2021 Grant Recipients

The following 41 groups received grants of up to $4000 to support their incredible work in 2021 and beyond.

Afro Van Connect

Afro Van Connect Society is an arts and cultural collective dedicated to empowering African Descent youth across the diaspora. We are a creative capitol platform that offers shared opportunities and resources designed to promote liberating education and sustainability community development. Our core values are to heal our community, create opportunity, and educate youth.

ALAB Resource Clinic

ALAB Resource Clinic began our work while living and organizing alongside housed and unhoused members of the community. Through conversation, our team identified key issues in accessing traditional social services, including oppression, accessibility barriers and dehumanizing treatment. We aim to provide support and access to services in a flexible, community-oriented format, which responds to individual needs.

ALAB's community includes mostly those without stable housing, phone/internet access, and/or those living with accessibility needs, with a focus on people living in encampments. Our work is grounded in principles of mutual aid; individuals who use our services are invited to be involved in guiding ALAB's activities, assisting others, and political advocacy.

Groundswell funding will help support ALAB's Phones for All Program, which covers the costs for providing phones, chargers, and a minimum of three months of coverage to unhoused and precariously housed community members. Phone access is critical for staying connected to support networks, especially during COVID-19.

alabclinic.ca

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Ancestral Hands Foundation
Ancestral Hands Foundation was created to support the Ancestral Hands Midwives program. Given the underutilization of midwifery care by Black clients, we saw the need to connect the Black community with midwives as part of the solution to Black maternal health disparities. We work with a number of partners who help us support our clients through referrals, outreach and participating in programming.

Groundswell funding will be used to create course content and video footage for a virtual, perinatal education program that serves the Black community. Our program, led by Black midwives, will be free of charge and will provide culturally relevant content and include complementary care providers that reflect the priority population being served.

www.ancestralhands.ca

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Bad Date Coalition (BDC)

The Bad Date Coalition (BDC) has provided safety tools and resources to sex workers and community agencies for over 11 years. The BDC’s core service is compiling and distributing printed Bad Date Booklets, an important safety tool for the sex work community. The term “bad date” is used to describe an episode of violence enacted upon a sex worker, as well as incidents of theft, refusal of payment, threats, rudeness, time wasting, harassment, aggressive behaviour, etc. Sex workers face many barriers to reporting bad dates due to stigma and criminalization.

The Bad Date Booklet is published monthly and available to sex workers at drop-ins and distributed by outreach workers. They are folded and cut like a small zine, assembly takes time. Groundswell funding will helps us offer sex workers honorariums and cover transit costs for assembling and helping distribute the books every month.

www.baddatecoalition.ca
www.baddatelist.com

Black Women of Forward Action

At Black Women of Forward Action, we aim to enrich and educate the community of Windsor-Essex County, and be the positive force that is committed to unequivocal progress for women of colour, in every aspect of civic life. BWFA has been the connector in Windsor-Essex County to the Black Community. The city, along with many other organizations reach out to our members for input on anti-racism and discrimination activities and programming, focus groups on inclusion strategies, interviews for news articles, and keynote speakers for panels and virtual events.

Groundswell funding will be used to pay Black women to provide professional growth training workshops and participate in panel discussions to inspire, educate and mentor women in our group through sharing their personal journeys, tools and techniques they've used to overcome adversity.

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Caregiver Connections Education and Support Organization (CCESO)

Caregiver Connections Education and Support Organization is a non-profit, volunteer- run organization whose membership consists mainly of care workers and members from the Filipino community. Our vision is to be an organization where newcomers, caregivers, domestic and migrant workers are empowered and recognized for their strength, resilience, and their commitment to make meaningful change in the system, in themselves, and in the community. We provide a range of programs and activities, collaborate with other organizations, and conduct leadership training to support caregivers, newcomers, domestic and migrant workers

Groundswell funding will go towards funding a support group that has proven to be very effective in reducing social isolation, as well as stress and anxiety experienced by live-in care workers, who have been hard hit by the impact of COVID-19.

https://www.cceso.org/

contact: caregiverconnections@gmail.com

Common Ground: Community Food Program

Old Dogwood is a land-based learning initiative that creates opportunities for Mayne Island residents and urban allies to build capacity for community organizing and to build subsistence infrastructure and systems of mutual-aid. Common Ground: Community Food Program is the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative on the Gulf Islands founded on the values of mutual-aid and community care.

