Immigration Policies and Family Histories


The podcast is published here:

UNAVSA hosted three experts on immigration and settlement (Maia Fujimoto, Belinda Ha, and Sinthu Vimaladasan) who discuss the link between our families’ immigration experience and how it relates to our understanding of current immigration policies.

UNAVSA wants to educate our community on how past policies, global events, and international relations can affect our personal stories. In this podcast, our guests share how they learned more about their family’s immigration history and how this knowledge drives their work around immigration policies. Understanding how policies and societal attitudes affect people’s ability to resettle and adjust to a new country is crucial to advancing the inclusion of immigrant and refugee communities. We hope this podcast helps you reflect on how immigration policies have affected your family, community, or self-identity.

Guest Bios:

Maia Fujimoto is an Integration Officer at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Prior to taking on this role, she worked in the higher education industry. She holds a Master of Arts degree (MA) in Immigration and Settlement Studies where she focused her research on restorative justice initiatives in immigration policy. Maia is also the founding president of Ryerson’s Science for Peace student group and currently volunteers with Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services.

Belinda Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in Policy Studies under the Immigration, Settlement and Diaspora Policies stream at Ryerson University. She holds an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University and a Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Journalism and History from Carleton University. Her research interests relate to refugees, private vs public sponsorship, multiculturalism, second-generation youth in Canada, citizenship, intergenerational relationships, and immigrant integration.

Sinthu Vimaladasan is a global development professional with expertise in Tamil disaporic engagement and post-war development. Through her MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies at Ryerson University, Sinthu conducted international research in Sri Lanka to explore the changing nature of the global Tamil diaspora and growing militarization of the state. Most recently, she was the Project Coordinator for onBoard Canada, where she assisted in the development of their latest toolkit, Invited, Understood and Embraced: A Board Governance Toolkit for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, to assist CEOs and heads of board governance committees to adopt inclusive policies practices and to welcome and recruit people with disabilities.

Moderator Bio:

Michelle Nguyen is a research assistant for the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration & Integration at Ryerson University, Toronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory. She has an Honours BA in History and International Development Studies and an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies. Michelle held various leadership roles in her region and UNAVSA including Co-President of UVSA Ontario, Eastern Canada CORR, and UNAVSA-16 Programming Co-Director. More recently, she contributed to several institutional chapters of the International Organization for Migration’s flagship publication, World Migration Report 2020. In her career and personal life, she aspires to raise public awareness of social justice issues and mobilize knowledge to empower marginalized communities.

The original post was published here.


Posted on

January 5, 2020