A new podcast by the Archway Diversity Education team shares stories of newcomers to Canada and their immigration struggles, successes and resiliency.
Hosts Sumaiyyah Adam and Darien Johnsen interviewed eight immigrant and refugee women over six sessions for the Stories of Resiliency podcast.
“We wanted to share the stories of newcomers, immigrants and refugees to foster understanding, and showcase the diversity and resiliency of the people who live here,” said producer Robyn Garland.
Resiliency is a common theme in the podcast as the newcomers share how they adapted to a new culture, overcame trauma and found a way forward.
“The women interviewed had these struggles but they’re able to reframe it because they’ve developed such a healthy mindset of resiliency and they’re able to see the benefits of the struggle and how they’ve grown as people,” said Johnsen.
As Canada welcomes more newcomers from Ukraine, Afghanistan and other places experiencing conflict, this is a timely and important project.
“We hope these refugees and displaced persons will be met by people who are empathetic and understand a bit of the newcomer experience,” said Johnsen.
Left to Right: Producer Robyn Garland with hosts Darien Johnsen and Sumaiyyah Adam
Yoshika Campbell’s story is featured in episode #5
“We wanted to share the stories of newcomers, immigrants and refugees to foster understanding, and showcase the diversity and resiliency of the people who live here.”
The Archway Diversity Education program promotes cross-cultural understanding and learning within the Fraser Valley through training, a resource library, consulting on policy and delivering workshops. The team looks to create and support initiatives and projects that uplift the voices in their community.
This project is the first podcast out of Archway Community Services and something Johnsen has long been interested in.
“With podcasts, you’re capturing stories straight from the mouths of people who have experienced them, which is different than other forms of journalism,” said Johnsen. “It’s so much more meaningful to hear someone’s voice telling their own story. You can hear the nuance, emotion and passion.”
Adam is a second-generation Canadian who feels passionate about equality and advocacy for all people. She wishes something like this had been around when her family immigrated from East Africa so that people could have seen past the one-dimensional stereotypes and stigmas that often face newcomers.
“I hope that as people listen to these stories, they come with an open mind and heart of getting to know your neighbour and those who are different from ourselves, so we can build community and togetherness making us all more comfortable with who we are in the world,” said Adam.
The Stories of Resiliency podcast can be found on Spotify or on CIVL Radio 107.1 on Wednesday mornings at 9am (May 24 – June 28).
While the podcast is currently limited to six interviews, the group hopes to continue using the podcast format with other projects in the future.
This podcast is generously supported by CIVL Radio, Resilience BC and Archway Community Services.
“We hope these refugees and displaced persons will be met by people who are empathetic and understand a bit of the newcomer experience.”