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MOSAIC’s 2015 AGM Summary

MOSAIC’s Annual General Meeting was held on September 24, 2015 at the VanDusen Garden’s Floral Hall. Members, volunteers, board and past board members, honourable guests and external stakeholders brought attendance to just over 100 people.Vice Chairperson Cheryl Nelms called the meeting to order and Musqueam Coast Salish Elder Larry Grant provided a Traditional Welcome to open the AGM. Business on the agenda included Eyob Naizghi delivering a Report from the Executive Director, Cheryl Nelms with a Report from the Board, and Hari Suvarna with a Treasurer’s Report.Past Chairperson Gabrielle Smith formally resigned from the Board and was thanked for her years of service to MOSAIC.  New Board member George Somerwill was elected.Massood Joomratty, a lawyer specializing in immigration issues, provided the keynote address and shared the story of his upbringing on Mauritius and his need to re-locate in order to pursue opportunities for education and career. His message to never give up, and that you will eventually arrive at your goal, was well-received by the audience.The Human Rights Award was presented to Sandy Berman, a fierce advocate for justice and equity and the catalyst for many initiatives. Examples of her leadership include: Project Coordinator for Multicultural Change in Health Services Delivery Project; Co-Developer for Framework for Diversity: Diversity in Health Services, Human Rights and Employment Equity Initiatives (Vancouver/Richmond Health Board); and Researcher/Author of Improving Access to Licensure for Internationally Trained Professionals.The Dr. Kes Chetty Education Award recipient, Simran Sarwara, gave an emotional acceptance speech which moved the audience.  She said that being acknowledged showed there is faith in her generation and made a promise that her generation would not disappoint.MOSAIC’s Employer Recognition Award went to RBC, and upon taking the stage to accept the honour, Mary Chalmers-Peristeris brought levity and cheer to the crowd by telling Simran she could come see her if she ever needed a job. Ms. Chalmers-Peristeris was gracious in accepting the employer award, thanking MOSAIC for providing the financial institution with input on how they can help new immigrants.