Find inspiration: Proud to Protect Refugees activities

More ways to Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada

Share facts about refugees in Canada with someone close to you Bust myths and misconceptions you hear about refugees
Watch a film about refugees in Canada Use social media to help change the conversation about refugees in Canada
Read a book about refugees and their contributions Invite a speaker from the Walk to a group you belong to
Get to know a refugee family in your community Support businesses and organizations that are run by (former) refugees
Write a letter to the editor about refugee contributions close to home Wear and share a Proud to Protect Refugees button or sticker
Talk to local leaders about building a stronger community together with refugees Volunteer with a group near you that works with refugees

Ask your city council to recognize the contributions of refugees in your community

CranbrookKimberley is Proud to Protect RefugeesCranbrook and Kimberley British Columbia are the first communities to make public statements that they are 'Proud to Protect Refugees' in May 2013. Both Cranbrook and Kimberley recognized the contributions that refugees make to the community and the importance of extending a warm welcome to refugees and their families.

City of Cranbrook proclamation

City of Kimberley statement of commitment

For more about these cities' efforts to recognize and promote welcoming communities for refugees, read: 

City signs on to refugee protection (Cranbrook), 13 May 2013
Kimberley signs on to refugee protection, 14 May 2013

Lights, camera, action: Share contributions that refugees and refugee families make in your community

Le Comité d'accueil international des Bois-Francs (Victoriaville, Quebec), in partnership with the local municipality, has launched a series of video clips designed to show local residents the talents that newcomers bring, and some of the challenges that they face - all in their own words. In addition to the 'Briller par son immigration' series being available on the municipality's web portal, it was launched in the media and there are plans to use the videos in other regional activities.

Refugee stories that inspire, challenge assumptions and show success

Lucky OnesPublished in May 2013 by Anne Mahon, The Lucky Ones: African Refugees' Stories of Extraordinary Courage is a collection of distinct personal stories of Africans who have made Canada - and Winnipeg - their home. These inspiring and courageous short narratives demonstrate that once relocated to safety and a new home, new challenges must be overcome. They also show that despite the loss, culture shock, language barriers and financial issues, most refugees manage not only to survive but to flourish -- making successful, meaningful lives for themselves and their families.

Copies of The Lucky Ones can be ordered online from Great Plains Publishing in Manitoba or signed out from local libraries like branches of the Winnipeg public library. All author proceeds from the sale of this book will go to micro-lending opportunities for business and community projects at SEED Winnipeg and to entrance bursaries at the University of Winnipeg for the African community of Manitoba.

Profiling refugees, their families, their journeys and their local successes

Resilience and Resettlement: Stories of refugees in Nova ScotiaIt takes courage and resilience to build a new life in a new country, but it it takes just as much courage to speak publicly about your journey.

Resilience and Resettlement: Stories of refugees in Nova Scotia is a collection of stories showcasing the resilience and efforts of former refugees to build a new life for themselves and their families.


Roma Rising: A photo exhibit celebrating Roma contributions to Canada

Danyiova Katerina from Roma RisingRoma Rising, a photo exhibit that highlights the various contributions that Roma Canadians make as business people, teachers, artists, medical professionals and much more. This is part of an effort to put a human face on Roma stories and to tackle prejudice and stereotypes that Roma community members face too often. The exhibit is on display at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto until 4 October 2013. Interested in hosting the exhibit near you? See the website for more details.


Understanding Refugees in the Classroom: high school lesson plan

The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust has recently published a suggested lesson plan for high school students on what it means to be a refugee, particularly in the Canadian context. The critical-thinking lesson plan is a good introduction to concepts of refugee protection and includes a step-by-step lesson plan, discussion questions, handouts and suggestions for further reading. The lesson plan fulfills several provincial curriculum expectations, as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Access it online here.

Tips to stop prejudice in its tracks

The University of British Columbia has a new campaign to promote intercultural understanding, to bear witness in situations of discrimination and to respond respectfully to put the conversation on a new track. Really? includes many helpful tools for those of us interested in changing the conversation about refugees in Canada, including these 11 tips.

Identities: Radio Documentary Series

Identities is a radio documentary series that chronicles the stories and accomplishments of seven musicians who have left their families to immigrate in Canada. The Identities stories demonstrate contributions that refugees make in their communities, how they have enriched Canada and how music has played a major role in their integration.

Identities: The Documentary Series is heard Sundays at 4pm on Jazz FM. The 7 part series began on October 6 2013featuring Robi Botos,  October 13 with Sophie Milman, October 20 with Qiu Xia He; October 27 with Waleed Abdulhamid; November 3 with Anwar Khurshid; and November 10 with Roberto Lopez and Ivan Tucakov.

Watch a film on seeking refuge and protection

Some films about refugees at IMDB.comLooking for a film to show at your next group event? Or just looking for a Friday-night film that will make you think?

Here are some ideas of films - from popular dramas to documentary films - on issues affecting refugees, including lots of Canadian content!

Check here for selections from the National Film Board of Canada to watch online or order.

And here are some UNHCR-recommended TedxTalks on refugee resilience.

Don’t watch alone or keep these to yourself!

Consider planning a movie night with a group you belong to, or with friends.

Check with your public library.

Can they compile a playlist of DVDs on issues affecting refugees for others to borrow? They may have many from this list or from the National Film Board available already. Here’s a DVD playlist from the Greater Victoria Public Library prepared for World Refugee Day (June 2014) to start.

Have a suggestion to add to these lists? Send it by email to Colleen French at:

Read a book about refugees and their contributions

Book suggestionsLooking for a book group selection that will spark discussion? Or an inspiring read for yourself?

Check your local library or online for some of these suggested titles, ranging from fiction, non-fiction, for younger readers, ainsi que quelques sélections en français.

And there's more!

Ready reads for your book group

Some of these selections have ready-made group discussion guides, including:

The Lucky Ones: African refugees’ stories of extraordinary courage by Anne Mahon (click here for the discussion guide)

What We All Long For by Dionne Brand (click here for the discussion guide - also a selection for the Amnesty International Canada monthly book club)

Public library selections

Ask your local public library to make and promote a suggested reading list of books about refugees and their experiences. They likely have many from this list on the shelves!

Here’s a selection the Kitchener-Waterloo Public Library put together for World Refugee Day (June 2014).

Online books

A number of lesser-known books are available online as web apps. Check out this web comic Over, under, sideways, down: Ebrahim's story by Karrie Fransman in partnership with the British Red Cross. It offers a poignant look at what it's like to seek asylum from the point-of-view of a 15-year-old Kurdish Iranian without identity papers. Even though cars drive on the opposite side of the street in the United Kingdom, Ebrahim's experience mirrors those of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Canada.


Have ideas to add to this list of suggestions? Send them by email to Colleen French (