Panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities with telling the story of immigrants and settlement services, considering the changing landscape of policies and politics and the changing demographic face of immigrants.
Jessica Farias is the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for the Mennonite New Life Centre, a nonprofit settlement organization working with immigrants and refugees in Toronto. She has worked at the Mennonite New Life Centre for four years in diverse staff roles. She is part of the creative team that produces New Voices magazine since 2009. Jessica holds a BA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and a Certificate in International Project Management. Originally from Mexico, Jessica is committed to working for social change through her place of employment and through her community activism. She is a co-founder of the group Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) and currently she sits on the Board of Directors of the Workers Action Centre in Toronto.
Gerard Keledjian is an independent media professional based in Toronto. His experience includes broadcast, print, online and social media, and he is interested in immigration, environmental, political and sociocultural issues. Over the past ten years he has worked for a number of community newspapers, magazines and a national television channel in Beirut. Prior to moving to Canada, he was working for CNBC Arabia business news channel in Dubai. Gerard is currently producing Introducing Toronto, a weekly series focused on Canadian immigrants, which he proposed to Rogers TV. He also writes his own blog, The Immigrant, and regularly contributes to a number of Canadian publications like Optical Prism, New Voices and ON Nature. Gerard has a degree in Journalism and is a member of RTDNA Canada and CAJ. He is also the Coordinator for the New Canadian Media Professionals’ Network (NCMP), a professional immigrant network for internationally trained media professionals in Canada and which he helped create in cooperation with the Mennonite New Life Centre.
Jill Snider Lum
Jill Snider Lum has worked for a year and a half at Canadian Newcomer magazine, first as a research consultant and currently as associate publisher. Marrying into a Chinese family familiarized her with some of the challenges faced by immigrants in Canada. Her background is varied, ranging from writing fiction and non-fiction to computer programming, gemmology and appraisal, office administration and historical interpretation. Her experience with writing and computers has served her well in assisting with Canadian Newcomer's recent conversion into a completely web-based publication, funded independently through the sale of advertising. Reaching out to newcomers and prospective immigrants over the Internet provides her with challenges, inspiration, and rewards that she finds unique to this field of work.