Dialogue NB unveils action plan for social cohesion
The organization focuses on community-based strategies
(New Brunswick – August 2, 2018) Six weeks after announcing a new vision for social cohesion in New Brunswick under the new slogan One New Brunswick, Together, Dialogue NB outlined three programs intended to foster cohesion and understanding across the province amid increasing cultural diversity.
Dialogue New Brunswick is taking a decidedly community-based approach by launching the Dialogue Communities program. The organization is reaching out to all municipalities to invite them to join the program and help them create the conditions for cohesion at home. “Our goal is to create an environment where New Brunswickers of all backgrounds feel accepted, valued and understood”, says Nadine Duguay-Lemay, CEO of Dialogue NB. “It’s important that communities themselves play a leadership role because the 104 municipalities all have their own particular challenges and opportunities. More and more mayors and other local leaders are stepping up and we want to partner with them. We can have the most impact at the community level.”
Joining the program comes with a commitment to set objectives of promoting a sense of belonging and trust among the diverse groups within the community while fighting marginalization and exclusion. Communities will appoint a Dialogue Community Leader and form a Social Cohesion Committee tasked with finding ways of overcoming challenges to cohesion in their communities and organizing events that promote it. Dialogue NB will organize annual provincial symposiums for local leaders and provide ongoing support including toolkits, event templates and a visible presence on social media platforms. The recruitment process is underway and several municipalities have already expressed acute interest.
Dialogue NB fully recognizes the importance of youth in leading the charge on social cohesion and is therefore creating the Youth Cohesion Lab that will assemble seven leaders aged 15 to 30 from seven communities over seven months. Through this program, Dialogue NB is looking to help young passionate and innovative leaders bring their big ideas to life by giving them funding along with opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge they need to bring about significant change in their communities. The seven young leaders selected will work with innovation leaders from Atlantic Lottery, Market Gravity and the National Bank of Canada who will coach them in design thinking and agile methodology. Nominations to the program are opened until September 15. “Atlantic Lotto is excited to help New Brunswick’s young innovators shape the future of their communities through their bold ideas and actions”, says Jean-Marc Landry, Director of Innovation at Atlantic Lotto. “We need to look at how we can evolve and prosper together as a province.”
Meanwhile, Dialogue NB is working on a province-wide social cohesion strategy by enlisting five recognized experts as part of its Experts in Residence program. The group is mandated with designing a comprehensive strategy with clear indicators, namely by identifying contributing factors like shared values and goals and the challenges that impede cohesion. Members have been chosen for their expertise in their respective cultural communities and will serve as spokespeople on the topic. Members are:• D.J. Joseph is a longtime Elsipogtog First Nation Administrator with expertise in cross-cultural relations between native and non-native communities and a solid understanding of economic development.
• Kim Nash McInley is a former Chief of Saint Mary’s First Nation and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her twenty-year commitment and dedication to improving the living conditions of off-reserve Aboriginals.
• Stephany Peterson is a PhD student at the University of New Brunswick whose research focuses on the promotion of understanding through the sharing of stories.
• Reem Fayyad Abdel Samad is a Research Analyst at the New Brunswick Health Council with vast knowledge on immigrants’ health and well-being.
• Mathieu Wade is a Lecturer at the Université de Moncton and an expert on the French- language minority in New Brunswick. He holds a PhD in sociology.
In June of 2018, Dialogue NB announced it was embarking on a new path and moving beyond its original mission of promoting understanding between French and English communities as set out at the time of its creation in 1989 to now include First Nations and other diverse cultural communities that are making a significant impact in the province. A new mandate was adopted as a result of over 200 consultations across the province. “These initiatives will put cohesion front and centre and allow people to lead change where they live”, says Nadine Duguay Lemay. “We want to give them the tools to do that and create a positive momentum so we can all thrive together.”
About Dialogue NB
Dialogue NB is a non-profit organization, led by a volunteer board of directors, with a mandate to help the Province of New Brunswick be a more socially cohesive community.
The organization develops programs and initiatives to help inspire communities and individuals to live together in greater harmony – respecting and celebrating all people as valued members of society.
For more information:
Nadine Duguay Lemay
Chief Executive Officer | Présidente directrice-générale firstname.lastname@example.org