Becoming Neighbours – Welcome


What creates the warmest welcome with and for people experiencing forced displacement?

On 25 March 2023, approximately 50 in-person and 45 virtual participants explored practices and postures of welcome in dialogue with people who have lived the refugee experience and those who haven’t.

At this free, interactive Welcome workshop, participants

  • heard from panels with refugee and Indigenous perspective
  • participated in roundtable conversations
  • got a sneak preview of Worn Word’s new film Welcomestory.

The workshop goal: to foster and increase practices and postures that lead to a transformative welcome.

Yolanda Liman (Drawing It Out) created this beautiful graphic recording through her listening at the workshop.

Erin Goheen of event partner Worn Words Media screened portions of her new film, Welcomestory.

Welcomestory is a resource for communities and classrooms that want to expand their understanding of “refugee welcome” as a practice and concept. It is an accessible, introductory invitation for communities and classrooms, to reflect carefully together amidst the urgency of this work.

Some key learnings / take-aways / steps toward change as spoken by Workshop participants regarding the value of Welcome:

“The need to slow down and take time, to listen deeply, to create spaces of welcome, so that our actions and words of welcome are more aligned.”

“Indigenous cultures approaching by canoes in peace – paddles up. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and wondering what “paddles up” could look like for us as we engage this topic of welcome.”

How the time for “welcome” is finite, while “belonging” is prolonged. Overtly welcoming people for too long can hinder or discount their sense of belonging.”

“How many unspoken expectations and assumptions we have on what welcome looks like.”

Questions? contact [email protected]

Becoming Neighbours Workshops are in partnership with Worn Words Media and co-sponsored by Vancity, Vancouver Foundation, UBC Office of Community Engagement, and UBC Centre for Migration Studies.

 University of British Columbia