Community Update! Our September Gathering

We were a small group for our September Gathering on September 24th! Everyone must be busy with the demands of the Fall season.

We persevered and went ahead with the Gathering as planned. Natasha Massey of Wild Rose United Church and Wellness Hub in Calgary, Alberta, spoke to us about how transition time for Wild Rose coupled with the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in the US and Canada prompted her to take the hub’s Wonderful Wednesday Wellness programming in a new direction.

Natasha used a variety of educational videos to explore issues of systemic racism and the way Canada unknowingly perpetuates it, particularly in its relationship with its First Nations population. Natasha acknowledged that the material she covered in her course, which ran for 9 weeks, sometimes conflicted with the viewpoints of the community participants, and gives them credit for their willingness to show up and learn.

Natasha’s takeaways from her experience?

  • Don’t presume that you know your community’s state of mind on these issues.
  • Discourse about race and race relations needs to be blunt, to accurately represent the enormity of the challenges, but also must give hope that there’s a way forward. Natasha asks the church to consider in these discussion how it can “hold place for hope.”

Natasha’s reflections generated a lot of interesting questions and discussion. If you are a CIH member and weren’t able to make it to the Gathering, we hope you’re well and that we see you soon. Please consider watching Natasha’s talk on our YouTube channel.

If you’re not a Community Innovation Hub member and would like more information about our live monthly Gatherings over Zoom, please visit the Community Innovation Hub website or email info@communityinnovationhub.org.

Resources

Natasha has generously provided the links to the videos that she used in her course.

Why Are We Saying Black Lives Matter?

Framing – Why Frames Matter

Media, Perception, and Implications

What Can We Do?

All of these videos are shareable. Natasha also used the 4-part “8th Fire” series, available through Coursera’s Aboriginal Worldviews and Education course.

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