On New Shores 2010: Coping with stress in various cultural contexts

Details have been finalized for the 4th annual On New Shores conference. The theme this year is Resilience of immigrants: Coping with stress in various cultural contexts.

The conference, organized by Dr. Susan Chuang will be held Sept 30-Oct 1, 2010 at the University of Guelph, Ontario. The line-up:

Day One: Thursday, September 30

8:00 -9:00 Registration.

9:00-9:15 Welcome and introductions: Serge Desmarais, Associate Vice President and Susan Chuang, Organizer.

9:15-9:30 Dedication: Tom Luster. Strangers in a Strange Land: The ‘Lost Boys of Sudan’, Michigan State University.

9:45-10:35 Michael Ungar, The Social Ecology of Resilience: Culture, Context, Resources, and Meaning, Dalhousie University.

Morning concurrent sessions:

Beyond Stress: Immigrant women facing domestic violence, with Effat Ghassemi and Reza Shahbazi, Newcomer Centre of Peel and New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence, Inc.

Compassion fatigue: Warning signs and practical tools for prevention and resilience, with Jane Bradley, certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist.

Strategy for building resilience in immigrant youth Youth: A Two-tiered mentorship program, with Petra Okeke and Nashila Dharsh, The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth.

Achors Away, Anchors to Stay, with Rita Francis and Fadia Ismail, YMCA.

Parental exposure to life stress: Mechanisms of resilience in immigrant children, with Kelly Fife and Katholiki Georgiades, McMaster University.

Protection from the storm: Resilience and life satisfaction in US immigrant populations, with Vanessa Alleyne and Claire Wooloff, Montclair State University.

Early afternoon concurrent sessions:

Channels of mother-infant communication across task, development, and culture, with Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, New York University.

Mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement with children in Mexican immigrant families in the US, with Ziarat Hossain, University of New Mexico.

Stress and resilience among Latino immigrant families, with Jo Ann Farver, University of Southern California.

The Promotion of resilience in the face of challenge among Chinese Canadian youth, with Catherine Costigan, University of Victoria.

Hostile hallways: Chinese American youth experience of peer discrimination in schools, with Erika Niwa, Niobe Way, and Desiree Qin, New York University and Michigan State University.

Ethnic composition of peer groups: Effects on Chinese Canadian and Euro-Canadian children’s adjustment, with Xinyin Chen, University of Pennsylvania.

More than a haircut: Building on strengths and mutual support at the barbershop, with Sarah Marsh, Lorraine Kirlew and Chevy King, Centre for Community Based Research, Macauley Child Development Centre, and York University.

Resilience in Sudanese Refugee Families in Canada, with David Este, Laura Simich and Hayley Hamilton, University of Calgary, and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Immigrants raising citizens: Undocumented parents of the second generation, with Hiro Yoshikawa, Harvard University.

Later afternoon concurrent sessions:

Settlement in the early years: The Distinctive needs of young newcomer children, with Judith Colbert.

Paradoxical patterns in early academic trajectories of newcomer children in Miami, with Jessica deFeyter, Adam Winsler and Yoon  Kim, George Mason University.

Ready, Set, Go: A School readiness program supporting a successful start to kindergarten, with Sarah Liddell, Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre.

A Qualitative Investigation of Chinese Youth ‘Growing up in NYC’, with Uwe Gielen, Jonathan Palumbo, and Ting Lei, St. Francis College and Borough of Manhattan College.

Internal migration in Mongolia: The Meaning of being a proper Chinese citizen, with William Jankowiak, University of Nevada.

Dragon seed: A Visual tour of  NYC Chinatown, with Uwe Gielen, St. Francis College.

Fitting in: The Roles of social acceptance and discrimination among Latino youth, with Krista Perreira, Stephanie Potochick and Andrew Fuligni, University of North Carolina and UCLA.

School influences on levels of emotional-behavioural problems among immigrant and ethnic-minority youth, with Katholiki Georgiades, Michael Boyle, and Kelly Fife, McMaster University.

Day Two: Friday, October 1

9:00-11:40 Michael Ungar Workshop: Clinical interventions to nurture resilience among culturally diverse youth and their families.

Poster presentations:

Sudanese Families ~ In Honour of Dr. Tom Luster, Michigan State University.

The Influence of racialized experiences on the identities of Sudanese refugee youth, by Deborah Johnson, Andrew Saltarelli and Desiree Qin.

“My culture helps me make good decisions”: Cultural appropriation and adaptation of Sudanese refugee youth, by Desiree Qin, Andrew Saltarelli, Laura Bates et al.

