What’s in a name? MOSAIC engage

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Welcome everyone to our new home on the web. We are very excited to use this site to introduce you all to our MOSAIC engage Community!

When we started building this community last year, we had a clear vision of what we wanted to create.  As you can see from our value statement, we knew we wanted to build an inclusive space where people from diverse backgrounds felt welcome to share their stories. We knew we wanted to adopt a client centred approach where all our services built upon the needs and expectations of the people we served. We knew that we wanted to emphasize innovation and continually creating new and unique programming for our clients.  This vision came together quickly.

The name?  Not so quickly!  How to summarize three very different services: language classes, intercultural training, and language testing services. 

We first thought of the idea that all the services we provided were training to help people live a successful life here in Vancouver.  So, we cycled through names like the MOSAIC Training Centre, or the MOSAIC Centre for Training and Development.  But in trying to summarize our services our ideas sounded more like descriptions than names. 

None seemed to capture the values that we wanted to infuse in our community.  We wanted a name that would not just summarize, but rather capture the spirit of our community.  Despite a lot of reflection, we could never seem to square this difficult circle!

Rather than continue our fruitless internal search we decided to follow our community philosophy and opened the search to the wider MOSAIC family.  In a naming contest this February, we received so many great suggestions from across all different branches of MOSAIC.  But MOSAIC engage suggested by Mariam Bilgrami, immediately stuck out. 

In an aha moment we realized that engage was exactly the verb we were looking for.   All our services provide our clients with the knowledge and skills to engage with our diverse society. 

1.   Our Intercultural Training provides individuals and organizations with the tools to engage with people across often difficult barriers of culture and background.

2.   Our English Classes provide all categories of newcomers with the language skills and confidence to fully engage with the community they live in.

3.   While our testing services allow newcomers to certify their language levels so that they can advance towards their immigration, professional or academic goals. 

You might notice a little quirk in our name.  The e in engage is not capitalized as you might expect.  It might seem strange to not capitalize our name.  But we embrace engage as the verb it is, because we view our community itself as a verb. Engagement is a process and not a destination.  As such our community will never be definitively finished.  We will always evolve and grow as the needs of our clients change over time.    

We look forward to helping you engage with this great city!