CCEC Blog
Search
 

"There is room for everyone in movement towards social justice. We need everyone on board." says Tasha Henderson, Alumna of the 7 month leadership program for youth committed to social and environmental justice who want to make social change their life’s work, "Next Up". 

“People in positions of power need to start listening to what the community values and give them space to be heard.” 

Tasha spent much of her ‘20’s working on the front-lines with vulnerable populations such as at-risk and Indigenous youth.   It was while participating in the Canadian Roots Exchange program she met an alumna who recommended she enroll in NextUp. After living outside of BC, when she was accepted at UBC to do her Masters in Indigenous Community Planning, she applied to the program as an opportunity to reconnect with the activist scene in Vancouver and to step back professionally to see her work through a larger scope.
 
At first, Tasha didn’t see herself as an activist.  However, she learned there are many forms and roles of activism.  Being part of a larger community working together to make change was a very empowering lesson. 
 
When she met her fellow co-horts, she said, “Wow, they got my name wrong.  I don’t belong here.  The caliber of youth was mind boggling”. She continues, “I felt that I really hadn’t done that much.”  She soon realized that everyone felt a certain level of intimidation by each other.  These feelings were soon overcome as they recognized that the work in social and economic justice is so broad there is room for everyone.  The co-horts ranged from a first-year Engineering student to a PhD cancer researcher to a woman working internationally on climate justice. Learning from each other and the invited guests was a humbling experience. She learned to not be afraid to ask the wrong questions or to accidentally say the wrong thing.  What is more important is to show up and get involved; others will help you learn the rest.
 
For Tasha, the program helped her to see the bridges between movements and issues.  She says, “Too often in our work, we work in silos and operate with a tunnel-vision. There is always an urgency in our work with a sense we are competing for resources, space and money. And working with non-profits often means constant roadblocks and setbacks. It was uplifting and inspiring to be reminded that there is a community at work and we all have our role to play in it."
 
Tasha is finishing her Masters and taking the rest of the summer off to spend time with her 10 month old son.  She Co-Chairs the Board for Check Your Head , a youth-driven organization that educates and activates young people to take action for social, economic and environmental justice.  She is excited to see what new opportunities might come of her new NextUp network and the confidence she gained through the program this Fall.
 
I f you are or know of anyone between 18-31 who is on a continuum of their activist career who is looking for direction, exploring options, and wanting to be part of a broader community, visit www.nextup.ca for more information or email Tasha.  

Currently rated 3.0 by 5 people
Tags: n/a

"I love seeing much needed climate solutions in action but my excitement over something that should be common place reminded me of how rare it is to see solar panels on buildings in much of Canada", says Ben West, CCEC member and Co-founder of The Great Climate Race.

 

The original was published at http://www.straight.com/news/467211/ben-west-how-can-we-win-race-against-time-climate-solutions He writes: 

On my sisters Marissa's birthday earlier this week we decided to go try out some ice cream sandwiches at a place she had read about on a Toronto food blog. The brownie filled cookie treats were shockingly good but it was what I saw on the way to get those treats that stuck with me. En route, I saw solar panels on the roof of a building in downtown Toronto and I found myself feeling both excited and annoyed. In some ways solar panels are ubiquitous in our day to day lives on everything from road signs to calculators but still rooftop solar is pretty rare to come across in our country. I see some evidence of change  when I visit my family in Toronto. Recently there has been an influx of solar in Ontario as the result of the provincial government's feed-in-tariff (FIT) program that makes it easier to sell power on to the grid and therefore also easier to get financing on projects or even to have your roof leased by a solar power company. That's great but it's also just the tip of the iceberg. Germany actually gets far less sunshine than Canada yet they are the world leader in solar and we lag far behind. Canada could be a  renewable energy superpower. This is both an opportunity and a responsibility . We all have a role to play in the era of climate change. Right now, unfortunately, Canada is on the wrong side of history as we all struggle to face what the United Nations has called the single biggest threat facing humanity today.


For years it has been clear that with solar and other renewable energy technology we have the capacity globally to drastically reduce pollution caused by burning fossil fuels for energy. This is exactly what we need to do.

