City of Richmond Diversity Symposium 2017

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It is my pleasure to be speaking at the 2017 City of Richmond’s Diversity Symposium on November 24. This year's theme is "Fostering Intercultural Curiosity and Community Connections", a fitting description of the work I have been engaged in since 2010. 

This symposium provides an opportunity for municipal staff and community organizations to share strategies for intercultural community and neighbourhood building. I will be delivering two presentations this year: 

My first presentation, How to Move from Multicultural Make-up to Interculturally Inspiredwill draw on my expertise as the former Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development at the University of British Columbia, “North America's most international university" according to Times Higher Education

UBC has internationalized at a rate that had produced unexpected complications for educators and students alike. From December 2010 to December 2015, I worked to meet the extraordinary challenges posed by the University's culturally, linguistically and intellectually diverse campus. At the Symposium, I’ll be sharing my account of UBC’s transition from its success as a multicultural campus to becoming a place of genuine intercultural learning. 

In my second presentation, I will be giving an update on the first set of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Community Roundtables, All Our Neigbours. When asked what advice Primer Minister Justin Treadeau would give to newcomers, during his delivery of the Symons Lecture in Charlottetown, PEI, he replied with, "Get to know your neighbours." Integration, at the granular level is all about neighbourliness; hence, the title of this series.

> 'Neighbour helping neighbour' is the Canadian way: Trudeau delivers Symons lecture (CBC.ca)

All our Neighbours has invited residents from Surrey, Coquitlam and Richmond to have frank discussions on the local impact that global migration has had on their neighbourhoods. The Roundtables have proven to be an incredible opportunity for community building, unearthing a wealth of stories from some of our least-heard voices. Not only has the program fostered new connections between residents, but also produced suggestions for strengthening community cohesion.

My presentation will focus on the work that went into the Roundtables behind the scenes, including the process, format, and results.

UBC Graduate School of Journalism 2017

This year marks my tenth anniversary as a lecturer at UBC's Graduate School of Journalism, where I have delivered an annual presentation on the importance of diversity in news media. As the father of two young boys, I'm well aware of how bias in the stories we consume can affect the way we think. Taking advantage of my own firsthand experience working with CBC Television and heading Schema Magazine, my presentation explored the difficulty of creating truly inclusive journalism that creates a space for different experiences and viewpoints. Part of my mission has been to provide training on how to disrupt different types of bias (including personal bias, cultural bias, systems bias, media bias, and negativity bias), and make future journalists and media producers aware of their impact on news reporting.

As always, I was impressed by both the diversity of this year's students and their passion to drive social inclusion. It remains a huge honour to contribute to the learning of those that will be shaping the stories and public discourse in our immediate future.

Photo credit: Olivia Williams

UBC Future Global Leaders 2017

I had the pleasure of being a part of this year's Future Global Leaders program at UBC, which helps high school students learn the intercultural fluency they'll need to succeed in the academic environment and beyond.

My engagement began with a two-hour seminar on Multiculturalism 3.0, followed by a workshop one week later. 

My workshop focused on teaching participants how to become inclusive leaders who can create a productive, welcoming environment for all. Thank you to all the students who provided thoughtful responses to our discussions on sensitive topics. It's my hope that they can put these critical skills to good use in the bright future ahead of them.

More information about the Future Global Leaders program I delivered can be found at extendedlearning.ubc.ca/programs/future-global-leaders.

University of Delaware | February 8, 2017

I would like to thank Dr. Carol Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity, and the Office of the Provost at the University of Delaware for the invitation to deliver intercultural skills training and facilitate a conversation around diversity and inclusion on their campus.

I was smothered by their hospitality and had a wonderful time facilitating workshops for a packed room of senior leadership, faculty and administration! There was great energy and strong sense of community, rallying behind the University's commitment to inclusive excellence! Here's are some photos from that day. 

Special thanks to Dana Perry, Ravi Ammigan and the team at the Office for International Students & Scholars for your support! I can't wait to come back. The presentation from that day can be found at the following link: aldenhabacon.com/udel

Internationally Trained Professionals Networking Fair 2016

I gave this year's keynote address at DIVERSEcity's 2016 Internationally Trained Professionals Networking Fair. 150 internationally trained professionals (ITPs), employment coaches and newcomer support staff attended the event, which featured one of the best employee/employer panels I've ever attended. Information about the panelists and my keynote presentation is at the following link: #ITP2016

Tri-Cities Refugee Support Forum

I recently had the enormous honour of delivering the keynote to the Tri-Cities Refugee Support Forum, a collaborative effort to bring together all the agencies and organizations in the Tri-Cities to connect and brainstorm how they can be more effective in supporting refugees, primarily coming from Syria. Special thanks to Wendy McCulloch, Co-Chair of the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership Council and Director of Operations for S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and Sylvia Ceacero. Co-Chair of the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership Council and CEO for SHARE Family and Community Services for the invitation. HUGE THANKS to Amy Cheng, Strategic Initiatives and Integration Manager at S.U.C.C.E.S.S. for helping me with the research on Syrian refugees in B.C. 

> READ my keynote address

Citizenship Week 2016

Photo: Alden E. Habacon. Citizenship Ceremony October 11, 2016

Photo: Alden E. Habacon. Citizenship Ceremony October 11, 2016

I had the wonderful privilege of addressing two groups of New Canadians during this year's Citizenship Week. The group pictured above was the first, and included 56 New Canadians coming from 20 different countries. Someone mentioned that Canada is one of the few countries in the world that actually has a formal ceremony. I realized later that I have actually been speaking at Citizenship Ceremonies since 2007. This was especially meaningful for me, as I was involved in the early promotion of Citizenship Week when I worked at CBC Television. One of our initiatives was to have CBC host ceremonies at production centres across Canada during Citizenship Week. 

+ Read my address