- Get Involved
- Connect with Leaders
- Leadership Stories
- Research and Tools
The Maytree leadership team is on a new journey that has taken us to a crowded community centre and library in Malton, bursting with young people. We’ve visited strip malls to find where the action takes place, whether it’s in York Region or in a high rise neighbourhood in Toronto. We’ve dropped in at meal times to witness hundreds breaking bread together. We’ve met in community health centres and in Toronto Community Housing.
We are finding community-serving organizations that have gone further and become community animating organizations. They hire spirited organizers who identify talented people within their communities and nurture their leadership. They play well with others, welcoming community groups organized along gender, faith or affinity. They recognize that there is real possibility for community development working with the rich networks that exist across our region. They practice collaboration, not as an end in itself, but as a vehicle to reach new hilltops.
Ultimately, what we have found is an exciting web of social entrepreneurs – people with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems.
Imagining what’s possible requires an understanding of how change happens.
Without that knowledge, residents are unable to propose improvements for their neighbourhoods. Many projects and programs have attempted to fill this gap, but more can be done by connecting civic participation with the goal of reducing inequality. Civic literacy is one answer.
That is why we are developing Building Blocks, a program that calls on neighbours to ‘create possibility where you live.’ Building Blocks will offer a civic literacy primer in communities across the Greater Toronto Area. We will actively demystify how governments make decisions. We’ll work with residents to develop their community’s voice and identify opportunities to work towards local change, progress and inclusion.
We are currently identifying organizations that stretch beyond serving needs to involving residents in finding solutions to the challenges they face, where they live. Building on more than a decade of Maytree’s leadership development, Building Blocks will get off the ground in the coming months by training community leaders. They will, in turn, train hundreds of others. Together, they will use our civic literacy curriculum to build community voice and identify opportunities for residents to make that voice count.
Stay tuned for the program launch, to learn about the organizers, to meet the leaders, and ultimately, to participate as an individual or as an active member of a group interested in strengthening the civic fabric of our region.
This project has been made possible in part by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).