PRESS RELEASE: New Project Launched to Place More Immigrants on North Shore Boards & Committees

July 25, 2017

For Immediate Release

NORTH VANCOUVER, July 25, 2017 – A recent survey of 39 governance boards and committees across the North Shore found that very few had members from the North Shore’s top immigrant source countries like Iran, China, the Philippines, Korea and others.

While many recent and longer-term immigrants actively volunteer in the community, fewer have been appointed to leadership roles, a situation the North Shore Immigrant Inclusion Partnership (NSIIP) hopes to address with a new project.

NSIIP has received grants from the West Vancouver Foundation, the Community Foundations of Canada, and the Districts of North and West Vancouver to run a “Board and Committee Diversity Project” between now and December 2017. The goal of the project is to match 10-15 established immigrants with positions on governance boards and advisory committees at local non-profits and civic institutions.

Organizations wanting to diversify their boards can look to the West Vancouver Memorial Library for inspiration. The library has made strides in welcoming new board members and ensuring its board of trustees better reflects the communities the library serves.

Felicia Zhu was appointed as the library’s first Chinese-Canadian trustee 3 years ago. Having immigrated to Canada 5 years earlier with a background in educational planning, Zhu was actively volunteering in the school district and at the library when the recruitment process for new trustees began. “I saw notices about the opportunity and was interested, but I wasn’t really confident enough to apply until library staff asked me and encouraged me to put my name forward,” says Zhu.

The project aims to encourage more immigrants like Zhu to come forward to take on leadership roles. The project is currently recruiting both immigrant candidates and host organizations. Orientation, training, networking, matching and mentoring will be provided to both between September and December.

The demographics of the North Shore are changing,” says project coordinator Angela Sealy. “As our communities become more and more diverse, it’s important that immigrants and other diverse people have opportunities to help guide the development of the North Shore at a strategic level.”

NSIIP will hold an information session for interested immigrant candidates on Tuesday, September 19th from 5:30-7:30pm at the North Shore Multicultural Society. To register or to learn more, contact Angela Sealy at wfg@shaw.ca or 604-522-1492.


NSIIP is a coalition of community organizations and institutions focused on improving the settlement outcomes of new immigrants on the North Shore. Funded by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, NSIIP’s 2016-2019 Strategic Plan identifies improving the representation of immigrants in leadership roles as one of its top priorities.

For further information, contact:
Alison Dudley, NSIIP Coordinator
Work: 604 973 0452; Cell: 604-341-6337; alisond@nsms.ca


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