On August 27th 2022, a connection event for Black Women in Richmond was held. The event had 17 registrants but 11 participants attended. The event commenced with a land acknowledgement and acknowledgement of RCRG NSG. This was followed by a round of introduction by all participants, each sharing the story behind their names.
The event focused on understanding intercultural communication and it was facilitated by Misrak Tekle, who identifies as a Black Woman from Ethiopia and works on Migrant Worker Projects. She shared resources and facilitated discussions on intercultural communication barriers, fundamental patterns of cultural differences, tools to overcome barriers to intercultural communication, and how individuals can overcome unconscious bias and stereotypic behaviours.
Participants shared their stories related to communication barriers they have experienced at school, workplace and in the community; with some acknowledging that the experiences of others have shown up in theirs as well. They also shared some of the cultural shock they have experienced in relation to understanding the patterns of communication in Canada, and how different it is from their cultural backgrounds, among others.
One thing that stands out for every Black person that immigrated to Canada regardless of which stage they are in life is understanding intercultural communication and adapting to being able to communicate effectively despite the cultural differences.
Participants were grateful for this session, how enriching it was, acknowledged its relevance to their experiences, and for the insights gained in how to effectively communicate and understand others. We are grateful to the NSG for the grant that enabled this event to happen. Participants enjoyed the sumptuous African meals and the African dance session at the end of the facilitated discussion. The event also allowed for an opportunity to meet new people within the community.