I am proud to introduce our new group of superheros (click for bio's & photos!) who just came together for the first time with a Groundswell Kick-Off Weekend. We shared good food (and Gilad's mediocre soup ;-)), warm hugs and sunny walks in the DTES; exploring ourselves, each other, and the neighbourhood.
What excites me most about this cohort is how I can already see a deep community forming; a family, if you will, as Heather signed: It is obvious to me that this cohort is a true personified reflection of Groundswell's core values:
ACTION COLLABORATION CREATIVITY & INNOVATION ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL & ECONOMIC JUSTICE
They are all so eager to CREATE! and I can see the great ideas bubbling and the compassion spreading and growing among all of us already. I invite you to come see it too, in our upcoming potlucks, guest speaker series, and finally, the social enterprises and projects that will be created over the next 6 months and presented at our Showcase Gala in March 2016.
A bit about what went down this past weekend: First, a BIG thank you to our Community Coordinator Emily for designing the Kick-Off weekend and for our special guests: Oona Krieg who led us through a personal, though-provoking anti-oppression workshop, where we opened our eyes and situated ourselves in the bigger picture of the often hidden systemic forces of our society. Curtis Rattray, a member of the Crow clan and Nalokoteen (end of the ridge nation) of the Tahltan Nation. His Tahltan name is ‘Ninth Glun adz’. Curtis runs W.I.L.D Wholistic Indigenous Leadership Development , a unique Indigenous leadership development approach based on aboriginal culture and values. Curtis also presented us the beautiful film Colours of Edziza, which tells a story of two leaders from very different backgrounds (including Curtis himself) who find a deep connection to each other and the land on a grueling journey through the remote and rugged mountains of Northern BC.
Sarah Peacock (Groundswell alumna!) and Tad Hozumi from Another Space hosted us in their beautiful studio, full of light and peace and crafty things. Tad immersed us in straight up fun, with movement, colours and textures - both seen and unseen (ask us more about that...) and had us touch our emotions a little bit too.
Sparks were flying when alumni Mary Rose Dapiton and Billy Koruna came in to share their Groundswell story and their projects: Mary's home care worker's co-op and network, Humanity Together, and Billy's information design service for communicating complex social issues & ideas and wicked graphic art, databaseprojects.ca
What a network! I can't wait to see what this community can do next....
- Paola Qualizza