Common Ground counters the forces of capitalism that have commodified and privatized land and food production and also perpetuates individualism and isolation. The project challenges the charity-model of community development by working on a grassroots level to bring community members together to work towards collective food security by sharing their access to land, labour, and other resources such as supplies and expertise.  Our hope is that this project builds capacity among community members to understand and expand on mutual-aid approaches to confronting capitalism and oppression and increase their capacity for growing food and building secure food systems.

Groundswell funding will be used for project start-up costs including building a greenhouse, soil amendments, and building materials.

www.old-dogwood.com

CommunALLY

CommunALLY was started to dismantle the social and systemic separation of Indigenous peoples and migrants by creating anti-colonial and anti-racist spaces for solidarity-building. The project is based on the lived experiences of two young women who found commonalities in the oppression they faced despite their vastly different identities. CommunALLY builds ways for Indigenous and migrant communities to practice solidarity with each other against colonial oppression, societal inequities, and cross-community isolation through the creation of spaces for shared dialogue, mobilization, and decision-making.

Groundswell funding will help to host five online sessions for Indigenous and migrant youth, consisting of multi-medium art showcases, knowledge-sharing discussions, and land-based explorations of our relationships to the environment. All resources attached to these sessions will be provided at no cost to the program participants.

www.allysquared.ca

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Defund the Police Coalition-Montreal

Defund the Police Coalition-Montreal brings together over 65 Montreal-based organizations in an effort to reimagine public safety in our city. The coalition includes a range of groups, including Indigenous organizations, BLM-Montreal, sex workers and drug users organizations, and more. We are led by people directly affected by police racism and violence in Montreal.

Together, we fight the scope and power of the police. The Coalition organizes around ten concrete demands, released in July 2020. We demand an immediate 50% reduction in the Montreal police budget, as well as the elimination of the police activities and squads that most harm racialized and marginalized members of the city. With the money saved from the police budget, we advocate for investment in community-led programs and services (youth programs, recreation programs, social housing) in presently criminalized communities. We call for decolonizing the justice system and investing in Indigenous / alternative models of justice that serve to empower BIPOC communities to develop and practice their own models. The models we seek to promote break the cycles of violence and poverty rather than perpetuate them.

Our actions include protests, research, population education, and continuing to mobilize and engage with the communities most targeted by the police. Groundswell funding will be used toward preparing, delivering, and documenting workshops on community safety and defunding the police. Funding will also be provided to Black, Indigenous, POC, other marginalized members of the Coalition to participate in training.

https://www.defundthespvm.com/

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Equitable Action for Change

We are a Black-created, led, focused, and serving not-for-profit, multi-service agency located in Tkaronto/Toronto, Ontario. Our mission is to improve the lives of Black-identifying people who face barriers to their daily physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. We do so by meaningfully engaging our communities by providing support to each other from a peer-led, harm reduction support service delivery model.

We work to ensure equitable access to primary access to services, while delivering quality services through a range of evidence informed programs, services and approaches. We work with our communities on anti-gang, anti-violence initiatives. We work with our communities on equitable access to basic human rights such as access to food, housing and legal support. We work with our communities to mitigate the harms that come with the multiple racial disparities faced by our Black-Identifying peoples.

With Groundswell funding, we intend to pay our rent, telephone, internet, and administrative bills. We intend on paying honorarium and transportation costs for our outreach and virtual programming.

www.equitablenow.ca

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Ga Gitigemi Gamik (We Will Plant Lodge)

Ga Gitigemi Gamik is an ecological centre on a permanent Indigenous stewarded site, where women and 2SLGBTTQQIA+ persons can work on the land together to (RE)learn ancestral agricultural methods lost to colonization.  Our mission is to (RE)build resilient food and farming systems for Indigenous people through empowering Indigenous women and 2SLGBTTQQIA+ people to (RE)claim their place as the traditional agricultural leaders to alleviate food insecurity in their communities.

