Newcomer Voices and Employment Challenges Video Presentation by Mennonite New Life Centre

In the spring of 2011, MNLCT offered a ten week public speaking training series in partnership with Voices from the Street. 20 newcomers from 13 different countries came together to reflect on their lived experience in relation to policy and social change. The training workshops created ample opportunity for reflection on shared challenges affecting immigrants and refugees from diverse cultural, religious and professional backgrounds, and the importance of speaking out to counter myths and stereotypes about new Canadians. The video is a documentation of this experience.

In their own voices, the members of the Newcomer Speakers’ Bureau offer insights into their struggles, and invite viewers to engage with their stories of migration, the search for meaningful employment and their refusal to settle for less. In the context of this conference, this video served to position the concept of "Canadian Experience" within the many barriers newcomers encounter in their struggle to make Canada their home, reminding participants of the broader implications of the day’s discussions.

Mennonite New Life Centre

With three service locations across the GTA, the Mennonite New Life Centre facilitates newcomer settlement and integration through community services and community engagement. The Centre has extensive experience using community based research to generate policy and program recommendations to address the barriers faced by internationally trained workers in search for fair and meaningful work. Our Newcomer Skills Project, supported by the Metcalf, Donnelly and Atkinson Foundations, has generated a research report, three policy briefs, a community forum and a documentary film. Current work involves participatory community mapping of income and employment challenges for immigrants in North West Toronto. In May 2011, the Mennonite New Life Centre received an Economic Justice Award from the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians.