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Building Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbourhoods (BWIN) Best Practices in Action Paula Carr and Koyali Burman presenting on behalf of the BWIN Consortium.

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Presentation on theme: "Building Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbourhoods (BWIN) Best Practices in Action Paula Carr and Koyali Burman presenting on behalf of the BWIN Consortium."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbourhoods (BWIN) Best Practices in Action Paula Carr and Koyali Burman presenting on behalf of the BWIN Consortium of Neighbourhood Houses

2 BWIN - Infrastructure Pilot project conception and initiation: the Consortium of Neighbourhood Houses Sponsor: Immigrant Integration Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Funder: Government of Canada

3 BWIN - Vision Innovative approach exploring the leadership role of Lower Mainland Neighbourhood Houses in building local community capacity to: Be welcoming to all Address racism and social exclusion in creative and responsive ways

4 BWIN – Research Research shows that with integration immigrants and others experience: Improved health and wellbeing Safer communities Welcome through employment Personal/social networks Community cohesion Neighbourhood activities

5 BWIN - Goals Expand the role of Neighbourhood Houses in building community capacity Engage the host community, newcomers, immigrants and other socially excluded groups about creating a welcoming community Build capacity at all levels – individual family/peer, organization, institution and business – in an integrated way

6 BWIN - Goals Identify meaningful ways to promote dialogue about exclusion and racism Support learning about barriers to inclusion and changes needed to address them Evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot project delivery model

7 BWIN - Activities Community outreach and mapping Volunteerism and leadership Community Gatherings and Cultural Inclusion Organizational Capacity Building Collaborative Planning

8 BWIN – Participant Data From over 30 countries, every continent Canadian citizens and/or living here for three-plus years Female to Male 3:1 19-54 years largest group; under 19 second largest

9 BWIN - Experiences Participant involvement part of a process Contact with BWIN or Neighbourhood House led to deeper involvement BWIN perceived as part of the Neighbourhood House

10 BWIN - Experiences Themes in participants perceptions: BWIN / Neighbourhood House is accessible and approachable BWIN staff and other participants recognize them as a whole person and for their skills BWIN offers opportunities to learn about Canadian culture and other cultures BWIN offers an opportunity to give back

11 Dialogue Dialogue Circle- A Promising Practice for Building Welcoming & Inclusive Neighbourhoods

12 Introduction to Dialogue Circles Circle provides a welcoming and safe platform for newcomers and long-time residents living in the neighbourhood to make connections, share their life experiences and build an inclusive community

13 To stimulate awareness of community issues among residents and build local leadership capacity to foster change Introduction to Dialogue Circle

14 Dialogue Circles are conducted at various locations such as Neighbourhood Houses, Libraries, Family Places, Schools, Community Centres, BC Housing etc How and where Dialogue Circles are conducted?

15 Various Dialogue Circles are Conducted South Asian Womens groupSeniors group

16 Spanish Speaking group Karen speaking refugee group from Burma-Thailand border Various Dialogue Circle are Conducted

17 Youth led Dialogue Circle Various Dialogue Circles are conducted

18 A success story to share… Moberly Elementary School

19 Short-Term OutcomesIntermediate OutcomesLong-Term Outcome Newcomers and immigrants feel acknowledged and invited to be part of the community Volunteers learn form each other and play a leadership role in supporting newcomers and immigrants and promoting cultural inclusion Community members have a clear direction of building an inclusive communities The community has a greater awareness of the neighbourhood as Home to many Staff understand what inclusive practices are an dhow to implement in their work Our Neighbourhood welcomes newcomers and immigrants in all aspects of neighbourhood life Our organization reflects the cultural fabric of our neighbourhood in participation, leadership, policies and direction Neighbourhood residents play an active role in fostering welcoming environment, policies and institutions Immigrants and newcomers play a leadership role in all aspects of our community British Columbia neighbourhood welcomes immigrants and newcomers and provide full opportunities for engagement in all aspects of community and civil society

20 BWIN - Outcomes Participants perceptions of the BWIN project to evaluators have been highly positive – they report feeling welcomed and included: Practical and useful information Training and opportunities Relationships and connections Engages recent and long term immigrants Recognizes skills and sees whole person

21 BWIN - Outcomes Develops initiatives based on needs and desires. Fosters citizenship and promotes increased civic engagement for participants and their children. Gained cross cultural communications skills and enhanced their knowledge about Canadian, as well as other, diverse cultures and customs Increased self-confidence

22 BWIN - Outcomes Evaluator Found BWIN: Promotes Neighbourhood Houses as a resource for immigrant and newcomers Could present Neighbourhood Houses as a focal point for integration into Canadian society Major strength is its Community-focused, community development nature Serves as an integrating focus for neighbourhood houses programs

23 BWIN - Challenges Related to participation Language barriers Child care Winter weather Time commitment Related to Neighbourhood Houses organization Staff workload demands Limited space

24 BWIN - Challenges Funders requirements and evaluation Outcome timeline out of sync with the nature of community development Evaluation process time-consuming Quantitative information at odds with BWIN goals

25 BWIN - Recommendations At least two more years of funding and sustainability planning Promising practices compilation Communications Focus on social exclusion, racism Focus on men, more recent newcomers Translation and interpretation services

26 Implications for Policy Invest in neighbourhood capacity building Recognize and support grassroots social capital and community development i.e. community dialogue Invest in community leadership development Design public spaces to facilitate interaction and meeting places Support integrated approaches- programs, community development and resources Defining newcomers in neighbourhoods and communities- within Canada and outside Canada Encourage and resource appreciative and positive approaches to address difficult issue like racism Resource community building tools Recognize the impacts some policies have on other policies

27 BWIN - Conclusions Community development requires time and resources. Especially true for community development involving multi-lingual, multi- cultural communities Community building and outreach with newcomers aiming to address serious challenges is complex and time-consuming

28 A full Dialogue Circle Documentary to be released and Toolkit will include more information For further information contact: Koyali Burman at 604-324-6212(ext 136) Building Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbourhood Initiatives For more information contact: Natalie Taylor at 604-875-9111(ext 106)

29 Thank you to WelcomeBC for making the Welcoming & Inclusive Neighbourhoods initiative possible

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