We are by Indigenous women and for Indigenous women and aim to build capacity in Indigenous women, in order to reclaim our roles as the agricultural leaders in our communities. As an organization, we are asking ourselves how we can address food security and traditional food literacy in an Indigenous way: through collaboration with each other and with the earth.

Groundswell funding will be used to hire an Indigenous-owned company to design a website and donor portal, which will strengthen our online presence. The website will be pivotal in telling our story and building our virtual community of donors and volunteers.

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Green Jobs Oshawa (GJO)

Green Jobs Oshawa (GJO) is composed of workers, retirees, community members, labour activists, environmentalists, and academics who have first-hand experience with the issues facing post-industrial centres. Our mission is to challenge the prevalent ideas of what industrial corporations provide for the communities where they operate. We do this by offering clear and viable democratic alternatives. An example of this was a major feasibility study we released in 2019 that proposed public ownership of the GM Oshawa plant and its conversion to the production of electric fleet vehicles.

We build power by inspiring people affected by industrial decline to create and advocate for specific Just Transition plans centred on local needs and capacities, integrating social, economic, and environmental justice. We plan to continue doing this work in Oshawa and to offer support and resources to those taking it up elsewhere. By making connections between climate activists, community leaders, and workers, the capacity for communities to resist corporate power is greatly increased.

Groundswell funding will assist in creating and distributing multimedia educational toolkits to labour and community groups to educate and mobilize their members and to expand Green Jobs Oshawa’s reach to other communities facing similar challenges across the country.

greenjobsoshawa.ca

Hey Black Girl!

Hey Black Girl! is a youth-led, Black-led, women-led collective that is focused on the empowerment and encouragement of young Black women both personally and professionally. We do this by providing educational workshops at an affordable cost, primarily for free. In our workshops, we curate spaces where the systemic oppression that Black women face can be identified, addressing how they affect Black women, providing space for Black women to share and reflect on shared lived experiences.

Our organization is made up of three co-founders who are all Black women who moved here from varying African countries. We struggled to find spaces where we could grow and learn, where the educators, leaders or mentors looked like us, to guide us through tertiary education then into the working world. The women and community that we serve are much like us, young Black women who are navigating misogyny, racism, and classism, and eager to find ways to overcome these oppressive systems.

Groundswell funding will be used to continue the operation of our collective. The majority of funds will be used to pay Black educators who will host workshops for young Black women and non-binary folk, with the remainder going to pay members of our organization and to cover our website and email costs.

www.hey-black-girl.com

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LesBond: Asian Queer Women Migrants Support Project

LesBond is an Asian queer migrant group in Toronto, supporting queer women and migrants coming from Asian countries, who have been through the immigration process, and who are looking for a community in Canada. Most of our members are directly affected by the issues of isolation, racism, homophobia, and lack of resources and networks.

Racialized queer women migrants' needs have been ignored by current community/settlement services under heteronormative, male, and white dominant worldviews. Through connecting Asian queer women migrants who share common concerns and struggles, we can develop our strategies of dealing with oppression, racism, and challenges.

Groundswell funding will help support monthly gatherings to bring Asian queer migrant women together, share ideas, and build the community - we will provide a safe space for queer newcomers/immigrants to share their immigration experiences and challenges, especially during the pandemic. We are also planning five workshops and story-sharing spaces.

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Living Water Walk for the Saskatchewan River

The late Water Walker Biidaasige-ba or Josephine-ba Mandamin from Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory, Manitoulin Island, is known as one of the first Grandmothers to organize and lead water walks around the Great Lakes from 2003 to 2017 to bring awareness to the life of the Water and to the interconnected issues of pollution, endangerment, and contamination. Her legacy is being carried forward by those she trained as Water Walkers. As the Water Walkers carry the Water in a Copper Vessel accompanied by an Eagle Water Staff, the movement recognizes Indigenous ancestral ties to the land and water and allows for re-activation of Indigenous relationships to traditional territories.

