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Understanding and Serving LGBTQ+ Newcomers

Hosted on May 30, 2024 the training was delivered by Maya Wahrman, MSW, LSW, (she/her), Switchboard Training Officer; Kansiime Shalom (they/them), resettlement caseworker at the International Rescue Committee; and, Craig M. Mortley, MSc, (he/him), emerging social worker-scholar. ​​

Many refugees and other newcomers who identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other identities) face numerous barriers and vulnerabilities. Often, they have been exposed to specific trauma related to their sexual orientation and gender identity. Upon arrival in the U.S., many may face complex and unique challenges, such as marginalization, discrimination, and isolation, as well as difficulties integrating within their cultural communities and the local communities where they resettle. ​ ​

It is essential for service providers to understand the fundamentals of gender identity and sexual orientation within newcomers’ diverse cultural contexts. It is equally important to gain skills needed to support LGBTQ+ clients sensitively and equitably. This webinar will begin to introduce these terms and concepts so that participants can more effectively support and advocate for LGBTQ+ clients. We will use case scenarios and a panel discussion with resettlement and immigration service providers who have firsthand experience as LGBTQ+ newcomers to allow participants to explore special considerations and nuances of serving LGBTQ+ clients. ​

By the end of this webinar, you will be able to: ​​
– Define LGBTQ+, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression within diverse newcomer cultures and contexts
– ​Summarize some of the unique challenges and nuances LGBTQ+ refugees and newcomers experience in their resettlement to the U.S.
– ​Identify important considerations and skills in serving and advocating for LGBTQ+ newcomer clients ​