Working with Immigrant Fathers to Prevent Violence
(French) (90 minutes)

Violence is present in all communities, whether it's domestic violence, family violence or other types of violence. In the context of settlement and integration challenges facing immigrant families, the frustrations experienced by fathers oftentimes have an impact on all family members. This workshop aims to explore various strategies families can use to prevent all forms of violence. This workshop will provide settlement workers with tools they can share with their clients so these can better understand the realities and values of the host society and better manage their emotions.

Christiane Fontaine has over 30 years of experience working in various relevant areas for Francophone minority communities. Her experience and research have allowed her to better understand the Franco-Ontarian community in all its diversity, both at the demographic level and in terms of its challenges and key issues. She has developed various tools to support Francophone workers in their professional practices.  She implemented a provincial project to help internationally trained professionals become licensed to work in Ontario. She has organized and offered various trainings for Francophone practitioners on working in a multiethnic context in the fields of health and other social and community services.

Yollande Dweme, M. Pitta is a trained social worker and a postsecondary teacher in social work. She is a PhD candidate in social and human sciences and social justice education at the University of Toronto. Her expertise is specifically grounded on Francophone minority communities as well as newcomer settlement and integration issues. She has facilitated a number of interactive workshops to strengthen the skills of both professionals and community members. She has also been invited to act as a speaker in conferences addressing immigration issues.

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise: An interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught
(Simultaneous French Interpretation) (3 hours)

The KAIROS Blanket exercise is a teaching/learning tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Developed by a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators it teaches part of the history most Canadians, refugees and immigrants are never taught. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise uses participatory popular education methodology to build understanding of our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. All participants are actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. By engaging on an emotional, physical and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates while increasing empathy and solidarity. This link connects to a short clip about the KBE, how it works, what it does and why it is gaining recognition across the country as an important education, reconciliation and community building teaching tool:www.kairosblanketexercise.org

Bob Phillips (Great Bear) is a non-Status Urban Mi’kmaq. A traditional Pipe Carrier, Bob also holds a PhD in Indigenous Studies from Trent University. Bob spent ten years as host of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Arts Review show discussing art, culture and contemporary issues with community members from across Canada and the Far North. Bob has facilitated and led the KAIROS Blanket Exercise numerous times across the GTA.

Alfredo Barahona came to Canada as refugee in 1995, studied at York University and graduated with a BFA in Music Education. Alfredo has been both a participant and a facilitator at OCASI PD Conferences. Working with CultureLink, Alfredo helped develop and pioneer the “English Conversation Circle”, a service delivery model currently used by settlement service providers across Canada. Alfredo now works with KAIROS as Indigenous, Migrant and Network Relations Coordinator and has facilitated the Blanket Exercise in English and Spanish across Canada. Meaningful participation of people affected by the issues impacting communities is a key principle in Alfredo’s work.

Helping people find reliable legal information and legal services
(3 hours)

Newcomers to Canada often face challenges in addressing legal problems and turn to settlement workers and other social service workers for assistance. This workshop will help frontline workers build their knowledge and skills to assist their clients with these legal problems.

Participants will learn how to detect when people are facing legal problems, how to direct them to reliable sources of legal information, and how to effectively refer them for legal advice and representation. Participants will have an opportunity to work in small groups to find online information using case scenarios based on real life events. Scenarios will include examples of common legal problems people face in housing law,employment law and social assistance law.

Michelle Cader is the Community Outreach Manager at CLEO, Community Legal Education Ontario. She has worked as an educator in the non-profit sector for many years and draws on her academic background in both law and education in her current role. Over the past several years she has developed curriculum in legal information and has presented to hundreds of library staff and community workers province-wide.

Healthy Boundaries of Organizational Wellness
(3 hours)

The Healthy Boundaries for Organizational Wellness workshop is an opportunity for frontline staff, coordinators and managers to gain relevant and valuable skills that support and sustain healthy relationships at work while meeting organizational expectations. This workshop is designed to provide some simple and effective tools for creating and sustaining clear and defined boundaries at work that strengthen communications, set realistic expectations and, establish acceptable behaviours at work.

