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Zoey Tung, Jothi Shanmugam, James P. Muldoon Jr., Ainalem Tebeje, Dr. Philip Oxhorn, Dr. Jenny Burman, and Robyn Stewart, along with other attendees, on October 24 at McGill University

This fall, the Mosaic Institute partnered with the Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) at McGill University to host two “UofMosaic” panel discussion sessions on the engagement of diaspora communities in international development.

The first session was held at McGill’s Leacock Building on October 24 and explored the general theme of diaspora involvement in international development. Ainalem Tebeje from the Association for Higher Education & Development, Robyn Stewart from Cuso International, and Dr. Jenny Burman from McGill’s Department of Art History & Communication Studies were the event’s speakers. Key takeaways from this session included the need to turn “brain drain” into “brain circulation”, and the fact that effective organizing within diaspora communities is critical for constructive engagement in development.

James P. Muldoon, Jr., Vice-Chair of the Board of the Mosaic Institute and adjunct lecturer with ISID this fall, offered greetings on behalf of Mosaic.  The event was moderated by Dr. Philip Oxhorn, founding director of ISID and one of the Canada’s leading political scientists.

The second session was held at McGill’s Peterson Hall on November 5, and focused on the specific development efforts of the Haitian diaspora in Canada. Dr. Sonia Laszlo, Associate Director of ISID, served as moderator. Speakers included Katleen Felix, President of the Haitian Hometown Associations Resources Group, and Dr. James Féthière, Co-founder of GRAHN (Groupe de Réflexion et d’Action pour une Haïti Nouvelle). Part of McGill’s Innovation Week, this session engaged students, professors, and faculty members in a specific discussion about the impact of diaspora-led development efforts in Haiti. John Monahan, Executive Director of the Mosaic Institute, travelled to Montreal to host and introduce the event.

Zoey Tung, a B.C.-raised, Montreal-based member of Mosaic’s Student Advisory Committee who studies at McGill, took the lead in organizing these two events. Zoey is a great example of the way young Canadians are mobilizing their talents to encourage more focus on the role of diaspora communities in contributing to peace and development around the world.