human rights educator, specialist in anti-racism education, equity, diversity, inclusion curriculum design and program development. Participants will get a brief overview of anti-racism and inclusion activities being undertaken in other communities and hear from newcomers who will share their experiences of settling in Canada in their own words. Importantly, participants will take home activities for themselves and their organizations to work towards ensuring equity. Please click here to register.

Welcoming Communities Coalition Collaboratory Even...
Welcoming Communities Coalition Collaboratory

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