In every issue of SHE magazine, we invite responses to a ‘Big Question’ related to a particular theme. At our Teen Healthy Relationships Committee meeting in February, we asked attendees from across the country when they feel most connected to their communities. Here are some of their responses.
Jade Harper, Chairperson of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Winnipeg, MB
I feel most connected to my community when I’m surrounded by my Indigenous Elders and when I’m with children and youth in my community, participating in sharing and collective learning.
Ben Lord, Teen Healthy Relationships advisory committee member, Halifax, NS
I feel most connected when I’m engaging with other youth and tackling issues, for example by participating in a teen healthy relationships program. The energy that you feel when you’re around other young people is fantastic. What we lack in experience we certainly make up for in passion.
Karen Love, Manager of Education at Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, Calgary, AB
If I think of my community as where I live, I feel most connected to it when I’m volunteering—when I’m getting to understand what the community needs and where I can have an impact in that. I tend to think my work environment mirrors what I look for in my community—a place of belonging, a place of acceptance, and a place where I can make a difference.
Kevin Vowles, Facilitator at Salt Spring Women Opposed To Violence, Salt Spring Island, BC
I feel most connected to my community when I’m working with young people. We do circle-based conversations that focus on emotional intelligence. I feel tremendously connected to people because when we’re in a circle, we practice empathy and communication, and we build a base where people can authentically say what’s really going on in their lives.
Papi Abdie, Teen Healthy Relationships advisory committee member, London, ON
The community most important in my life right now is my school community. I work a lot with first-year students and I feel most connected with that community is when we’re doing charity initiatives. We have a Shinerama fundraising day and a Terry Fox Run for orientation week and it brings us together to do great things for people around us.
Read more in the Spring 2015 issue of SHE – The Canadian Women’s Foundation magazine.