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As a part of the Welcoming Cities and Leadership Projects, the following workshops are being offered to help build a settlement sector that is welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ or vulnerable newcomers, immigrants and refugees. 


These workshops are part of a series designed to increase comfort, capacity and skills of settlement practitioners, managers, and administrators to work with clients who identify as part of the LGBTQ+  community. The workshops provide practical tools and strategies on how to create a safer organization for those who identify as LGBTQ+.  

Workshops are being offered through the Centre for Newcomers, Centre for Sexuality, and other organizations. Workshop bookings require one month or more advance notice of your requested dates.

3 hours, minimum 10 people, maximum 30

MODULE 1: Promoting Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Inclusion Within Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations 

In this workshop we will discuss the intersecting identities and unique vulnerabilities of gender and sexually diverse newcomers to Canada. Participants will have the opportunity to review inclusive terminology as well as the Canadian human rights protection of SOGIE. The workshop will create an inclusive and respectful environment for participants to identify and work through challenging scenarios that they, or their organizations may be facing. Participants will learn practical strategies for creating more positive, respectful, and/or safer organizational spaces and culture. Lastly, participants will increase their knowledge of additional SOGIE-specific resources and referrals. 

3 hours, minimum 6 people

MODULE 3: Interview Skills and using Guidelines for working with LGBTQ+ Immigrants & Refugees 

This workshop examines specific issues related to LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees, the hidden clients within immigrant serving organizations and cultural communities. The workshop will discuss specific interview techniques and best practices to ensure that LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees feel supported and welcomed by professionals, and so that the clients do not have to isolated within their own cultural communities. The workshop will also teach the ‘Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Needs Assessment’ and associated UNHCR Guidelines for working with LGBTQ+ refugees.

2 hours, 6 – 30 people recommended

MODULE 5: BRAIVE Empowerment for LGBTQ+ People and their Allies

This workshop teaches the BRAIVE empowerment model of resiliency. The workshop gives information about research on health and wellness and how people can use these concepts to combat the impact of discrimination and the effects of persecution. The workshop will teach psychological, social, cultural, and physical well-being concepts that assist resilience development.


3 hours, minimum 10 people, maximum 30

Trauma and Violence Informed Care: A Workshop for Health and Social Service Providers

During this interactive and participatory workshop for frontline health and social service providers, participants will explore how experiences of trauma and stigma can impact service users’ health and well-bring as well as access to health and social services. Through discussion and interactive activities, participants will explore the principles of trauma and violence informed care (TVIC), and learn to employ this approach within their practice to challenge the stigma associated with sexuality. Participants will gain practical tools and skills to integrate TVIC into their interactions with newcomer clients and into the policies and practices of their organizations in order to contribute to safer and more inclusive services.

1-2 hours, recommended for 2 senior executives or decision makers

The Organizational LGBTQ+ Scan for Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations

The organizational scan is a tool that will assess organizational capacity for working with LGBTQ+ clients. It is intended to start organizations on the path to creating organizational policies, processes, and structures that may be required to ensure LGBTQ+ clients are best served. A more in-depth audit can follow the organizational scan, and it is not intended to replace in-depth audits that move organizations toward developing a full action plan to create LGBTQ+ competency.

2 hours, 6 – 30 people recommended

MODULE 2: Intersectionality, Anti-Racism, and Anti-Xenophobia Training

This workshop teaches concepts about intersectionality, layered discrimination, and identifying systemic barriers. Participants will learn not only how to interact with cultural and other contexts for newcomers to Canada, but it will also explore ways to invite others into organizations to help combat racism and xenophobia. It gives specific ways to discuss openness to identities within a cultural context and reduce xenophobia related to privilege, culture, religion, and personal biases.

2 hours, 6 – 30 people recommended

MODULE 4: Coming Out in a Cultural Context

This workshop teaches concepts about coming out, outing, plus safety issues, and how they interact with cultural and other contexts for newcomers to Canada. It gives specific ways to discuss coming out within a cultural context and relates openness to sexual orientation or gender identity to privilege, culture, religion, and resiliency. It refers to UNHCR Guidelines for working with LGBTQ+ refugees and the use of interview skills to discuss coming out scenarios.

3 hours, minimum 10 people, maximum 30

MODULE 6: Empowering Newcomers Through Self-Defense 

In this self-defense training, based on concepts in martial arts, participants will gain knowledge in: dealing with an immediate threat, basic self‐defense skills and awareness, effective and efficient striking methods to quickly get away from an attacker, use of everyday objects for defense, environment awareness, and improving coordination and fitness. It builds upon concepts learned in the BRAIVE empowerment. All genders are welcome to participate in the workshop but women and transgender individuals are particularly encouraged to take the training. The workshop requires physical activity and light comfortable clothing is suggested.

3 hours, minimum 10 people, maximum 30

Becoming an Ally: Being an Active Bystander

This workshop provides participants with a deeper understanding of the roots of homophobic and sexual bullying and harassment. We explore strategies to address bullying, prevent harassment, and highlight the roles of bystanders. Participants leave prepared and confident to address this issue in a way that empowers the person experiencing harassment, while providing teachable moments to those engaging in it.

Funded by:

Office Hours

Monday to Friday

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

We are closed on Statutory holidays and long weekends



1010, 999 - 36 Street NE

Calgary, AB T2A 7X6

(located inside the T & T Pacific Place Mall. -  Please use the northeast entrance off of 36 st, 12 Ave NE. No access from 33 st NE.



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Phone: 403.569.3325