 

Meanwhile in Canada, time is wasted on  doing the exact opposite: focusing on new oil pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. Countless exhaustive climate reports demonstrate the dangers of a destabilized climate yet we are faced with the expansion of fossil fuel dependence. Every government on earth shares this understanding yet not nearly enough is being done. The Pentagon describes climate change in the clearest terms when it calls it a "threat multiplier". This means it takes social and political problems along with public safety concerns and makes them far worse. More extreme weather events and degraded ecological systems we rely on have big implications for everyone.  Food insecurity for the most vulnerable and skyrocketing food prices for wealthier countries is just one of the serious problems made worse by a destabilized climate.

The World Bank released a UN backed report recently that said global investments in renewable energy technology like solar power needs to at least triple in the short term. The technological wizards at MIT also put out a report recently that stated that "massive expansion of global solar generating capacity to multi-terawatt scale is very likely an essential component of a workable strategy to mitigate climate change risk.”

As a climate campaigner, I know all too well that all of this can feel a bit daunting. What can we do to make real change happen? One thing is clear.  There is a disconnect between the actual potential for renewable energy technology and the perceptions that the technology isn’t ready yet. So I am trying something new in an attempt to change that misconception. I co-founded The Great Climate Race, a run to crowdfund for local solar energy projects, as a way to give people a connection to viable climate change solutions in their own communities. By, raising funds for solar local projects and seeing them come to fruition in our communities we all can have first hand experience with what is possible and play a role in doing something to make meaningful change.

 

This week, we are launching our #PutSolarOnIt campaign where we ask you to imagine where these solar projects could be located. We will seek nominations for community organizations that could be the recipients of solar panels paid for by funds raised by race participants. For starters, we’re asking people to post pictures of themselves pointing at buildings in their neighbourhood that could have solar panels on them. We want you to think about all the lost opportunities for change for the better. Where do you think those solar panels should go?

 

Running in the Great Climate race is not only a great opportunity to burn off calories from ice cream sandwiches it’s a chance to dream big. Let’s make solar panels more than a rare treat, let’s make sure we make the most of the opportunities we have now. I want my sister and everyone else to have hope for a safe and beautiful world. Taking action on climate change is a race against time but we have everything we need to face the challenge and succeed right now.

 

Ben West, Co-Founder & CEO 

The Great Climate Race

 

 

Currently rated 3.0 by 5 people

Non-profits incorporated under the BC Society Act need to be aware of the recent changes to that piece of legislation.  The New Society Act: What you need to know is a workshop offered by Non Profit Charities Legal Outreach; scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 9:15 AM to 12:30 PM (PDT).

To register click here

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people
Tags: n/a

Many good resources are available related to the Congestion/Transporation Referendum in Greater Vancouver.  The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives issued a good survey document in early March.  And the Columbia Institute has also published an excellent paper on the proposed transportation plan, good for jobs and good for public health.  

The Mayors Council attempts to speak directly to the greater public interest. Contrary voices are few (but vocal), and represent a small number of people.  Voting closes May 29th, contact Elections BC for details.  

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people
Tags: n/a

Michelle Fortin, CCEC Co-chair, has been nominated for a Women of Distinction Award through the YWCA of Metro Vancouver. And Michelle deserves the recognition. Michelle is a powerhouse ED at Watari Counseling and Support Services, in the inner city. There she displays vision, tact and compassion working with families, youth and others who need assistance. As well she participates in a several service sector coalitions and advisory boards. For the last 8 years she has been a director at CCEC, and has served as Co-chair for the last three years. Michelle is a natural leader, convener and negotiator.  Michelle distinguishes herself as an outstanding communicator and thinker everyday, CCEC is glad to see her get this nomination. 
Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

The roundtable cynic:

 

I often have a kneejerk reaction to the word dialogue. I’ve got a bone to pick with community. Too often, these words get bandied about in flimsy and placating ways. So it’s a little ironic that my role has been to facilitate over ten hours of “community conversations” in the past month, in the form of Roundtable discussions for CCEC credit union.

 

It’s not that I’m completed jaded. I’m sure when the Community Congress for Economic Change named itself back in 1976, “community” wasn’t yet the relatively empty buzzword that it is today. What I mean is just that CCEC, in spite of its name, can’t take “community” for granted.

