P2P 2021 Workshop Series

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Opportunities and Challenges of Virtual Volunteering with Government-Assisted Refugees and Refugee Claimants (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Andrew Lusztyk, Together Project – MakeWay

SInce 2017, Together Project, a charitable initiative of MakeWay, has worked with agency partners like COSTI Immigrant Services to deliver our Welcome Group program in the Greater Toronto Area. The Welcome Group Program connects five or more volunteers with Government-Assisted Refugee or refugee claimant households for six months of social support to mitigate newcomer social isolation and to help newcomers make progress towards their unique integration priorities. In response to the pandemic, the program has pivoted to a virtual model of volunteer social support, an instructive experience highlighting both the opportunities and challenges of virtual volunteer engagement in newcomer integration.

  • Andrew Lusztyk, Together Project
  • Anna Hill, Together Project
  • Natasha Comeau, Together Project


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Newcomer Employment Initiatives at a Local Level – Different Initiatives to Support Newcomers in Saint John, NB (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Daniel Rito Farias, YMCA of Greater Saint John

Saint John, New Brunswick is the only CMA to decline in population according to the 2016 Canadian Census, and the provincial average age is among the oldest in the country. Essential to population growth are immigrants and non-permanent residents, however, employment poses a major barrier. Thus, various local stakeholders have developed initiatives for newcomers to gain, maintain, and retain meaningful employment. In this workshop we will share 3 different ways organizations are addressing employment barriers for our local immigrants and non-permanent residents; followed by an open discussion regarding lessons learned and how these initiatives may relate to your community.

  • Daniel Rito Farias, YMCA of Greater Saint John
  • Janet Scott, New Saint John Region Economic Development Agency
  • Mike Quinn, WorkingNB, Government of New Brunswick


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Bridging the Gap: Piloting a Virtual School Support Pilot for the Yazidi Community (Watch Video)

Chair: Elise Herzig, JIAS Toronto

The Yazidi community has experienced unimaginable trauma at the hands of ISIS. While strong and resilient, their children face significant learning challenges including family illiteracy, gaps in schooling, and poor access to technology. When schools went online, they faced increased risk of falling further behind their peers. This summer, JIAS Toronto piloted an online school support program for 48 kids grades 1-8, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 closures. In the process, we found creative solutions to get these students online and enthused. This workshop will explore this adventure and consider the positive outcomes for participants and their families.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Immigration Data Portal: A Powerful Tool for Local Immigration Partnerships (Watch Video)

Chair: Doug Olthof, National LIP Secretariat

In 2017, IRCC began funding a partnership between the network of Local Immigration Partnerships and the Community Data Program to ensure that all LIPs have access to immigration data at geographies that reflect their service areas. This partnership has resulted in the creation of the Immigration Data Portal, which allows all LIPs to access immigration data and infographics to aid in community-level planning and communication. This workshop will include an overview of that partnership and a demonstration of how to use the Immigration Data Portal to communicate the immigration story of your community.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Building Community Capacity, Wellbeing, and Power Through Service Co-creation (Watch Video)

Chair: Alysha Baratta, Options Community Services Society

Top settlement programs address essential issues newcomers list as their stepping stones to success in Canada – learning English and finding a job. While essential information and orientation services have moved online during the pandemic, there are fewer opportunities for newcomers to take meaningful roles participating in their communities. And yet, contributing to one’s own community is critical to wellbeing and belonging. Jenn and Alysha have developed distinct yet aligned projects to co-design services with newcomers as a community development tool. Join them to hear how they are challenging assumptions within settlement services and co-designing ways for newcomers to thrive.

