Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Diversity Workshops

In the spring 2018, with the support of the Guelph Community Foundation, Action Read held a series of workshops to celebrate diversity, and to create a comfortable and inspiring context in which to share ideas and experiences around issues of identity, culture, and abilities. Our Project Coordinator Dawn Matheson brought her own unique perspective and considerable experience to the project.  She immediately identified the need to
approach each workshop through a “kind and compassionate” lens. Seemingly a small thing, it set a very
positive and non-judgmental tone to the project, which served to encourage participation and engagement.

We held 6 very well attended, highly engaging workshops. The project created new learning partnerships, built new community connections and created a sense of belonging. Workshop topics included spoken word poetry writing and performance, film, advocacy letter writing, music as therapy and community drumming.

Approximately 40 learners participated in the project and all of them agreed that the learning activities were valuable and enriching.

Huge thanks to the Guelph Community Foundation for their support of this special project!

"Music for Community Building" with Gary Diggins
Action Read staff member Laine




Noah Irvine "Mental Health and Addiction. Getting Your Voice Heard" 



"Poetry Potluck" with Kevin Sutton 

"Transported" Workshop with Dawn Matheson


Here are a few comments about what people appreciated about the workshops;

·          “The amazing pleasure of trying something I honestly felt I had no “feeling” for or about”

·         “The talk about the Syrian and Kenyan Refugees and their stories about their immigration to Canada”

·         “The writing round to the poem in a group of four or three.”

·         “The inclusivity and open-mindedness.”

·         “Interesting stories, all unpredictable and sweet. Gained knowledge about others.”

·          “Seeing everyone drum together was awesome!  It was easy for everyone to participate. And it was so fun!”

·          “I like the sharing that went around in the room. Also the fact it doesn’t matter where we are from, there is community.”

·       "We had a lot of fun and laughter"

       "We created community!"


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