Aina-Nia Ayo’dele is the founder and managing director of Sacred Women International. She is a renowned leadership development trainer, ancient wisdom teacher and life coach. Aina-Nia has worked in the area of corporate and community leadership development for over two decades. She has developed and facilitated various personal and professional development programs to academic, corporate, spiritual and civil society audiences in across Canada, USA, the Caribbean and Ghana including, the SLT™ (Sacred Leadership Training) and The Healing Arts for Personal & Organizational Wellness™ programs.

In 2016 Aina-Nia was named one of the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and in 2015 she was recognized by the Ontario government for her contributions to community. In 2008, Aina-Nia was nominated as one of Toronto’s Most Inspiring Women. She has received recognitions by both the Canadian and USA media. Aina-Nia is in the process of completing her first documentary television series, Remembering Her Power™ and her online leadership course will be launched at the end of 2017. Aina-Nia is known for the clarity, passion, warm humour and insightfulness she brings to her training workshops. She masterfully delivers innovative theories and techniques on self-mastery as a means to supporting personal and organizational resilience for those in social and political movements.

Building up -Anti Oppression with a Focus on Power Privilege & Identity
(90 minutes)

The purpose of this workshop is to build skills awareness of frontline workers and management on the intersectionality of power, privilege and identity, and the impact it has on making connections to newcomer youth. Anti O is HUGE and has many different components – we will be intentionally focusing on race, racism, language, ethnicity, age, gender, refugee, socioeconomic class, skills, sexual orientation, religion, ancestral origin, geographical locations. Looking at some of the challenges you might face in the day to day work place, the kind of tools you have developed, and your experience with the these principles and organizational practices. The goal of this training is to activate your thoughts on building an inclusive work environment, understanding the multiplicity of the situation of oppression, and gaining insight on New Canadian youth, and Canadian youth trends. (90 minutes)

Marlon Merraro has a 20 year history of providing a variety of significant programs and services for children, youth, adults, seniors and newcomers in communities across the City of Toronto. He is a dynamic, strategic and results-oriented leader who builds on the City of Toronto biggest asset; it’s diversity and uses it as a strong foundation for success; to engage communities, residents, and stakeholders to improve the lives of residents and the neighbourhoods across Toronto. Marlon has held leadership positions in community based organizations such as St. Stephen’s Community House, Toronto Public Health, Youthlink Inner City, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Society, Pape Adolescent Resource Centre and the Rexdale Community Hub.

Roxanne Challenger is the Manager of Youth Services at the Centre for Education & Training and her mission is to empower young people professional and personally who are facing 7 barriers to their life goals. During her 20 years within the industry she has work with youth who are marginalize, homeless, new to Canada, in the criminal justice system, and youth with mental health. Some of this worker was done through agencies or association like John Howard Society, YES Toronto, Job Start, Woodgreen Community Centre, United Way of Peel Diversity Council and much more. Roxanne was also selected for the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Train the Trainer Settlement Training (Only 22 selected across Ontario)

Suelyn Knight is a passionate community developer and advocate for social change. Currently, as the Community Strategy Lead for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, she supports the social service sector in various cities to provide a collective impact approach to multi-barriered youth seeking entry into the labour market. She is also a consultant with TD Bank on diversity, inclusion and hiring and retention practices. Formerly the Project Manager for the Black Experience Project, a groundbreaking study looking at the lived experiences of the Black population in the GTA, Suelyn works to build the capacity of the corporate and public sector on understanding the issues that racialized individuals and youth face in employment and civic engagement. Suelyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is completing a Master of Education degree at York University, with a focus on community-based research specializing in equity and diversity studies. Her research explores the connections between race, marginalization and social mobility.

Too Good To Be True?: Promoting Positive Financial Health for Newcomers and How to Identify Scams
(90 minutes)

This presentation will help you to know the common warning signs of investment fraud and some of the more common scams. Learn how to advise your clients on how to protect themselves and where to find unbiased resources and tools to help them make good financial decisions.