The Water is a unifying force that brings people together because what happens to the Water happens to us all. The movement also generates the opportunity for active truth and reconciliation, not just for non-Indigenous people and settlers, but for all people to reconcile our collective negligence and improve our connections with the Waters, Lands, and all of Creation. The ceremonial movement of the Water Walk is in honor of Nibi's (the Water's) gift of life for all of Creation. We move to remember how without Water, nothing would survive, including us. We move to remind others of the need to protect the Water for future generations. We move because Water is Life.

The Water Walkers will utilize Groundswell funds to cover costs associated with the Water Walks, including purchasing traditional Indigenous foods/medicines, supplies, community engagement, Elder and youth honouraria and travel, PPE, and other costs related to travelling for two months.

https://linktr.ee/SaskRiverWaterWalk | https://linktr.ee/nikwejiwong

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Making Waves: Marine Delivery of Legal Advocacy Services

The Bella Coola Legal Advocacy Program (BCLAP) increases access to justice for Indigenous peoples facing the impacts of colonial law by providing free and confidential, trauma-informed, and culturally safe legal advocacy services out of an office in Bella Coola.

 

 

Groundswell funding will support the Making Waves Project, piloting a new way of delivering BCLAP outreach services to the remote island and inlet communities of Bella Bella, Klemtu, and Wuikinuxv .For the first time ever, a 38' diesel boat will be used as a Marine Satellite Office that makes waves by reaching out to coastal communities the way that coastal communities reach each other – by boat.

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Malton People's Movement (MPM)

The Malton People's Movement (MPM) is a truly grassroots organization that formed in June 2020, in the wake of the Peel police killing of Uncle Ejaz Choudry, who was experiencing a mental health crisis when he was shot to death in his own home by Peel police. Since then, MPM has been organizing collectively with several victims and families of Peel police violence and homicide, including Clive Mensah, MattDiGiovanni, Chantelle Krupka, Michael Headley, Jamal Francique, and D'Andre Campbell.

MPM's direct organizing against police violence and the institution of policing as a whole responds to the direct oppression and harm that impact our people every single day. We know capitalist systems rely on policing and we aim to eventually abolish the police by building a Peel-centered, region-wide defunding campaign to redirect the 40% Peel police budget back into Peel communities.

Groundswell funding will be used to support our organizing and visibility on the streets, including posters, placards, and speaker equipment. It will also support a weekly program for youth to aid with tutoring, socializing, and outdoor activities.

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Migrante Ottawa / Pilipinong Migrante sa Canada

Migrante Ottawa is a grassroots organization promoting the rights of Filipino migrants in Ottawa, and raising awareness around struggles to address issues leading to forced migration. It confronts issues that are often not picked up by others due to the radical transformation that is involved. The conditions of forced migration and exploitation of migrants overseas are all linked to deep-seated intersecting issues of inequality and oppression that affect many communities, such as colonialism/imperialism, persistent poverty, covert and overt racism, gender inequality, and power imbalances. Migrant workers are also among the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic.

Groundswell funding will help support “Art-ibista: Art for Resistance,” where volunteers have partnered with Filipinx artists to deliver arts and crafts workshops livestreamed to audiences through diverse platforms. Our goal is to create additional channels for outreach and connect activist artists to generate multimedia material. In addition, we are planning to launch a virtual campaign against vulnerability, and work with labour unions, community organizations, local service providers, as well as the broader public, to call on the government to "regularize" or give legal status to undocumented or irregular migrants and educate around the roots of the problem through infographics, short videos, and other media.

http://migranteottawa.org/

No Pride in Policing and No More Silence

The No Pride in Policing Coalition (NPPC) is a group of queer and trans people that formed in 2018 to support all the demands raised by Black Lives Matter Toronto at the 2016 Pride Toronto parade. We continue to support BLM-TO in their demand for a 50% cut to the Toronto Police Service budget and for those funds to be reinvested into Black, Indigenous, racialized, impoverished, and other targeted communities as a first step towards abolishing the police.

No More Silence aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women, girls, trans and two-spirit people.