  • Alysha Baratta, Options BC Community Services
  • Jennifer Chan, North York Community House


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Meeting Change: How Two LINC Programs Pivoted Successfully During the Pandemic (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Diana Ospina, MOSAIC

Organizations faced many challenges with the suspension of in person services during the global pandemic. ISANS and MOSAIC are recognized for client centered support, a robust culture of learning and an established capacity for online learning. This enabled us to successfully serve clients remotely. Workshop panelists will draw on over 10 years of experience supporting learners online to share best practices for successful remote learning for adult newcomers. We will also discuss approaches to building flexibility in program design to respond well to client needs in an unpredictable environment.

  • Anthony Caldwel,  Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Astrid van der Pol, MOSAIC
  • Diana Ospina, MOSAIC
  • Setsu Kawahara, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Improving the Settlement of Sponsored Refugees Through Sponsors-Settlement Partnership (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Lorene Moran-Valenzuela, Allies for Refugee Integration, Refugee 613

How can we improve service delivery for privately sponsored refugees? Allies for Refugee Integration is working with stakeholders across Ontario through research and pilot testing to answer this question. We tested a three-way case management model with a pre and post-arrival connection between sponsors & settlement to establish roles for a successful sponsorship. This workshop will focus on the experience of our partners at YMCA of Three Rivers and MCCO in Kitchener-Waterloo who tested this model. We will share recommendations for policy makers and the sector on how to improve services, as well as the benefits and challenges of implementing this model during the pandemic.

  • Andrea Geisel, YMCA of Three Rivers
  • Anna Schwartz, YMCA of Three Rivers
  • Lorene Moran-Valenzuela, Allies for Refugee Integration Project, Refugee 613
  • Michelle Ball, Allies for Refugee Integration Project, OCASI
  • Stephanie Schreuders, Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Continuing Services Through the Pandemic – Employment Programming and Services in Saint John, NB (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Olive Ozoemena, YMCA of Greater Saint John

The New Brunswick Government declared a state of emergency on March 16, 2020. Y Newcomer Connections had delivered settlement services for 20 years in person at different locations in Saint John. We were exploring the possibility to offer online services and programs and after the announcement, the employment team was able to turn its services and programs into a virtual setting in 1 week. During the workshop, we will share our experience on how we’re getting ready without knowing, how we transitioned employment programming, employment services, and even a program evaluation research project online and exchange best practices with participants.

• Daniel Rito Farias, YMCA of Greater Saint John
• Marijke Geurts, New Language Solutions
• Olive Ozoemena, YMCA of Greater Saint John
• Sue Hemmings, YMCA Greater Saint John


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Family Violence and Cultural Safety (Watch Video)

Chair: Fariborz Birjandian, CCIS

The CCIS Cultural Brokerage Program was developed to work in a nuanced way to ensure that newcomer families receive culturally responsive supports that are adaptable to their unique strengths and needs. Recognizing the need for Systems-intervention, CCIS also supports Family Violence service providers to best address the unique intersecting needs of newcomer families. This presentation will share our experience working at the intersection of culture and family violence, and how understanding the whole family as part of a broader community is essential to supporting newcomers. We will also share key data from our program evaluation to illustrate the scale and scope of work as well as impacts that have been identified.

  • Amanda Koyama, Calgary Catholic immigration Society (CCIS)
  • Amanda Weigtman, Habitus Consulting Collective Inc.
  • Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic immigration Society (CCIS)


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Building Resilient Systems to Support International Students in Canada (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Valerie Preston, York University

Join researchers, working with the Building Migrant Resilience in Cities-Immigration et résilience en milieu urbain (BMRC-IRMU) SSHRC-funded partnership, to discuss their work regarding international students in Ontario and Quebec. Specifically, the focus will be on addressing migration and settlement trends and the need for coordination between educational institutions and off-campus communities to foster international student resilience.

Learning Outcomes:
Participants will gain a stronger appreciation of research and theory related to theories of resilience, their applicability to the experiences of international students in Canada, and how the idea of resilience is relevant to the systems that support international students in Canada. Furthermore, the idea of the intelligent career will be examined, and its application in a practical and relevant context to international students will be explored.

