Op-Ed: Toronto can easily do more for Non-Status children

My colleagues and I published an op-ed recently on non-status childrens’ experiences with Parks and Recreation, as well as other city services.

You can view the piece here

The article features a recent community-based study published by the Rights of Non-Status Women’s Network on challenges accessing city services for non-status families in Toronto, despite Toronto’s Sanctuary City policy. View the report here.

It also features a report from No One Is Illegal Toronto, as well as research from Ryerson University on Access T.O.

It was a delight working with Petra Molnar and Stephanie J. Silverman on the op. ed. and I’m looking forward to future collaborations.

 

Addressing Risk & Uncertainty in Migration ~ Workshop Agenda

Our workshop agenda has just been announced, and we’re very excited about the presentations. We have a limited number of spots available for faculty, students and/or community members who want to participate in the discussion. Contact me for details on how to register.

Salina

AGENDA
Addressing Risk and Uncertainty in Migration: Theory, Processes, and Policy Responses
Thursday, May 18, 2017 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N, University of Toronto

10:00 a.m. Registration & Refreshments
10:05 a.m. Opening Remarks
Can Aybek and Salina Abji

10:15 a.m. Panel 1
Governing Risk or Risky Governance? Historical, Comparative and Policy Perspectives
~ Harold Bauder & Dayana Gonzalez, Ryerson University: “Responses to ‘illegality’: Urban Sanctuary in International Comparison”
~ Geraldina Polanco, University of Waterloo: “‘Illegality’ and the ‘Benefits’ of Managed Migration Programs”
~ Jiyoung Lee-An, Carleton University: “’Fake’ or ‘Real’ Marriage? Governing Practices of Spousal Immigration in Canada”
~ Maximilian Smith, York University: “Making Room for Social Psychiatry and Sociology in Historical Studies of Migration and Mental Health”
Discussant: Can Aybek, University of Toronto

12:30 p.m. Catered Lunch with Keynote Presentation
Featuring: Dr. Anna Korteweg
The Risks of “Immigrant Integration”: The Racialized Gendered Production of Non-Belonging

Anna Korteweg is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Professor Korteweg’s research focuses on the ways in which the problem of immigrant integration is constructed in the intersections of gender, religion, ethnicity and national origin. From this critical vantage point, she has analyzed debates surrounding the wearing of the headscarf, so-called “honour-based” violence, and Sharia law. Current research projects focus on racialization and LGBTQ/gender rights construction in refugee politics, on the criminalization of migrant status, and on the citizenship implications of refugee sponsorship.

1:45 p.m. Panel 2:
Negotiating Uncertainty: Lived Experiences of Vulnerability and Risk
~ Jolin Joseph, York University: “Right to Flight: Gendered Im/mobility in the Recruitment and Regulation of Indian Women Migrants”
~ Kathryn Dennler, York University: “‘I try to live my life’: Affective geographies of migrants with liminal immigration status”
~ Sohoon Lee, University of Sydney: “Using markets and kinship to cross spatio-temporal borders: a Case of Korean-Chinese migrants in South Korea”
~ Marie Coligado, Carleton University: “‘What you do is you do your best’: Challenges to Legal Representation of Immigration Detainees”
Discussant: Salina Abji, Carleton University

3:45 p.m. Facilitated Discussion: Journal Special Issue

4:30 p.m. Dinner for Presenters ~ By invitation only

A limited number of spaces are available ~ please contact Salina Abji and Can Aybek for more details.
salina.abji AT mail.utoronto.ca and c.aybek ATutoronto.ca

30×30 Nature Challenge

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From May 1st to 30th, I’ll be participating in the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Nature Challenge. This will be my second year participating, and I highly recommend it. The challenge is to spend 30 minutes for 30 days in nature.

Here’s how the organizers describe it:

“A growing chorus of scientists and researchers agree: time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier and less stressed. It increases creativity and lowers risk of heart attacks. It even makes us nicer, more empathetic humans, with more meaningful relationships and increased community involvement.​

Evidence shows that being regularly immersed in a natural setting, like a park, wetland or woodlot, reduces blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels and boosts immunity…  Studies also demonstrate that nature can have profound effects on entire neighbourhoods or communities by improving job and life satisfaction of residents and aiding community cohesion and identity. It can even reduce violence and bridge the gap in health between high and low-income communities.”

While 30 minutes does not seem like a lot of time to spend in nature, I was surprised to find how much of a difference it made for me. I was able to enjoy local parks where I had already spent quite a bit of time, but this time with a new sense of purposeful action and presence of mind. I also discovered new parks and green spaces around the city.

I have also come to believe that any type of daily practice or discipline, even for 30 minutes a day, can bring a fresh perspective and can have cumulative effects. 

