What do Community Leaders do on a Saturday morning? They gathered under the shiny exterior of the Castledowns Pavilion last Saturday as faith, cultural and Community League leaders in Ward 2 met to discuss issues that impacted Ward 2, and other emerging city wide issues. The conversation included everything from construction to infill and firehall’s to libraries. We also chatted about something that is near and dear to my heart, gender based violence prevention and how we each play a role in changing the community conversation and actions to prevent more violence in our communities. It can affect all of us regardless of social economic status, culture, faith and location. We, as a City, have one of the highest rates in the country and we must say it is enough! Education, awareness and community discussion are essential to change behavior and get those victimized the support and help they need.
I came away from the meeting encouraged that as leaders we can work together. One participant commented after that it was great to hear what else was going on in the ward because it is easy to just focus on their own challenges. Another wanted to find ways that we can advocate for change together in the City’s public engagement initiative. Others approached me and wanted to know what they needed to do to help prevent gender based violence. All agreed that the meeting was valuable and would be happy to meet again!
It really reminded me of the quote by Margaret Mead that says “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Together we can make a difference!