I've had the chance to help out with the City of Kitchener's Cycling and Trails Master Plan over the last year. Anyone who follows this blog knows that I think we need to improve active transportation options (such as walking and cycling) in order to create a more inclusive and equitable city. Check out this video the working group team helped put together.
Also, if you'd like to talk more about cycling in our region, come on out tonight to Graffiti Market between 7-9pm to connect at Cycle WR's Folks and Spokes monthly social. Not only is it a fun evening with great people, I hear rumour of some prize giveaways! #365ofgoodWR
Dec. 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and you're invited to join the Sex Workers' Action Network as they recognize this day. The event starts at 3:00pm at Cafe Pyrus and will end with a 'die-in' at Kitchener City Hall. They encourage you to wear red to show your solidarity with sex workers in our community. #365ofgoodWR
3:00-4:00 pm: Meet at Cafe Pyrus for solidarity, speakers, and snacks
4:00-4:30 pm: Die-in at Kitchener City Hall
As a child care teacher, I get to see how caring and thoughtful kids are on a daily basis. However, I still love when those stories are shared so we can all be reminded of these great examples of generosity. With that in mind, I share a story from the House of Friendship's latest newsletter, about Luc. Luc has been busy making bracelets to sell to raise money to support the Charles Street Men's Shelter. Read Luc's story below and check out the House of Friendship's website to learn more about the House of Friendship's many amazing projects in our community. #365ofgoodWR
This holiday season, you can gift a warm welcome with a donation to Reception House. Reception House devotes the money raised to "world-class services and programs such as their Family Partnership Program, English Outreach, Working Together, the New Canadian Youth Connection and Welcome with Play. In 2018, they provided the first home in Canada for over 300 government-assisted refugees." But there is still more to be done, and you can help. Your donation can help support engaging children's activities, cross-cultural connections, strengthening wellness, and much more. Find out more about the work of Reception House and how you can gift a warm welcome here. #365ofgoodWR
Throughout the year on this blog, I post about great things individuals and organizations are doing to bring 'good' to their community. I'm a firm believer that individuals can have a big impact on their community. There are many ways to do that, but one of them is through speaking to city and regional councillors on issues you're passionate about. I have many things I'm passionate about (as my spouse often points out, likely too many!) but one of them is creating cities that offer a variety of transportation options, including reliable, frequent transit.
So this article in the Record last week definitely caught my attention. It mentions that Regional Councillors are looking at three transit 'bundle' options for the 2020 budget. While all three bundles are expansions to current service, staff are recommending delaying 2 bundles in order to minimize the tax increase.
Although I understand the desire to minimize tax increases, I wonder if those savings could be found elsewhere in the budget (or, I would even suggest that a slight tax increase is actually worth it for improved transit).
How does all of this relate to the #365ofgoodWR project? Well, if you're interested in this issue, you can attend (and even speak) at the Dec. 11th Regional Council meeting (it starts at 6pm and you can register to speak here). If you're unable to attend, you can reach out to your councillors here.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment to read Andrew's thread on improving access to housing in our region. I have written about the issue before, but Andrew's thread is extremely thoughtful and outlines a variety of issues that need to be addressed.
Also, please retweet his first tweet as he is donating funds to three organizations who are working to provide access to affordable housing. In support of Andrew's post, I have just become a member of the Social Development Centre, a local organization doing some great things around community, housing, and amplifying voices not often heard in some of these discussions. If you're interested in becoming a member (just $25!), you can find details here. And if finances don't currently allow you to make a contribution right now, please retweet Andrew's tweet as Andrew will donate $5 for each retweet (see details in the thread). #365ofgoodWR
As more municipalities are declaring Climate Emergencies in their communities, it's great to see local organizations offering practical discussions and workshops that offer ways to move forward on the issue. One such event is this one at the Kitchener Public Library (Central). The free event happens Dec 9th starting at 7pm. You do need to register and there is a limit of 2 tickets per email address. (You also don't need to print your tickets). Here are the details:
"Rising Tides is a collection of short fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir and poetry addressing the past, present and future of climate change. Bringing stories about climate change—both catastrophic and subtle—closer to home, this new anthology inspires reflection, understanding, conversation and action. With more than forty purposefully written pieces, Rising Tides emphasizes the need for intimate stories and thoughtful attention, and also for a view of climate justice that is grounded in ongoing histories of colonialism and other forms of environmental and social devastation. These stories parallel the critical issues facing the planet, and imagine equitable responses for all Canadians, moving beyond denial and apocalypse and toward shared meaning and action.
Join us for a special discussion about climate change storytelling with Jesse Thistle, Laurie D. Graham, Timothy Leduc, and Cate Sandilands - editor of the forthcoming anthology Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times"
Here's a workshop on consent and sexual assault focussing on newcomers, hosted by the Sexual Assault Support Centre. "Newcomers to Canada are at an increased risk for experiencing sexual violence in Canada, or they may have experienced in their home country. How do you respond when someone discloses to you that they have experienced sexual violence? This workshop will give participants foundational knowledge of what sexual violence is, and will provide skills, tools and information to respond in an empathetic and supportive way. This workshop will also highlight the elevated risk of human trafficking that newcomers face, and how to identify signs that a person is being trafficked. Finally, we will talk about the different needs of newcomer survivors, and where they can find support."
This free workshop is at 7pm on Dec. 9th at the MCC building at 50 Kent Ave. You can register here if interested. #365ofgoodWR
I almost hesitate to share about this discussion as it happens on Dec. 5th (6:30pm), a night that already has several other interesting events happening - I'm not sure how I'm going to decide which to attend! However, this seems like an excellent discussion night so here are the details:
"Wazhma Frogh will captivate and inspire you with her story of survival, resilience and peacebuilding. As a lifelong advocate for women and human rights in Afghanistan, Wazhma earned the honour of receiving the International Woman of Courage Award by the United States Department of State Secretary Clinton and Michelle Obama. In the past 25 years, Wazhma held a Councillor position in the Afghanistan High Peace Council to mediate peace talks with the Taliban as well as government and non-government jobs with the UN, the international aid agencies including USAID and CIDA. Wazhma is a gender-based violence and conflict studies expert by training and has done years of grassroots programming in local peacebuilding and responding to sexual and gender-based violence in Afghanistan and within the South-Asia region."
This free keynote speaker event is offered in partnership with the YW Kitchener-Waterloo and Kitchener Public Library. You can register for the event here. #365ofgoodWR