  • Francine Schlosser, University of Windsor
  • Luisa Veronis, University of Ottawa
  • Margaret Walton-Roberts, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Sutama Ghosh, Ryerson University
  • Valerie Preston, York University


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Role of Media in Driving Information for Settlement Services During the Pandemic (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

In March 2020, a major shift occurred. The pandemic was here in Canada. The response from the government was decisive – most service centres, including many settlement organizations that were essential in connecting newcomers to life in Canada, had to close, pivot or reinvent themselves to function remotely. New immigrants, too, began searching for advice and support online. This gave rise to new and stronger partnerships between immigrant media networks and settlement agencies across Canada to get valuable information out to newcomers during these tough times. Let’s applaud the efforts of some such contributors, and put a spotlight on media’s role as a facilitator and influencer in the settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada.

  • Fiona Bramble, Here in Canada
  • Gerard Keledjian, New Horizons Media Inc.
  • Mohommed Bagha, Saint John Newcomer Centre


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Understanding How Service Providing Organizations and Provincial Associations Support Meaningful Community Engagement for Immigrants and Refugees (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Suzanne Huot, University of British Columbia

Immigrants and refugees’ integration into host communities is reciprocally related to the daily occupations they need, want and are expected to engage in (e.g., working, parenting, learning English). Opportunities to fully participate in society are mediated through community organizations who provide key settlement and related supports. This panel presents findings from key informant interviews with representatives from service providing organizations and provincial umbrella organizations that were conducted as part of three separate qualitative studies. Focusing on the context of Metro Vancouver, and its Francophone minority communities in particular, these studies address the challenges of fostering social participation within neoliberal constraints.

  • Anne-Cécile Delaisse, University of British Columbia
  • Atieh Razavi Yekta, University of British Columbia
  • Suzanne Huot, University of British Columbia


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Improving Health Outcomes in Newcomers with Complex Needs through Multidisciplinary Models of Care and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration (Download Presentation)

Chair: Mariah Maddock, National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4)

The current pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of newcomers to Canada. Data analysis of Ontario COVID+ residents has shown a hyper-representation of newcomers, despite barriers to access testing. These findings have raised the awareness and urgency for cross-sectoral collaboration to ensure health equity for newcomers. This session will profile one city’s attempts to breakdown the silo between health and settlement services, as well as the formation of the new National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4) whose aim is to support newcomer-serving professionals across sectors to connect, learn and collaborate, with the ultimate goal of ensuring an equitable experience.

• Christine Kouri, CHEO – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, CHEO
• Mariah Maddock, National Newcomer Navigation Network
• Sahar Zohni, National Newcomer Navigation Network


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Inclusion of Intercultural Education in Settlement Practices for Newcomers to Canada (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Frank Bessai, Catholic Social Services

The Theories and practices of Intercultural Education are an essential component of successful integration of Newcomers into Canadian Life. Settlement service delivery including Newcomer educational modules developed by CSS Immigration and Settlement Service has become increasingly based upon Intercultural Education. This knowledge and expertise is applied throughout the service, and has been an asset to the achievement of successful integration for countless newcomers in the City of Edmonton. This session will highlight three specialized programs in which this unique approach is being implemented.

  • Frank Bessai, Catholic Social Services
  • Elis Blouin, Catholic Social Services
  • Diana Mora, Catholic Social Services
  • Isolde Schmid, Catholic Social Services


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Teaching Immigration Differently: University Classroom as an Incubator for Collaborative Research (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Yoko Yoshida, Western University

In Fall 2019, a new course on immigration research was launched at Dalhousie University. The course was designed to develop research that caters to the interest of community partners. This form of university course transforms the classroom space into an incubator for collaborative research that produces research relevant for community partners, while students learn from experts and produces research. In this workshop, the instructor of the course will present the overview of the course and the community partners are invited to speak about their experience in this course; and together we will discuss lessens learnt and the ways forward.

