What’s New This Quarter

This spring Access Alliance has a great line up of programs for all community members including families, youth, seniors, and LGBTQ+ newcomers.  Please come and enjoy fitness classes, roof top gardening, cycling, cooking demonstrations, nutrition classes and much more! 

Programs and activities are free and are offered online as well as in person at our east location, AccessPoint on Danforth, 3079 Danforth Avenue, and our west location, AccessPoint on Jane, 761 Jane Street. 

Download a printable version of the calendar here, or check out our online program calendar here for the latest updates


Supporting Newcomer Researchers through Holistic Career Building

On Thursday, March 24th, the IRSN (Immigrant Researchers Support Network) held its inaugural annual symposium  Re:Searching New Beginnings for Newcomer Researchers. The event was exclusively designed for the network’s newcomer researchers to be mentored by leaders of various research communities. The mentors who helped to facilitate the event are five of the most established and successful mentors from  a diverse selection of sectors:

  • Ted Richmond (Government Research and Policy sector)
  • Momtaz Begum (Social Science and Public Health sector)
  • Lynn Fletcher (Marketing and Communications sector)
  • Stephen Cohen (Lottery and Gaming sector, People and Culture Division)
  • Amrita Daftary (Medical and Academic sector)

Discussions went beyond how to prepare attractive application documents such as a good CV and cover letter, to promote a holistic approach to career building. Ted, who aided Access Alliance’s labour market research on immigrant researchers shed light on how we should work on system change in the labour market and apply a system approach to our own professional development and job search simultaneously in order to move the needle. That is to invest more in networking, volunteering and building relationships as opposed to narrowly focusing on one’s academic credentials. Other mentors chimed in by bringing insights from their respective industries. They offered many helpful tips on what an effective application looks like and shared stories of their successes and failures, reflecting on lessons learned in their own career journeys. Many participants shared with organizers that they left the event with some new ideas and resources, actionable tips, more courage and renewed optimism.

Missed the event? Don’t fret. The IRSN will provide more mentoring opportunities in the coming new fiscal year. Some mentors will be available to respond to questions on the IRSN portal. For those interested to apply to join the IRSN, visit the IRSN home page.

To learn more about how Access Alliance empowers internationally trained professionals, check out our latest blog!  


New Research on the Impact of Social Isolation on Refugee Children and Youth during COVID-19

The Omicron variant has forced all of us back into yet another round of isolation and reduced services. However, certain groups may have more challenging experiences than others – namely, refugee children and youth. To date, few studies have fully examined the impact of this social isolation on this highly vulnerable population, studies which would ultimately help to create a model for resilience.

Building on work done around the impact of family loss and separation on refugee youth, Access Alliance will lead the next iteration of this research, this time specifically within the COVID-19 context. The project, Implementation Research on the Impact of Social Isolation on Refugee Children and Youth: Their Resilience and Coping Mechanisms, launching this winter, will assess the impact of social isolation on refugee children and youth in Toronto (Canada) as well as their coping mechanisms to overcome the adverse effects on their health and wellbeing.

This research will ask questions like:

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the experience of prolonged social isolation for refugee children and youth?
  • Where and how did they access support during periods of prolonged social distancing?
  • What types of resiliency strategies and coping mechanisms have they used?
  • What are current gaps in access to amenities and necessary supports for refugee children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To learn more about this upcoming research and planned activities, please visit the project page.