Organizational Best Practices for LGBTQIA+ newcomers
Organizational Best Practices for LGBTQIA+ newcomers Odessa Sherbaniuk and Sizwe Inkingi Funded by: The Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre Formed in 2010 to serve as one of 11 immigration hubs across the province of Saskatchewan. Strives to be a welcoming and inclusive organization that values: Working together; Respect in everything we do; and
Supporting people to be independent. Serves surrounding rural communities within 150 km radius. What is OCASI? The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants Was formed in 1978 to act as a collective voice for immigrantserving agencies and to coordinate response to shared needs and concerns. Advocates for the immigrant- and refugee- serving sector Represents over 230 member agencies across Ontario. Positive Spaces Initiative The Positive Spaces Initiative A collaborative project grounded in community
Founded in 2008 to respond to identified gaps in service provision in the settlement sector. A multi-faceted approach to capacity building In-person and online training opportunities Regional networks contextual solutions Community presence events and collaboration No Longer Alone https://youtu.be/WfsypgPeMpw The Myth of Canada Before Arrival
Canada is a safe haven to escape persecution LGBTQIA+ newcomers can be themselves in an open and welcoming environment After Arrival Ideas of a safe place contrast with the lived reality of LGBTQIA+ newcomers. Assumptions about Canada being an open-minded society are challenged
Being an LGBTQIA+ Newcomer in Canada Canada aims to bring over 900 000 new arrivals to the country from 2018-2020 Approximately 10% of all new arrivals to Canada identify as LGBTQIA+ (IRCC, 2018). Immigration structures and policies are still discriminatory IRB Refugee Hearings Over 3000 legacy cases remaining (many LBTQIA+ from Carribean and West Africa) Other policies outdated and not reflective of current global climate (i.e. Safe Third Country Act, Designated Country of Origin)
Being an LGBTQIA+ Newcomer in Canada Ontario is leader in supporting LGBTQIA+ newcomers in settlement The political and social climate is shifting in a way that negatively impacts settlement experiences Appropriate data collection of LGBTQIA+ newcomers still remains a barrier within the settlement sector which as a result affects program evaluations Settlement organizations in Ontario are not explicitly welcoming of LGBTQIA+ service-users The HRNC is researching services available in the rural Saskatchewan context What were hearing on the ground
Homelessness and housing Increasing rates of homelessness for newcomer lgbtq+ youth (16-30) Health care Access to trans health care an ongoing issue Employment Seen as the biggest determinant for success in Canada Service delivery No explicit presence of LBTQIA+ newcomers in service provision Resources not readily available Sector over capacity
In order to create a positive space, the organizational culture must shift Organizational Culture What makes up Culture Based on values, assumptions, and norms Forms the basis for decisionmaking Informs what one does or does
not do Questions to consider 1. What are the values that drive your organization? 2. How do these values play out in your agency? 3. How do you yourself reinforce these values? Exploring Resistance to Change Kinds of resistance you might encounter in your own workplaces.
Behaviours Actions Arguments What does discrimination look like?
Direct (i.e Refusing to provide service) Indirect Redirecting LGBTQIA+ people to other providers, even when services are available at your agency Agency policies that have a negative impact on LGBTQIA+ people Is your agency a positive space What is a positive
space NOT A PHYSICAL SPACE Body language Attitude You Indicators Accessibility Signage Confidentiality Language How do shift organizational culture?
1)Policy & Procedure 2)Training and collaborative learning 3)Resources and programming 4)Signage and Infrastructure 5)Ongoing Evaluation and Improvement Policy and Procedure Implement an ARAO policy Explicitly include SOGIE as protected grounds
Align with the OHRC requirements Implement procedures for addressing homo/bi/transphobia Feedback/complaints procedure Confidentiality and anonymity OHRC Guidelines on Developing Human Rights Policies and Procedures United Way Toolkit for
Community Service Organizations: An Integrated Anti-Oppression Framework for Reviewing and Developing Policy Training and Collaborative Learning Is consistent information communicated to staff? At orientation In social spaces In meetings Positive Spaces/comparable
training is available Opportunities to deepen training knowledge are made available Resources and Programming Are LGBTQIA+ resources included in your organizations resource shelf/packages/ handouts, etc. ? Are referrals appropriate? Is there programming/services available for LGBTQIA+ people?
Opportunities for collaboration with other organizations? Signage and infrastructure Affirming Signage Represents the diversity of LGBTQIA+ community You are welcome here Culturally relevant
Informative signage Empowers people to acquire information without feeling obligated to be out Washrooms Accessible and clearly marked gender neutral bathrooms
Ongoing evaluation and improvement www.positivespaces.ca Positive Spaces Assessment Tool Collect meaningful data Learn from the community Understand where you are in your own journeys to creating and maintaining positive spaces.
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