Building Bridges, Breaking Down Barriers
all about community. The focus of the one-day Leadership Winnipeg tour was
learning about Winnipeg’s North End. While change is constant, social change is
an invisible force that creates change slowly and from one person, one family,
one community at a time. One positive change does have a ripple effect that
sends waves out into a community. It’s continually creating the momentum to always
If you want
to help create positive change, here are some great organizations that are
making a difference.
Social Purchasing Portal
The SPP is an
online directory and network highlighting businesses, co-ops and social
enterprises committed to local Community Economic Development (CED) in
Winnipeg. The project’s partners promote business and purchasing, which
benefits the community, the local economy and the environment, including hiring
people who face barriers to employment.
examples of businesses:
Soup Bee - Soup Bee is a non-profit social
enterprise supported by West Broadway Community Organization. We aim to offer healthy
and convenient meals while providing supportive employment opportunities,
investing in local farmers and businesses, and minimizing our carbon footprint
as much as possible.
Neechi Commons - The new Neechi Commons offers a neighbourhood supermarket,
restaurant, fruit and vegetable courtyard and arts store.
White Gloves Office and Residential
Cleaning Services -
Gloves Cleaning Services provides environmentally friendly residential and
commercial cleaning services in Winnipeg,
Manitoba. We use only natural eco-friendly cleaning supplies and cleaning
techniques. We do this to ensure that your home and workplace are healthy environments
free of harmful chemicals and air pollutants.
Local Investment toward Employment
known as LITE is a foundation that stated in 1993 as a volunteer organization
with a focus on Neechi Foods on Dufferin. They focus is directing donations to
support jobs but more importantly to help people who want to overcome the
challenges they face. If you want to help here are three ways:
to the Wild Blueberry Pancake Breakfast every November, it’s has delicious
food, local crafters, local musicians and performers. It’s a truly inspiring and community focused
to the 21st Gala on March 7 this year. All funds
raised at the gala go as small grants to local charities. Last year, funded projects included
construction skills for women, automotive repair for street-involved
substance abusers, pre-employment training for at-risk youth, and child-minding
training for newcomer and low-income women.
If you need to get moving to be inspired to help
out, the Run for
Rights is held on June 7 at Kildonan Park.
Youth BUILD and MITT
started in East Harlem, New York in 1978. “We’d rebuild the
houses. We’d take empty buildings back from the drug dealers and eliminate
crime,” said the young people in 1978. Rob Loiselle is doing just that with his
program in Winnipeg today. It’s
about helping one student at a time, which helps families out, it has a further
reaching impact,” says Rob. He also goes
on to share how “we are creating leaders of tomorrow.” You can learn more about
Circle is an education and training centre for First Nations, Metis and Inuit women and men in Winnipeg. It feels more
than that, it’s a community centre that is building on the success of past
participants to create change for the future.
“This is a
time of extreme hope,” says Eleanor Thompson, director of Development at Urban
Circle. You can hear her emotion in her voice as she shares the history of
Selkirk Avenue. Urban Circle is the driving force within the community. It’s
the vision of people like Elder Stella Blackbird that is creating change. Today,
there is a child care centre called Makoonsag, which means Many Little
Bears, which is filling a need. Soon to become a reality will also be the
revamping of the Merchant’s hotel. Selkirk Avenue is now “where community life is flourishing again,” Eleanor
Ellen Pruden works at the Manitoba Canola
Growers. Loving her time at Leadership
Winnipeg. Inspiring others through her
kitchen and love of learning. Follow Ellen on twitter @ellencanola.