Surrey Local Immigration Partnership invited youth in the community for a Newcomer Youth Forum Belonging in Surrey; a space for youth – To Gather To Voice To Share; their experiences with belonging in their community and their vision for an inclusive and welcoming Surrey.
Our Keynote speaker Rochelle Prasad, a recognized youth activist, educator and social entrepreneur who passionately advocates for sustainable communities, engaging youth in political discourse, and inspiring positive change. Rochelle inspired and engaged the audience with her story and experiences with Belonging.
Our youth panel were a passionate group of community leaders who shared their lived experiences about navigating their community and their sense of belonging. The group explored the theme of “belonging” by having a real conversation in front of peers and the community about where the successes are and what the opportunities are in Surrey. They shared their journey and stories of engaging in the community, and their role as agents of change and their vision for the creating inclusive, welcoming spaces in the community.
Our youth felt heard, seen, empowered, and we had a lot of “I needed to hear this today” “We need more such spaces for Youth I Surrey” comments. The evening wrapped up with a Visioning exercise exploring inquiry question on How do we create a culture of belonging in our community? What change needs to happen for everyone to have a sense of belonging in Surrey?
Surrey Local Immigration Partnership values youth voices and also the need for them to be heard, and that was the guiding force to bring together this amazing group of youth to our Newcomer Youth Forum today on “Belonging in Surrey”. As we continue the roadmap to belonging in Surrey, prioritizing our awareness of unconscious biases can help us recognize the talent, passion and enthusiasm youth bring to the table.