Collaborative Graduate Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations

News and Announcements

How Can We Blunt Prejudice Against Immigrants? | May 17, 2017
As summer turned to fall in 2015, Ulrich Wagner was glued to the news, watching decades of his social psychology research play out on TV. Images beamed from Munich, Germany, more than 300 kilometers from Wagner's home north of Frankfurt, showed thousands of refugees flooding the city's train station. Their arrival marked the hopeful end of a journey begun in war-torn Syria and other Middle Eastern hot spots.[...] The influx also has morphed into a giant, ill-controlled social experiment. How much social support should the government provide? How can it find long-term housing for everyone who needs it? Will newcomers embrace the social norms of their adopted country, and what happens if they don't? These are among the most pressing questions, but in the background hovers another: How can individuals, civic groups, and governments manage prejudice against refugees? Read More

Hamilton City Hall More Diverse than Ottawa, London | November, 11 2016
A study led by Western University researchers Stelian Medianu and Victoria Esses has found that visible minorities are significantly under-represented in senior leadership positions at City Halls in London and Ottawa, with Hamilton faring better. In London, only 7.9 per cent of senior leaders in the non-profit and municipal public sectors were identified as visible minorities compared to 13.1 per cent of the general London population. Read More

Western University Study Finds Visible Minorities Underrepresented in Senior Leadership Positions | October 19, 2016
The times may be a-changin’, but London is still largely run by white men, a new study has found. Not one visible minority can be found in the 15 top-paying city of London management positions, according to the study conducted by Western University researchers in partnership with Pillar Nonprofit Network. And when it comes to gender balance, the city doesn’t fare much better — with only 21 per cent of senior manager roles filled by women. Read More

Study: Visible Minorities Missing from Landscape | October 19, 2016
London falls short when it comes to visible minorities holding senior leadership positions in the non-profit and municipal public sectors, according to a new study led by Western researchers Stelian Medianu and Victoria Esses. The study was initiated by Pillar Nonprofit Network, in partnership with the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and Volunteer Ottawa, for a program called DiverseCity onBoard that looks at increasing representation of diverse groups on boards of directors. Read More

Western University-Led Study Finds Lack Of Visible Minorities In Local Leadership Positions | October 18, 2016
A study led by Western University researchers found that in the non-profit and municipal public sectors, visible minorities are significantly underrepresented in senior leadership in London and Ottawa. The study, released Tuesday, found that representation in Hamilton is more equitable. Read More

Most Senior London Leaders Are White Men | October 18, 2016
Visible minorities aren’t getting their fair share of senior leadership roles in London, according to a new study. The study led by Western University researchers found only 7.9% of senior leaders in the non-profit and public sectors were identified as visible minorities, despite making up 13.1% of London’s population. The figure indicates significant under-representation for the group and is even worse for visible minority women. Read More

Helping Refugees Find the Information They Need | August 25, 2016
Victoria Esses, Professor in the Department of Psychology at Western University, and three co-investigators have received a SSHRC-Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) grant to research refugee information needs and how refugees receive and use information. The research is part of SSHRC’s targeted research on Syrian refugee arrival, resettlement and integration. Co-investigators are Ajit Pyati, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, and two professors from Mount Royal University, Leah Hamilton and Mohammed El Hazzouri. Read More

‘Long Journey’ Peacefully Ends in London | June 23, 2016
Led by the Faculty of Social Science, in partnership with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, fundraising began last summer in hopes of collecting $30,000 to bring a Syrian refugee family safely to London. Just this past month, mother Maha and her six children – Muntaha, Nour, Bushra, Mohamad, Sidra and Aya – landed at London International Airport to a warm welcome. Read More

On the Road Again | April 9, 2016 
From origins in Africa we’ve conquered the world. Can modern migration really be a crisis, wonders Debora MacKenzie. Read More

Western News Newsmakers 2015: The Syrian response | December 17, 2015
The human costs surrounding the Syrian conflict are staggering – an estimated quarter of a million people killed in the last four years; eight million people displaced within the country; and four million turned into international refugees. The situation has sparked a mass immigration crisis across the Middle East and Europe. Refugees are finding solace in London, Ont., with Western stepping up to do its part this fall. Read More