Christine Allum works in Investor Office at the Ontario Securities Commission to deliver investment education to help Ontarians protect their money and better manage their finances. Prior to this, she worked for a non-profit organization and managed a financial literacy program which included delivering teacher training and resource development. Her expertise developing resources, helping seniors learn how to recognize frauds and scams and collaborating with various partners to deliver training programs for financial literacy.

Breaking Down Barriers: Innovative Approaches to Filling Service Gaps and Improving Access to Services for Migrant Live-in Caregivers and migrant workers
(90 minutes)

This interactive workshop will facilitate discussion around identifying needs,issues and systemic barriers migrant workers and live-in caregivers face in accessing services as well as promising practices to overcome these barriers. It will also include a documentary film showing, a panel and a small group discussion and a strategy session where workshop participants can identify ways on how they can implement some of the promising strategies into action to ensure improved access to services by these vulnerable workers The objectives of the workshop are to:

  1. Increase understanding of workshop participants to the history of Live-in Caregiver/New Caregiver Program and recent immigration policy changes and how it is impacting these vulnerable workers.
  2. Capture concerns and issues, address gaps in service provision and adapt a preventative and proactive approach in breaking down barriers to access;
  3. Provide opportunities for networking, sharing of information and expertise and innovative approaches that address current and emerging issues

Marie “Esel” Laxa Panlaqui is a part-time Settlement Counselor at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office(TNO). She represents TNO at the Community Advisory Committee of the Migrant Mother’s Project and sits in the Canadian Council for Refugees Sub Committee on Migrant Workers. Stemming from her own lived experience as an immigrant who arrived in Canada in 2005, she has a strong passion with issues that affect newcomers including foreign live-in caregivers. She currently provides phone services to caregivers in the evening and weekend itinerant and mobile services to reach out and engage the isolated and vulnerable live-in caregivers. Aside from providing direct services, she is involved in several community organizing and advocacy projects

Nir Gepner has been practicing clinic immigration law since 2012. He has practiced in Toronto at East Toronto CLS, and at Flemingdon CLS. Nir currently works at Willowdale CLS.

Newcomers and the Law
(90 minutes)

Does the law does help or hurt newcomer’s efforts to gain fair access to employment in their field? How can we help clients better understand their workplace rights? Concerned with occupational health and safety risks facing clients? Wish you could help clients better navigate access to H&C relief or help Live-in- Caregivers exploited by their employers?

The KEYS Job Centre is tackling these questions with a unique yearlong legal training project for front line workers and community leaders. You will learn how to replicate our legal training project to build capacity and involve community leaders. Using an interactive case study format, select aspects of employment law, OH&S policy and aspects of immigration law impacting newcomer’s fair access to employment protections and entitlements will be explored. You will learn how to better assist clients and how the immigrant/settlement sector can collaborate and advocate for policy improvements to support legal justice for newcomers.

Integrated Model in Settlement Services Partnerships
(90 minutes)

The purpose of the workshop is to share our successful unique model of settlement with other organizations, particularly those working with a diverse population and speak about how providing settlement counselling within a partnership, and involving former program participants can enhance health programs.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Recognize that the immigration process has a huge impact on social determinants of health
  • Recognize that having a baby is a huge life transition, especially for new mothers in a new country
  • Recognize the value of providing holistic services thru “integrated” model of settlement - working with a team addressing all client and family needs.
  • Recognize the value of involving peer support in program provision.

Maria Santos Findlay is the Coordinator of Perinatal Settlement Services, Newcomer Services at St. Stephen’s Community House. St. Stephen’s partners with 5 CPNP (Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program) in Toronto, including Great Start Together at Queen West— Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre. We also partner with Toronto Public Health in 2 Peer Nutrition Program (PNP) Support sites.

Yi Man Ng is a health promoter at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, Coordinator of CPNP program Great Start Together (GST).

Both have worked in the social service field for more than 15 years, including work in CPNP programs, community development, community education and advocacy. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge of settlement and adaptation at the individual and community levels. Their areas of expertise include settlement, peer involvement, advocacy, capacity building and public education. Both have Social Work backgrounds, BSW & MSW.

