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Tuesday, December 7 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Opening Plenary: Untangling Our Roots: The Role of Community in Systems Change

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The Gathering Opening is an invitation to continue untangling our roots, together. The pandemic has unearthed the inequities in our society like never before. Calls for systemic change are loud and clear. Community builders have stepped up to meet the needs of our communities like never before.

We also know you are seeking to change and upend systems toward a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future.

What is the role of community organizations, community organizers, community builders, and community developers in supporting communities, building fairer local economies, and addressing inequities? How do we challenge systemic oppressions in our work and systems to build an inclusive community?

The Gathering Opening turns our collective attention and thought to these questions and to the role of community in systems change.

Elder Mae Louise Campbell, from the Ojibwa-Saulteaux Metis Nation, a mother and grandmother, will welcome us, begin the Gathering in a good way, and open our minds and hearts to this conversation with reflections on this year’s theme.

Keynote speaker Kai Cheng Thom, writer, performer, cultural worker & speaker, will bring us deep into this conversation with a keynote on ‘Tokenization to Transformation’. While social movements have increasingly become led by non-profit organizations, we know these organizations are regulated and constrained by their reliance on government and private funding. Kai Cheng Thom will reflect on over a decade of working both within and outside of non-profit movements to share their limitations and how to channel energy into grassroots community networks for change.

The Gathering Opening is also your guide to the rest of the three day event. Come get important information to make the best of your experience for the next three days.

avatar for Elder Mae Louise Campbell

Elder Mae Louise Campbell

Elder and Co-Founder, Clan Mothers Healing Village and Knowledge Centre
Elder Mae Louise Campbell is from the Ojibwa-Saulteaux Metis Nation. She has birthed five children and is a Grandmother to many. She grew up in the small Metis northern community of Kississing Lake-Cold Lake, Manitoba. Mae Louise’s commitment to the healing of Aboriginal Women has... Read More →
avatar for Kai Cheng Thom

Kai Cheng Thom

Writer, performer, cultural worker & speaker
Kai Cheng Thom, MSW, MSc, is an author, performer, queer healer, sex educator, mediator, wicked witch and lasagna lover based in tkaronto/Toronto.  She is the author of five award-winning books in various genres, including the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous... Read More →

Tuesday December 7, 2021 9:00am - 10:30am CST