We are working with other community organizers and groups across Turtle Island to organize a couple of online teach-ins in late June 2021, building up to and culminating in a physically present and distanced mass public rally at city hall in Toronto and march on Pride day, June 27, 2021. The events will be titled: We Must 'Change Everything': Creating Liveable Queer, Trans and Two-Spirit Lives without Police and Prisons. These actions intend to build support for defunding, disarming and abolishing all police, RCMP, police agencies, and prisons. These events will work towards a society in which we can all be safe, following Choosing Real Safety: A Historic Declaration to Divest from Policing and Prisons and Build Safer Communities For All. This work helps strengthen relationships between Black and Indigenous activists in Toronto and across Turtle Island working to defund and abolish all police.

http://itstartswithus-mmiw.com/no-more-silence-blog | https://www.noprideinpolicing.ca   

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contact: info@noprideinpolicing.ca

Ocama Collective

Ocama Collective is a community-directed group of queer birth workers of colour, living in Tkaronto (Toronto), who are dedicated to the reclamation of traditional and holistic child-bearing and birthing practices among BIPOC folx.

We come from a place of understanding the detrimental effects colonization and white-centering have had on BIPOC queer and trans peoples all over the world. We acknowledge the inter-generational trauma experienced, and that colonization is on-going, and we hold space for birth workers and pregnant folks healing from this trauma and the continued trauma of miscarriage, still birth, neo-natal loss, seizure of our children by CAS, loss of language and loss of ritual and ceremony to honour our pregnancies, labours and postpartum truths. As birth workers, we see our role as one of resistance to the colonial, racist, hetero-normative, cis-normative and patriarchal status quo, and grounding in birth as our place of shifting the narrative and changing outcomes for our communities. Birth is one integral space of continuation, transition, preservation, and healing of our communities.

Groundswell funding will help pay BIPOC doulas (who also identify along the gender identity spectrum and who may identify as queer) to provide free full-circle/spectrum doula care of BIPOC community members, who can identify across the gender identity spectrum and who may identify as queer, and who may otherwise not have the consistent support during this transitional time. Funding will also go towards paying BIPOC lactation consultants (who also identify along the gender identity spectrum and who may identify as queer) for offering free consultation for BIPOC community who are body-feeding in their postpartum period.

https://www.ocamacollective.com/

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

OCAP strives to develop the capacity of oppressed communities to confront injustice by demonstrating the power of collective action. Through a direct-action casework-based model we aim to simultaneously seek redress for cases of individual injustice and build a mass movement capable of confronting the capitalist system that organizes our economic and political lives.

As a poor people’s organization, we want all our members to live in dignity, including our elected staff. Groundswell funding will help supplement the hourly wage of these two workers, who fill challenging positions and often suffer exhaustion and burnout. We hope that this salary increase will help to sustain our staff in ways that will build a healthier, and stronger anti-poverty movement.

www.ocap.ca

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Possibilities Podcast

Possibilities Podcast is a podcast where we engage in deep dive conversations with queer and trans Black and Indigenous people of colour artists and possibility makers. We delve in through heartfelt inquiry with ideas, people and practices to understand what makes bold creations tick and seemingly impossible dreams tangible. Our guests have been some of the most brilliant queer and trans creators, including adrienne maree brown, D'Loco Kid, Kiley May, Ravyn Wngz, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and many more. Possibilities Podcast seeks to be a portal for inspiration and insight, and catalyze our listeners to generate their own infinite possibilities.

With Groundswell support, the Possibilities Podcast team plans on highlighting ideas, people and practices of possibility within abolition and transformative justice through a podcast series in partnership with Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse is an organization that has been providing trainings, consultations, resources and advocacy that help build capacity in transformative justice practices since the 1990s with communities most impacted by violence, criminalization and incarceration.

www.possibilitiespodcast.com 

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Prison Free Press (PFP)

Prison Free Press is a not-for-profit that publishes two free quarterly magazines by and for prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their loved ones in Canada. Both publications provide a space for those in prisons and their supporters to communicate with each other and the broader public about the issues and experiences that affect prisoners.

