When is the last time I went out of my way to have a conversation with, connect with, a newcomer
Eric, Gerard, Charbel
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Be the change you want to see