  • Louise VanWart, Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI)
  • Nabiha Atallah, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Roberto Montiel, Project Manager, Halifax Immigration Partnership
  • Yoko Yoshida, Western University


Tuesday, March 25, 2021

Creating a Community for Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Christin Wall, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Learn how the Immigrant Women Entrepreneurship Program and Immigrant Women Entrepreneurship Network are helping Nova Scotian immigrant women access information, resources, and build connections. These women are benefiting from a community where they feel confident, prepared, and supported. We’ll discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our efforts to expand women’s entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia and we will share our best practices for maintaining personal connections as we pivoted to our virtual space. We’ll share some challenges women entrepreneurs encounter but we’ll wrap up with clients’ testimony.

  • Christine Wall, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Mai Alnabhan, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Cindy Allen, ACOA Business Information Services
  • Temidayo Ojieyan, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Innovation and Collaboration to Optimize the Settlement and Well-Being of Refugees During COVID-19 (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Abe Oudshoorn, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University

In this workshop two collaborative projects will be presented. An analysis will be provided that explores the experiences of six GAR families resettling at the time the pandemic was declared. This provides the sector with an opportunity to understand the impacts and implications of COVID-19 on settlement. Additionally, a collaborative approach to support the dissemination of culturally informed COVID-19 public health information within the Yazidi community in London, On will be discussed. This project demonstrates the essential nature of cross-sectoral collaboration and the timely response that is needed in reaching targeted communities during the pandemic.

  • Abe Oudshoorn, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University
  • Fawziah Rabiah-Mohammed, Western University
  • Joe Antone, Middlesex London Health Unit
  • Omar Khoudeida, London Cross Cultural Learner Centre
  • Vythi Devarajan, Project Coordinator, Cross Cultural Learner Centre


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Making Evaluation Meaningful: Building Capacity for Community-based Evaluation in Times of Disruption (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Rich Janzen, Centre for Community Based Research

The trend of community-based evaluation has shifted the focus from seeing evaluation reactively to appease funder expectations, to seeing evaluation proactively for healthy organizational development. A community-based approach to evaluation can help evaluation to be meaningful and support adaptive management, especially during disruptive and uncertain times. This workshop will explore how service provider organizations can build their community-based evaluation capacity. Each presentation will provide a unique angle from service provider, researcher, and government perspectives and bring examples of evaluation capacity-building during the global pandemic. Presenters are involved in the national project “Evaluating Refugee Programs” funded by IRCC (see www.eval4refugee.ca)

  • David Kurfurst, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • Leah Hamilton, Mount Royal University
  • Nabiha Atallah, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Rich Janzen, Centre for Community Based Research


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

WRAPCAP Youth Settlement Project – Building Sector Capacity Across the PNT Region (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Carolee Israel Turner, Centre for Newcomers

A 5-year initiative led by Centre for Newcomers, this project aims to build organizational capacity in the use and implementation of wraparound service delivery for newcomer youth. The project is youth led as they share their perspectives on what is working and not working, and how they feel services should be delivered moving forward. It is funded by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and includes settlement, non-settlement, government, and industry partners across IRCC’s PNT Region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories).

  • Carolee Israel Turner, Centre of Newcomers
  • Darcie Gage, Mcman Youth, Family Community Services
  • Kate McDougall, Centre of Newcomers
  • Lindsay Guyn, Guyn Cooper and Associates


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Responding to Temporary Foreign Workers’ Needs During COVID-19 in B.C. (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Dennis Juarez, MOSAIC

The workshop will include discussions about the Employment and Social Development Canada strategy to support migrant workers during the pandemic through the Pilot Project in BC. This includes collaboration between settlement agencies and government agencies to support migrant workers through outreach, food hampers, outings and emergency supports. This workshop will include best practices and partnership strategies with employers to help workers’ conditions, and will discuss how the COVID-19 Guidelines impacted migrant workers, employers, and service providers.