Successful adjustment among Sudanese unaccompanied minors: Perspectives of youth and their foster parents, by Tom Luster, Desiree Qin, Laura Bates et al.

Fostering Sudanese refugee youth: Parent perspectives, by Laura Bates, Deborah Johnson, Meenal Rana et al.

Immigrant parents and adolescents negotiating time and space
Lynda Ashbourne, University of Guelph.

Newcomer youth from five provinces: Exploration of challenges and coping strategies, by Susan Chuang, Sarah Rasmi, Maria Garces et al., University of Guelph.

Understanding Violence and Healing: Voices of Racialized Young People in Vancouver and Toronto, by Neringa Kubiliene, Miu-Chung Yan, Sarah Maiter et al., University of British Columbia and York University.

A Model of alcohol use among Latino adolescents: Exploring the influence of generational status, by Miriam Martinez, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Settlement sector: The Profession, by Jacqueline McAdam and Caroline Lai, Global Trek.

Inquiry in English with different proficiency: A Youth leadership program at Toronto’s Chinatown, by Yamin Qian, University of Toronto.

Acculturation and family relationships: Uncovering the narratives of Chinese-Canadian immigrant youth, by Christine Tardif-Williams,
Brock University.

Afternoon Concurrent sessions:

Promoting resilience in war-affected youth, with Chandi Fernando, University of Toronto.

Stress and resilience among Liberian and Burundian refugee adolescents and their families, with Madeleine Currie, Hiro Yoshikawa, and Steven Weine, Harvard University.

Impact of war on teaching and relations among teachers of Buduburam refugee camps in Ghana, with Salome Priase Otami, Christiane Noi-Akwei1 and Benjamin Aflakpui, Central University College, Cape Town, South Africa.

Conceptualizations of resilience in refugee mental health, with Laura Simich and Wade Pickre, Ryerson University and Central for Addiction and Mental Health.

Conceptual and methodological issues for studying immigrant child mental health and school achievement, with Katholiki Georgiades, Michael Boyle, and Kelly Fife, McMaster University.

Diversity in action: Adapting mental health services in Canada, with Anne Dupré, Psychology Foundation of Canada.

El Vaivén: Return migration and education in Puerto Rico and Mexico, with Sandra Soto-Santiago and Luis Moll, University of Arizona.

Transnational entrepreneurship: Immigrant family perspective, with Benson Honig, McMaster University.

4:00-4:30 Future directions & Concluding remarks

To register, or if you have questions, contact: Dr. Susan Chuang, schuang@uoguelph.ca | 519-824-4120, ext. 58389.

Call for papers, no. 1: Harvard Educational Review special edition: Diverse experiences of immigrant children and youth in education

The US-based Harvard Educational Review (HER) has issued a call for papers for a special issue on “Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth In Education”.

Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education is seeking to publish an issue on experiences of immigrant children and youth in the formal educational arena. From the call (Source: nameorg.org listerv):

“In order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation. We envision a vigorous generation of unconventional intellectual exchange that will illuminate rich portraits of diverse immigrant children?

“In PreK-12 pipeline, who are too often characterized as “disadvantaged” and even culturally deprived. We further hope that a collection of these voices will celebrate the strengths, resilience, contributions, and humanity of a population often characterized as a threatening nuisance in U.S. society.

“While the topic of immigration is always relevant, the recent enactment of new immigration laws in Arizona and the surrounding protests, debates, and legal battles, have once again thrust this ongoing theme into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Unfortunately, the discourses surrounding this and other immigration-related news stories tend towards simplified understandings of immigration and the immigrant experience, and often portray immigrants and their children as a national crisis, or burden that must be managed, rather than as a complex, rich, and growing part of our national fabric. Contrary to such ideological approaches, we as the editorial board of HER summon other immigrant stories left untold, and at times, silenced.

“As the tenth anniversary of our 2001 special issue on immigration and education, the scope of this new issue will encompass the complexities of navigation pathways and social processes within and across multiple linguistic and cultural contexts that shape the lived experiences of immigrant children and adolescents. Within this framework, we aim to explore multiple contexts of immigrant childhood and adolescence, parents, families, schools, neighborhoods, ethnic community centers, weekend language schools, churches, and civic institutions that collectively present support and challenges and how these students draw upon their experiences in these complex environments to thrive in the current education system.

