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 Inspired, will 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.
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.