These zines promote sharing of experiences through creative expressions of art, poetry, and stories, as well as current news, support resources, and health/ harm reduction info. Content selected for each publication continues an ongoing critique of the crime/punishment industry in Canada. Raising awareness through reportage of the race/class/gender bias, and providing a venue for dialogues for healing and growth help contribute to this knowledge base.

Class Action News is a prisoner support magazine by and for all prisoners in general. Women's Prison Network is a prisoner support magazine by and for women, trans-identified people, and youth. Groundswell funding will be used exclusively for printing and mailing costs for both 16-page quarterly zines. Free labours. Free to prisoners.

www.PrisonFreePress.org | www.ClassActionNews.org | www.WomensPrisonNetwork.org

Project Agape

Project Agape is a Black-led and youth-led organization that strives to support victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, and educate our community on these issues. We want to be part of the efforts to end homelessness, especially in marginalized communities through the deeds we will perform to help the homeless. We work on many exciting projects to help improve the lives of others such as workshops, cohorts and training, and are very proud of the progress we continue to make.

Project Agape will use Groundswell funding for initiatives such as creating hygiene care packages for youth survivors and young mothers who are survivors. We would like to host Bystander Intervention and Allyship workshops regarding sexual and domestic violence, which educate on how to advocate for survivors and unlearn rape culture and victim blaming. We would also like to host wellness initiatives specifically catered to Black survivors, such as trauma-centered yoga, journaling activities, paint therapy paired with healing techniques, and a workshop on Intersectional Feminism.

www.project-agape.org 

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Scarborough Youth United (SYU)

SYU is a grassroots youth group that provides space for immigrant/migrant youth to share their concerns and take leadership in engaging with their communities to address those concerns. SYU strongly believes in capacity building and infusing leadership training opportunities in every project for the youth to practice their skills, develop knowledge and reflect on their lived experiences to realize their power and potential.

Our current project addresses deep-seated social isolation, loss of culture, and personal identity that suburban youth and seniors experience, prior to and exacerbated by COVID. Through storytelling, it enables racialized youth, often confused by their cultural and familial identity, to engage in intergenerational learning and improve community well-being.

Groundswell funding will help provide honorariums to elders and youth participating in the project, as well as help finance the salary of our part-time youth coordinator.

http://scarboroughyouthunited.org 

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Shelter and Housing Justice Network (SHJN)

The Shelter and Housing Justice Network (SHJN) is a network of homelessness and housing advocates, shelter providers, healthcare professionals, faith leaders, legal workers, and researchers who have come together to address the issue of homelessness in Canada on a local, provincial, and national level. Operating with the mantra of “shelter rights, housing rights, human rights,” SHJN seeks immediate action and long-term sustainable solutions in the shelter and housing sectors. SHJN seeks to raise awareness and demand change as it relates to emergency shelter, social housing, and the protection of human rights.

With funding from Groundswell, we will hire a part-time coordinator, so that we can develop regularly scheduled community education sessions on the housing and homelessness crisis; support direct action and targeted advocacy; and provide administrative and communication support to amplify the voices of individuals experiencing homelessness and advocates.

www.shjn.ca

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Social Assistance Coalition of Scarborough (SACS)

SACS is a Scarborough-focused, social assistance recipient-led group that pushes for improvements to OW and ODSP so that people receiving social assistance and people with disabilities can live with justice and dignity. Membership is open to recipients of social assistance and those who support people living on social assistance in Scarborough.

Groundswell funding will pay for our ongoing monthly meetings, where we plan for events, campaigns, and trainings, as well as four training sessions co-led by recipients, and assisting with outreach for the sessions. Lastly, we will use the money to assist with costs associated with meeting with Scarborough politicians to promote our advocacy papers and discuss other pertinent issues.

contact: sacs.communitygroup@gmail.com

Sovereign Likhts'amisyu

Land has always been fundamental to the health and culture of our people. We recognize the interconnection of all life which co-exists in a balance of harmony through respect and care. The mission of the Sovereign Likhts'amisyu Village is to slow the acceleration of climate change and to restore and protect the biodiversity of our region. We strive to continue to educate and alert people about the harmful effects of oil and gas extraction on our futures.

