The Edmonton Multicultural Coalition (EMC)
The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.
The Edmonton Multicultural Coalition (EMC) was formed in 2007 by Dr. Lucenia Ortiz as a sister organization to the Multicultural Health Brokers to take on advocacy activities on behalf of immigrants and refugees. Over time, it has evolved to focus on building the capacity of individuals and organizations from ethnocultural communities. In July of 2018, EMC members adopted a new mission statement that shifts EMC to taking an intercultural approach in its work.
This intercultural approach focuses on building relationships between ethnocultural communities, Indigenous peoples/organizations, and the mainstream culture, which can lead to mutual and reciprocal transformation. As the Coalition is a small organization with limited resources, most of its work is done through collaboration, as we combine a community and systems approach.
The Coalition connects with other immigrant and refugee communities, learns about initiatives, successes and barriers in other communities, and has opportunities to engage with policymakers, funders, or mainstream agencies and organizations. It is a safe, inclusive, culturally relevant space that fosters openness, sharing, honesty, collaboration, and personal leadership.
EMC’s leadership development training strengthens the capacities of leaders from ethnocultural communities to create opportunities where these leadership skills could be practised within their organizations, in their communities and neighbourhoods, and in the larger society. Beyond capacity building, leadership development deepens their awareness of community issues and finds solutions to these within their cultural context and builds creative and respectful collaborations with organizations and agencies serving their communities.
Community animation opens the door for relationship building between one’s ethnocultural community and external stakeholders, including the City of Edmonton, the provincial and federal governments, and voluntary sector organizations. The training offered by the Coalition supports new and ongoing animators
- to develop their informal leadership in the community,
- to become objective and socially conscious effective motivators throughout the changing dynamics in the community,
- to be facilitators and,
- to develop their ability to share information, ideas, with and to inspire other leaders in the community.
Community-based research is an opportunity for community members to be trained as community researchers, to practise developing and articulating their ideas to each other in the community and, ultimately, to prepare to articulate their ideas to policymakers and funders.
Collaborative, group, and one-on-one support is provided at monthly meetings where community members help each other, including access to space, sharing of ideas, connections with key contact people, event and program coordination, and unique resource people found in each community. One-on-one support is also available from the coordinator.
ECM contributes to strengthening the richness of a multicultural society and making active citizenship a daily reality. For more information, visit: www.emcoalition.ca.
Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.