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Cities of Migration

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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In this issue:
New Report! Good Ideas on Economic Inclusion: Access to Banking
Omar Khan: On Financial Inclusion
Offenbach: Fit for Finance
Toronto: Why the Integrating Cities Charter Matters
Ghent: The Youth Ambassador Project
The Perspective from the Ghent Integration Office
Looking beyond the Charter of Quebec Values: The City Charter
Building Inclusive Communities: A Cities of Migration Event in London
Good Ideas in the News

New Report! Good Ideas on Economic Inclusion: Access to Banking

Access to Banking cover

Why is financial inclusion an important issue for immigrants? Because it’s an everyday issue and the cost of exclusion is too high to ignore – especially in times of economic austerity.

Our new report, Good Ideas on Economic Inclusion: Access to Banking, highlights innovative programs and organizations that put newcomers first – whether it is offering a microfinance fund in Calgary, using international ID cards to open a bank account in San Francisco, or building a credit history “pre-arrival.” Background to the issues and expert commentary is provided by Omar Khan, Runnymede Trust.

This is the first report in a new Cities of Migration series that examines issues related to the economic integration of immigrants in the neighbourhoods, high streets and workplaces of today’s cities. Future reports in the Economic Inclusion series will showcase good ideas that promote Access to Employment as well as Entrepreneurial Success.

>> Read the Report



Omar Khan Omar Khan: On Financial Inclusion

How do you pay for utilities such as heating and water without a bank account? Access to financial services like banking means being able to pay bills (without "payday" lenders), save money safely and budget for your family’s future. 

Without access to banking, says Omar Khan, Head of Policy Research at The Runnymede Trust, "building credit ratings and savings become essentially unattainable goals." To help the financially excluded, we need to rethink mainstream financial products and services.

>> Read the Essay



program brochure cover Offenbach: Fit for Finance

Research shows that the average German is less financially-savvy than expected. This spurred local authorities in Offenbach to propose an innovative financial literacy project called (f)in-fit - Fit for Finance. Aimed at an often neglected population, the project recruited and trained residents with migrant backgrounds to act as intercultural mediators in their communities on financial issues such as banking, savings, credit, and pensions.

>> Read about the Good Idea



Toronto: Why the Integrating Cities Charter Matters

Is the EUROCITIES Charter on Integrating Cities coming to Toronto? We asked two local experts to explain the need for a charter in a city celebrated for its diversity. Chris Brillinger is the City of Toronto’s Executive Director of Social Development, Finance and Administration, and Jehad Aliweiwi is the Executive Director with the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, a multi service non-profit organization.

>> Read the Interview



Report cover Ghent: The Youth Ambassador Project

When Ghent, Belgium, developed a ten-point plan as the city’s anti-racism strategy, dispelling stereotypes about immigrant youth became one of its key objectives. To this end, the city initiated the Ambassador Project. Employed young people with a North African and Turkish background share their stories about their path to success and the challenges they have overcome. 

>> Read about the Good Idea



The Perspective from the Ghent Integration Office

“Hearing the life story of someone who has overcome a lot of difficulties, and who has become successful in the labour market despite all difficulties, is very captivating. A life story makes broader social problems more concrete and personal. For many people it’s a real eye-opener.”

The staff from Ghent’s Integration Office explains how the Ambassador Project opens minds to the lives of migrants.

>> Read the Interview



Looking beyond the Charter of Quebec Values: The City Charter

Charters are big news in Canada right now. The province of Quebec has proposed a ban on the wearing of religious symbols by all public sector employees. This stands in opposition to a growing city charter movement that emphasizes inclusiveness and anti-discrimination. Whereas the Quebec charter means to legislate the values of the majority population to promote assimilation, many city charters show a commitment to increased diversity. They are about inclusion, not exclusion.

>> Read the Article



Building Inclusive Communities: A Cities of Migration Event in London

On Thursday, September 26, Cities of Migration co-hosts "Building Inclusive Communities" with The Runnymede Trust, in partnership with the Barrow Cadbury Trust, and Open Society Foundations. Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, will deliver the keynote address on the economic and social impacts of migration, which will be followed by a panel discussion with  Dan Silver, Social Action & Research Foundation, Cllr Karen Bellamy, Waltham Forest Council, Cynthia Masiyiwa, Active Horizon and Ratna Omidvar, Maytree. Read more about the event in our next newsletter.



Good Ideas in the News

The World Migration Report 2013: Migrant Well-being and Development. The seventh report in IOM’s World Migration Report (WMR) series explores the positive and negative effects of migration on individual well-being. More

Asylum Information Database. The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) has launched a new database providing information on asylum practices in the EU, funded by the European Programme on Integration and Migration (EPIM). More

Integrating Cities Conference: European cities shaping the future of integration. Presentations from the sixth conference, hosted by EUROCITIES and the City of Tampere, are available online. More

Demography and Migration: An Outlook for the 21st Century. A new policy brief from MPI asserts that many highly developed countries and emerging economies continue to assume that today’s demographic realities will persist — and are thus unprepared for the future. More

Imagine Society, Build Democracy – World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders: 4th UCLG Congress. The United Cities and Local Governments Congress will discuss topics such as managing diversity and shaping the urban future. October 1-4, 2013. Rabat, Morocco. More

Ethnicity, Culture (and Social Class): “Origins” and Business. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR), in partnership with L’Oréal and the French Association of Diversity Managers (AFMD), has organized a conference to examine best practices that provide a Diversity Return on Investment (DROI). October 29, 2013. Clichy, France. More

Americas Datafest: Migration in the Americas. A multi-city "hackfest" where coders and researchers analyze data and building apps to help researchers, policy makers, journalists, migrants, and nonprofits. November 2-3, 2013. More



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Upcoming Webinar

Immigrants Wanted! Smart Strategies for Advancing Welcoming Communities and Regional Growth

October 30, 2013

Join us to learn how innovative strategies in St. Louis (US) and Botkyrka (Sweden) aim to attract, recruit and integrate immigrants to jump start regional growth and secure a future of shared prosperity for all.

More information



Good Ideas Index

Search Good Ideas by themes in English, French, German, Spanish



Good Ideas Video Gallery

In a curated video gallery, Cities of Migration showcases Good Ideas in Integration from cities all around the world.

Watch the videos on our Youtube channel.



Share Your Story!

At Cities of Migration, our Good Ideas about successful integration practice are travelling from city to city.

They also travel from reader to reader. We want to share these stories with you.

Do you have a Cities of Migration story to share? Contact us: citiesofmigration@maytree.com



Contact Cities of Migration

Maytree (Toronto)
Kim Turner, Project Leader
Piali Roy, Writer/ Web Editor
Evelyn Siu, Project Coordinator
Salma Ali, Project Assistant

For all regions, including UK, EU, US, and NZ, contact:



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Cities of Migration
Global Diversity Exchange, Ted Rogers School of Management | Ryerson
University | 350 Victoria Street (Room YNG-701) | Toronto, ON | M5B 2K3 | CANADA

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