Our fourth Community Roundtable took place on September 19th in Richmond. Once more, members of the community gathered together for a heartfelt discussion on how global migration had affected their neighbourhoods, with the help of our volunteer coordinators and notetakers.
To Richmond Roundtable opened by asking the participants a new question: whether they felt that immigration was of value, and if immigrants had made contributions to their own neighbourhoods. Everyone largely agreed that immigration had benefited their community. They also felt that Canada was a welcoming home for newcomers, one that didn’t require people to abandon their identities to become “Canadian.”
As in previous Roundtables, many participants identified fear and insecurity as the root of most anti-immigration sentiment. The housing crisis, too, contributes to the sense of scarcity, which in turn breeds more prejudice. The contributors’ discussions highlighted the importance of building bridges between different communities in order to create more resilient bonds that can weather negative influence from the media.
In comparison to previous Roundtables, fewer people in Richmond felt like they were being treated as less valuable than newcomers. Instead, they were focused on the slow process of learning to live side by side with each other to remedy such feelings. Some respondents also felt that it was too easy to group together everyone from a certain ethnic background as though they all have identical experiences, when in fact diversity can be found within each community as well.