 

The Roundtables, which wrapped up last week, have been a step in the right direction. After locking up at Watari last Monday, I joined Ross Gentleman, Steve Kisby and Tammy Lea Meyer—CCEC’s manager and two directors--at Pat’s Pub for celebratory beers (cider for me). Amid plentiful jests, in true CCEC fashion, we reflected on questions like, How do we build coalitions to improve banking access for low-income people? How do we create more racial diversity on our Board and among our membership? How does CCEC build more meaningful relationships with Indigenous people and organizations?

 

These questions have become more tangible thanks to feedback from Roundtable participants. In all, twenty-seven invitees attended the Roundtables. If you count Board members, that means more than thirty people have spent over ten hours dishing with us about economic justice, generating an archive of wisdom about this economic and cultural moment. That’s wealth, right there.

 

We didn’t just talk about money; we also waxed philosophical about trust, shame, time, and knowledge. Participants offered myriad concrete ideas for projects and collaborations, some of which are already being pursued by CCEC’s Board and management. What’s more, it was a refreshingly cross-generational dialogue, with nearly a third of the participants under thirty, an age group that’s typically underrepresented at CCEC.

 

In the words of director Jan Berman: I’ve watched a lot of organizations become kind of wishy washy.... As you get older, I think you get more disillusioned and less driven for change. I think CCEC fell into that as well, but now we’re really trying very hard to connect with new visions. And it comes from youth, I believe.” 

 

Next up: questioning the internet! 

 

Nat Marshik is a writer, sauerkraut maker, and visual artist currently working for CCEC as a community engagement organizer. Stay tuned for more blog posts over the coming weeks. You can find Nat’s blogs all in one place at: http://ccecroundtable.tumblr.com/

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Many CCEC members are supporting the the yes side.  The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has published an excellent primer on the Lower Mainland transportation Referendum.  The primer is a very complete discussion of the related policy issues: The use of direct votes on taxes.  The best ways to fund mass transit.  The need for responses to climate change. The narrow focus of the no campaign. The actual net burden of the tax, projected to be somewhat progressive. CRED BC has also offered a good view.  

CCEC supports constructive urban transit development. Many of our members rely on buses and Skytain service.  All of our members will benefit if emissions are reduced. We encourage all readers to get their ballots into Elections BC.  

 

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

AS PROTESTS GO, it was a small one, but it saved lives—and now it’s inspiring art.

With 14 original compositions performed live by CCEC member Bill Sample, directed by CCEC member Jay Hamburger and featuring ex Raymur resident protestor mom and CCEC  member Carolyn Jerome.

The Raymur Mothers—They Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer at the Russian Hall from Wednesday (October 29) to November 9.

 Tickets online only $22/adult!  

Actors Danielle St. Pierre and Karita Sedun flank the people whose story they’ll resurrect: (left to right) daughter Liisa Atva and mothers Barbara Burnet, Joan Morelli, Carolyn Jerome, and Muggs Sigurgeirson.

Back in 1971, the trek from East Vancouver’s Raymur Place housing project to Seymour Elementary was a short but dangerous one, involving the unsupervised crossing of a busy inner-city rail line. From her living-room window, Raymur resident Caroline Jerome could see neighbourhood children, including her own daughter, dodging locomotives and tank cars as they made their way to class. “At 8:30, the trains would jiggle around, back up, start again, jiggle some more, and then they’d stop,” Jerome recalls, interviewed by phone from Galiano Island, where she now lives. “And I would have to witness the kids standing there waiting for the train to move—or some of them, being bolder, when they’d hear that buzzer go they would climb through the train sections to get to school.”

It was an accident waiting to happen, but it wasn’t going to happen on Jerome’s watch. After repeated phone calls and a letter-writing campaign failed to prompt a response from city hall or the two railroad companies using the tracks, she’d had enough. Along with a small group of other mothers, she decided that the only way to make their point was to shut down rail access to the Port of Vancouver. While working-class moms could be ignored, she reasoned, business is business.

