Episode 1: The Transformative Power of Storytelling


At the heart of Learning Journeys stands a fundamental question: What lessons and growth points emerge for immigrant women, their families, communities, and service providers in Canada if the settlement process is more focused on showcasing and engaging immigrant women’s strengths and skills? As this research project nears its two-year mark, we aim to explore its findings further in a series of four podcasts, published bi-weekly on the Learning Journeys website.

In the first episode of this podcast series, and throughout, our hope is to inspire and invoke some of those lessons and growth points. We’ll talk with one of the IWAC member Lidiane Baretta about how, with the onset of COVID, members of the Immigrant Women’s Advisory Committee stepped increasingly into leadership roles, and how they successfully explored, co-designed, and tested prototypes within three evolving research themes: the significance of immigrant women in caregiving roles, the holistic approaches to mentorship, and the importance of connection and support around difficult and taboo topics.

We’ll also talk with Learning Journeys leads Andrea Solnes and Sandrine Espie, about lessons learned in relationship building, decentralizing leadership, and the challenges around implementing a co-design model. You’ll hear from Co-Designers Thea Lopez and Sidra Mobin about the most recent iterations of their prototypes: Let’s Talk, an informal support group for immigrant women to talk about self-identified challenges, and a newly released advocacy film to address the importance of quality, affordable childcare for immigrant women.

Through all of our conversations, you’ll come to be as inspired as we have been by the stories of strength and growth. How the women acquired new skills while sharpening previous ones, and shared stories of heartache, loss, resilience, unity, and self-improvement in the face of uncertainty; how they navigated and learned from difficult conversations, embraced vulnerability, acknowledged stumbling and falling, and showed up for one another consistently.

The first guest of our podcast is someone who personifies the process and passion of Learning Journeys and was part of a reflective exercise on using the power of storytelling to inspire and aspire to change! Marialejandra has been part of Learning Journeys first as a volunteer, then as a service provider, and now as an IWAC member.

Listen to the first episode, titled “The Transformative Power of Storytelling”, here.