‘Building power for the Common Good’
A fantastic group of 20 different organizations - labour, community, faith, education and environmental gathered together for an intensive 10 hour training. Together we explored the values and traditions of our organizations, built cross sector relationships and practiced some of the fundamental skills for relational organizing.
A huge thanks to Camosun College for hosting us!
Organizations represented: Shambhala Centre, Indigenous Perspectives Society, St. John the Divine, Our Place Society, Cool Aid Society, Holy Cross Catholic Church, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Victoria and District Labour Council, Sierra Club BC, BC Sustainable Energy Association, First Unitarian, First Met United, Grace Lutheran Church, Fairfield United Church, St Peter and St. Paul, St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Camosun College Students Society, UVic Grad Students Society, B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union.
‘Learning the Indigenous history that we are rarely taught in school’
Over 85 people from labour, faith, education and community groups attended the Kairos Blanket Exercise co-hosted by GVAT, St John the Divine and Congregation Emanu-el. One of our member organizations, Indigenous Perspectives Society, offers further, tailored trainings for your organization if you want to learn more: http://ipsociety.ca
We are building momentum!
Is your organization involved?
As we work towards launching, we want to make sure that the issues and concerns of each member organization are fairly represented.
A listening campaign is a focused effort to:
Connect stories and build community
Identify concerns in a specific organization, neighborhood or workplace.
Spark the imagination of your members to to envision themselves having a voice in the public arena.
Shape your organization’s vision. Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How would the Victoria look different if the values of your organization were better expressed?
Please get in touch for help planning a listening campaign that suits your organization!
Celebrating People- Power and Progress!
In June, 30 organizations came together to celebrate our shared values. We heard testimonies from members of Sierra Club, North West Indigenous Council, Shambhala Centre, The Food Bank at St. John's, BC Sustainable Energy Association and The Sisters of St Ann.
Catholic Bishop, Gary Gordon and President of the BC Government Employees Union, Stephanie Smith gave reflections about what ‘solidarity’ means from their perspective.
We have begun a series of workshops with Young Parents Support Network helping to facilitate sessions on community mapping and the power of story telling.
Provincial Accountability Assembly
Representatives from GVAT's core committee attended Metro Vancouver Alliance's Provincial Election Assembly. Almost 1000 people from MVA member organizations turned out to witness their policies be delivered to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver.
Not just the 'usual suspects'.
GVAT has facilitated a new group, the Climate Issues Collaborative, to help people understand the ways in which our environment is connected to many of the problems we face in this city. The group managed to persuade Saanich Council to vote unanimously to support Saanich becoming a 100% Renewable Energy city by 2050. Council tasked its staff to develop a framework to pursue that vision.
An amazing victory!
Matt Hulse, a practicing environmental and Aboriginal lawyer and member of CIC explains why he got involved:
“When I got involved in CIC, BCSEA had conducted some excellent work on 100% Renewable Energy Cities. But we were still very much a one-dimensional movement, environmentalists - the usual suspects.
As we planned our presentation to the Saanich Council, GVAT pushed us to connect with groups we had not thought to connect with. We began inviting unions, local businesses, faith groups and high school students to stand with us before Council that night. And they came. And they gave testimonies in front of Council about why they too cared about a sustainable future. As the testimonies kept coming, I realized then that we had the Council members in the palms of our hands. For once, we were not just a typical climate group … we now represented the broader community. Council couldn’t ignore us.”
GVAT was delighted to send two delegates to IAF Regional training in Seattle in May. They enjoyed hearing from participants from all across the Pacific North West and learned some fundamental tools and techniques of broad-based community organizing.