July 22, 2020 CFP Meeting Summary
As we gather online, we see one another on the screen although we find ourselves in different locations, homes, and offices throughout the city. We are together and apart. Many of these faces are familiar, some have worked alongside one another for many years. Upon entering the meeting, meeting participants were asked to share a story of gratitude or story of success in collaboration. Community members representing multiple sectors and groups shared partnerships and projects they have collaborated on. These projects focus on the needs of different groups in the community including women, children, families, people experiencing homelessness and people experiencing food insecurity. A common thread in these stories is our connection to serve the community and do this work together.
Words shared by participants…
“I feel thankful to have collaborated with many of the folks on the call today. This has spanned over the past 20 years or more and has occurred through multiple different projects.”
“I am grateful to many community partners that ... we have been able to link our clients during this time especially. It is a great feeling to know that our community takes care of one another.”
“I’ve collaborated with many of you wonderful people”
“Grateful for the collaboration”
“been part of a major collaboration… for many years.”
“Generous, honest and committed”
A recent quote by Adrienne Marie Brown shared by Lindsay Harris. Full quote and article can be viewed here
“we’re in a very parable time.
If you're feeling numb, dig into that feeling. numb leads to overwhelmedness. overwhelmed leads to rage. rage leads to heartbreak. heartbreak leads to something’s gotta change. don’t give up on pursuing yourself.
Organize as if we’re going to be here a long time. Not as if we’re only going to be here until tomorrow.
This is an immense time to pivot into the kind of community you want to be in, and articulate it.
We do know how to care for each other and ourselves when we are given a little room. ritual, song, circle, conflict resolution, healing, staggering, rest, etc. WILL emerge in the community given the right space.
People creating togetherness in this moment is a form of creating, a form of art.
“How do I help?”…”Take yourself seriously as someone who has the destiny to help.”
you’re not late to the movement. whenever you get here, you made it.” (Brown, 2020)
What does successful collaboration look like, and how do we foster it?
Robyn McLean with Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy presented on different types of collaboration and common challenges within collaboration. Four types of collaboration were identified: community building, doing work together, sharing resources and collective impact/ sector level collaboration. View full presentation here.
We then took a poll sharing the types of collaboration we most often engage in. The most common were Community Building (6 out of 12) and Sector-level Collaboration (6 out of 12) followed by Doing Work Together (5 out of 12) and Sharing (3 out of 12).
We discussed a common challenge of collaboration being a tension between the following:
Identifying “purpose” and action plans (Risk: jumping to solutions too soon, not being inclusive, not considering long term consequences)
Take time to build trust, include diverse voices, understand situation and identify meaningful solutions (Risk: “spinning out wheels”, lack of action)
We were then asked which paradox we are more drawn to Action-0riented or Relationship and process oriented. Eight out of 12 said Action-oriented and four said Relationship and Process Oriented.
Wicked Problems and 15% Solutions
Attendees signed up to join breakout rooms focused on topics identified during the last Changing the Face of Poverty meeting, though we chose to have two breakout rooms instead of four due to several key members not being in attendance. Each group discussed wicked questions (things that make it hard to move forward, conflicting issues or tensions) and 15% solutions (first steps or immediate steps you can work on without more resources or authority).
Breakout room one discussed food insecurity for households, homeless, motels & subsidized housing without meals. Over a dozen wicked questions arose from the group, many commonalities can be found within the questions which include understanding how we can address upstream and downtown solutions simultaneously, understand the actual needs of those impacted by poverty, address the disconnection among organizations and emergency food providers, identify and support unique populations impacted by food insecurity, encompass cultural safety in everything we do, be diverse and expansive, shift to a systems change mindset while respecting the work done at an individual level (crisis driven response).
Many 15% solutions were brought forward, largely focused on finding ways to respond to crisis while addressing macro level systemic issues. The groups 15% solutions are to utilize a research-based approach in shifting messaging within Interior Health towards more upstream solutions, not lose sight or awareness of larger issues within the crisis, celebrate victories of immediate responses while acknowledging the roots and why’s of ongoing problems, grow momentum, advocate and mobilize, reach out to immediate response organizations to have their presence in upstream focused conversations and solutions, work with bylaw to shift interactions with vulnerable populations, work on reducing stigma, try new things (ie. meal train experiment has received lots of involvement and increased community awareness of food insecurity)
Breakout room two discussed, sector level collaboration; mapping assets and gaps in services and how to address gaps. Multiple wicked questions were mentioned, largely focused on how we show up as who we are and represent the work we do while working together to address common goals. Questions include understanding how we can break down silos between sub sectors, be both partners and advisers, honor our individual mandates while working together, address funding competition within the community, educate funders, trying to get clarity on what the identity of the sector is and when our organizations may or may not be considered to be part of the same sector , learn from and alongside rural communities, lead the corporate sector in talking about social purpose, evolve governance, make room for innovation, come from a place of self preservation and self love, support champions, increase diversity among those involved, and reach out to organizations and individuals who may not already be part of the conversation.
Group two’s 15% solutions focus on moving forward in collaboration and how to approach this work. Some areas of focus include how we could celebrate, recognize and learn from successful collaboration, take time to build relationships, create high level statements about the work our organization does to understand one another better, and be explicit about the direction your organization is moving. We also discussed the possibility of using updates during CFP as a way to understand each other’s work better, for example using updates as an opportunity to clarify what our organizations are currently prioritizing, what is needed to get there, and what type of collaboration might be helpful.
Post Discussion Thoughts
After the discussion, we were asked what stood out for you? Is there anything you would like to share about the process? The rich discussion stood out to respondents…
“I enjoyed the opportunity to hear what others have to say and hear the passion in their questions and answers.”
“so much rich discussion”
“Loved hearing the shared/complimentary thoughts, but also those that I hadn't considered. So valuable.”
“the discussion that arose was engaging and interesting. We moved into the solution piece easily, and there were so many great ideas and suggestions.”
Child Care Report
Kelly MacDonald with the City of Kamloops shared the City of Kamloops Child Care Report. Childcare in Kamloops has significant gaps and is important to the conversation of poverty in our community, particularly how it relates to supporting women in the workforce. The report outlines current gaps in service and recommendations moving forward. Full report can be viewed here
· Student funding opportunities for organizations can be found here
· Change Link is hosting a roundtable on Board Engagement next Tuesday July 28th
afternoon. Find the roundtables page on www.changelink.ca. Everyone welcome!
· If anyone/agency is in need of bread please contac 250-554-1611 ext 200
Please join us on Wednesday August 26th at 12:00-1:30 for our next Changing the Face of Poverty meeting.