EnGendering Resilient Pathways and Communities in the Long-Term

Based on the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership Community Action Plan, this study contributes towards understanding, maintaining, and developing responsive settlement programs and strategies that effectively serve all members of the KW community, including those with a precarious legal status and impacted by the intersection of different social identities (Cho et al, 2013). This project responds to the three core areas identified in the Community Action Plan: settle, work, and belong.

This study involves immigrant service providers and newcomers, and LIP(s) within the KW Region. There are 3 research activities planned to triangulate and expand our analysis.

  1. Create a Gender and Resilience Capacity Building and visual representation tool- which we aim to pilot in the KW region and then adapt and localize for all city networks tied to the partnership. This tool is an important knowledge mobilization initiative, which will enhance the relevance of project outputs with immigrant service providers and newcomers. To date we have only gathered some of the information needed for this initiative, and further funding is now required to develop this online resource and capacity building tool in collaboration with the LIP(s) and the other city networks. While data gathered thus far on resources/obstacles and strategies for supporting resiliency among temporary newcomers, there remains a gap in our understanding of how such newcomers navigate their migration trajectory, particularly among those who aim to transition to permanent residency. As the Region is often welcoming temporary migrants and internal migrants from other regions, it is important to understand how these two (or even three step) trajectories might impact integration –and to understand what structural and individual strategies and resources might strengthen migrant and community resiliency along such multi-staged trajectories.
  2. Design a Longitudinal Panel Study- consisting of in depth qualitative interviews with temporary migrants with selected participants from the focus groups with the purpose of giving nuance to the migration trajectories among migrants with temporary status or without status.
  3. Conduct a Telephone Survey - that will be statistically significant to the region, and allow us to make more reliable claims that will support the case for more resources and focus aimed at strengthening supports for temporary migrants in the region and beyond. It is also our hope that this survey will serve as a pilot that can be replicated across other city networks (this will be the focus of a future collaborative proposal with at least one other second tier city, such as Ottawa and Windsor).
  4. Draft a Preliminary report of our findings, write two academic articles, and propose at least one conference paper/panel in 2018-2019.

Principal Investigators:

  • Jenna L. Hennebry, jhennebry@wlu.ca
  • Margaret Walton-Roberts (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Community Partners:
  • Tara Bedard (LIP) (Community Co-Chair)
  • Lucia Harrison & Ana Luz Martinez(KW Multicultural Centre)
  • Shelly Campagnola (Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support)
  • Fauzia Mazhar (Coordinator, The Family Centre, Founding Member and Chair of the Coalition of Muslim Women in KW)
  • Diana Palmerin Velasco, Immigration Partnership Belong Steering Committee.

What is our approach?

We emphasize temporary migrants including caregivers, high and low-skill migrant workers, international students and those without status, or those who have refugee claims (and have had temporary work status prior to making the claim). We examine the nexus of gender, precarity and resilience (both social and institutional) to explore how newcomers to KW with a temporary status cope with and increase their resilience. This project examines the resilience of community organizations supporting newcomers and considers the impacts of gender, the levels of precarity and the category of entry.