Immigrant Diversity Week (IDW) begins this Monday, April 29th with events across the east end right up to May 3.
These events, organized by the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership, include a number of different speakers, activities and sponsor organizations from around the city. The aim of this week is to highlight the many ways Toronto (and particularly the east end) is strengthened by our diverse immigrant communities: in cultural events, politics, business and more.
Begin the week with the kick-off ceremony right here at the Cedarbrae Branch on April 29 at 10 AM. Join speaker Nicholas Keung, Immigrant and Diversity news reporter for the Toronto Star, as we look at the importance of IDW and how we can all be participants. Children's activities will also be available, so be sure to drop by!
The following day, on Tuesday April 30 at 3 PM, we will have guest speakers from Centennial College's Centre for Entrepreneurship in the branch to discuss the benefits of self-employment. This program is designed for all those interested in starting a business and is a great venue to ask questions and find support. Please call Cedarbrae's settlement counsellor, Houri Sahba, to register and find out more: 647-338-6300.
To round off the week, we'll be having a brown-bag luncheon at 12:30 PM on Thursday, May 2 to bring together community service providers, newcomers and other interested participants.Bring a lunch, settle in and get more information about what is available to you in your community!
There are a number of other events going on at Scarborough library branches all week, so be sure to check out the calendar of events.
While you're between events, why not pick up a book to read? There are so many rich aspects of the immigrant experience. Many of these, including the struggle with new languages, understanding a new culture, and finding the balance between one's native customs and adopted ones, are often beautifully illustrated in fiction. Check out some great reads I read and loved!
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Kimberley Chang, a young Chinese girl, and her mother face the struggles of sweat-shop squalor in Brooklyn as they build a life they can both be proud of. I read this book in a day -- it's a quick, emotional read that will leave you really feeling for Kim and the double-life she is forced to live.
Across a Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande
Juana Garcia leaves her small Mexican town to track down her father, who left years before to find a better life in America. Her journey will lead her to Adelina Vasquez, who left California to find her lover in Mexico. These two women will find themselves connected in the most trying times of their lives.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
When Little Bee, a teenage Nigerian girl, crosses paths with Sarah Summers, a British magazine editor on vacation, neither one expects to see the other again following their brief time together. But years later, their paths will meet again - and Sarah may find that in helping Little Bee, she is helping herself too.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Gogol has more than just a strange name - he has a life built on balancing his family's traditions and finding his own identity. Through heartbreak, some comic relief, and unearthing a tragedy that has defined his parents' lives, he will come to define his own. This book also became a movie (it's worth a watch too!)
If you've read all these, maybe you can try some others:
Have a title about the immigrant experience that you loved? Please share it in the comments! Have questions about Immigrant Diversity Week events? Call the branch or come see us!