Reclaiming our Space
(Bilingual French/English) (90 minutes)

This is a time and place for frontline workers to have a facilitated open discussion with peers on issues of mutual concern; a space to strategize; or simply a place to (re)claim space and voice. (This session is closed to Management, Executive Directors, government and anyone outside the immigrant and refugee-serving sector).

Sizwe Inkingi is a queer Afropolitan, passionate about community building and empowerment. They moved to Ottawa, Canada five years ago to complete their tertiary education at Carleton University. They have a Bachelor's Degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management and are currently working for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants in Toronto as the Bilingual Coordinator for the Positive Spaces Initiative. Sizwe’s work primarily focuses on strengthening this network of LGBTQIA+ newcomer communities to Canada and providing useful resources and tools to the community at large.

Investing in the Future: Helping skilled Newcomers to Plan, and Pay for Rebuilding Their Career in Canada
(90 minutes)

Skilled immigrants may need a license, voluntary certification or additional training in order to work in their occupation in Canada. This workshop will build on Immigrant Access Fund’s experience to demonstrate how settlement workers can help their clients plan for, and finance this transition.Participants will strengthen their understanding of licensing and voluntary certification. The workshop will introduce different forms of financial aid for training and licensing, with a focus on IAF micro-loans for immigrants and refugees. Building on the IAF Learning Plan format, participants will learn tips and techniques to identify when client needs additional training and licensing, and help them with planning. A list of referral options and additional supports will be provided. (90 minutes)

Elga Nikolova came to Canada in 2000 with the vision of helping other immigrants break new ground by building their dream careers in their new country. Since that time she had worked as a front-line employment advisor and job developer, coordinated innovative online service for internationally-trained professionals, and facilitated the expansion of the Immigrant Access Fund to Ontario. In her role as a consultant, Elga has been lucky to collaborate with over 30 immigrant-serving programs and organizations, as well as networks and regulatory bodies advancing the agenda for immigrant employment integration.

Shawn McCarty believes in the ripple effect and has spent his nonprofit career building communities both online and offline. As Community Engagement Specialist for IAF Canada, Shawn can’t believe someone pays him to travel Ontario helping skilled newcomers re-build their careers in Canada. Shawn holds Masters and Bachelor of Arts degrees from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University.

Inclusive User Defined Service Model of Case Management
(Simultaneous Interpretation(French) (3 hours)

With the influx of refugees and the increase number of Newcomers to Canada the workshop will offer different tools and models which you can take away to support the complex dimensions of settlement & integration services. It will be hands on effective strategies within conducting needs assessment, settlement and integration plan, active listening, service coordination, working with others, objective writing and outcome measurements. This workshop will discuss the inclusive lens within the service delivery model walking away from unconscious biases and understand behaviors. The team will be able to practice different case studies, to share their inputs and problem solving. Everyone participants at the end of this workshop will walk away with an updated immigration information and ongoing best practices in this sector which fit within their organization.

Hanadi Al Masri is the Director of Social Enterprises at HMC Connections, she worked with HMC Connections for the last 16 years. Arrived to Canada as a skilled immigrant. She presented in many conferences such as Safeguarding Halton Forum, a Shared Responsibility of Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Halton Showcase, Trauma of Exile and Challenges to Settlement with the Canadian Centre of Victims of Torture in Toronto, Equity and Social Justice. She provided different consultation on immigration reform, settlement services and Cultural Barriers Analysis to Improve Access and Reduce Barriers within Integration of Newcomers to Canada and work effectively with the Ministry of Transportation and Halton Regional Police on Road Safety Education and awareness within cultural groups. Hanadi provided training sessions on Diversity, Cultural Sensitivity, Best Practices for Settlement Workers and developed the User Defined Service Model of Case Management. Hanadi established an opportunity of social enterprise business at HMC Connections which enhanced a transitional employment opportunity of skilled Immigrants within their languages to build their integrated employment references in Canada, enable them to establish a professional networks, experience services available for them and explore new career of being a certified interpreter/translator. Her passion is (DIVERSITY & INCLUSION).

