In our commitment to making equity and inclusion our way of life, we set out to help newcomers and refugees to navigate opportunities to be leaders in the community. We brought together the inaugural Newcomer Leadership Group in March 2021 after hosting an initial meeting in January 2021 to envision the goals and objectives of a leadership training series.
Nine participants committed to meeting weekly over a course of 8 weeks to develop their capacity and confidence to engage in the community. The series was facilitated online by Jenn Harrington and Lauren Hunter of Arising Collective and included presentations and discussions on topics like community engagement, public speaking, not-for-profit governance and finance, leadership competencies, chairing meetings, and managing conflict. Each session began with an invited guest who shared their personal experiences and offered advice to participants. Our thanks to our guests for being so generous with their time and guidance!
One participant shared, “I got really inspired by different work and life experiences. I learnt that a professional dream can be achieved by hard work and believing in your cause.”
Who was in the first cohort? Read about the members of the inaugural Newcomer Leadership Group.
After the formal learning series, the majority of the group continued to meet every two weeks to learn from and support each other through their highs and lows. They have developed a group project – the “Newcomers In Peterborough” Facebook group – and serve as moderators of the group to support others in the community.
The Group Description reads: This group has been created by a group of newcomers who were once just like you, who all continue to experience the joys and challenges of moving from another country. We are hoping to build a safe community of support and help to those navigating a new life in Peterborough and Canada. The group’s purpose is to provide you with informational aid, guidance and resources through our experiences. We definitely don’t have all the answers, but our goal is to create a network for newcomers from all walks of life to communicate, make new friends, ask for tips, understand and engage more in our community. “Newcomers, you are not alone, we welcome you.”
Our thanks to this first group of leaders for their enthusiasm and willingness to learn and share! Their feedback has been very valuable to helping us to develop the format for future leadership training sessions.
If you are interested in joining a Newcomer Leadership Group training session in Fall 2021 or Winter 2022, please email [email protected] so that we can share registration information when it is available.