“We encourage authors to consider, when relevant, cross-cultural perspectives across immigrant groups and highlight processes and mechanisms by which different authors to consider, when relevant, cross-cultural perspectives across immigrant groups and highlight processes and mechanisms by which different immigrant groups build bridges across cultural contexts. In particular, we encourage proposals for manuscript that address one or more of these following contextual themes”:

  1. Children in Immigrant Homes (e.g., family dynamic, parenting role, documentation status, family literacy practice, concept of home, role of siblings)
  2. Children in Ethnic Communities or Immigrant Neighborhoods (e.g., language schools, cultural education centers, informal childcare, relative support, housing, playground, park)
  3. Children of Immigrants in Schools, Community-Based, Religious, and/or Civic Institutions (e.g., youth culture, peer relationships, ESL tracking, faith-based institutions and community organizing institutions serving immigrant groups, health care centers, workplace).

“HER invites authors to submit proposals for manuscripts that address the educational experiences of immigrant children and youth, from early childhood through late adolescence, Pre-K through 12th grade.

“HER has historically defined “educationbroadly, as education takes place in many locations other than schools.We are looking for three types of manuscripts:

  1. Scholarly articles from researchers including, but not limited to, original research, theoretical manuscripts, and essays.
  2. Reflective essays and narratives from practitioners (teachers, teacher educators, school leaders, program directors, community organizers, religious leaders, coaches, etc.).
  3. Stories from children, and youth who are growing up in immigrant homes and communities. (We have a separate process for this type of manuscript. If you know young people who might be interested, please contact us).

For information about the types of manuscripts accepted by HER, please visit the Guidelines for Authors page or contact 617-495-3432.

Proposals due by Sept 15, 2010 to the following email address: her_si_submissions@gse.harvard.edu

Call for papers, part 2: Harvard wants to hear from immigrant children and youth

The 2nd call from the Harvard Educational Review, HER (see above), is specifically made to immigrant children and youth (Source nameorg.org listserv):

How has my family, school, and/or communities impacted my educational goals and experiences in the United States? To All Children & Youth Growing Up in Immigrant Homes and Communities

“Dear teachers and students, The Harvard Educational Review (HER) is planning to publish a special issue on Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education in order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation.

“As part of this project, we are looking for personal essays, stories, and visual art from children and youth who have been directly shaped by immigration experience.

“Student writers could be a child of immigrant parents or have immigrated to the U.S. with or without their families. We are interested in publishing stories related to children and youths’ educational experiences, and in particular, how these experiences are shaped by their families, communities, religious institutions, community organizations, or society at large.

“While the topic of immigration is always relevant, the recent enactment of new immigration laws in Arizona and the surrounding protests, debates, and legal battles, have once again thrust this ongoing theme into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Unfortunately, the discussions surrounding this and other immigration-related news stories tend towards simplified understandings of immigration and the immigrant experience, and often portray immigrants and their children as a national crisis, or burden that must be managed, rather than as a complex, rich, and growing part of our national fabric. Equally important, the voices of immigrants, and immigrant youth especially, are too often excluded from mainstream media, policy, and academic outlets even in discussions of education, where youth experience is central. Contrary to such approaches, we as the editorial board of HER summon other immigrant stories left untold, and at times, silenced by seeking the direct involvement of young people as authors and experts on their lives and
educations”.

Proposal submission information:

“We are accepting submissions from PreK-12 students whose lives have been touched and shaped by immigration experience anywhere in the U.S. We are particularly interested in stories related to educational experience, but we realize that “educational experiences” can occur in many locations besides schools.  We are open to receiving multiple types of personal stories about growing up in immigrant homes and communities. However, we are not looking for an overall generic essay about your entire life. Rather, we are looking for specific in-depth stories you choose to tell with illuminating details and rich descriptions”.

For submissions and questions, e-mail HER at the following address: HER_youth_submissions@gse.harvard.edu

Proposal Submission Deadline: December 15, 2010.

“Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”

Promised Land is a series of radio programs profiling “escape” stories of families who came to Canada in search of a better life. Produced by Natasha Fatah, the series includes stories of escapes from Argentina, Checkoslovakia, Eritrea, Honduras, Iran, Uganda, USA, and Vietnam.

In an op-ed on the CBC News website “Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”, Fatah reflects on the issues that immigrant and refugee children face:

“Some children who escape even to a country as seemingly embracing as Canada, are left deeply disturbed from the experience of having to uproot their lives and by the impact on their families”. (Source: CBC News website).

CBC Radio One runs the Promised Land series Mondays, 7:30pm, EDT and Fridays, 9:30am, EDT. You can also watch the series or download podcasts of it at the program website. A worthwhile series overall and immigrantchildren.ca is pleased to see children and youth issues highlighted by Fatah today.

