On October 16, 2019 the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) hosted the “Newcomer Student Leadership Conference” at the TCDSB main office at 80 Sheppard Avenue, North York. The conference engaged 278 newcomer youth from 37 different elementary and high schools in Toronto. There were 23 presenters and exhibitors and various workshops for youth including Navigating the School System, Pathways and Wellness, Student Leadership Opportunities, Meeting New Friends and Newcomer Resources and Tips. For teachers, there were workshops on Anti-Racism Education, Examining Bias, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Newcomer Resources. CultureLink’s Maria Guiao presented to over 30 youth about Newcomer Resources and Tips. All workshops were very well received.
TCDSB leadership presided over the day with Maria Rizzo, TCDSB Chair, Rory McGuckin, TCDSB Director and Nick D’Avella, Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, Indigenous Education and Community Relations. This last department of TCDSB, in collaboration with the Settlement Education Partnership Toronto (SEPT) organized this hopeful and informative day. SEPT includes CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, North York Community House, Catholic Crosscultural Services, The Neighbourhood Office and Community for Immigrant and Community Services.