Learn to Include - Include to Learn (Part 2)

Resource Type: Audio Seminar || Speakers: VC St. John & VC St. Michel

This three-part podcast series explores how to facilitate the meaningful participation of low-income individuals in leadership roles at both grassroots and more formal levels. The 2nd podcast in this series uses Vibrant Communities Montreal and Vibrant Communities Saint John community case studies to explore the skills that low-income residents bring to leadership.

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VC IncludeHow can community collaborations facilitate the meaningful participation of low-income individuals in leadership structures and activities - both in grassroots groups and more formal roundtables? 

How can we utilize the skills that low-income residents bring to leadership roles, and assist them in building their capacity?

This, the 2nd podcast in this series, uses Vibrant Communities Montreal and Vibrant Communities Saint John community case studies to explore the skills that low-income residents bring to leadership.

On this page you'll find:

Meet the Speakers 

Ann Barrett - Ann is the Neighbourhoods in Change Coordinator for Vibrant Communities Saint John. 

Janet McLaughlin - Janet is a resident of Crescent Valley and is the President of the Crescent Valley Community Tenants Association.

Elizabeth Doucette - Elizabeth is also a resident of Crescent Valley and a board member of the Community Resource Centre.

Cathy Wright - Cathy is a Social Planner with Vibrant Communities Saint John who focuses on removing barriers for low-income adults seeking education towards employment. 

Jean Panet-Raymond - Jean is responsible for citizen participation in the Revitalization Project of the St. Michel neighbourhood in Montreal. 

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Crescent Valley, Saint John, NB 

Vibrant Communities Saint John became interested in working with the Crescent Valley neighbourhood because many of their partners were concerned about the community's crime and safety.

The Crescent Valley neighbourhood is home to approximately 1,000 individuals. Geographically, this neighbourhood is situated in one area, with a busy main street that divides 388 units of public housing. The provincial government recently announced that part of this neighbourhood is slated for demolition, and families will receive assitance to move out. 

Making Progress 

Crescent Valley residents and Vibrant Communities Saint John have worked together to engage neighbourhood residents and support leaders in the community. They designed a community survey to find out what residents were thinking and to get everyone to work together to effect positive change.

Partnering with City staff and the City Common council resulted in improved conditions across the neighbourhood, including more lighting, better sidewalks and improved green spaces. Residents became spokespeople for their community and are taking greater pride in being part of Crescent Valley.

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St. Michel, Montreal, QC 

Similar to partners in Crescent Valley, Vibrant Communities Montreal also sought the input of residents to revitalize St. Michel, a community of that welcomes a large percentage of the City's new immigrants. 

Engaged residents in St. Michel shared a need for practical action and results. The problem most often identified by residents was their fear of street gangs and the safety of youth, while youths identified their dissatisfaction with the amount of recreation facilities available. It quickly became clear that bridges would need to be built amongst citizens to address the ethnic and generational tensions that permeated throughout St. Michel. 

Making Progress 

The process of cleaning up St. Michel has been equally as important as the results. Stop signs, speed bumps, lighting in parks and improved recreation facilities were just some of the improvements made. Changes were developed and experienced through a perspective of empowerment for residents and organizations. For example, citizens' committees have taken a strong leadership role in effecting positive change. 

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Links & Resources

The Quality of Life CHALLENGE - The Quality of Life CHALLENGE serves British Columbia’s Capital Region. To learn more, click here.

Inclusion at the CHALLENGE - For more information about the CHALLENGE's Inclusion Policy and the Poverty Experience, click here.

Step Inside Poverty - To read Tamarack's story about the Poverty Experience, click here.

Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction – Find the latest information about the work of the Hamilton Roundtable here.

Crescent Valley Survey Results - This June 2006 presentation summarizes the results of the community survey that took place in Crescent Valley. To read a full report on this survey, click here.

Leading to Enable: Government Engagement in Vibrant Communities Saint John - This story, written by the Caledon Institute in April 2007, tells the story of how government agencies got involved in Crescent Valley and other Saint John neighbourhoods.

Vivre St. Michel en Santé - This page contains information about the Vibrant Communities initiative in Montreal.

Le Chantier in Saint Michel: Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion - This March 2006 story by the Caledon Institute gives more details about the neighbourhood and the work being done by Vibrant Communities Montreal.

Step Up to Leadership - For a summary or to purchase a copy of the Step Up to Leadership curriculum, click here.

Regent Park Neighbourhood Initiative – Learn more about the roots and activities of this neighbourhood-based organization.

Regent Park Social Development Plan - This social development plan will help guide community services and community development initiatives in Regent Park as it makes the transition from a social housing community to a mixed income, mix-use community that is integrated with adjacent neighbourhoods. 

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