HIV/AIDS: What Settlement workers in Ontario Need to Know
(3 hours)

This workshop will help to build the capacity of settlement agencies to create safe and inclusive services for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in Ontario. It will provide an overview of the science of HIV, stigma faced by people with HIV, and HIV-related legal issues. Newcomers/refugees living with HIV will share their experiences. Vital issues of confidentiality and dignity in service delivery will be discussed. Examples of effective policies and practices as well as information sources will be provided. Discussion of the intersections of HIV with the law will include human rights, disclosure (criminal and public health), HIV testing, immigration/refugee, and privacy law issues.

Jill McNall has been the Community Legal Worker at the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) since 2007. HALCO provides free legal services for people living with HIV in Ontario. Prior to joining HALCO, Jill spent many years at Willowdale Community Legal Services (WCLS) in Toronto. Although first and foremost a CLW, Jill became a licensed paralegal in 2008. She has B.A. from the University of Toronto and speaks Spanish as a second language.

Samara Carroll is a registered social worker with an MSW from University of Toronto. As the Family Support Team Leader at The Teresa Group she oversees and provides individual and family counselling and case management, support groups for mothers and families, therapeutic groups for children and youth, The Teresa Group summer camp for children and youth, and learns a great deal from the amazing women she works with in the community.

Dorothy Odhiambo is a registered social worker and Family Support Coordinator at The Teresa Group with over five years’ experience working with children and families. Dorothy graduated with a BSW from the University of Manitoba and has experience in the fields of disability support, child protection, housing and settlement. Dorothy’s favourite programs at The Teresa Group are facilitating “Leading the Way” therapeutic groups for young children aged 6-10 years and working with pregnant women and new Moms and their babies.

Créer des espaces positifs dans le secteur d’établissement / Creating positive spaces in the settlement sector
(Bilingual French/ English) (90 minutes)

LGBTQIA+ identified newcomers, immigrants, and refugees experience different forms of oppression that might hinder integration into the Canadian Society, settlement, access to jobs, goods and services. This workshop will provide frontline workers an opportunity to discuss the strengths and gaps that exist in serving these vulnerable populations within settlement sector, and to develop strategies and opportunities for collaboration in order to effectively support the aforementioned communities.

Through an interactive methodology using case studies, group discussions, and activities, we will examine the relationship between:

  • Power and privilege
  • Intersecting identities
  • Language, action, and impact

Sizwe Inkingi is a queer Afropolitan, passionate about community building and empowerment. They moved to Ottawa, Canada five years ago to complete their tertiary education at Carleton University. They have a Bachelor's Degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management and are currently working for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants in Toronto as the Bilingual Coordinator for the Positive Spaces Initiative. Sizwe’s work primarily focuses on strengthening this network of LGBTQIA+ newcomer communities to Canada and providing useful resources and tools to the community at large.

Yara Kodershah is a Coordinator for the Positive Spaces Initiative at the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants with over nine years of facilitation experience. She holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from the University of Alberta. She is passionate about the ways in which stories and narratives can be used to engage learners and empower communities.

Working with Sponsored Refugees and Sponsoring Groups to Facilitate a Successful Refugee Sponsorship
(90 minutes)

This workshop will equip the frontline staff of settlement agencies with the information they need to support the services they provide to sponsored refugees and sponsors to facilitate a successful refugee sponsorship. Topics covered will include: the role of settlement workers in refugee sponsorship; common post-arrival challenges for sponsored refugees; best practices for working with sponsoring groups and sponsored refugees; the rights of sponsored refugees; and how to manage disputes and avoid sponsorship breakdown. The workshop will be delivered in lecture format, with the use of case studies based on real examples and break out discussion groups.

Suneet Kharay is a trainer at the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP). Suneetspecializes in Refugee Status Determination (RSD), refugee protection and refugee resettlement. Prior to moving to Canada, Suneet conducted accelerated and non-accelerated RSD for the UK government for two years, and worked at the UNHCR office in London, UK on refugee protection and refugee resettlement. After moving to Canada in October 2014, Suneet worked at a leading law firm that specializes in Canadian refugee law, and joined RSTP in February 2016. Suneet has a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), and a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Public International Law with a specific focus on international refugee law and international humanitarian law.

