One more sleep to get back to my bed in Toronto and my brain is bursting with information that I am trying to decide how to put to work in the future. We are already planning on a days rest and then recap meetings so that we can follow up on all the contacts that we have made and the lines of communication that we want to keep open to really move ahead. I probably have over 100 business cards to enter in our database.
Today is the last day of this Conference and it has been an interesting finish to our Asia Tour. Because so many of the members of the organization are from the U.S. it is really U.S. based content even though the focus is on Asia... but at the same time the similarities are there.
One of the most interesting sessions yesterday faced the growing negative press and discrimination felt by the Asian community as they become the largest growing sector of immigration in the United States, and probably similar statistics occur in Canada. They have greater dollars than other immigrants and are more highly educated and do not want to be seen as the "Other".
Sadly, the concept of the Other, has been around for years and the immigrant target keeps changing depending on the area that you live in. Competition for a place in society is always stiff but rather than rising to the occasion, there will always be segments that want to target the Other as the reason why they do not succeed or compete. They often forget that in Canada and the U.S. there has been a long history of Asians in America brought here to complete the railways that were monumental in establishing and strengthening both countries. Those Chinese men stayed, raised families, fought wars and have been instrumental in the growth of almost all of our communities.
That being said, there are a lot of businesses rushing to take advantage of the opportunities that working with the Asian Community can provide and the main floor Sponsors area was full with U.S. Banks and Lending institutions, Data and Real Estate Companies trying to get a piece of the pie.
The three day Asian Real Estate Association of America National Conference had some excellent speakers that talked about the Asian community in America, its history and growth. It looked at preparing those choosing to work with the growing community, so that the services they provided were communicated and fostered in the best ways possible. The networking and educational opportunities were great and it was interesting to note the regional differences that were occurring across both countries.
Canada and the U.S. were built on immigration and that multi-nation melting pot is the strength that binds us but can also very easily cause strife between groups. We must all rise to the occasion and welcome new Immigrants who come looking for the democracy that we have fought hard for in North America. Is it so wrong to want something that we are able to take for granted?