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Our training opportunities:

The Positive Spaces Initiative (PSI) is grounded ongoing learning that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences and communities. We offer learning opportunities in person or online. These learning opportunities are a component of PSI, and are meant to enhance organizational capacity building. Positive Spaces are welcoming environments where LGBTQIA+ newcomers are able to access culturally inclusive services with dignity and respect, and where service providers can work free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. LGBTQ newcomers are an integral, though often invisible, part of immigrant and refugee communities, as well as LGBTQIA+ communities. Everyone can work to create Positive Spaces by challenging homophobia, biphobia, transphobia. For more information about our upcoming training opportunities, or to schedule a training for your organization, contact PSI Coordinators Yara Kodershah ( and Sizwe Inkingi (

In Person Training:

As part of our initiative, we offer facilitator-led workshops that address all components of service delivery within the settlement sector for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Agencies across Ontario that serve or have an interest in serving LGBTQIA+ newcomers are invited to participate in these interactive and engaging workshops.

Where does the training take place?

Your agency hosts the trainings and the PSI provides all of the necessary training materials.

What does the training look like?

PSI offers two training streams: a frontline stream, and a management/organizational leadership stream.

Frontline Stream

Module 1:

This module focuses on understanding the particular needs and realities of LGBTQ newcomers, and is appropriate if you are in the beginning phases of creating Positive Spaces in your agency.

Module 2:

Focuses on deepening awareness and knowledge from the first module while building on any other training you may have undergone at an organizational and/or individual level, and using this synthesis of information to create organizational standards and best practices for LGBTQ service provision for newcomers within your agency. This module is appropriate if you are creating positive spaces within your professional environment and have continuously participated in similar trainings at all levels of your agency.

Module 3:

The last training module invites participants to engage in an honest and thoughtful discussion of LGBTQ issues and they will leave this session with resources as well as relevant models of good practice. Using detailed case-studies based on real-life examples, participants will gain a fuller understanding of the various dimensions of transnational LGBTQ lives and communities.

Management Stream

Module 1:

This module focuses on understanding the particular needs and realities of LGBTQ newcomers, and is appropriate if you are in the beginning phases of creating Positive Spaces in your agency.

Module 2:

Using the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) as a framework, this newly designed training is specifically designed for management, and is intended to raise awareness about access as a human right, and support decision-makers in creating and supporting organizational changes. Through practical work and discussion, managers and board members will be better prepared for some of the staff resistance that can hamper organizational changes and present challenges.

How long are the trainings?

Each module takes approximately 3 1/2 - 4 hours to deliver, depending on the number of participants.

How are the trainings organized?

PSI can deliver the modules together, or separately, depending on the needs of the organization. Module 1 is identical for both frontline and management streams, so organizations may choose to have Module 1 be delivered to the entire staff, and for breakout sessions to occur later. Delivering both streams in their entirety takes 2 full days.


Online Training Opportunities:

PSI offers self-directed and faciliated online training opportunities for organizations that cannot attend or host in-person workshops. The online curriculum has been designed to assist the immigrant and refugee serving sector in effectively serving LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues affecting settlement services.

Self-Directed Online Training

The self-directed training consists of 4 e-learning modules.

Module 1: Terminology and Language - Creating Positive Spaces

Module 2: Intersecting Identities & Oppressions - Positive & Negative Spaces

Module 3: Accessing Settlement Services as a Human Right

Module 4: Open Space - Understanding LGBTQ Issues within Settlement Services

Please, join us online at to actively participate in these exciting new free-of-charge trainings.

Facilitated Online Training

Our four-week facilitated online training is offered twice a year in English, and once a year in French. Facilitated by our PSI Coordinators, this course gives you an opportunity to receive direct feedback and support for your action planning and policy changes, brainstorm strategies to overcome organizational barriers, and get access to course-specific resources. Check back here for upcoming registration dates.


The Positive Spaces Initiative launched its webinar offerings in 2017. The webinars are meant to cover a diverse range of topics relating to the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ immigrants, refugees, and newcomers, featuring a diverse range of subject-matter experts. Check back here for upcoming webinar dates.