Groundswell funding will support our efforts to rebuild and re-establish the Likhts'amisyu Village site to be used as a center for learning, cultural revitalization, healing, and stewardship of the land. Over the past two years, we have built four cabins and funds for this project will contribute towards our bathhouse, cistern, septic, and water line systems. Our mission is to build up our community and welcome our people, First Nations families from impoverished communities, back onto these traditional territories thereby leading them out of the toxic colonial relationship of entitlement and home to the natural healing environment of the Yintah. We understand that by teaching the next generation how to live off and nurture these lands, we can ensure that both our people and our territories will benefit for generations to come.

https://likhtsamisyu.com/

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Stories We Tell

Queer newcomers often leave their home countries fleeing dangerous conditions that exist as a result of their queer identities. Although some of these conditions are alleviated upon arrival, they are then confronted with a new set of challenges. Navigating bureaucracy, legal processes, finding employment, housing, and food — all in a new language and without social supports — can be a highly alienating experience.

With the new realities of COVID-19, it is even more difficult for queer newcomers to make meaningful connections with other queers. Stories We Tell aims to connect queer newcomers to queer residents and foster empathy, support, and friendship between queer people whose paths may not have otherwise converged. We believe that when oppressed peoples build community and cultivate joy they are engaging in radical acts of resistance.

Groundswell funding will be used for a project designed by Najma Eno and Paige Homme to connect queer newcomers with queer residents of Tkaronto through a storytelling card game. Each deck will contain a series of prompts that participants will ask each other designed to facilitate connection through storytelling. Participants will meet over Zoom for six sessions, the first of which will be an orientation where an anti-oppression framework will be introduced in order to provide the opportunity for participants to unpack and locate their own privilege/power and to discuss the different intersections of identity/oppression. The following five sessions will give participants the opportunity to connect to one another by telling their stories.

contact: stories_we_tell@outlook.com

 

Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective

Clean food is a right. The Toronto Black Farmers and Food Collective are a group of people who came together out of food oppression, who have decided to talk about our food experiences as Afro-people. We are farmers, growers, small food business owners, and food insecure people. We are standing against food injustices, food insecurity and working to build a platform of sovereignty. As we are working in this vast eclectic food culture of Toronto, we are creating a welcoming space for food insecure people. We have been farming out of Downsview Park since 2013.

With funding from Groundswell, we plan to set up a pop-market on the farm that will serve as a bi-weekly harvest share serving low-income to no-income people. The market is part of a long-term strategy addressing food insecurity, food poverty, and food sovereignty. We are working to create a strong and sustainable foundation for the future of local food in the current food system that excludes food poor and food insecure people. We have been standing up and advocating for access to arable fertile land for the continued development of this community food model. It is also vital that we continue to plan and converse about making good food a human right issue in these changing and challenging times!

https://www.torontoblackfarmers.ca/

United Women

We are an international network of young women of colour committed to enacting real social change. Through our community hubs, mentorship program, and political campaigns, we're activating social literacy, civic engagement, and political advocacy among global youth to build a better world together. We are committed to amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) youth and women, and aim to restore the self-determination that is lost through the systemic displacement, exclusion, and segregation of marginalized communities.

Groundswell funding will help us to implement and operate our mentorship program working with marginalized youth and communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Our mentorship programme and digital community provide direct access to educational resources, toolkits, and a growing community to develop and foster new connections. In doing so, we provide marginalized communities with the resources and support needed to access post-secondary institutions, achieve visibility in their workplace, and improve their quality of life through self-development and community action.

unitedwomen.co 

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Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights (CDWCR)

CDWCR's membership includes current and former migrant caregivers, domestic workers, and community supporters. We believe migrant care workers' temporary immigration status makes them vulnerable to abuses related to labour issues, like working long hours, not receiving overtime pay and not receiving proper wages; some workers also experience mental and physical abuse. CDWCR believes the only way to provide social justice, fairness, and protection for care workers is to allow them to come to Canada as permanent residents.

