WORKSHOP: Finding Common Ground: Promoting Positive Public Opinion of Refugees through Innovative Myth-Busting and Community Collaboration

June 07, 2018

On June 7, 2018, join us for an interactive workshop that will highlight examples of city-led mythbusting and public engagement campaigns from around the world. It is in the cities and the urban communities where refugees find themselves resettled (or where they are displaced to) that the rubber hits the road.  What are some examples of local and institutional strategies to welcome refugees, and to ensure that a culture of welcome is sustained through broad-based public support?  What is the DNA of a welcoming city for refugees?

Organizer: Florence Bourdeau, Chargée de projets, Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI, Montreal)

Moderator: Kim Turner, Program Manager, Cities of Migration, Global Diversity Exchange & Ryerson International, Ryerson University (Toronto)


The International Refugee Rights Conference, 7-9 June 2018, Toronto, is presented by the Canadian Council for Refugees in partnership with York University.

Click here for a one-page overview of the conference program.

Speaker bios

Veronica Islas
Veronica Islas est la Directrice Générale du Carrefour de ressources en interculturelle (CRIC) depuis presque 5 ans. Née au Mexique, elle détient une maîtrise en administration publique et politique publique de l’Université Concordia ainsi qu’un DESS en développement économique communautaire de l’École des affaires communautaires et publiques.

Veronica a créé entre autres un projet d’économie sociale au sein du CRIC dans lequel l’organisme accompagne des organismes et institutions afin de devenir plus inclusifs, un projet de parrainage interculturel, un projet des ateliers Êtes-vous de bonne-rumeur?, ainsi qu’un projet visant les métissages culturels par le biais de la mode. En 2016, le CRIC a été récipiendaire du Prix du maire de Montréal en démocratie.

Alison Stanley
Alison Stanley is a Community Development Officer with the City of Toronto’s Newcomer Office, where she is currently focused on supporting the implementation of the City’s Refugee Resettlement Program and Access to City Services for Undocumented Torontonians (Access T.O.) policy. Alison is an experienced professional with a strong policy and research background, and has worked in the public, private and non-profit sector. Alison has a Master’s Degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University, and an undergraduate degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa.

Richard Thickpenny
Working with refugee communities since 2004, Richard has built a strong reputation for designing and delivering innovative projects to realise the capabilities of refugees. This has helped secure ACH’s progression from a community organisation to its current leading position in the UK recognised for the breadth of its refugee resettlement and integration services. He is a member of two European consortia to develop a new curriculum for refugee integration and is the driving force behind ACH’s #rethinkingrefugee campaign

He is responsible for driving forward ambitious plans to fund strategic growth using Collective Impact to constructively disrupt the systems associated with labour market integration of refugees in the UK. As an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Creating Shared Value Programme he is able to bring to this work the wider benefits that arise when businesses move beyond the constraints of their CSR budgets and actively seek to resolve societal and business challenges together.

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