Sathya Thillainathan is a national trainer with the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), and she holds an Honours BA in Political Science from University of Toronto and has extensive knowledge and experience working on issues related to the settlement of immigrants, newcomers and refugees. She is a passionate community advocate and has previously worked on issues of race, gender, poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood and youth empowerment.

Licensing in Ontario’s Regulated Professions
(90 minutes)

This introductory workshop will provide employment and settlement service providers with information and tools to help build their knowledge of the non-health regulated professions and skilled trades in Ontario and better support internationally trained immigrants (ITI’s) who want to become licensed or certified. The workshop will cover the regulatory environment, the licensing process, alternative careers, and support programs and resources. Participants will listen to an interactive presentation, work through a set of case studies with real-life scenarios, and receive a USB key containing a comprehensive set of resources for some of the top professions for immigrants: accounting, architecture, engineering, engineering technology, early childhood education, law, social work, social service work, teaching, and the skilled trades. At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to guide ITI’s through the licensing process for their profession, advise them on alternative careers pathways, and refer them to appropriate support programs and resources such as bridge training, language training, and internship and mentorship programs.

Thierry Guillaumont is a Senior Program Advisor with Global Experience Ontario (GEO), Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI). Thierry came to Canada in 1987 after working in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East in various positions in the private and public sectors. Thierry has over 25 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service. Prior to joining MCI as a Community Development Officer in 2006, Thierry was a Counsellor with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Towards a new economic integration model for newcomers: the social and solidarity economy as a model for empowerment and success
(French) (90 minutes)

Newcomer economic integration and financial empowerment can sometimes constitute a tough process. Given the adaptation process, which often lasts for several months and even several years, huge practical difficulties must be overcome. The social entrepreneurship and cooperative models may respond to such difficulties. Thus, during this workshop, the Conseil de coopération de l'Ontario would like to introduce various models stemming from the social and solidarity economy as an economically and socially valid alternative to respond to the problems facing newcomers. Using specific case studies and a practical exercise to equip frontline practitioners with the best knowledge on this topic, our presentation will aim to familiarize participants with these entrepreneurial development models currently growing in our province. The four tangents model will be introduced in order to give practitioners a solid theoretical basis.

Julien Geremie is Director of Development with the Conseil de la cooperation de l’Ontario in Toronto. He is responsible for providing support to over a dozen start-up co-operatives and social enterprises across Ontario, more specifically in the fields of agriculture, education, rural development, health, succession planning and much more. Julien works collaboratively with hundreds of partner organizations and he has a great knowledge of Ontario’s economic, social and cultural ecosystems. He is a guest speaker at various workshops and congresses both in Canada and abroad. He is the co-chair of the Ontario Social Economy Roundtable, member of the Ontario Government Social Impact Measurement Taskforce, member of the provincial and national government relations committees for the co-operative sector and more. Julien was also Head Delegate of a Canadian delegation to Japan during the 2016 G7 Summit. Julien holds a master’s degree in Political science (M. Sc.) from the University of Montreal

Working with Refugee Women and Men to Address Intimate Partner Violence:Recognize, Respond and Refer Violence Against Women
(90 minutes)

The purpose of this workshop is to strengthen capacity and enhance the professional competency and skills of frontline settlement/resettlement counselor when working with refugee women and men on intimate partner violence (domestic/woman as well as sexual abuse).

Farishta Murzban Dinshaw, M.Sc., M.A, is a Community Development Worker/Researcher at COSTI Immigrant Services, Toronto, working with ethno-cultural communities in Southern Ontario to raise awareness about problem gambling, family violence, and mental health issues. She is an adjunct professor with the Graduate Studies in Immigration and Settlement program at Ryerson University, Toronto. Farishta has presented on issues related to immigration and settlement, violence against women at conferences across Canada, and has co-led several research studies on these issues. Prior to immigrating to Canada, her work experience in Pakistan ranged from teacher education to community and resource development to research at Teachers’ Resource Centre (TRC), Karachi, and DAWN newspaper, Karachi.

