When is the last time I went out of my way to have a conversation with, connect with, a newcomer

Who came?

Eric, Gerard, Charbel

Question?

What difference will it make? Immigrants just want to live in the big cities. They will not stay in our communities

  • Immigrants might want to stay in our communities but will not if they don’t feel welcome or acknowledged.

  • Immigrants should initiate the contact. They are the ones who came here.

  • Breaking into closed groups especially in smaller communities is difficult at the best of times. So imagine coming from a different culture.

Notes & Ideas

  • Impairments

    • Old concept that immigration is a taboo subject

    • Fear of causing awkwardness by speaking of cultural differences or visible characteristics

    • Shy by the lack of cultural knowledge

    • Fear of others reaction

  • Solutions

    • Approach the person with respect and dignity

    • If the person says he\she is from halifax, respect the answer

    • Listen to understand not to answer

    • Respect the pause, the person may need to process the information in their head before verbalizing the answer.

Actions

  • Introduce yourself to 1 newcomer in the next month

  • Volunteer at the local multicultural centre

  • Read or research about an ethnic community in your area

  • Encourage your children to embrace cultural diversity

Take away

  • Be the change you want to see