Thematic Focus: Immigration & Refugees Projects

Thematic Focus: Immigration & Refugees Projects

Starting in 2016, the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute has taken on a number research and knowledge mobilization projects to support the efforts of the Guelph-Wellington community to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrants in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis. These projects are part of our commitment to provide timely and engaged research supports, and leverage the University's research expertise for community benefit. Projects to date include:

Handbook for Refugee Sponsoring Groups: Tips and local resources to support sponsors in Guelph-Wellington

This project came from discussions with the Guelph Refugee Sponsorship Forum, the Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration PartnershipImmigrant Services Guelph-Wellington and the County of Wellington Settlement Services identifying a need to support sponsoring groups in the process of welcoming Syrian refugee families to the region. In collaboration with various local agencies, the Institute has created a handbook providing sponsoring groups in both Guelph and the county with detailed, step-by-step tips for the first days and weeks of the resettlement process, as well as information about the resources and services available in Guelph-Wellington for sponsors and their sponsored refugees. The current version was updated in April 2020 in collaboration with the Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership.

The full handbook is available on the Atrium.

Themed Newsletter on Immigration and Refugees Research

Produced in collaboration with the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and the Office of Research, this themed newsletter showcases the work of University of Guelph researchers in the areas of immigration and diversity. at the University to produce a themed newsletter. By featuring projects and findings from various departments on campus, it exemplifies how research can help our communities better understand and address the contexts and challenges of immigration.

"Immigration and Diversity: Shaping Canada's Future" is accessible in electronic version on the website of the Office of Research. 

Newcomers on Board: A survey of immigrant participation on local boards of directors

This research was conducted to support the implementation of Newcomers on Board, a new pilot program led by the Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington, the City of Guelph, and Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington. The Institute surveyed organizations in Guelph and Wellington to gather data on the current participation of immigrants on local boards of directors and advisory committees. The research also provided information about the strategies used by organizations to increase diversity on their boards, as well as about the obstacles that might prevent immigrants from being able to join boards and committees in the first place.

The Newcomers on Board Survey report is available on the Atrium, along with a powerpoint presentation of the findings which was shared with the first group of program participants.

FRAN6221: Evidence-Based Practice and Knowledge Translation (Instructor: Andrea Breen)

The Institute partnered with Andrea Breen to add a community-engaged component to this existing graduate course on knowledge translation. Students were tasked with developing and implementing knowledge products responding to identified community needs. In collaboration with the Guelph Refugee Sponsorship Forum, one of the topics chosen looked at the long-term integration of privately sponsored refugees, particularly after the end of their first year in Canada, once the sponsoring partnership ends. Students created and implemented a variety of products and knowledge mobilization activities, including infographics, fact sheets, workshops and blog posts.

The students' knowledge mobilization products can be accessed in the Atrium.

Campus in Community: Public Lectures on Immigration Research

The Institute partnered with the Office of Community Relations to revive our Campus in Community series of public lectures. On April 21st and May 18th, 2016, we offered two public lectures showcasing some of the new immigration research conducted by University of Guelph faculty members and their partners.