Brock to host migrant worker forum

Experiences of migrant workers will be the focus of an upcoming forum at Brock.

The Niagara Forum on Migrant Worker Issues will take place on campus Sunday, Dec. 3.

The daylong event will bring together members of the community, including those directly impacted, to discuss strategies to enhance and support advocacy for the rights of migrant workers.

The forum is hosted by the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Niagara Migrant Workers Interest Group, and sponsored by the Brock University Im/Migrant Community Outreach course (SPAN3F80/4F80) in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

After an opening plenary, participants will attend breakout sessions that include a presentation on community partnerships from three previous students of the course who are now pursuing graduate studies in related fields at other institutions. There will also be presentations from the Niagara Migrant Workers Interest Group (NMWIG) — the first community agency to be linked with the course — as well as poster displays from other former SPAN 3F80/4F80 students.

Associate Professor Cristina Santos emphasized the importance of hosting the forum at the University and linking it to SPAN 3F80/4F80 course, which she created with Professor Irene Blayer in 2015.

“The course is our way of giving back to the community,” she said. “We are creating global citizens by starting in our own backyard.”

The forum, she said, creates a “safe space for sharing and learning around the migrant worker experience.”

“The participation of our students in that dialogue is fantastic.”

Migrant workers, migrant justice and human rights advocates, and front-line service and support workers are all encouraged to attend.

Admission is free for migrant workers and $25 for other participants.

To learn more about the forum, visit the Canadian Council for Refugees website.

To register, email Marisa Berry Mendez at

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