Syrian Refugees Greeted by Justin Trudeau in Canada | December 11, 2015
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted a planeload of weary Syrian refugees landing in Toronto early Friday, telling the first to disembark that “you’re safe at home now” as he handed them winter coats. “Tonight they step off the plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada,” Mr. Trudeau told government employees gathered at the airport. ... Victoria Esses, a professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario and the director of its Center for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, said that while Canadians’ support for the admission of refugees sometimes wanes, earlier waves of refugees have built a positive reputation. “Many of them have become very successful people,” she said. “And they have been very successful in giving back to the country.” Read More

Turkey’s Showcase Refugee Camps Hide Truth about Worst Facilities, Canadian Visitor Says | December 9, 2015
Turkey has gained a reputation for building outstanding refugee camps, but it may be hiding the truth about its worst facilities, where residents must survive sub-zero winter weather without heat and don’t have enough food, says a York University professor who recently returned from the region. Read More

NewsTalk - 1290 CJBK Radio – London @ Lagre | November 18, 2015
Radio Interview with Dr. Victoria Esses on Journeys of Migration 2015. Click here to listen

AM980 – The Pulse with Devon Peacock | November 18, 2015
Radio Interview with Dr. Victoria Esses on Journeys of Migration 2015. Click here to listen

Pillar Launches the DiverseCity onBoard | September 28, 2015
London is diverse but our leadership is not. In response, Pillar Nonprofit Network held their public launch of the DiverseCity onBoard program on Tuesday, September 15th.   Pillar is the provincial lead on this national program that has been operating in Toronto since 2006. The Ontario collaborative partners include Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto. Read More

AM980 London (The Pulse) | September 17, 2015
Radio Interview: Western's Response to Syrian Refugee Crisis - Interview with Dr. Victoria Esses. Click here to listen

Parlons de réfugiés | 05 septembre 2015
C'est un journaliste de la chaîne anglaise d'Al-Jazeera qui a lancé le débat, il y a une dizaine de jours, dans un texte expliquant pourquoi son réseau a décidé de ne plus décrire les centaines de milliers de désespérés qui se pressent aux portes de l'Europe comme des «migrants», mais bien comme des «réfugiés». Read More

Canada’s Complicated History of Refugee Reception | September 4, 2015
Separated by a mere five years, these two statements reveal much about the historic contradictions of the Canadian approach in dealing with refugee crises. In fact, remove the dates and these statements would not seem out of place in the current Canadian divide over the global refugee crisis in which there are more than 60 million people fleeing war, persecution, and danger. Read More

PhD Candidate Joshua Wright Receives the 2015 Bain-Sukemune Award for Research in International Psychology | August 18, 2015
Congratulations to MER PhD student Joshua Wright who recently received the 2015 Bain-Sukemune Award for Research in International Psychology for his contributions to the field of religion and violence. This award from the International Council of Psychologists recognizes outstanding early career contributions to scholarly endeavors addressing psychological issues of universal or multinational significance. It is designed to encourage research that systematically addresses the psychological dimensions affecting the quality of human life, and to enhance and reinforce the mission and goals of the Council.

Dr. Belinda Dodson Gives an Invited Expert Briefing to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office | May 7, 2015
As part of her sabbatical, Dr. Belinda Dodson (Geography and Migration and Ethnic Relations) is currently a Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s International Migration Institute. On May 7th, she gave an invited expert briefing to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London about the recent outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa. The talk was attended by about 20 people, including members of their Africa Research Department as well as FCO historians and migration analysts.

Odds Stacked Against Roma Refugees, Researchers Find | April 2, 2015
For Hungarian Roma hoping to be accepted by Canada as refugees, the outcome is pretty much a crap shoot. That’s the conclusion of a new study that identifies “institutional bias” in Canada’s asylum system against members of the often-persecuted minority and finds the result of Roma refugee claims amounts to “the luck of the draw.”  The authors say racist stereotypes about the Roma have become “enshrined” in the refugee determination process.  Researchers from Osgoode Hall Law School and Western University reviewed Immigration and Refugee Board decisions on 11,333 Hungarian refugees — a group highlighted by Ottawa for abuse of the system and as a cause for reforms — between 2008 and 2012, broken down by adjudicators and lawyers representing the claimants. … Read More

