March 13, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Contributed by Lindsay Marcaccio, Communications Intern.

A recent research report focusing on Arab refugee families in Canada was launched at a symposium on February 23, 2018. Expert panelists, including King’s Assistant Social Work Professor Dr. Bharati Sethi, gathered at the Double Tree by Hilton to discuss the report. Dr. Sethi’s reflections and recommendations were engaging. She also encouraged the research team to consider another conclusion.

"This research addresses gaps in Arab populations and attends to all three phases of migration (pre, transit journey and post-migration)." Dr. Sethi calls this the wholeness of the migrant journey. The report recommends the use of cultural competence to assist with integration. Yet, Dr. Sethi suggests using the practice of cultural humility.

"If cultures are dynamic and immigration experiences are unique, how could anyone master a culture? For practitioners to be culturally humble, they must practice self-awareness and interrogate their biases. This goes beyond having yearly cultural competence training,” says Dr. Sethi.

Looking at immigrant and refugee integration as a whole, Dr. Sethi would like to see more collaboration between policy makers, service providers and educators. "Everyone must come to the table to discuss and provide feedback, not to deliver opening remarks and leave. Progress will never happen without accountability from practitioners, service providers, service users, policy makers, employers and educators."

For the past three years, Dr. Sethi has been an integral member of the London Local Immigration Partnership. Here, she applies her personal experience to help the community with immigrant integration.

At King’s, Dr. Sethi teaches the political, economic and social context of Canadian social work practice. She also teaches perspectives on international and cross-cultural social work.