“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.” – Maya Angelou

We invite you into this online space to explore the realities faced by our communities, to recognize the important work being done, and to engage in conversation with others who are committed to social justice and community engagement. We intend this to be a safe(r) space for community members and persons with lived experience to learn, share, and engage.

In this space, we address the issues of housing and homelessness; addictions and harm reduction; gender and sexuality; mental health and wellness; and children and youth. We reflect on process, values, and the journey of community engagement and social justice. We share the work being done in community by us and others while putting a spotlight on stories, leaders, and opportunities to get involved.

You are here because you care and want to learn, share, and grow in your practice and community. You draw on both lived and professional experience to make connections between your work and the big picture. You are a critical thinker with questions to ask and insights to share, who learns through collective wisdom and experience.

So, why have we created this blog for you?

1. We are passionate about it

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Community members share reflections after watching the play Black Boys at the Cultch.

We care deeply about the issues we work with and the way in which we work. Our founder, Rachel Malek, navigated a difficult journey in life. She has witnessed the power of community engagement in her life and that of her peers. This blog is created as a rallying call for the principle of “nothing about us without us”. It is a chance for us to find our voice, reflect on our practice, learn and grow, and invite feedback and questions.

We believe in creating a platform which will lift up the voices of persons with lived experience. Those who have experience on the margins of society and those who are working in community are the true experts. We are excited to create an opportunity to support dialogue, reflection and relationship building in this online space.

2. Our communities are active

Our communities are full of caring, compassionate, and committed individuals who are working daily toward positive change in our society. They care about social justice and community engagement and are putting theory into practice. Community practitioners are ready to reflect and make change in their work and their organizations.

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Young people and community members discuss aging out of foster care in the CFUW BC Study Circle Project, during an Action Forum facilitated by Authentic Engagement.

At the same time, persons with lived experience are offering their skills and wisdom even while struggling with challenges in their own lives. They care so much they often do this for little or no compensation. These are the people directly affected by the decisions made by organizations and institutions. 

We offer this as a platform to raise up these voices and to highlight community actions and leadership. We put a spotlight on community projects and opportunities to get engaged.

3. There is a conversation to be had

We know you are eager to share and learn in this area. Through conversation we can deepen our practice, build relationships, and create meaningful change together. We invite the sharing of ideas in our comment section and on social media. We also welcome persons with lived experience and community practitioners to contribute to this blog through guest posts and interviews.

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Discussing youth homelessness in the CFUW BC Study Circle Project

For those who would like to get involved on a deeper level, we are open to collaboration with organizations and individuals. We offer our services to non-profit organizations and companies at a reasonable fee, to support them in connecting with clients and community members in a process of meaningful engagement. We subcontract with individuals with lived experience who have skills and expertise to share.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of these ways, contact us anytime.

Closing Words

Blogging is new to us, but we believe in the power of conversations, sharing community, and engaging with each other. We are as eager as you are to see how this online space will evolve. Expect to see posts from us and contributors about our practice areas, our projects and community activities, calls to action, and interviews with leaders.If you have any suggestions for future content let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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