Fatima Filippi, has worked in the immigrant and women services sectors since 1982. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Hons BA), Canadian Society of Association Executives achieving Certified Association Executive designation. Fatima is passionate about social justice and improving the lives of women. She has worked as an ESL instructor, ESL coordinator, settlement and woman’s abuse counselor. She joined Rexdale Women's Centre in 1987 and was appointed executive director in 1989. Fatima has worked with culturally diverse staff and boards to implement settlement, orientation, English language, crisis intervention, violence against women and children, and services for youth and seniors.

Carol Soares – is a registered social worker and project consultant who has dedicated her 20- year career supporting initiatives and services addressing gender-based violence. As a former Director of Clinical Services for a nonprofit women’s organization, Carol has used her creative ability to develop and implement projects incorporating innovative service models, and responsive modes of intervention. Carol is passionate about uniting missions with creative multimedia and web-based activities. She is an author and public speaker who believes that heightening awareness, community capacity building, and purposeful collaboration are the essential components for both local and global transformation. Carol is currently the Project Coordinator for the Advancing Recognition and Response to Intimate Violence in Ontario: A Collaborative Initiative for Resettlement Assistance Programs.

Improvising Your Way through Conflict Resolution

The workshop will give participants an opportunity to partake in improv, as a means to aid them in identifying tools and resources that can play an essential role when dealing with conflict. Participants will work “a.k.a play” through a range of activities in a constructive process that will aid them in recognizing methods and strategies, which would benefit them in their role as frontline workers. Through participation, opportunities for self-reflection and exploration in methods of communication, body language are present. Participants will increase their self–awareness, as it relates to their communication and body language techniques. Participate in a space that allows them opportunity engage in dialogue and utilize other participants as a resource.

Stephanie Lyanga is employed as a Programs Manager at Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. (WEST) in Windsor, Ontario. With 10 + years of experience in training and development, Stephanie uses improvisation as a method to engage her participants in skill development, as well provide an environment that enables them to experience self-exploration and sometimes take a small step out of their comfort zone. Throughout the years, Stephanie has developed and facilitated diversity, cultural competency, human rights, teambuilding and leadership workshops and training for persons ranging from elementary school to adult learners.

Updated Immigration and Citizenship Trends

Presenters will provide an update on common questions related to immigration and citizenship:

  1. An overview of the current eligibility rules for citizenship and the possible changes being proposed by the government of the day;
  2. Family sponsorship: i) proving a genuine relationship in spousal sponsorship cases, ii) the new application process for spousal sponsorship; iii) reviewing the definition of “dependent child”, iv) LICO issues in parent / grandparent sponsorship, and v) s. 117 (9) (d) cases (undeclared family members);
  3. Misrepresentation Investigations in family sponsorship; and
  4. Common barriers for temporary resident permits (visitor, work, study). (90 minutes)

Shalini Konanur is a lawyer and the Executive Director of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. Shalini has practiced immigration law for the past 15 years with a focus on issues that impact low-income South Asians in Canada. Her immigration practice includes sponsorship appeals, refugee claims, humanitarian and compassionate applications, criminal inadmissibility appeals, loss of permanent residence due to misrepresentation or residency issues, and problems with temporary residence. Shalini also conducts legal education and law reform on immigration-related issues. Shalini was the 2017 recipient of the Ontario Bar Association’s Award of Excellence in the Promotion of Women’s Equality, and SALCO is a proud founding member of the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Network.

Avvy Go is the Clinic Director of Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, serving low income clients facing linguistic and cultural barriers in accessing legal services. She is a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, a founding member of the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Network and a part time adjudicator of the Licence Appeal Tribunal. Previously Avvy was the Vice-Chair of the Court Challenges Program of Canada and President of the Chinese Canadian National Council (Toronto Chapter). Avvy has received a number of awards including the Order of Ontario and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers’ Lawyer of Distinction Award.