In the name of culture, religion and tradition: Violence against women and girls

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women and Women Living Under Muslim Laws has released a new study  by Shaina Greiff. No Justice in Justifications: Violence against Women in the Name of Culture, Religion and Tradition (PDF). From the study:

“It is important to demystify the concepts of culture and religion, exposing the vested interests of those who claim to represent authen- ticity, and bringing to light alternative visions in order to protect womens human rights. As Ashish Nandy argues, the greatest tradition of all is the reinvention of tradition. This concept represents the key strategy of the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning women: what oppresses women is the patriarchal reading of Islam, or any religion or culture, articulated and violently maintained by men in power. Women must reclaim and redefine their culture(s) as legitimate members of local and global communities”.

Mothercraft’s course for settlement workers: Caring for Canada’s Children, Year 2

Mothercraft, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will  offer a 2nd year of their ‘Caring for Canada’s Children’ webinar/in-class course for practitioners working with newcomer children and families. The series builds on year one and will “delve further into the issues that many newcomer families face through the immigration process. This examination will be done through presentations, case studies and practical interactive learning opportunities” (Source: Email blast to former participants).

Archived presentations from Year 1 are available here in English and also here in French.

Year 2 offerings:

  1. Building cross-cultural competence (Sept 22, 2010)
  2. Building trusting relationships with families: Towards a motivational understanding of change (Oct 13, 2010)
  3. Promoting children’s mental health (Nov 10, 2010)
  4. Understanding attachment: How early relationships influence the brain’s architecture (Dec 8, 2010)
  5. Building circles of support through service coordination (Jan 19, 2011)
  6. Developing relationships with child welfare services (Feb 16, 2011).

For more information, including how to register, visit the Mothercraft Caring for Canada’s Children website.

Caring for newcomer children: Tip sheets from CMAS

The Childminding Monitoring, Advisory and Support initiative (CMAS), the federally funded organization mandated to monitor and support childminding services associated with LINC programs (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) has produced a series of tip sheets for both caregivers of newcomer children, and administrators of childminding programs.

The current set includes “Inclusion in Newcomer Children’s Programs” and “Building the Caregiver Infant Relationship”. Download the PDF tip sheets here.

Call for proposals: Young Scholars program, Child Development Fellowship (US)

US-based, The Foundation for Child Development: Changing Faces of America’s Children – Young Scholars Program has issued a call for proposals. The goals of the program are to (From the call as posted on the NAME listserv):

*   Stimulate both basic and policy-relevant research about the early education, health and well-being of immigrant children from birth to age 10, particularly those who are living in low-income families.
*   Support the career development of young investigators-from the behavioral and social sciences or in an allied professional field-to attain tenure or who have received tenure in the last four years from a college or university in the United States.

Eligible researchers will have earned their doctoral degrees within the last 15 years, and be full-time, tenure-track, faculty members of a college or university in the United States.  Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or its equivalent in one of the behavioral and social sciences or in an alliedprofessional field (e.g., public policy, public health, education, social work, nursing, medicine).  Three to four fellowships of up to $150,000 for use over one to three years (and in rare cases, up to five years) will be awarded competitively. Please note tenure equivalent positions are not eligible for the fellowship.

Deadline is November 3, 2010. For more information, see the web-page here. Questions should be sent to ysp@fcd-us.org.

House of Commons report: Best practices in settlement services

In March, 2010, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration released their report “Best Practices in Settlement Services“. It includes six recommendations:

Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada develop a proposal for an interactive website on best practices in settlement services. The aim of the proposal should be to have an operational website in fiscal year 2011-2012.

Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, judge joint proposals for settlement funding favourably and indicate this clearly on the application form.

Recommendation 3: The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada continue to support and expand Local Immigration Partnerships in Ontario and explore the potential of local immigration partnership pilot projects in other interested provinces.

Recommendation 4: The Committee recommends that, subject to provincial jurisdiction, Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Modernized Approach to Settlement Programming should be flexible such that business and self-employment support programs can be included in the theme of “labour market participation;” and mental health and family counselling can be included in the theme of “support services”.

Recommendation 5: The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada permit greater flexibility in determining the length of time individuals are eligible for particular settlement services.

Recommendation 6: The Committee recommends, subject to provincial jurisdiction, that the Government of Canada include trauma counselling and school support as eligible activities under the Resettlement Assistance Program.

Children were mentioned a few times in the report.

One of the witnesses to the committee spoke about the value of child-minding services being available alongside the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. While safe and adequate ‘care’ for children of LINC participants is important, the government of Canada is missing an opportunity to support newcomer children in their own settlement and integration process. Beyond the current child-minding and ostensibly custodial care service, a comprehensive early learning and child care program that meets the specific settlement and integration needs of newcomer children – with consideration to the child’s age, developmental level and an understanding of the child’s migration journey – would well serve Canada and Canada’s youngest citizens-to-be.

