How 3 community dialogues led to climate action
Here are some examples of how 3 different Belonging Matters Conversations projects accomplished goals for both addressing their priority social challenges and contributing to local climate action.
#1: Newcomer integration conversations lead to celebrating our rivers
When a group of Iranian seniors recently arrived in Canada and shared their experiences of home and what it means to them, they talked about the love they shared for the Karoun River in Iran. As we went deeper into the conversation, an idea was generated to host a River Party by a local river.
Once the group connected to how important rivers are to their sense of home, they generated many ideas on how to contribute to their new communities. They developed ideas like hosting a local “BC Rivers Day” event, connecting with local Indigenous communities over the relationship and meaning of rivers, intergenerational environmental projects related to local rivers, community dialogues and much more.
In the process of developing shared meaning about rivers, they created new pathways for integrating into Canada and contributing their talents to taking care of their local rivers and communities.
Click HERE to see the posters (available in English and Farsi) highlighting the insights that emerged.
#2: Welcoming and inclusive spaces in sports lead to land-based practices
In building quality relationships and culturally relevant programing, they laid the foundation for addressing community challenges like racist graffiti on petroglyphs, mobilizing community members in response to the discovery of unmarked graves, and generating new ways of celebrating Canada Day that showcases their joint histories.
#3: Dignity in the overdose crisis lead to community garden and neighbourhood clean up
Their top priority was to lead the way in beautifying their neighbourhood through gardening and regular neighbourhood clean ups. In this way, they built dignity within themselves, with each other and with their neighbourhood while taking care of the land.
Inspiring climate action through shared values
I believe in our increasingly polarized world, our common yearning for home is a potentially unifying force. And when we use a belonging lens, what emerges are shared values, providing us the rudder and moral compass to build a messy yet vibrant shared home—where we tend to the belonging of ourselves, others and to the environment.