July 2010

Hot Topics

AMSSA is pleased to announce that Powell River’s Eagle Radio Station is now airing the three Safe Harbour: Respect for All radio Public Service Announcements. Please take a moment to listen to our PSAs on our website: www.safeharbour.ca

Lin Chen, Safe Harbour Coordinator with DIVERSECity, invited one of her workshop participants to provide feedback. Debra Taylor with Totally TAYLOR’D Transformations has posted about the benefits of being a Safe Harbour Location on her blog: http://www.totallytaylord.com/safe-harbour#comment-126

An article in the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune published on July 13th, 2010 provides insight into the Safe Harbour: Respect for All workshop and how participating businesses and organizations benefit as a respectful, welcoming for people of different cultures. Please see: http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2666479

Koyali Burman with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House facilitated a Safe Harbour workshop at the office of Mable Elmore, MLA for Vancouver-Kensington. 25 participants found the workshop to be engaging, informative, and some requested additional workshops. Ms. Elmore reported that she received positive feedback from her staff. Newly certified Safe Harbour Locations in South Vancouver include: the Mable Elmore Constituency Office, Bahena immigration, Ginintuan Seniors Brigade of BC Society, and the Hospital Employees Union.


Safe harbour BC Continues To Grow

18 Canada Safeway stores in Vancouver, Mission, Chilliwack, Burnaby and Powell River have participated in our Safe Harbour: Respect for All workshops offered locally. Diversity issues that participants have raised include how to deal with languages other than English/French being spoken on the floor or in staff rooms. This provided an excellent opportunity for the Safe Harbour facilitator to explore topics of inclusion and exclusion and the provision of equitable treatment to all.

2011 Multifaith Calendar coming soon……order today

Respect for All Day is the first Tuesday of the month. AMSSA and our Community Organizers invite all businesses and organizations to consider engaging in a Respect for All Day discussion topic or activity. For a list of suggestions, please visit our Safe Harbour Blog: http://safeharbourblog.wordpress.com

The well anticipated 2011 Multifaith Calendars will be arriving in August! This year’s theme is “Celebrating Diversity”. With the growing population and diversity in Canada, it is important to have a stronger knowledge and understanding of other cultures and religious occasions. This is a great opportunity to further your commitment in diversity to staff, clients and friends. The Multifaith Calendar can also act as a fundraising tool for your organization – AMSSA offers discounts on large orders. For more information, or to purchase your calendar today, please call AMSSA at 604-718-2780 / 1.888.355.5560, order on line at https://www.amssa.org/calendar or email amssastore@amssa.org


Whats up at AMSSA

AMSSA’s Annual General Meeting will be held Friday, September 24th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Vancouver Museum (Joyce Walley Learning Center) 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver. There will be a presentation by Puente Theatre Group “With Open Arms” as well as Special Presentations of the AMSSA Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award and the AMSSA Service Recognition Awards. For more information, please contact AMSSA at 604-718-2778 or amssa@amssa.org

Climate Migrant Research Project

AMSSA is a partner in a cutting edge research project which is looking at existing and potential new migrant flows to BC driven by environmental degradation in other countries. The research project is led by the Social Planning and Research Council (SPARC), funded through the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) as part of a five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Council “Climate Justice” research program.

The research will learn from immigrant service professionals within the AMSSA membership, as well as from BC and Canadian policy makers. It will focus on the dynamics of previous exceptional migrant flows (eg: Kosovars, Achenese, Chinese boat arrivals), and policy and settlement practice responses. It will also look at certain source countries to learn about environmental and other emigration drivers, and gauge BC’s receptive capacities should the characteristics and numbers of migrants to BC change substantially due to environmental factors. AMSSA assisted in developing the research framework, as well as an advisory group which includes staff representatives from Immigrant Services Society of BC, Abbotsford Community Services, Storefront Orientation Services, MOSAIC, the Red Cross, UBC, and SFU. The research project is in its early stages now, and will be completed over the next year. It will be disseminated to inform both policy in government, and to inform frontline services in BC communities.

AMSSA Strategic Plan

AMSSA now has a strategic plan for 2010-13 The planning process started in February 2010 with an electronic survey to Member Agencies, Board and Staff, then Focus groups were held in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Vancouver and Abbotsford to clarify issues and enhance our understanding of our Member Agencies’ vision. A Board Retreat was held on June 19 to review AMSSA’s Vision, Mission and Values and to set Strategic Priorities, goals and time-lines for the next three years. A big thanks to our Member Agencies, Board members and Staff for their contributions.

AMSSA Newcomer children Advocate Program

The AMSSA Newcomer Children’s Advocate program, a United Way funded initiative, is continuing to support newcomer children with two new opportunities. We are excited to hold focus groups with researchers from the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) and service providers working with children. They will look at how culture influences the Early Development Index (EDI) results for newcomer children in kindergarten. We are also organizing two panel sessions with service providers and teachers to share their insights on working with newcomer children at the English as a Second Language Provincial Specialist Association conference on October 22, 2010, which could reach over 300 teachers working in both elementary and secondary schools from across BC.

AMSSA Staff changes

AMSSA welcomes new and returning staff this month! Alison Scott is AMSSA’s new Office Coordinator and Shona Reid returns to AMSSA as the coordinator for phase 2 of AMSSA’s Diabetes project.

In August AMSSA will say goodbye to our SFU coop student, Jiana Ling who assisted with marketing the 2011 Multifaith Calendar. Thank you Jiana for all of your hard work and best of luck with future endeavours! C:\Documents and Settings\Alan R. Vigoda\My Documents\My Pictures\Microsoft Clip Organizer\CG27.png

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