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!)
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