“The first time we went out [to physically block the tracks], we linked arms to stop that train,” she says. “And what I remember when I think back on that first morning is the feel of the train o

n the ground as it came towards us. We had to stand our ground and stay there and hope this train was going to stop—and it did stop. We felt very empowered when we saw that we could actually do this.”

After three more blockades, the railroad companies won a court injunction to keep the mothers off the tracks, but they also adjusted their schedule to allow for safer school-day crossings, and in time a pedestrian overpass was built. Direct action had won the day.

The story of the mothers’ struggle for safety has recently been revived in both online and musical-theatre form. To see historic footage of Jerome and company, visit blackstrathcona.com/#militant-mothers. And now Theatre in the Raw is launching The Raymur Mothers—They Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer as part of the Downtown Eastside’s annual Heart of the City festival.

The new piece joins Bruce—The Musical, which celebrates the life of community activist Bruce Eriksen, and Yippies in Love, a politically charged flashback to the Age of Aquarius, in th

e activist theatre

 group’s “Untold Stories of Vancouver” series. Like those earlier pieces, The Raymur Mothers draws on the talents of director Jay Hamburger, composer Bill Sample, and playwright Bob Sarti, collaborators for more than a decade. Their chemistry is remarkable, although not always easy: in a separate telephone interview, Hamburger talks about having to shrink the show from its original three-hour running time—“Bob’s a stickler for detail,” he notes wryly—and describes how numbers like “Hell No” and “Direct Action” have been developed.

“What happens is Bob gives Bill an idea by saying, ‘

Well, look, why don’t we do this in the style of Bobby Darin, or the Beatles, or Frank Zappa,’ ” the director explains. “And then Bill takes that, with the lyrics, and is inspired to write a song. Bob turns out the lyrics, and sometimes they have to be modified in a very minor way, to fit the rhythm and the tone and the tempo of Bill’s music.”

(Unfortunately, Sarti suffered a stroke on September 27 and is recovering in hospital, so will miss the opening of a project he’s been dedicated to for the past several years.)

Hamburger adds that in the interest of theatricality, a relationship-oriented subplot runs parallel to the story of the protest. Jerome isn’t entirely sure about that development, although she recognizes that The Raymur Mothers has to be entertaining as well as educational. “It’s really generous of them to take the time to put this into the history of Strathcona,” she notes, before adding that she’s especially happy that the show’s message is clear.

“If something’s wrong,” she says, “you’ve just got to stand up.”

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Thank you to Councilor (and CCEC Member) Andrea Reimer who presented the Credit Union Day Proclamation signed by the City to Ross Gentleman, CEO and General Manager, CCEC.  In attendance at the event, which was part of our Annual Pancake Breakfast was BC Co-op  Association Executive Director, Carol Murray and Sherese Johnson, Engagement Coordinator; and CCEC Board Members Tammy Lea Meyer and Marty Frost. 

Ingredients for our pancake breakfast purchased from East End Food Co-op featuring  products produced by co-ops.  

 
Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Join us as we celebrate Co-op Week, October 13-19. There are lots of activities planned to learn more about the co-operative movement and how co-ops contribute to our local economy and to the betterment of our community. Click here for more information on the BC Co-op Association Website.  

 

Thursday, October 16 - Credit Union Day!  CCEC's Annual Pancake Breakfast
Join us at the branch as we host our annual pancake breakfast from 10am-12nn.  Pancake flippers include your CCEC Board Members and BCCA staff.  I Choose Co-op T-Shirts will be on sale. 

Other events in the CCEC Neighbourhood on Wednesday October 15

BBQ in  Grandview Park hosted by the BCCA and the Co-operators
Location: Grandview Park, Commercial & Charles St. 
Time: 11 am to 2 pm

Co-ops & The Social Economy Workshop
Location: Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
220 - 1651 Commercial Drive
Time: 3 pm to 4:30 pm
As part of the BCCA’s Momentum Centre: The resource hub for new, emerging and established co-ops, this FREE workshop will explore co-operative solutions to social and environmental issues.

 


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Search

Recent Posts

Comments: 0
Rating: 0 / 0
Comments: 0
Rating: 0 / 0
Comments: 0
Rating: 3.0 / 10

Categories

home | memberdirectprivacy policy | contact | site map
© 2015 CCEC Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.