Trauma Informed Approach for Working with Syrian Newcomer Survivors of War and Torture

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the unique experiences of Syrian newcomers who are survivors of war and/or torture. It will include general background of the Syrian conflict and its humanitarian impact, a brief overview of Syrian demographics including language, ethnic, and cultural information and how that relative to effective settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada. The learning objectives will give participants a better understanding of the specific context of war/ torture and examine ways in which workers can address these issues and better advocate for the needs of survivors. The outcome of the workshop will provide a more comprehensive knowledge about the experiences of survivors, recognize barriers to engagement, critically identify how trauma affects the family and formulate practical strategies for support from an anti-oppressive and holistic framework when working with survivors. The format of the workshop will be conducted in an interactive lecture with a case study and group discussion.

Samar Ahmed is an Arabic speaking settlement and trauma counselor at the Canadian Centre for victims of torture. She has been working intensively with more than 500 refugees from Syria shortly after the beginning of Syrian conflict since 2012 offering them case management, supportive counseling and settlement services. Sharing similar language and cultural background enabled her to develop better understanding of barriers and challenges Syrian refugees are facing in their journey in settling in Canada.

Nadia Umadat has been with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture as the Child and Youth Counselor in the Scarborough branch since January 2016. She received her Master of Social Work and Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies in October 2015, both from York University in Toronto. She works with newcomer children and youth between the ages of 7 to 24 years old.

Supporting Francophone newcomers and creating linkages between Francophone and Anglophone services systems
(Bilingual English/French) (90 minutes)

This workshop will help service providers better understand the needs of Francophone newcomers, the diverse nature of Francophone newcomer communities, settlement trends and patterns and the service systems available to Francophones. It offers opportunities to discuss needs and realities of Francophones in various regions as well as promising practices on bridging Anglophone and Francophone services systems. Centre Francophone and TEQ LIP as co-facilitators of this workshop will use a case study and discussion-based approach to talk about the needs and service access challenges of Francophone newcomers and how organizations can work more closely together to bridge Francophones to services and supports in their language.

Participants will leave with a better understanding of:

  • Bilingual and Francophone systems in Ontario, including the public education system and community services.
  • Francophone immigration and settlement trends in Ontario
  • The diversity of Francophone newcomer communities
  • How Francophone and Anglophone organizations work together to support their Clients.

Matthew Klaas is a bilingual professional in the settlement sector, Matthew has worked at the intersection of Anglophone and Francophone services for several years. He provided settlement services to Francophone newcomers in schools as School Settlement Worker with Le Centre Francophone de Toronto, working in partnership two Francophone school boards. In 2013 he joined Catholic Crosscultural Services and works in the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership as TEQ LIP Officer, where a strong focus of his work has been to facilitate greater links among Francophone and Anglophone service systems. He currently co-facilitates a committee of Francophone community service providers in Scarborough.

Ngalula Kalunda holds a Bachelor in Sociology with a concentration in immigration, and Masters in Project Management. She has worked with the Centre Francophone de Toronto for 17 years, during which she has been a receptionist, social worker, legal clinic worker, interim director of Early Childhood, and, since 2007, Director of Newcomer Services. She is responsible for a team of 25 professionals who work in Toronto and Peel/Halton. She has always been concerned with developing better services for Francophone immigrants.

Vicarious Trauma and Self Care

As front line workers, counselors our work requires us to open our hearts and minds to the clients we serve. While putting ourselves in the shoes of our clients is required to serve our clients best and is rewarding, this very process of empathy may lead to negative aspects with the helping professional such as Vicarious Traumatization, burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue. This workshop will provide frontline staff and management with knowledge about Vicarious Trauma, strategies on how to recognize the risks and address vicarious trauma. Both frontline and management will engage in case study discussions, small and large group discussion, self-reflection exercises, and given a resource tool kit.

Mbalu Lumor has been working with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) for over a decade as a children/youth Trauma counselor and currently manages the Community Engagement program at CCVT. She is a graduate of University of Toronto and received an Honours.BA degree in Sociology. She has extensive experience working with diverse groups, providing both settlement and 3 trauma related counseling to refugee and immigrant populations, program design, evaluation and capacity building trainings. Mbalu is passionate about social justice, public education and human rights.