Culture and Diversity

2016 Action Recommendations

2.0 Culture and Diversity

This discussion focused on how we can be a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community. Major areas of focus included ideas around how we can foster an inclusive City and how we can support newcomers to our community, both upon arrival and for the long-term.

2.1 Foster an Inclusive City

  1. Improve opportunities for international language support, potentially through partnership with the Hamilton Public Library and with Hamilton area school boards.
  2. Host Community Cultural Festival(s) that include food, music, dancing, crafts, speakers, art, clothing.
  3. Create a “Welcoming City” brand, building on initiatives such as “Hamilton Welcomes Newcomers”.
  4. Create space for connections between people who have similar experiences but may be from different cultures/backgrounds.
  5. Support inclusiveness within schools through in-class language help.
  6. Support transitions of students to school (e.g. Mohawk’s International Student Week).
  7. Expand the curriculum of elementary schools and community-engaged post-secondary courses to examine community and culture in Hamilton.

2.2 Supporting Newcomers

  1. Through culture clubs and existing initiatives, build partnerships with sports clubs in Hamilton so that newcomers can be invited to sporting events as a way to get to know the city.
  2. Create a tour that invites newcomers to local landmarks to get to know the city.
  3. Build links with Threshold School of Building to support trades training and connections.
  4. Build inclusive and safe communities through stronger connections between communities.
  5. Identify how students can support the resettlement assistance program.
  6. Invite immigrant high school students into this conversation.
  7. Celebrate the success of newcomers accomplishments.
  8. Welcome newcomers publicly.
  9. Support connections between newcomers, refugees, and immigrant communities, possibly in partnership with the Hamilton Public Library as a safe space for conversation.
  10. Use events like McMaster’s DeltaHacks Hackathon to create apps that can help refugees build connections in Hamilton.

2.3 Connect Newcomers to Immediate Needs

  1. Provide translation support that could build on existing programs (such as notetaking programs at educational institutions).
  2. Develop peer-to-peer opportunities for students to help students.
  3. Provide pathways to employment support systems and other services in the community.
  4. Reach out to the newcomer community to get a sense of their needs and work with them to reduce barriers to these needs.
  5. Initiate a planning committee for welcoming newcomers that can be incorporated into welcome week activities in September 2016.
  6. Raise aspirations for children and youth by increasing access to green space and free play, helping to break barriers and provide opportunities.