Priority 4: Representation
Immigrants play a representative role in guiding the development of the communities of the North Shore.
- Only 23% of community service providers surveyed believed that “newcomers see their ethnic or cultural groups represented in positions of influence on the North Shore.”
- Only 17% believed that “newcomers’ opinions about decisions affecting their community are respected by other people on the North Shore.”
- Despite a high level of interest in connecting with local community, fewer than half of immigrant survey respondents have been a member of a North Shore organization. Official-language speaking respondents or those who have advanced English skills are most likely. Focus group and survey responses indicate that many are not aware of opportunities, or not sure how to explore them. For many, it can take time to build the confidence to take on these opportunities and to feel that their voice is valuable.
- 44% of immigrants have participated in an organization, rising to 75% of those with English as their home language. 53% have volunteered, rising to 70% of English speakers.
Objective 1: Increase the understanding and engagement of North Shore immigrants in civic activities.
- Support the organization of a community wide open house; community agencies, institutions and city halls invite immigrants to visit / tour to learn about the resources, programs and services as well as the volunteer opportunities (including committees, councils, etc.) available.
- As a part of the public awareness campaign showcase the range of opportunities available to participate on committees, boards, community planning tables, PAC s, etc., how to apply and become involved and the importance of involvement.
Objective 2: Support community leaders and North Shore councils, committees, boards and tables to actively work to align membership with current demographics.
- Update community leaders and community stakeholders with immigrant demographics and trends as they emerge.
- Organize a series of events (forums/workshops) on the importance of representing cultural diversity in leadership and the “how to” of recruiting and training.
- Identify, promote and disseminate recruitment and mentoring tools and resources so support outreach and inclusion of immigrants on committees, boards, community planning tables, etc.
- Explore practices, develop a draft model and examine the feasibility (including funding) of a North Shore leader’s immigrant mentoring or “buddy” project.
- Supported creation of new Immigrant Advisory Council (IAC) to advice strategic priorities, directions and project of the NSIIP table
- Conducted community level research to gather information about pathways to increase civic engagement opportunities for immigrants
- Piloted the North Shore Board & Committee Diversity Project with funding from Vancouver Foundation & West Vancouver Community Foundation
- Hosted three citizenship ceremonies in collaboration with the District of West Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver. Ceremonies stressed importance of civic engagement for new citizens
- Hosted a “Welcome to the City” themed “Kids in the Hall” event with the City of North Vancouver
- Developed an info package for best practices and policies on increasing diversity in boards and committees
- Secured funds from the West Vancouver Community Foundation for a board and committee diversity project
- Surveyed North Shore organizations about their interest in increasing diversity on boards and committees
- Compiled an online inventory of diversity trainers
- Adele Wilson, Parkgate Community Services Centre
- Arleta Beckett, District of West Vancouver
- Cristina Rucci, District of North Vancouver
- Sara Mohamadkhani, West Vancouver Community Foundation
- Heather Evans, City of North Vancouver
- Kathryn Seely, North Shore Community Resources
- Murray Mollard, North Shore Community Resources