Indeed, other witnesses spoke of the success of programs for school-age children. In BC. Langley Community Services Society provides “intensive early childhood development support as well as orientation and assistance in settlement”. I applaud this program, but the government of Canada is missing the optimal window for learning if it only funds such programs for children of school-age. We know that the early years (birth to age six) set the foundation for the child’s lifelong health, behaviour and learning.

Under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s new Modernization Approach, funding is available in six areas: 1.Information and orientation, 2. Language and skills development, 3. Labour market participation, 4. Community connections, 5. Needs assessments and referrals, and 6. Support services.

Currently, child-minding lands in the “support services” theme, but I’d argue that quality early learning and child care, with particular attention to the settlement and integration needs of even the youngest of newcomer children fits in all of the six areas and warrants more investment from the federal government.

1. Information and orientation.  Children and parents alike need information and orientation to their new community. Even the youngest child benefits from a deliberate orientation to Canadian customs, expectations and values. The trick is to deliver such programming in developmentally appropriate ways. Luckily, Canada has trained Early Childhood Educators who can (and do) provide this. Parents require information and orientation about the same things, but at a higher level. In order to support their child’s growth and development and learning, they also need to learn about the range of services and supports available for young children in their community.

2. Language and skills development. An obvious area for both children and adults with the important  stipulation that the child’s home language(s) be supported and promoted while learning English and/or French.

3. Labour market participation. If the federal government, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is serious about supporting the labour market participation of newcomers, they must see the value in child care. Not the custodial, child-minding model, but a high quality early learning model that will support newcomer children’s entry to and success in the formal school system.

4. Community connections. An extension of the information and orientation theme, we know that social support is a health determinant indicator. Newcomer children and parents need welcoming communities. It’s an important aspect of integration.

5. Needs assessments and referrals. One of the best places to get accurate, responsive referrals is within a welcoming community that knows the family. Pulling together all of the above areas, it seems reasonable to conclude that the best referrals and clearest needs assessments would come out of a collaborative approach to settlement – and a comprehensive one that acknowledges the importance of serving children, parents, the entire newcomer family.

The committee has requested that the government table a response. When they do, I hope they add and implement a seventh recommendation: that the Government of Canada address the specific integration, settlement and language needs of newcomer children and strive to provide funding across all themes. That would be thoroughly modern.

Naseeha: The Muslim kids help line

Today’s Globe and Mail (G&M) reports on a story about a young Christian woman who converted to Islam as a teen, without her parent’s knowledge. She empathizes with Aqsa Parvez and other teens who are not in step with their parents beliefs. She wishes she had someone to talk to when she was navigating/negotiating her beliefs with her parents.

The story tells us that such help is available: a help line, called Naseeha, or “advice” in Arabic has been in existence since 2005 and operates out of Mississauga. Ostensibly, like the Kids Help Phone line (est. 1989) the advice line provides advice and support, but specifically support to Muslim youth who are, according to the story experiencing “the pull between two worlds”. The now 27-year Muslim convert says the murder of Aqsa Parvez and other so-called “honour killings” are not Muslim issues, but cultural issues and that phone lines like Naseeha respond to the specific issues experienced by newcomer children and youth.

If you surf over to Kids Help Phone, you can see that among the FAQ kids pose are questions related to discrimination, prejudice, diversity and inclusion. The G&M says that Tarek Fatah, a frequent critic of Fundamentalist Muslim practices in Canada, calls the advice line “anti-Western” and believes advice provided would be critical of Canadian ways.

In response, the co-founder of Naseeha defends the need for a separate advice line: ‘You have a Mercedes, you take it to a Mercedes mechanic’. Further: “We lead them to the facts in the Koran, and to what they want to do. We don’t decide on someone’s behalf”.

What do you think? Do immigrant/refugee children and youth need a separate advice help line?

Call for proposals: CIC & Multiculturalism

Inter-Action is the new Multiculturalism Grants program, administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

From the latest funding call:

“The Program supports CIC’s mandate and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by assisting the socio-economic integration of individuals and communities and their contributions to building an integrated and socially cohesive society”.

“Priority areas under consideration for this call are: Youth, including youth at risk; Faith communities and organizations; Immigrants. Themes focus on: Citizenship rights and responsibilities; Facilitating positive interaction among different cultural, ethnic and religious communities in Canada”.

For more information, including application forms and details on applying, see the CIC site and the Settlement At Work site.

Deadline for applications is Oct 15, 2010.