"Never, ever give up."

From Tessa, another of our Groundswell participants In this week we...Questions

Had a community building process on decision-making, lead by Neelam and Chanel. Then we talked more about capitalism with Matt, he pointed out three key points from the reading (and I didn't manage to get them in my notes). One question that was asked was "what are the processes by which uneveness is created?"

With Uffe and Amanda, we started new exciting community consultation project, that will last through to December! Plus had a snowball fight with crumpled up paper!

Kevin from the BC Cooperative Association visited us and taught us a ton about co-ops. We learned that businesses that operate with a corporate model have a 40% success rate, and that co-ops have a 66% success rate. The four main business/organization models that exist are: corporate, co-operative, non-profit, and CCCs (Community Contribution Corporation). The last is a a mix of the first three, and is appropriate when you "want a business corporation with a social twist."

During story-time with Gilad we talked about how it's important to work from a place of heart, rather than a place of 'head' (mind). We asked "how do we make change?," and Gilad said he wasn't entirely sure 'cause it always varies, but that whatever we do, there are three main threats in the process: (1) you start to identify yourself in opposition to the mainstream, saying "I am not that" and then you forget to define who you really are because you stop asking the question of "who am I? who are we?" People join you and you're doing well.. you become cool with your alternative, and (2) you STOP LEARNING because your ego gets in the way. You think you know everything... but you don't, and you never will... none of us ever will :) So, (3) you think you're the shit, and then you decide to build bridges into the mainstream, but others in your group/cohort hold you back, because they're scared.. and maybe you're scared. You're scared because buidling bridges requires you to open yourself up, it makes your organization vulnerable, it forces you to ask "who are we, and what do we do?" 

Finally, Romi Chandra Herbert, the founder of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and current co-director of PeerNet BC visited us, and shared his personal story of growing up in Maple Ridge, facing homophobia and racism. From listening to his story, it seemed that a lot of his anti-racist, queer activism was a way of healing from his past hurts -- this being yet another example of how our early life experiences can light our fires and inspire us to make change. Further, his persistence and willingness to keep going through big challenges was incredible and humbling. Never, ever, give up.