To learn more about the 30×30 nature challenge, or to participate, Click Here.

To learn more about the David Suzuki Foundation, or to support/ donate this important organization, Click Here.

Here are some pictures from last year’s challenge…

 

Stay tuned for more pics and insights on this year’s experience!

Follow my 30×30 experience on Twitter with the hashtags #LoveNature & #30x30naturechallenge.

Gender, Islamophobia & Resistance ~ panel at University of Toronto

I’m part of a panel co-hosted by the Migrant Mothers Project and CERIS, the Centre for Research on Immigration and Settlement.

Come through!

Details:

In this seminar, panelists will examine political and social contexts that have given rise to new forms of discrimination and barriers for Muslim Immigrant women’s participation and inclusion in Canadian cities. Panellists will also examine different
expressions of Islamophobia in Canada: in laws, in policies, in public discourses, and in service provision to Muslim immigrant women and their families. Our discussion will also highlight resistance strategies and counter discourses to Islamophobia, including culturally informed social work practices that resist the social monitoring of Muslim women.

PRESENTERS:

LEÏLA BENHADJOUDJA, Assistant Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa.

SALINA ABJI, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University

SONIA BEN SOULTANE, PhD Candidate/FRSC doctoral award recipient, McGill School of Social Work; Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Migrant Mothers Project at University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

DATE & TIME: May 26, 2017 – 2 to 4 pm (EST)

LOCATION:
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
246 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON
Room 548
(Near the St. George TTC Station)
Event Page: Click Here

 

 

 

Good news in Immigration: Spousal Sponsorship no longer “conditional”

The Trudeau government has kept its election promise to repeal conditional status for sponsored spouses. This is good news. The two-year condition, which was introduced by the former Conservative government under Harper, was highly problematic particularly for sponsored spouses at risk interpersonal or familial violence.

Congratulations to all of the advocates who worked tirelessly to ensure this condition was removed! We will be celebrating at our upcoming Forum on Sanctuary Cities and the Future of Regularization on May 24th at the University of Toronto.

 

Details on the changes are available here.

Media coverage highlighting the role of advocates: Advocates hail end to ‘conditional’ spousal visas

To read more about the UofT study highlighted in media coverage, see the Migrant Mothers Project

 

 

Addressing Risk & Uncertainty in Migration ~ Workshop at the Munk School May 18, 2017

Can Aybek and I are co-hosting a research workshop on Addressing Risk and Uncertainty in Migration: Theory, Processes & Policy Responses at the Munk School, University of Toronto, on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

We were impressed by the quality and number of submissions received for the workshop. Invitations have just gone out today to a handful of applicants based on quality, fit, and potential for publication. It promises to be an exciting and enriching day of research and dialogue!

The workshop will be open to the pubic (with limited seating available) so stay tuned here for more details.

Learn more about the Munk School of Global Affairs

Read the original Call for Papers

Sanctuary Cities & the Future of Regularization ~ A community forum

The Rights of Non-Status Women’s Network (RNSWN) is hosting our 2017 Spring Forum at the University of Toronto on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Come Through!

Spring Forum Time

Spring Forum Time ~ Source: RNSWN

DESCRIPTION

Please join us for our spring forum, a biannual networking and information sharing event. The forum’s morning panel will present individuals’ and front line workers’ struggles and strategies to gain access to City of Toronto services for people without immigration status. The afternoon panel will discuss a variety of approaches and strategies on status regularization for people with no legal immigration status. We welcome your questions for all our panellists in open Q&A sessions at the end of each panel and invite you to network over a delicious lunch break.

9:30 to 10:00 Registration and Networking

10:00 to 12:30 Panel on Sanctuary City Toronto with speakers from Research Institutions, City Officials, and Social Service Organizations

12:30 to 1:30 Lunch & Networking

1:30 to 3:30 Panel on The Future of Regularization with speakers from Refugee, Legal, and Grassroots Advocates

3:30 to 4:00 Wrap Up and Discussion

Suggested Donation (for operational costs) to be paid in cash at the door. A receipt can be provided.

• Non-Students: $5-10

• Students are free. Please bring your student I.D.

Please RSVP by Friday May 19th as spaces are limited ~ Thank You!

Thank you to Migrant Mothers Project, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, FCJ, and Springtide Resources who have generously supported this symposium.

~ Space is fully wheelchair accessible. Please let us know of any accessibility needs in advance so that we can do our best to accommodate them.

DATE AND TIME

Wed, 24 May 2017

9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

LOCATION

University of Toronto- Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

246 Bloor Street West

3rd Floor- Student Lounge

Toronto, ON M5S

RSVP on Event Brite