Team Community Engagement
From left to right: Diluckshnie Jayawardena - Sitel, Leticia Leon de Gante - LIP Fredericton, Lisa Bamford de Gante - Fredericton Multicultural Association, Sebastián Salazar - City of Fredericton, Tiziana Zevallos - UNB, and Nicolas Bertrand - Steps2Canada.
The community engagement team is a group of almost all newcomers. They have taken their lived experience and channelled it into a powerhouse group. The team is made up of a city planner, a call centre manager, an entrepreneur, a coordinator for Fredericton’s local immigration partnership, the executive director for Fredericton’s Multicultural Association, and an international student working with the University of New Brunswick. Only one member was born in New Brunswick but all are seriously committed to helping the integration of new New Brunswickers (NBers) into society. The group started out by recognising the need to make real human connections when coming to a new place. Then, through the process of identifying leverage points in the system they found that cultural norms can act as a barrier for people from other cultures and local NBers to connect in meaningful ways. To improve this situation they have assembled a cross-cultural toolkit to help event organizers, teachers, or just about anyone interested in cross-cultural interaction to better communicate. The focus has been to impact the community at large in knowing about the traditions, values, and contributions of other cultures in the Fredericton context.
To learn more about what they are doing, send an email to Diluckshnie (Di) and she'll be happy to fill you in.
To test their ideas, the team partnered with existing events and overlaid their toolkit of cultural engagement and bridge-building tools. These photos are from a Doone street community meetup and a spouse's group meeting where a series of games were employed to get people connecting and talking.