Presenters: Peggy Lau, Director; Shae Viswanathan, Associate Program Director; Calisto Mudzingwa, Language Best Practices Coordinator; and, Jinny Rodrigo, Settlement Best Practices Coordinator, from S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Settlement and Family Services
Date: June 23rd, 2021
The landscape of settlement service delivery during the pandemic has transformed. Known best practices may no longer serve. What practices have emerged during this unprecedented time that seem to work and who gets left behind? How do we, as a sector, find ways to work remotely effectively and how do we find ways that minimize risk when the inevitable return to the office occurs. The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Settlement & Family division shares observations made during the pandemic as they have continued to serve BC newcomers in the Greater Vancouver area and Fort St. John without interruption, and in the areas of settlement services and language training.
About the presenters
Peggy Lau is the Director of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Settlement and Family Services which serves approximately 18,000 immigrants and refugees per year. With a background in psychology and education counselling, she has worked both in senior management as well as front line roles to support newcomers in the Greater Vancouver area for more than 15 years. She started her career in the settlement sector engaging newcomers through health education. She is passionate about collaborative leadership that takes into account a trauma-informed lens and inclusive, anti-oppressive practices.
Shae Viswanathan has worked for over 11 years for many diverse and multilingual, non-profit organizations, helping immigrants and refugees settle and integrate into Canadian society. Her passions lie in community engagement and building a community of equity, diversity and inclusion. Shae currently sits on a variety of settlement-related committees in BC including the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and co-chairing the Anti-Racism Working group within S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and the Burnaby and New Westminster Local Immigration Partnerships.
Calisto Mudzingwa holds a PhD in linguistics and a Masters in Human Security and Peacebuilding. He is passionate about human rights issues and his research interests include adult education, EAL and adult education interface, assessment methods and standardization. He has published and presented on the Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA). As Language Best Practices Coordinator, Calisto develops training, guidelines, practices and protocols to support Language Leads and Language Instructors for both in person and online language instruction.
Jinny Rodrigo - with a master’s degree in counselling, and certification in cross-cultural facilitation skills, complex trauma, and trauma-informed somatic practices, she has worked in the settlement sector for 16 years. As a Settlement Best Practices Coordinator, she facilitates training including Nonviolent Crisis Intervention and develops guidelines, practices and protocols to support ISIP supervisors and front-line settlement staff. Jinny is a co-chair for the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Anti-Racism Working group and is a member of the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Diversity and Inclusion Committee.