Siege Mentality: Hostility to Immigration has Deep Roots in Human Psychology That will be Difficult to Overcome, says Victoria Esses | March 7, 2015
More people live outside their country of birth than at any other time in history – 232 million in 2013 – and this number is expected to carry on rising. The swell in migration is the result of many global trends, including growing inequalities between nations, demand for labour in countries with a falling birth rate and a rise in the number of refugees and asylum seekers. Opposition to immigration is widespread in many Western nations. Anti-immigration activists, the media and political elites have created a crisis mentality in which immigrants are portrayed as “enemies at the gate”. … Read More

Discrimination Through Ambiguity: Reducing Workplace Bias Against Minority Immigrants | January 12, 2015
Skilled ethnic and religious minority immigrants are under-employed in Western nations, not only costing these economies billions of dollars but potentially complicating inter-group relations, according to a new study published in the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences. In the United States, 1.3 million college-educated immigrants are unemployed or underemployed. In Canada, the under-employment of immigrants is perceived to be a public policy failing. Study authors Victoria M. Esses, Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, and Natalia Lapshina suspect discrimination may be at work. ... Read More

Graduate Program Migrates Across Disciplines | November 13, 2014
“I defy anybody to look through any random newspaper these days without reading something to do about migration, immigration or integration. It’s a daily lived experience.” For Stephanie Bangarth, director of Western’s Collaborative Graduate Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations (MER), bringing together graduate students and faculty from various social science disciplines to study questions of ethnic relations, cultural diversity, conflict, acculturation and more, allows for intriguing and collaborative perspectives to be born. ... Read More

Tune-up for Canada’s Welcome Wagon: Studying the Country’s Immigration Services to Develop Ways to Help New Arrivals Find their Footing | May 23, 1014
Every year, more than 250,000 people leave distant homelands and immigrate to Canada. For many of them — particularly those who come from the top three countries of origin, the Philippines, India and China — Canada can be a baffling and bewildering place. “Immigrants very often don’t get enough information or adequate services to help them settle effectively,” says Victoria Esses, a psychologist and the director of the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Western University in London, Ont. “If we can improve the information and the services available to immigrants, we will go a long way toward helping them settle and integrate.” ... Read More

Bringing New Opportunity to the Community | February 27, 2014
Victoria Esses has been researching discrimination, immigration and prejudice for more than 20 years. She’s taught psychology, published papers and won awards. She has been named a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo and a SSHRC research fellow at the University of Toronto. ... Read More

New Pathways to Prosperity Partnership Awarded $2.5-Million Grant to Support Settlement and Integration of Immigrants across Canada | May 30, 2012
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has awarded a 2012 Partnership Grant to Victoria Esses and a pan-Canadian team of thirteen co-investigators. The project - Pathways to Prosperity: New Policy Directions and Innovative Local Practices for Newcomer Integration and Attraction - will equip local institutions with the analytic capacity to address challenges related to migration, integration, local development, and economic and social sustainability ... Read More

PhD Candidates Earn Africa Research Support | April 25, 2012
MER PhD student Riley Dillon was named among 10 Africa-based and 10 Canada-based graduate students receiving funding from the Africa Initiative Graduate Research to confront critical issues facing Africa

MER Faculty and Student Receive Award | April 2011
Congratulations to Melissa Stachel, Victoria Esses, and Gillian King, who have just received a University of Western Ontario Autism Centre Of Excellence Award for their project, "A qualitative, cross-national analysis of the experiences of Somali parents raising children with and without autism.

IOM-Funded Training Workshop in Senegal | April 11, 2011
MER graduate Dr. Abel Chikanda will be conducting an IOM-funded training workshop in Senegal on diasporas and development. For more info please click here.

Taking Stock of a Turbulent Decade and Looking Ahead: Immigration to North America in 2000-2010 | April  2011
The Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, in partnership with the Canada-U.S. Institute, held a conference in London, Ontario, on April 28-30, 2011. The conference is titled: "Taking Stock of a Turbulent Decade and Looking Ahead: Immigration to North America in 2000-2010". Read More

Christopher Taylor, MER PhD Student on an Internship in Mwanza, Tanzania | 2011
In coordination with the Western Heads East Project, Christopher Stuart Taylor is doing research and travel in Africa. To check out the details of his research travel and internship agenda, Chris invites you to read more on his blog "Christopher Stuart Heads East"

Harold Crabtree Foundation Award in Public Policy | 2010
Congratulations to Professor Vicki Esses and PhD Candidate Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, who are the 2010-2011 recipients of this award. ... Read More