FACE 2021 Schedule

Forum for Arab-Canadian Empowerment 

Virtually - 5-7 May 2021


DAY 1: 5th May 2021- FACE to FACE

Where we at? Barriers- Situation- Challenges- Opportunities- Obstacles  Space for reflection: providing the platform for reflection and building knowledge. Learning from past, current, and upcoming challenges to improve employability.

DAY 2: 6th May 2021-FACE: Paths to Empowerment 

What are we going to do about it? A network of leaders: bringing together Arab leaders from all around the country to join forces in lifting the Arab-Canadian community.

DAY 3:  7th June 2021-Actions & Outcomes 

What are the action steps and recommendations moving forward?A community with impact: collaborating and fostering effect in the community through collaborations in solving some of the problems contributing the  to the high level of unemployment in the Arab-Canadian community.



FACE 2021 Topics:

  • Discrimination against Arab-Canadians through media and stereotypes (40 min) The nature of current political and security contexts has led to widespread discrimination against Arabs and Muslims. Many people of these backgrounds speak of feeling targeted by media coverage that entire associate populations with terrorism based on religious, ethnic, and/or culture. It is essential to dismantling this stereotype for Arab Canadians to live free of discrimination and prejudice. 
  • Barriers to employment of Arab Canadians: Arab-Canadians have the highest unemployment rate among racialized communities. The known barriers to employment faced by immigrants are lack of acknowledgment of international credentials and work experience, lengthy professional bridging programs and lack of professional networks. Through this panel discussion, we aim to understand why the unemployment rate is so high,o analyze if there are specific barriers to the community, what action plans are necessary at a policy level, newcomer integration levels, and community-based initiatives to tackle this issue.

  • Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing among Arab Immigrants Social determinants of health are economic and social factors that affect people’s physical and mental health. Unemployment, income, social networks and discrimination are determinants of physical and psychological health. Arab immigrants are susceptible to these experiences, thus affecting their overall health. The rate of health service use is underutilized in specialties such as sexual and mental health among Arab-Canadians. They are stigmatized and inconsistent with the values and cultural norms of the community. This discussion aims to understand how to promote physical and mental health and develop culturally responsive services that meet the needs of Arab Canadians. 

  • The Canadian Dream or the Dream of Being Canadian? The importance of civic engagement Civic engagement is defined as working to make a difference in the civour communities and developing knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. Civic engagement uplifts the community as a whole and can enable an organization to take action as a group to achieve social and political change. Concentration is low among immigrants due to various barriers. Through this discussion, we aim to provide an overview of civic engagement as a powerful tool for Arab Canadians to make their voices heard and empowered.

  • Empowering and innovation - a path to prosperity Entrepreneurship is an essential tool to address the unemployment barriers among Arab Canadians. Many people choose to create their opportunities because of the lack of adequate job opportunities. Entrepreneurship provides an alternative pathway to increased socio-economic mobility for immigrants and racialized minorities. This discussion aims to give an overview of the entrepreneurship advantages, the challenges faced by immigrants, and finally, the resources and support available for entrepreneurs.

  • Empowering the Minorities of the Minorities: Disabilities, LGBTQ2S+, Women, Refugees It is essential to acknowledge the struggle of women, LGBTQ2+ community, refugees and persons with disabilities. This session focuses on dismantling the stigma and analyzing the additional support needed and steps towards inclusion.  
    Speakers: People representing the minorities (lived experience) academics. This session could be more about storytelling and narratives to understand the demands/struggles in greater depth. 
  • Youth - a pillar for change Technology and globalization are affecting the prosperity of young people in Canada. Arab Canadian youth face additional barriers that may hinder their success. This discussion aims to analyze the challenges specific to Arab Canadian youth. They are followed by an action plan to focus on skill development, inclusivity and community involvement to be resilient and independent. This will shape them as the future leaders of the Arab Canadian community.
  • Speakers: Community organization professional and academic in youth development/integration of children of immigrants.


FACE Targeted audience & Delegates: 

  • Media & Press & Social Media influencers 
  • Academic 
  • Government & Public officers, policymakers, 
  • NGO, charities, not for profits, involved in Arab/ immigrants/ newcomers/ people of colour
  • Youth Delegates/ Youth Leaders/ Youth organization
  • Student organization/ student clubs

Delegates typically come from the following groups, interested in or invested in the field of supported employment:

  • Employment Counsellors and Case Managers from the public, private and non-profit sectors
  • Employers with a provincial or national presence wishing to learn more about supported employment and the return they can expect from it
  • Managers and representatives from various organizations, from the public, private and non-profit sectors
  • Business associations and sector council representatives
  • Human Resource Professionals, Guidance Counsellors, and more widely all Career Development Professionals or students in the field
  • Labour unions representatives
  • Managers and representatives in the education and training fields
  • Managers and representatives from government or public service providers — federal, provincial and municipal
  • Of the 300 expected delegates from all over Canada, we estimate that 25% will be from the business sector, and 75% will consist of the supported employment-related fields.