Groundswell funding will allow us to conduct our ESL classes, provided to migrant care workers to help them prepare for their language proficiency test, one of the requirements to apply for permanent residency. Aside from passing the test, the class also helps them to develop their assertive communication skills and boost self-confidence. We will offer the classes to migrant care workers in BC first, then outside BC if needed.

www.cdwcr.org

Vivimos Juntxs, Comemos Juntxs

Vivimos Juntxs, Comemos Juntxs is a grassroots collective that aims to provide material and social support to undocumented communities, while simultaneously creating a migrant-led, migrant-decided space where our communities can imagine and work towards building a city where we have power over the services and resources we need to live a dignified life. We understand this as part of the broad imperative to build a "sanctuary city" from below. Our work is not to engage in endless dialogues with lawmakers and tweak symbolic municipal policies, but to cultivate migrant-led spaces to empower folx with the information and collective tools we need to create sanctuary from the ground up.

With Groundswell support, we will pay undocumented collective members to continue to create digital or onine spaces where we can share information, strategize on how to collectively secure resources, and build community power. We strive to build safer and freer space where undocumented folx can create meaningful and critical change to our everyday lives, while working towards organizing against the forces of displacement.

https://vjcj.org/

contact: comemosjuntxs@gmail.com

Young Seedkeepers School

The Young Seedkeepers School brings together Black, Indigenous, racialized, and allied young people to learn about land, seed, and water stewardship practices. The programming focuses on the reclamation of traditional knowledge to cultivate half an acre. We grow and learn about culturally significant crops while getting to know each other's histories and legacies. Our goal is to bring together youth and grow a more resilient food system grounded in ancestral knowledge.

We are building an outdoor program that focuses on land and water stewardship that centres our various ancestral practices. With Groundswell support, kids will learn how to traditionally grow foods and medicine and learn from knowledge keepers while caring for a half-acre plot. This will ensure our kids can connect and learn while also making time for caregivers to have space to care for themselves and their families.

https://youngseedkeepers.ca/

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Where Are You From Collective (WAYF)

Founded in 2016, the founding members of Where Are You From Collective (WAYF) came together after having a discussion around the frustrations of being Asian artists whose work is often not legitimized by the mainstream. We began as an art-based and activism program with the intention to address issues of agency that Asians (including but not limited to Southeast Asian, South Asian, East Asians, Asian-Pacific Islander) living on Turtle Island experience in defining our identities, visibility, and representation by offering workshops, events, and creating an online platform for self-representation.

WAYF comes together from diverse and interdisciplinary fields allowing our skills to complement each other, while maintaining a shared vision to arts programming for racialized and marginalized LGBTQ+ people out of a shared experience of intersections of racism, transphobia, and homophobia. We want to educate and empower artists of colour, in particular racialized Queer and Trans artists, about our identities and history. We want to build resiliency and increase capacity for artistic expressions & activism. We want to carve out a safer and sustainable community space that legitimizes and celebrates our artistic achievements in the face of constant erasure and cultural appropriation. We want to create a platform to self-represent and self-validate.

Currently, we continue the work in strengthening solidarity with various marginalized and racialized groups, WAYF is expanding our aim to serve communities that are most vulnerable within racialized (BIPOC) groups. This includes those living within the intersections of marginalization, including Queer and Trans people of Pan-Asian experiences, Black and Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, newcomers & refugees. Our mission is to celebrate racialized Queer and Trans identities, creative expressions, endeavours, and achievements. We aim to build capacity for Queer and Trans people of colour, and connect diasporic racialized queer and trans communities to create intentional dialogue that disrupts the heteronormative status quo.

Groundswell funding will help support our current Decolonize Gender: Take Action Project, a series of workshops that examine actions we can take for ourselves and for the community with the intention of sustainability. Invited facilitators, who are Black, Indigenous, or people of colour, will expand deeper into conversations on gender and transness beyond western frameworks.

https://wayfcollective.weebly.com

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More information to come on the following groups!

Landbased Undertaking for Treaties

Red Communitaria Migrante

ReSistering: Two-Spirit-led Earthwork and Cultural Resurgence