The first cohort of MOSAIC’s SCOPE (Social & Civic Opportunities – Pathways to Equity) project recently gathered alongside community leaders and employer partners to celebrate their graduation from the four-month training initiative on diversity, inclusion, equity, and board governance.
The day was action-packed with a panel discussion, graduation ceremony, award ceremony for partners, and board fair for participating organizations and institutions.
Beginning with a land acknowledgement from Jenn Smith of the Tlowitsis Nation, participants had the opportunity to hear opening remarks from BC Associate Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction Standards, Multiculturalism & Anti-Racism Angela Cooke as well as findings and lessons learned from the first SCOPE cohort.
The panel discussion focused on the importance of having immigrant voices in decision-making tables and featured Zahra Esmail (Vantage Point CEO), Sharmarke Dubow (Victoria City Councillor), and Jennifer Reddy (Vancouver School Board Trustee).
During the graduation ceremony itself, participants had the opportunity to share their experiences as a cohort.
“SCOPE has given me the knowledge for me to bridge my Nigerian identity and my place in Canada, while still engaging in communities and causes that align with my passions,” said Marie Bassey, a SCOPE participant.
Partners that supported SCOPE were recognized as well. Among them was Ana Maria Bustamante, a project panelist and partner who received MOSAIC’s first-ever Allyship Award for being a champion of social and civic engagement for newcomers.
“Ana Maria’s support has been instrumental to the success of SCOPE. Since the beginning, she showed such excitement for the project and was always ready to brainstorm ideas on how to connect SCOPE members with community organizations as well as sharing her own lived experience through panel discussions and so much more,” said Pachuku.
In addition to her work with SCOPE, Ana Maria is a community leader and manager with the Burnaby Local Immigration Partnership/Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, and Burnaby Together – Coalition Against Racism and Hate.
“I feel honored, very grateful and humble to receive the Allyship Award. As a community developer, I am passionate about working with people and looking for opportunities to connect newcomers with services and supports that help them grow in their new lives,” she said.