  • Dennis Juarez, MOSAIC
  • Iris Solorzano, Options Community Services
  • Carolina Nunez, MOSAIC
  • Jennifer Ng, MOSAIC


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Emerging Practices in Settlement Service Delivery: A Hybrid Model to Respond to Newcomer Needs (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Jinny Rodrigo, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

The landscape of settlement service delivery during the pandemic has transformed. Known best practices may no longer serve. What practices have emerged during this unprecedented time that seem to work and who gets left behind? How do we, as a sector, find ways to work remotely effectively and how do we find ways that minimize risk when the inevitable return to the office occurs. The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Settlement & Family division shares observations made during the pandemic as they have continued to serve BC newcomers in the Greater Vancouver area and Fort St. John during the pandemic.

  • Calisto Mudzingwa, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Jinny Rodrigo, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Peggy Lau, S.U.C.C.E.S.S
  • Shae Viswanathan, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

LINC and ELT: Pathways to Online Service Delivery during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Watch Video(Download Presentation)

Chair: Lucy Fitzpatrick, Catholic Crosscultural Services Toronto

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded service providers needed to act quickly to adapt programs and services to ensure clients were supported. CCS shifted its Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC), Care for Newcomer Children (CNC) and Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Programs from fully in person to fully online, a process which has led to many challenges, learnings and innovative solutions. This workshop will present the pathways to online LINC and ELT service delivery and its results. It will explore challenges, opportunities and key factors for success in delivering LINC and Enhanced Language Training services remotely during COVID-19 and beyond.

  • Lucy Fitzpatrick, Catholic Crosscultural Services
  • Klara Frasheri, Catholic Crosscultural Services
  • Tanya Lauder, Catholic Crosscultural Services


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Customized Supports through Innovative Partnerships: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Building Resilient Newcomers (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Celestina Akinkunmi, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

For 38+ years, CIWA has worked collaboratively across sectors to positively impact the lives of newcomers to Canada. Recently, the complex needs of new waves of immigrants have created the impetus for re-examining our service delivery practices and exploring innovative partnerships with new players at the table, in an effort to build inter-sectoral capacity through a multidisciplinary approach to serving vulnerable immigrants. This presentation will showcase our Health Literacy Partnership Project, a two year collaboration with MOSAIC Refugee Health Clinic that focuses on improving health literacy outcomes and reducing the barriers to accessing health services for low literacy adult newcomers.

  • Amira Abed, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
  • Celestina Akinkunmi, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
  • Jyoti Agnihotri, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
  • Rekha Gadhia, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)


Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Newcomer Insight Collaborative (NIC) – A Model for Collaborative COVID-19 Service Delivery Data Analysis (Watch Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Irmi Hutfless, Catholic Crosscultural Services

This workshop introduces the Newcomer Insight Collaborative (NIC), a model and platform for how organizations can work together to jointly make better use of their service delivery data for program planning and development. The Newcomer Insight Collaborative, a university-community partnership initiative, constitutes a model for tackling the challenges of data and research capacity in the non-profit sector. This workshop will explore the practical ways in which organizations can work together on data collaboratives, how we can compare pre and post COVID-19 service delivery and the importance of current and relevant data analysis during times of rapid change.

  • Andre Cire, University of Toronto
  • Irmi Hutfless, Catholic Crosscultural Services
  • Sharon Neumann, ACCES Employment


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Towards Decolonized Practice in Settlement Work (Watch Video)

Chair: Oscar Vergara, NorQuest College

This webinar will explore how established practices in Canada’s settlement sector can be reimagined through a decolonized lens. Professional “helpers” often occupy a role that is highly influential in the lives of newcomers to Canada, and service-providing agencies routinely share knowledge that plays a vital role in their successful integration into Canadian society. This webinar thus will provide space for dialogue that examines how current approaches to newcomer support augment the settlement continuum in Canada, and how working towards a decolonized settlement work practice can help “unsettle” our conceptions of what it means to be “Canadian.”