ReVillaging April 7, 2021: Emerging new visions for work and family
Great. Hey, guess what? We're starting one minute early ‘cause it felt like the right time. So you know what? I want to say a good hearty welcome to everybody in the room. We can see each other on the screen. So I want to welcome you Mariam and Blyth. It's wonderful to be with you, Jenn and Erin. Caroline. Thank you for coming. Caro-line, or “Caro-lynn”? Caroline. Caroline. All right, “Guid-a.” Is that correct? Am I right? Gyda. Gyda. Gyda? Gyda. Gyda.
Thank you so much, Gyda. Mr. Jacob Sales and the son called Blue. Wonderful to be with you, Belinda, as well. Maggie, and who's with you, Maggie? This is Pippa. Hello, Pippa. We're happy that you're here.
Dayna, wonderful that you're with this as well. And Maia, is that correct? Yes, that's correct. Thank you. Right-o. And, and um, Patty. Wonderful. Jennifer and Anthonia, Hilary, Rosalyn and Madeleine. Jenna. Well, let's do this. Let's take our cameras off. We're gonna do a little moment here. If you can reach your camera over the child in your lap, just turn your camera off. And
I'm gonna ask you a question. And you turn it on if it's true for you. I will include myself. Vanessa, you're muted. Can you believe that I turned off my mic and left my camera on. Thank you. Let's start again. If you have arrived from someplace else and feel as though you flew across the universe to arrive at this meeting on time, show us your beautiful face. So that was Jacob,
that's Vanessa. A few. So about half of us have flown in. Okay, cameras off. If you've had a good day of measure and you're arriving, settled and ready to roll, please show us your beautiful face. Nice. Well, that's even more than half of us.
This is good. We count on you for this. Cameras off, please. If you are ready to sit in quietude, for one glorious minute while we stew our togetherness and sit and hold space for the thoughts…Let me just get my little…Yeah, for our thoughts. And our intentions to come together. Keep your cameras off. I'm going to start a timer and for one minute, we're just going to sit…why we came and think of the others that we've just seen on camera. And after one minute we'll begin officially. Thank you for your time and consideration beginning now. Maybe take a nice breath in. Make yourself comfortable.
Officially space to pause. If you’re ready to begin, let us see your face if that's comfortable for you. If you want to leave your camera off, we also welcome that. We love seeing who's in the room.
So we just started with sharing something altogether, which was a little moment of quietude. And one of the things that I've been learning from some of my teachers including Yvonne Rigsby-Jones from the Snu…Snu…Snuneymuxw Nation—which we commonly call Nanaimo—First Nation. And with M̓i tel'nexw, which is a Squamish leadership organization, and I just had the pleasure and privilege of participating in. One of the things I'm trying to do—hm. Is that right? One of the things I'm welcoming in to my practice is how to—one, say, acknowledge the land of the Musqueam, the Squamish and the Tseil-Waututh that we're living on un-surrendered, un-offered, stolen land, that I might be a better guest, and give my attention, pay my attention to the hosts. Who for maybe close to 200 years have been trying to help us behave.
Trying to say, there is a way that we can be in the world together. And some of that comes with sitting in quiet. Sometimes what I've been noticing is like Yvonne, before she speaks, we've been doing a class together, and we'll be doing it for months. She just pauses, and she waits till her thoughts are clear.
And sometimes when she's not clear, this is what she's told us. She just says, hm. What do I need to say right now? Is there anything to say right now? She just creates her own space. It's not hurried. And that's why I wanted to start with a moment of quiet together so that for those
of us that arrived hurried, we could catch up with the rest of you that are kind of cool and easy. And we can meet you where you are. ‘Cause that's my responsibility as a guest, to be fully present. And I'm hoping that the work we do here today can make us present to each other's gifts, the teachings, and all the good things that you carry, and all the concerns that you carry, that we might be able to meet some of them and shift and change some of them. I want to welcome the brothers that are in the room who carry a special—and yeah, it's a little gendered. I know. Sometimes I'm a little old fashioned, but I just want to
recognize that it's really common for women to show up in these kinds of conversations. So I appreciate all genders showing up in this conversation. Maybe that's a better way to say it. I appreciate all gender expressions, showing up in this conversation. So thank you, for everybody
that took the time of your life to be with us. And may we be good guests, may our conversation help us create the kind of space that Squamish, Musqueam, and Tseil-Waututh People would say, “Oh, they're learning. They're learning how to care for each other. How to take time for each other. How to bring the children in and take care of the elders, and to work with integrity, and to rest when needed. And to take care of the food to take care of themselves.” And to notice this land where we are, for those of us that are in Vancouver. And I'm guessing, is there anybody not in Metro Vancouver right now with us? Okay, so Vancouver Island for Hilary. And what about you, Maggie? You're—you and Pippa are on Vancouver Island. Okay, perfect.
