In these challenging times, we’ve taken time to reflect.
In the last 40 years since the New Canadians Centre began, so much work has gone into helping newcomers and refugees feel that they belong here in this community. We have worked to foster a welcoming space in which newcomers and refugees build genuine and lasting friendships and community and we have built strong relationships with partner organisations to continue to create these spaces throughout Peterborough.
Our community looks different than it did in 1979 when we opened our doors – every year the New Canadians Centre serves over 1200 newcomers and refugees from 100+ countries who speak a combined total of 50+ languages. We see a growing number of local businesses that offer products and services from around the world; and many of us know friends, students and colleagues who have come from away and made their home in Peterborough.
Yet we know that newcomers and refugees continue to face interpersonal racism and systemic discrimination here in our community, that they are made to feel unwelcome and excluded because of their race, their accent, their skin colour, their dress, and their traditions and told that they do not belong here.
We grow when we embrace diverse cultures. We feel like we belong when we are included and invited to participate in a meaningful way. To belong is to be able to have hope, to build confidence, to gain strength to heal from trauma, and to be able to lift others up and create community.
At the New Canadians Centre we commit to making the pursuit of equity and inclusion our way of life.
We commit to empowering the newcomers and refugees we serve, by:
- Convening a newcomer and refugee-led advisory group to advise on programs and services
- Engaging newcomers and refugees in training to respond to racism and discrimination
- Helping newcomers and refugees to navigate opportunities to be leaders in the community.
We commit to making equity and inclusion training an important part of our board, staff and volunteer orientations and ongoing personal and professional development.
We will work hard to foster a supportive workplace that values and prioritizes diversity in all its forms.
We will entrench inclusion and equity as a priority, not an afterthought, in programming, budgeting, hiring, and other aspects of our operations.
We must remain optimistic that we can move forward in our pursuit of equity. Let us continue to celebrate, to welcome and to support, and let us also continue to challenge our beliefs and biases and to use privilege to address discrimination and advocate for those whose voices are marginalized.
Board of Directors
New Canadians Centre