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Seneca recognizes four outstanding community leaders for their contributions to the lives of immigrants and refugees

Toronto, March 26, 2013 – Seneca College’s School of Community Services presented awards to community leaders today as part of the Third Annual Social Services – Immigrant and Refugee Forum.

Fred Franklin, Nasrin Tabibzadeh, Sister Lois Anne Bordowitz, and Eusebio Garcia were recognized for their long-standing service to immigrants and refugees.

Fred Franklin
Fred Franklin was born in Bochum in 1921 to German parents of Jewish ancestry. He was sent to boarding school in England in 1936 to escape Nazi persecution. He emigrated to Canada in 1948, working as an engineer first in British Columbia, then moving to Toronto in 1951, where he met and married Ursula Martius in 1952. Fred and Ursula began to attend Quaker Meetings and became members of the Society of Friends in 1964. Since then, he has worked with numerous organizations such as the Canadian Council for Refugees, advocating for refugees, including those detained at Immigration Detention Centres. He continues to be involved in the Toronto Refugee Affairs Council.

Nasrin Tabibzadeh
Nasrin Tabibzadeh was born in Tabriz, a city in the North West of Iran. During the Iranian Revolution, she was sent to study in Turkey. While living in Turkey, Nasrin volunteered in refugee camps for several years. In 1988, she immigrated to Canada where she continued to work with refugees. Since 1994, she has been employed as a community legal worker at the Refugee Law Office, Legal Aid Ontario. She has provided varied training to non-governmental organizations (NGO) over the years, including co-teaching the refugee module of Seneca College’s Immigration Practitioner Certificate program. She later completed the program herself at Seneca. Nasrin was appointed by the federal government as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, Refugee Protection Division from 2003 to 2006. In addition to her general duties, she has been the primary contact with refugees detained at the Immigration Holding Centre.

Sister Lois Anne Bordowitz
Sister Lois Anne Bordowitz is a member of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), a small international congregation. In Sierra Leone, Sister Lois Anne was a facilitator for a development education program used extensively in Africa. She joined the FCJ Refugee Centre in 1996, helping with organizing workshops, producing manuals and updating the Centre’s website. Presently, she is President of the Board of Directors and volunteers one day a week at the Refugee Centre and one day a week at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, where she has helped to maintain an NGO presence for almost 15 years.

Eusebio Garcia
Eusebio Garcia came to Canada in 1986 from El Salvador. He has been working for the Quaker Committee for Refugees since 1990 assisting refugees and new immigrants providing orientation, referral, translation, interpretation, and other settlement and integration support. For the last 15 years, Eusebio has visited the Immigration Holding Centre on a weekly basis under the direction of the Toronto Refugee Affairs Council working with refugees, particularly refugee women and children. He has assisted many detainees to obtain a lawyer, and to ensure they understand their rights and why they are detained, provide orientation on detention reviews and services available to help them throughout their stay and after release from detention.

In addition, Dr. Ezat Mossalanejad of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, and Jimmy Dick of First Peoples@Seneca were presented with certificates for their significant contributions to the learning experience of students in Seneca’s Social Service Worker - Immigrants and Refugees program. Dr. Ezat Mossalanejad and Jimmy Dick took time out of their busy lives to present their front-line expertise at all of the Migration and Trauma classes.

The Third Annual Social Services – Immigrant and Refugee Forum was organized by Seneca College’s School of Community Services, Social Service Worker - Immigrants and Refugees program, to celebrate successes and discuss challenges to integration for immigrants and refugees.

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416-491-5050 ext. 77018