Dear CultureLink Community,
Please enjoy our July 2016 newsletter with exciting news, program information and events. We welcome your feedback and look forward to seeing you at one of our many activities and events for the community. For ideas about how to get involved with CultureLink please visit our  website.
Romeo & Juliet - A Refugee Story
Jozef was a Rom, not Romeo.  Maria was not Roma; she was a white girl, just like Juliet.   They met in Slovakia, where romantic relationships between Roma and non-Roma were dangerous due to the pervasive racism on the part of the white majority.  She was in her last year of high school, still a teenager and he was not yet 20 year old.

When they met he told Maria that he is a gypsy.  But, despite the probability that her family will disapprove, she wanted to see him again.  They started to meet, but kept their relationship a secret, as they knew that their families, especially hers, would strenuously disapprove.  Their clandestine meetings went on for about a year, when one day they met her brother with a group of his friends.

These friends knew that Jozef was a Rom as they went to school with him.  The white boys started to yell at Maria that she is with a dirty gypsy, and proceeded to attack Jozef by hitting and kicking him. Eventually, as Maria shouted at them to stop, Jozef managed to get away from them.  If you recall, Romeo also runs into Juliet's brother, Mercutio, and they had a fight.  But unlike in Romeo and Juliet, Maria's brother did not come to any harm.  Instead, he told his parents that Maria is going out with a Roma boy.  As Maria expected, her parents went ballistic, far beyond disapproval.  Her father beat her up and told her that she is not to see Jozef again.  And they took her phone away.
 
NOW Peer Leader uses NOW as her stepping stone to success!

Priya's dedicated efforts to NOW program along with her other community involvement has led her to be the recipient of numerous scholarships and bursaries such as the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism, the Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award, Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs Award, the Merit Award and many more.

Her positive contributions towards her community are aiding her to attend York University for Communication Studies this fall.

Read more
 Youth Online Employment Strategy (YOES)
In June 2016, CultureLink launched the Youth Online Employment Strategy (YOES). Funded by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, this exciting new employment initiative teaches youth how to creatively market themselves online, build a professional digital profile and expand their professional networks, because let's face it, technology has changed the way we do almost everything including the ways in which we look and apply for jobs.
 
Upcoming  Events - Get Involved!
Team Building Workshop, July 22nd read flyer
Post-Secondary Conversations for Newcomer Youth, July 21st   read flyer               
Mentoring + Job Interview event with 14 local CIBC branches end of July. 
Read our Youth Blog- CultureLink Youth Talks! 
 
Recap of Recent Events
 
 
Outdoors Volunteer Fair
 at CultureLink 

CultureLink hosted its first ever Outdoors Volunteer Fair on Tuesday July 12, 2016 at their program center to assist youth looking for volunteer opportunities to help make Toronto a greener city.
 
CultureLink's Nai Children's Choir performed at Luminato Festival on June 22nd. 

This is an Iftar event that's hosted by Luminato, co-organized with CultureLink and ACSA. CultureLink invited exact 100 guests to this event, they were our Nai kids and their parents, our dedicated volunteers who support our refugee initiatives.
 

Community outreach and group sessions at
Lillian Smith Library and Mimico Library


For the month of June and July, the LSP program workers at Lillian Smith Library and Mimico Library have been busy with community outreach and organizing group sessions.