As 2017 comes to an end, I want to congratulate everyone on the partnership’s tremendous progress. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, our research agenda is developing apace, the partnership has expanded, many rewarding relationships are emerging, and our activities are attracting the attention of a growing and diverse audience. I want to acknowledge especially the essential contributions of Adnan Turegun, Naolo Charles, Camila Bonifaz, and Lara Daoud as well as the research assistants, postdocs, and administrative staff across the city networks. I am also grateful to everyone who serves on the three standing committees; the Knowledge Mobilization Committee, the Executive Committee, and the Steering Committee. They have done essential work clarifying our plans and organization.
There are many comings and goings. I want to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Antoine Bilodeau, a professor of political science at Concordia University, and Dr. Frédéric Dejean, a professor of religious studies at University of Quebec, Montréal (UQAM). Well known for their research about immigrant integration, Antoine and Frédéric will not only advance the partnership’s activities in Québec, but their participation greatly enhances the possibilities for comparative research between Ontario and Québec.
It is my sad duty to announce that Dr. Adnan Turegun is finishing his term as Partnership Liaison Officer on December 31, 2017. Adnan was instrumental in conceiving the partnership and developing the proposal. He has also done a stellar job building the partnership, organizing the Steering Committee, and dealing with endless governance and administrative issues, patiently, promptly and effectively. I know everyone joins me in thanking Adnan for his invaluable contributions, wishing him well in his current and future endeavours, and looking forward to his new role in the partnership. Thank you immensely, Adnan. You will be greatly missed, but we all look forward to working with you in a new capacity.
In case you are worried about how we will manage, I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Anneke Rummens, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto and the Visiting Scholar of Practice in Residence at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, will replace Adnan. For those of you who have not worked previously with Anneke, she is a multilingual anthropologist/sociologist whose research explores the links between identity, diversity, health and wellbeing, with special focus on vulnerable and marginalized populations who is recognized internationally for her expertise in developing multidisciplinary research centres and knowledge exchange.
The partnership website is being populated as I write. Have a look to see a summary of the Ottawa meeting, the latest Research Digest that reports the findings from a fascinating analysis of how immigrant-serving organizations managed to house Syrian refugees during a severe affordable housing crisis, and bios for new partners.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year/ Joyeux Noël et bonne année.