CollaborAction: Latin American Civic Participation Campaign

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Learn about the Mennonite New Life Centre and the Latin America Campaign for Civic Participation. Adriana Salazar, Mennonite New Life Centre.

Text of CollaborAction: Latin American Civic Participation Campaign

  • 1. The Experience of aCommunity-based InitiativeLatin AmericanCivic ParticipationCampaign March 20, 2013. Toronto, ON

2. Who are we? A community-based initiative of 18settlement agencies, community groups and social organizations that work together to promote civic and political engagement of the Latin Americancommunity in Toronto through public education, community-based analysisand organizing. MNLCT 2013 3. Association of Spanish Speaking Seniors of the GTA-ASHTOR Barrio Nuevo Black Creek Community Health Centre Canadian Hispanic Congress Casa Maiz Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples CHHA 1610 AM ( Spanish-speaking community radio station) Hispanic Development Council I vote Toronto (2010) Jane and Finch Community and Family Centre Latin American Trade Unionists Coalition (LATUC) Mennonite New Life Centre Toronto MUJER Newcomer Advocacy Committee of the MNLCT North Park Presbyterian Church North York Community House Parkdale Community legal Services Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office Working Women Community CentreMNLCT 2013 4. The processLatinAmericans TorontoCommunity&GTA at large 18CampaignmembersBuilding - 2010 - alliancesMnlct, BCCHC, HDC CloserNPChurchallies, facilitatorsNewcomerCommunityAdvocacygroupsCommittee - 2009 - MNLCT 2013 5. Defining the actionsObjective Goals Tactics- Analysis and reports onBuilding a collective and socio-economic and civic level a unified advocacy of inclusion of LA communityin Toronto To promote agenda to encourage- Collective agenda of concerns Latinpolitical representatives and public recommendationsAmericanto take action on issuesfor change of concern to the Latin- Publics forums: community communityAmerican communitymeetings, roundtables, and allparticipation candidates debates in the civic Promoting greater - Popular education processand politicalunderstanding of the (trainings and collectivelife ofelectoral system and reflections)- Educational material Toronto greater electoral(brochures, training toolkits) participation by Latin - Spanish media coverage ofAmericans the campaign and key topics MNLCT 2013 6. 2010 Two BROCHUREFirst time WORKSHOPS andSNAPSHOT on MAYORAL in Spanish (40 WORKSHOPeconomic, socDEBATE witheach) onMATERIALS inMEDIA Latin American ial and civicCanadian Spanish COVERAGE ofcommunity inclusion ofpolitical(questionssystem, civic outlining howthe campaign the LA increated in participation in to vote in theToronto communityelectoral municipalelections.forums) processes.MNLCT 2013 7. 2011COMMUNITY PRE-ELECTION MAPPING exerciseFORUM with someANALYZE THEto engage Latin Outreach andCONTEXT of 2011 MPP candidatesAmerican Research Federal elections The forum wascommunity in theMATERIALS to the(workshops, discussionbroadcasted live groups, electoralNorthwest area of communityToronto abouton CHHA 1610 AM process)mapping Income andRadio Voces Employment issues.Latinas. MNLCT 2013 8. 2012 PHASE I: 3 series/ 3 PHASE II: 8W and UNLOCKING OUR workshops to 60 LACOMMUNITY 4M developed an CIVIC POWER: communityROUNDTABLES:action-project to learning-action members across1)Education andpromote localprocess, to promotethe GTA (45 W/ 15M) change: Politicalgreater involvementon the Canadianyouth, 2)Employme education processof LA community in Government: nt and income, 3)to 20 LAWE > the civic life of On/ Structures, SystemsHealth: 4)Civic 18ywork or live in TO. and DecisionParticipation:the North West area Making. of Toronto.MNLCT 2013 9. Key insights from ourexperience MNLCT 2013 10. From critical reflection To action for change Analyzing data, reading reports on immigration trends, orpoverty issues. Also examining narratives and social perceptionson how our community is perceived (stereotypes, bias). Identifying structural barriers has moved us to a more systemicanalysis instead of individualistic approach. Understanding and explaining social inequality realities is notenough. Goal: changing it through civic actions: i.e. proposingpublic recommendations, participating in public debates. Educational processes: Emphasis is placed on learning bydoing. Actions: low cost to the community, accessible, relevant to theirlives, teach something, and that are winnable!. MNLCT 2013 11. Lack of knowledgeTo awareness Recognizing, valuing and making foundational the knowledge ofcommunity members. Eager to contribute and many have aclear political consciousness as well as specific concerns andproposals. However, they often struggle to assert theirvoice, lacking the necessary knowledge of Canadian laws andsocio-political structures, or the necessary connections in thehalls of power. Knowledge is not only information or data to memorize. Itmeans to develop our ability to think critically, read, write andspeak! Providing trainings and collective spaces in which we not onlyshare a set of skills to build capacity among communitymembers, but also trainings in which we analyze collectively thehistorical development of social or political structures, and. Ex.decision-making processMNLCT 2013 12. From the individual To the collective Outreaching community members who are more affectedby some specific issue. i.e. Community mapping we reachgeneral labour workers Creating safe spaces were community members break theisolation / re-encounter with dreams and expectations / re-value assets Trough reflecting and acting collectively, we all (communitymembers and organizations) have learned the politicalnature of some policies and that we are not ALONE facingsocial and systemic issues. My concerns, priorities andneeds are shared by others, by many others For organizations: learning process of buildingtrust, respect and tolerance and how to cooperate with oneanother.MNLCT 2013 13. Challenges: There is not such as one, homogeneous, living in close proximityLATIN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY. It is formed by women and menfrom 18 different countries, cultures, classes and socio-politicalbackgrounds vs. we share, we come together around ourimmigration experience. Participation vs. pressing priorities of meeting the daily needs(lack of financial resources to make activities more accessible:offer daycare) Option: evening/ weekend trainings. Diverse experiences with social and political institutions in theirown countries vs. Canadian political institutions and powerrelations. Meaningful political participation. Poverty-related issues in Canada vs. abject poverty or othersocial issues of many of the places from which immigrants arrive Reflecting and analyzing in Spanish vs. Providing English/Spanish materialsMNLCT 2013 14. For more information please contact Adriana Salazar at the or (416) 699 45 27 ext 229MNLCT 2013 15. Appendixes MNLCT 2013 16. Brochures, FlyersMNLCT 2013 17. Popular education process 2010 September 18September 25October 2 October 6 To know issues of our Workshop Training community To know Working together for Leaders to the futureMayoral Canadianourcommunity CHC/MaytreeDebate political(150-200 participants!) system (80 participants!) Workshop To plan Civic In the actions EducationsecondOur workshop To prepare community in Canadaquestions toschool community the mayoral (80 participants!) prepared(80 participants!) debate questions MNLCT 2013 18. Unlocking our Civic powerProvide a three-session training on Civic Literacy to 20staff from participating organizations of the CampaignMarch 31st , April 14th, and April 28th from 9:30am -3:00pmProvide a three-session training on Civic Literacy to 20clients/beneficiaries/leaders/volunteers from participatingorganizations of the CampaignMay 12th, 19th, and 26th from 9:30 am-3:00 pmProvide a three-session training on Civic Literacy to 20promising leaders of the Latin America community across theGTAJune 16th, 23rd and 30th from 9:00 am-3:00 pm Provide a training to 20 participants from the above groups on collaborative work with local government carrying out a concrete action/project identified by the participants. September / October 2012MNLCT 2013