During the Push Back, Move Forward conference, TCDI hosted two workshops called People United: Breaking Down Silos and Walls that Divide Us. During those workshops, there was a lot of discussion about the underlying values/principles that guide the actions that we take.
When it comes to working collaboratively or in coalition, we value:
A space where there is an openness and commitment to share power and resources.
This includes things like:
- no one person or small group of people dominate;
- there are intentional steps to ensure the inclusion diverse voices and opinions;
- leadership is shared;
- acknowledge power differentials and flatten those differences.
Time is taken to develop relationships with each other.
This includes things like:
- people’s contributions and experiences are valued;
- celebrating successes and creativity;
- make bonds with like-minded people;
- feel part of a community – of something bigger.
Respect for mutual care, people, process, time, wholeness.
This includes things like:
- foster and develop leadership;
- authentic engagement not token involvement;
- time for quiet reflection, dialogue on important issues, etc.;
- understanding that achieving a critical mass to create sustainable change is more than a numbers game.
We understand that working collaboratively is complex. We also understand that our understanding of it is ever changing. We invite you to continue this dialogue here.
Creating a new space for community dialogue! Join activists, advocates and organizers to weave connections between community groups, city-wide organizations, social justice networks and progressive movements. Let’s find common ground on issues, goals and values and develop the groundwork for a solidarity strategy.
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St. Toronto
Push Back! Move Forward! Learning, Organizing, and Building Community- Oct. 18, 19
Join this action planning session for community and social justice movement building. Featuring speakers Uzma Shakir from the City of Toronto and Nina Wilson of Idle No More for two days of panels, popular theatre and planning.
Fri. Oct. 18- 6pm
Sat. Oct. 19- 9am
Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Room 308
$30 Early Bird Special (until Oct. 1); $40 (after Oct. 1)
Register here or call Social Planning Toronto 416.351.0095 ext. 251
Organized by Toronto Community Development Institute (TCDI) and Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning (APCOL), with support from Social Planning Toronto.
On Monday, we had a conversation cafe. The topic was “No money. No power. No status. Must be women’s work.” Many things were discussed – too many ideas to capture them all here with any depth. I did walk away with a question in my head – Are we ready for a revolution?
I understand that we all get tired. Hell, I am tired most every day when I wake up but what is really stopping me from getting angry enough to take action. What is stopping the masses from rising up and demanding change?
One of the things that was shared during the conversation is that some of us don’t want to be seen as angry, bra burning, man hating feminists. Some of us are not even sure we are feminists. Some of us want to feel safe and at home in a community and to work collectively for amicable change. I wonder if those with power, status, and money will ever be willing to give up enough so that we all have equal chance for living our best lives. I wonder if in fact we have to take it from them.
All of this wondering reminded me of an article by Bernice Johnson Reagon called “Coalition Politics: Turning the Century“. In this article Reagon reminds us that in coalition we are not comfortable, we are not safe, we are not at home – in fact we are at war. We would not be outside of the safety of our own little lives if it were not a matter of urgency for us to be together.
I think about people like Gandhi and Mother Teresa who could envision a different way of protest that did not see us wrestling things from the hands of the oppressors. Mother Teresa said she would not march in an anti war demonstration but if ever there was a march for peace she would be there. I have felt that way myself. When I get riled up with anger, my energy is not peaceful. Neither are my thoughts or actions.
That is one of the reasons my friends and I took our daughters to Ottawa for a women’s peace march. While there we were assaulted by a group of men playing touch football. In front of our children, one of us was thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly. When we turned to the RCMP for support, we were told “We had a safe route to be on and we had left it.” My response was to circle the wagons and stay at home. Hmm. Oversimplified retelling of a story but I feel sad about it just the same.
Today on facebook I received an invite to a group protesting the deadly beating of youth by police and an update about the rounding up of the so called illegal immigrants from local malls. Two big wake up calls that my city is not at peace. Many people are not as comfortable as I am. They have the war of greed, poverty, and discrimination in their faces every day. I am asking myself, “Am I ready for a revolution?”
Historically women have received less pay for the work that they do and any work that is considered nurturing work is left to women.
Is that why we see so much community organizing being done by women?
What roles are women taking and being given in community building?
10 May 2010
Seneca College at Yorkgate Mall
GUEST SPEAKER: Tonika Morgan
Former youth activist, community worker, first manager of “Women Moving Forward” (Jane-Finch), and now a manager at Toronto Housing
MODERATOR: Deborah Konecny
Please RSVP by phone to: (416) 231-5499 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
þ Light meal will be provided þ Child care available — by reservation only