- June 19th, 2012
John Stark, Senior Social Planner with New Westminster City Council, and Chinu Das, winner of the Multicultural Award.
New Westminster has awarded Chinu Das, one of United Way of the Lower Mainland’s planners, its annual Multicultural Award for individuals.
Das was recognized for her work and volunteer activities over the past 20 years at an event at New Westminster City Hall last night. Das was lauded for having raised the profile of multiculturalism; assisting new immigrants and refugees in the settlement and integration process; and contributing to a more welcoming and inclusive community in New Westminster.
In accepting the Award, Das said while receiving recognition was wonderful, it would make no real difference to her work and volunteer activities: “I do what I do because I care, and because it makes a difference to the lives of refugees and immigrants”.
“I came to Canada in the late 70s to pursue my Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning at UBC. I came alone and my family still lives in India. I believe this is why I am able to straddle two different cultures, and am able to understand the nuances of cultural differences. This insight helps to drive my support for immigrants”.
Das moved to New Westminster in 1989, and in 1994 she became a founding member of the New Westminster Multicultural Society. The Society focused on supporting immigrant communities, research and increasing awareness of the growing diversity in New Westminster. Das joined the New Westminster school district in 2000, serving at Community School Coordinator. This was followed by an appointment as Manager of Multicultural and Settlement Services with the school district, where she oversaw a number of initiatives and programs for immigrant and refugee families.
In 2009, Das became the Planner for Strategic Priorities for the Middle Years with United Way. As planner, she has added value to a range of programs that assist immigrant and refugee families, including the African Children’s Homework Club, the African Pre-teen and Youth project and the DiverseCity: After School Tutoring and Support program.
In 2010 she became involved in the Immigrant Mentorship program, which pairs established immigrants with new immigrants and refugees. She continues to volunteer as a community member on the Multiculturalism Advisory Committee and the Win-W Working Group.
At the same event, Family Services of Greater Vancouver (New Westminster) was awarded the Multicultural Award for organizations, in recognition of its Community Immigrant Mentorship Program.
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United Way of the Lower Mainland's Public Policy Institute is a leadership training program for the non-profit sector. Two graduates of the 2013 graduating class have already made significant changes to their lives thanks to the skills they learned.
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Shopping for Dad is rarely easy. We've got 40 gift ideas for Father's Day that are only a couple of clicks away. Show your Dad what a good role model he has been by helping to change someone's life for the better.