Immigration Waterloo Region Weekly
June 15, 2020

Stay home and stay healthy, Waterloo Region. We are in this together.

Immigration Partnership Updates
"No matter who you are or where you come from, pandemic or not; everyone of us can make a difference. Every action counts."

The United Refugee Agency
On June 20, we celebrate "World Refugee Day." We join the United Refugee Agency celebrations to highlight the work of many refugees and asylum seekers on the frontlines fighting the pandemic as well as the work of settlement service providers who support them.

Recognizing this, the Government of Canada announced in recent days that they are working on a  special program that would grant permanent residency to asylum seeker s who have worked in health-care roles. Read the full story here. 
"World Refugee Day" in Waterloo Region
To celebrate "World Refugee Day" in Waterloo Region, Community Coalition on Refugee and Immigrant Concerns (CCORIC) is organizing a virtual walk with refugees. Check their website to learn how to participate in it and other virtual events that will take place from June 15 to 27.

We also invite you to join the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support FUNdraising Day on June 20 in celebration of World Refugee Day: A chance to raise funds in support of refugees.
Pride Month: A  Global Celebration
LGBTQ+ people are one of the most vulnerable groups worldwide that has to face many barriers to be recognized and respected. LGBTQ + immigrants even face unique challenges in accessing housing, safety, social services and work. On this occasion, we have gathered some educational resources and information to raise awareness of why it is important to continue working to eliminate the current inequalities related to this group in our region.

Learn about the facts behind Pride Month with this CNN article: how it starts, where the Pride name comes from, who celebrates it and what is the origin of the rainbow flag.

Celebrate Pride Month! Join OK2BME this week for their Virtual Pride series geared toward social workers and transgender clients, with three separate events taking place on June 15, 19 and 25.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released data regarding COVID-19 and its effects on LGBTQ2S+ employees, specifically people of colour.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, in recent decades the number of LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers has risen.

If you are a racialized LGBTQ+ newcomer living in Waterloo Region or a service provider supporting LGBTQ+ newcomers, you are invited to participate in “A New OutLook”, a study approved by the Wilfrid Laurier University Research Ethics Board.

Only 11% of racialized and 31% of non-racialized LGBTQ newcomers talk to their regular healthcare provider about health issues specific to sexual orientation. For more information, see this 2018 Rainbow Community Council FactSheet.

In this 2018 study, the authors conducted a two-stage content analysis of the inclusion of LGBTQ immigrants in 34 settlement organizations in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, and on the delivery of services by nine settlement organizations that self-described as LGBTQ-positive spaces.

This list of educational resources developed by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion includes past and upcoming webinars, as well as articles, books, podcasts and more on LGBTQ2+ inclusion.

In celebration of PRIDE month, the Waterloo Public Library shares its collection of its favourite books to help adults, kids and teens read the rainbow.

In this 2015 report, the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council gathered the results of an open community dialogue on addressing hate crime & violence against the LGBTQ community in Waterloo Region.
Community Service Updates  
Immigrant Services and Interpretation Open

Addressing Family and Gender-Based Violence: Covid-19 Response (English/French)

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada is committed to supporting service providers in their continued delivery of family and GBV services to newcomer women, LGBTQ2 individuals, seniors, newcomers with a disability, as well as children and youth. New measures and adaptations are underway to address GBV, such as emergency federal funding to shelters and sexual assault centers across Canada.

2020 KW Multicultural Festival to Take Place Online

KW Multicultural Centre invites residents of the Waterloo Region to celebrate our diversity by participating in the 2020 KW Multicultural Festival which will be virtual this year as we keep social distancing.

Waterloo Region's Regional Official Plan

The Waterloo Region Community Planning is going virtual for a second round of public engagement on the Regional Official Plan (ROP) Review on June 25 from 6 to 8pm. Participate to have your say on how and where our cities and townships might grow, what kind of housing we should build and more.

How to Help
The food bank has launched a summer drive for food and funds called Full Bellies, Happy Hearts. The goal is to raise half a million meals over the summer. "The recovery piece of this is where it's not normal. Things are gonna continue to shift and change for us," says Wendi Campbell, the Food Bank of Waterloo Region CEO.

Federal, Provincial and Local Updates
COVID-19 Information and Resources

Find restaurants and food services multilingual tip sheets to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) as Ontario prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. Available in English, Urdu, Traditional Chinese, Tamil, Tagalog, Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Korean, G ujarati, Farsi and Arabic .

This report brings together complaints on behalf over a thousand migrant workers and their organizations that were unheeded by federal and provincial authorities and consulates in advance of the recent COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Region of Waterloo Public Health has published a webpage with recommendations for re-opening restaurants and food services, which includes information and resources about adjusting the space to support physical distancing, increasing cleaning and disinfecting practices and more.

In May 2020, 48% of Canadians reported having excellent or very good mental health. However, this was 6 percentage points lower than it was at the end of March.

“Nearly every post-secondary institution on the planet has just made significant investments in online tools and methods. For Canada to remain a global education leader that continues to attract the world’s brightest, our institutions will need to differentiate themselves.” Article brought by Royal Bank of Canada.

If you are the parent or guardian of children aged 0 to 14, please take a few minutes to share your insights. This questionnaire focuses on children's activities, child care and school, employment status, and your concerns for your family's overall well-being.
Resources for Spending Time at Home during COVID-19
This video shows your child how they can become a hand washing hero.

Stay engaged and active during the COVID-19 situation!
Virtual Events and Webinars
Lutherwood Youth Job Connection Program. Next sessions: June 15 and 29
Now offered in virtual format, this program helps young people under the age of 30 prepare resumes and cover letters, improve their job search strategies, and connect with employers who are hiring.
Managing Stress & Building Resilience: A Webinar Series for Service Providers, June 16 and July 7
OCASI, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is hosting a two-part mental health webinar series on: Managing Stress & Building Resilience. A Webinar Series for Service Providers.
How COVID-19 Has Affected the Canadian Labour Market, June 17, 10am
Prepare for Canada has organized this webinar to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian labour market, what industries have been impacted and their overall performance and what the job market and economic forecast looks like in Canada.
Beyond the Headlines: Globalization in Our Post-COVID World, June 17, 12-1pm
Join the University of Waterloo in partnership with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo to discuss the realities unfolding in our post-COVID world. Hosted by Lili Liu, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, and Craig Norris, CBC Radio One. Online only.
Do More Good Dialogues: Affordable Housing, June 18, 1-2pm
Some community leaders will be part of a panel moderated by Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation to discuss affordable housing in Waterloo Region in the context of COVID-19.
Resume Writing & Job Interview Preparation. Free Workshop for Newcomers, June 25, 4-5pm
Project READ Literacy Network is offering this workshop that will provide general resume writing tips as well as interview preparation advice.
Virtual Event: Manufacturing Summit, June 25, 9:30am-2:30pm
The Greater KW Chamber, along with key Corporate Sponsors and community partners, hosts the annual "Manufacturing Summit: Remaining Competitive in Times of Global Uncertainty" as a way to bring the manufacturing and supply chain communities together in Waterloo Region.
COVID 19 Coverage and other News

The Immigration Waterloo Region calendar has information about local programs and events for newcomers. Subscribe for a digest of events coming up in the next week or add your own events to share .
Feel free to send suggestions or relevant events/resources to include to the Immigration Waterlooo Region weekly by emailing  Dan Vandebelt ( ) and Alejandra Amezquita Gutierrez ( )
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