University of the Fraser Valley holds a forum titled Present-Day Newcomers Fleeing War-Torn Regions: Receptivity and Integration.
The free event is open to the public and takes place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in the lecture theatre (room B101) of the Abbotsford campus, 33844 King Rd.
Attendees will hear about the experiences of refugees: their journey from far-off war-torn lands to Abbotsford; their experiences upon arrival in Canada, including their encounters with Canadian government personnel and civilians; and their experience integrating into Fraser Valley communities.
Connie Braun offers poetry readings between each of the respective presentations. There will be time for a question period at the end of the presentations.
A related evening of artistic reflection is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Mennonite Heritage Museum, 1818 Clearbrook Rd.
Refuge/e and Be/Longing: A Shared Migration: Poetry, Photography and Art will see experiences from the shared Mennonite migration story brought into poetic and artistic conversation with the Canadian newcomer story today.
Braun will be the presenter for this event. She is an author of Mennonite heritage and a creative writing instructor. Her works include a published memoir, The Steppes are the Colour of Sepia, and a collection of poetry, Unspoken: An Inheritance of Words.
On display will be a collection of photographs by Erik Braun (BFA): Survivors of a Violent History (WWII) and a collection of artwork by refugees: Stories in Art from Iraqi Kurdistan.