Conference support report: International Metropolis 2019 Conference

MIRRA supported Michelle Lam to participate

The International Metropolis 2019 Conference met in Ottawa from June 24th to 28th.  The theme of the conference was ‘The Promise of Migration: Inclusion, Economic Growth, and Global Cooperation.’ Meeting within the current context of rising xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment in many parts of the world, this international conference brought together migration scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners to discuss a variety of issues related to migration, focusing on inclusion, cooperation, and the economy.

Keynote speakers included Gilbert Whiteduck, an Anishinaabe scholar, Canada’s Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada MP, the honourable Ahmed Hussen, Valerie Plante, the Mayor of Montreal, and Ketty Nivyabandi, a human rights defender and poet, among others. Workshops were broadly organized according to themes, including education, public confidence, health, integration, economics, technology, security, and best practices.

With MIRRA’s support, Michelle Lam was able to attend and present as part of two separate panels, entitled Enhancing Inclusivity Through Educational Interventions: Emerging Projects in Canada, China, and Australia, and “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” or is it? Attraction and Retention of Newcomers in Smaller and Remote Centres in Canada and the United States. The first panel explored four different educational initiatives geared towards enhancing inclusivity, combatting racism, and meeting the settlement and integration goals of newcomers. The second discussed ongoing research and strategy development in immigrant attraction and retention in smaller communities. Michelle presented on a educational tool, Refugee Journeys, which is used to educate and promote empathy among community members and service providers, and also on the current challenges and opportunities of immigration in rural areas. Michelle noted that she was grateful for the support which enabled her to travel and attend the conference, and hopes that MIRRA can continue to support this type of work in the future.

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