We are an alliance of unions, congregations, environmental, education and frontline service organizations. We understand the incredible power of civic organizations when harnessed for the Common Good.  

Our member organizations are made up of pro-active, everyday people dedicated to working together to tackle some of the toughest issues in Greater Victoria.  

 

 


  • Upcoming events

    Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 05:30 PM
    Chapel at Our Place

    Action Research Orientation Jan 15th

    The session will be led by IAF mentor, Joe Chrastil

    Please arrive @5:30PM for registration and light supper. 

    Workshop will run 6-8PM


  • Latest from the blog

    2018 Round up

    2018 Round Up One of the first steps in hope is for people to first cry out in pain – but then figure out: is there some mechanism for people to make their pain articulate? (Walter Bruggeman). It has been an incredible year for Greater Victoria Acting Together. We trained new leaders, conducted listening campaigns and came together as 22 diverse organizations to set our platform for 2019. Here is a quick review of some of the highlights: Building the Leaders of Tomorrow We trained over 100 people at our “Building Power for the Common Good” workshops (bringing the total to more than 300!) Learning Together In March we held a Civic Academy “A Community Organizing Response to the Opioid Crisis” to learn more about the multiple dimensions of this ongoing tragedy from the perspectives of our member organizations. Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy attended and pledged to build a public relationship with us.   A Thousand Conversations We launched our Listening Campaigns to listen to the concerns of our members. Susan Layng from the Unitarian Church reminds us about the importance of listening and the experience she had helping to organize a listening campaign at her church: “We begin to see that respect, dignity, honesty, kindness and generosity are not empty catchphrases, but real ideals to aspire to when dealing with others.  By initiating this process and I have developed a profound understanding and grasp of shared values and concerns in common within my faith community.  What a privilege and gift this has been!”  Susan Layng, First Unitarian Church.     A Thousand Conversations later... We came together to set our priorities for 2019 at our Discernment Day. The stories and concerns we heard throughout our listening season were brought forward. Out member organizations voted and by the end of a long Sunday we had landed on the two ‘problem areas’ we, as a whole alliance are going to focus our collective energy on. These areas are Housing and Mental Health and Addiction. The way we approach and develop policy around these problem areas will be done through a Climate Change and Reconciliation lens.   “We are not looking for charity, we are not looking for hand outs. We are looking for justice and we are looking for goodness…none of us are free until we are all free. None of us are really going to flourish until we all flourish. Each GVAT member group comes with its unique talent, its unique world views. Unique ways to solve these problems… ” Rabbi Harry Brechner        
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    Stuff is happening!

    TOGETHER WE CAN! "The French poet Victor Hugo once said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” What better than an organization, inspired and led by all of us, that allows us to get out of our bubbles and get into relationship with each other and actually bring about concrete changes to our neighborhoods and our city in the process?" Courtney Baldwin of the UVic Graduate Students Society speaks at Together We Can In June the Baumann centre was packed with 120 people representing 25 different organizations. Together we celebrated how much we had grown in strength and power over the last year.  We laid the ground to move into action as we act as a force for the common good in Greater Victoria. We heard inspiring testimonies from representatives from the BCGEU, First Unitarian Church of Victoria, Catholic Diocese of Victoria, Young Parents Support Network, Greater Victoria Teachers Association, and the University of Victoria Graduate Students Society.     BCGEU Executive Vice President, Doug Kinna:  "Last week I walked the picket line for 8 hours through the night. When you walk a picket line you understand what solidarity means. I want others in the wider community to understand what these workers are going through. For them to see that fighting for economic justice is this is their fight too – but they won’t unless they have opportunities to come face to face with workers and hear about what working on a crushing wage means to them and their children."   ANSWER singing in honour of the celebration.   A THOUSAND CONVERSATIONS We launched GVAT's Listening Season! Each member organization is tasked to conduct listening campaigns inside their organizations. The purpose? To engage the members within our organizations in a discussion around what is important to them, as well as the pressures bearing down on them and their families.  To find out what our members are passionate about, and what they would be willing to invest time in. To stir up people’s imagination about why their organization matters to them and the role their organization can play in bringing about the changes they care about. If your organization would like support getting its listening campaign off the ground, please get in touch! Here is a link to the Listening pack, which was available on June 5th. See how it fits for you, and let us help you get started.   CONTINUING OUR LEARNING. In March, 2018, we held a civic academy on the theme of 'Destigmatizing the Opioid crisis'.  Our alliance is committed to continuing to educate ourselves on this crisis as we move into acting on the issues that exacerbate it. With that in mind, we toured  the new Westshore AIDS Vancouver Island Health Clinic and received naloxone training. The fantastic staff provided us gave us a warm welcome and great learning experience.  We will be working over the summer for our meeting with Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy which will be scheduled after our listening campaigns are complete. We want to tell her what we've we've been hearing and hear her reactions. If you would like to be part of the group that goes to meet her, let us know.    COMMUNITY INNOVATORS, CHANGE MAKERS and CREATIVES On July 16th 7- 9pm GVAT will be showcased as part of the "Community innovators, Changemakers and Creatives" live stream event hosted by Creatively United and Conversations for a One Planet Region. This uplifting event that will cover a wide range of topics from affordable housing, transportation and energy to food. For more info and to register click here   LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Mark your calendars! Our next ‘Building Power for the Common Good' workshop takes place the evening of Friday Sep 21st and all day Saturday Sep 22nd.  Be sure to register your place if you want to attend. "I sat in a room on a sunny spring Saturday with members and organizations from all walks of life. In many ways, we are so very different from each other and yet we discovered the ways in which we are united. We listened to each other respectfully and really connected in a deeply personal way. Tears and laughter abounded. Many of us spoke of our concern for future generations. I spoke of my desire for my nieces, nephews and young friends to feel heard and respected. When I think of the world they will grow up in, I feel fear and sadness. These tiny amazing people deserve a better world than this –  I want to be part of creating that for them." (Courtney Baldwin)   And finally... Read a recent article that gives GVAT a big shout out (written by Trevor Hancock in the Times Colonist).
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