CERIS conference tackles issues of immigration and settlement

"Rethinking the Mosaic: Immigration, Settlement and the Lived Experience" is the title of a CERIS conference for graduate students today and tomorrow looking at issues involving immigration, employment, citizenship and refugees.

The conference takes place in the Junior Common Room, 014 McLaughlin College, Keele campus, from 7 to 10pm today and from 9am to 6pm tomorrow. Registration for the conference is now closed.

CERIS, the Ontario Metropolis Centre, is a consortium of Toronto-area universities and community partners that promotes research about the impact of immigration on the Greater Toronto Area and the integration of immigrants into Canadian society. Core funding for CERIS is provided by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) along with several federal government departments. It is one of five such research centres across Canada established under the Metropolis Project.

This two-day conference offers graduate student across all disciplines the opportunity to present and discuss their research ideas with fellow students in a professional and intellectually vibrant, professional and supportive forum.

Right: Philip Kelly

Chair Howard Duncan of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will open the plenary session of the conference today. The keynote speakers, include Professor Nazilla Khanlou of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Nursing and Department of Psychiatry, and CERIS domain leader in health and well-being; York geography Professor Philip Kelly, CERIS domain leader in economic and labour market integration; and Mehrunnisa Ali, CERIS domain leader in family, children and youth, School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University.

The first workshop tomorrow will look at the laws and practice surrounding immigration and refugee status. It will delve into post-9/11 state reformations and the impact of Bill C-36 on immigrants and refugees in Sri Lankan Tamil communities. In addition, participants will discuss issues involving refugee women, economic refugees and children.

There are 10 workshops, each tackling a different area of immigration and settlement, including multiculturalism in Canada and whether it works, integration into the economic and labour market, language, culture and education issues and government involvement in the settlement sector.

The conference will also explore the experiences of immigrant and transnational families from the perspectives of children, youth and the family as a whole. The politics of culture, ethnicity and identity will also be discussed.

For more information about the conference program and speakers, visit the CERIS Web site.