Diversity, Equity and Inclusion FacilitatorCompany: Independent Consultant
Role: Session Presenter
2022 Conference Session:
What’s Love Got to Do with It? Fostering Inclusive Workplaces Through Applied Positive Psychology
A Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP), Silvana Valentone has been working in the nonprofit sector for 17 years. She is an accessibility advocate, a teacher/trainer of adults, a volunteer manager, and an Applied Positive Psychology practitioner.
After a decade of teaching English as a Foreign Language in Uruguay, she arrived in Toronto and realized that knowing the language was not enough to feel she belonged in her new community. She, too, experienced “culture shock” in her immigration journey—and learned from it. Since then, she has been working in the Ontario Settlement sector, advancing the DEI agenda from various angles, supporting clients, volunteers and colleagues to build welcoming communities. Her focus has been cross-cultural competencies, facilitating communication in multi-language, multi-cultural settings.
At the same time, Silvana has developed and facilitated numerous workshops—in person and online—at her workplace and community centers, focusing on practical applications of Positive Psychology to help attendees increase their happiness and well-being levels, which in turn improves their connections and communication with others. For a taste of the content of these interactive sessions, such as “30 Minutes to Happy,” “Yes, You Can,” “Happy New Year,” and “Spring Forward,” she invites you to check out “Silvana’s ABCs of Happiness,” a playlist of three short five-minute videos on her YouTube channel, https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK_d78xh2YWv3tiVWJLz6oZALFd9u31n9
In 2019, she volunteered with the UK-based charity Action for Happiness and co-facilitated their eight-week program, Exploring What Matters at a downtown branch of the Ottawa Public Library. https://www.actionforhappiness.org/the-action-for-happiness-course
Silvana is currently volunteering with the National Accessibility Advisory Committee led by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). She started out in 2018 as an Ally in Accessibility at the provincial level and was grateful to be introduced to and trained in an Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression (ARAO) framework, as a foundation that has been supporting her equity- and social-justice-seeking efforts.