Yeah, we’re in Victoria. Thank you. Well, one of the things that Buddy Joseph, husband of Chief Janice Joseph—uh, Chief Janice George, said recently that I will, I heard him say recently, I'm sure he's been saying it a long time. That this, for centuries, this land, every inch of it, has been preyed on, has been blessed. It's been appreciated, and held in trust, that it would serve us and that the people would serve it. So this whole land is soaked in blessings, where we sit and do our work.
Yeah, thank you. So if you wanted to say anything in the chat, that could be your name, where you're residing, the territory if you know or the language group or the treaty area. In BC, of course, we don't have many treaties.
And anything else you want to say to get us started in a way that feels good to you. Please feel free now. Give it a couple of seconds, like a couple of good breaths. Jordan from Tsawwassen lands. So there's two folks. Thank you for participating. Mia and Aaron coming from the unceded territory of Katzie and Sto:Lo People, right. I appreciate that you’re giving us a space and time to be good guests. Thank you, Maia. Great, well, good. Good to be here with you. We're gonna start with the video. And then afterwards, we'll
introduce you our guest, Anthonia Ogundele as one of our key speakers today, thank you so much. Oh, actually, um, hold on, hold on, I made a mistake. I jumped ahead in my in my notes, let me backtrack. I'm going to be like a seal. Like an otter on my back, right now I’m just gonna float back in time. And go back to the introductions.
And I'm all wrapped in seaweed. So let me tell you about Anthonia. This is a person that I've had long admired and enjoy great respect and admiration for. Anthonia is a trained planner and a resilience professional. So this is really her time, but get a load of this. Anthonia has a passion for cities and engaging, engaging communities. And she was a member of the
North East False Creek Stewardship Committee, which is where we met. And through this process that—when she was on this committee, she admitted the reimagining of Hogans Ally. In 2016, she turned a storefront facing closet—a very, very small space into the Cheeky Proletariat, which is located on Carrall Street. And it's an accessible inclusive art space for the free expression of all so it's a really beautiful street level gallery. She recently left her role at Vancity Credit Union as a Manager of Environmental Sustainability, business continuity, and emergency planning, right in time for the big emergency. So like, Anthonia,
great, because you wouldn't be on your feet right now if you were still doing that work. And she, she turned her instead to the emergency of our kids to the resiliency of our young people. And she's been developing Ethos Lab, which is a social enterprise. And it's leveraging
the cooperative—cooperative model, to develop an online collaborative platform and creative coworking space for youth aged 12 to 18. And it fosters culture and STEM focused on exploration. And through the Ethos Lab, Anthonia that's hoping to inspire legacy of Black leadership, as well as answer the question—and that's Black leadership in young Black people. It's a space that's centres Black humanity. All people are welcome. But we're actually centering the experience in the voices of Black youth in this way, as opposed to when those conversations get on the outside of youth work. But the question that that was me adding it. Anthonia didn't say that in her bio.
But the question that she's really interested in is what might space, placemaking, look like, when you submit when you center the humanity of the Black experience? Yeah, that's what Anthonia’s up for and I was thinking the other day, too. Because I started taking this Black architecture course. What would it look like when we don't have to? Say, this is my work for women? This is my work on Indigenous knowledge. This is my work on understanding my Scottish heritage. What if we, part of what we're doing through Nestworks is creating the culture where we all get to arrive with all of our multiplicities all over multi versus of selves, and nobody's on the edge? ‘Cause it's a circle.
Right. So that's the world I'm really stepping into. And I thank you, Patricia, for coming to us all the way by Venezuela. That's right. Hola, I'm glad you're here. Thank you, Angela. Yeah, Patricia Lomelli has been working in early childhood education since 2007. And she's had two children on her own. And from that experience, her passion for early learning and education increased. Like I'm doing. As she changed career paths,
and continents. For the past 12 years. She's played an active role in the industry, trying to understand the ins and outs of childcare so she could be involved in the educational journey of her children. So today, Patricia Lomelli, she holds a bachelor's degree in international trade and early childhood education diplomas, diploma. But there's a whole bunch of small diplomas that helped get her there. Like I got my kids up for school every day. That should be a diploma, right.
And is an AMI Montessori certified with the Montessori Training Center BC. This is a piece of work that's so exciting too. She's currently working on the child—she's working as a Child Care Coordinator for the Pacific Immigrant Resource Society, and I'm looking forward to hear about the good work that you're doing in that context. I've had an opportunity to be exposed to it. And it's, it's where we're at. What's up, and now we're ready for a little video on…Anthonia, do you want to say anything about this, my friend? Um…can I hope everyone can hear me. All good. Awesome. Okay, yeah, I'll just…no. I,
um, this is the video highlighting different members of our community that I thought was very pertinent to when we talk about revillaging and this is kind of show highlighting different members of the Ethos Lab village. Great. All right Ethos! So grateful to be part of a program that allows individuality.
Through Ethos, I found a supportive community, had lots of interesting discussions, and made a lot of new friends. I find Ethos inclusive and very representative. In Ethos, I've been able to see theory into practice of things I know are true, and watching them come to life. Like inclusion, cooperation, and community. Hi, my name is Anthonia Ogundele and I am the founder of Ethos Lab. We exist to empower you to transform community and shift culture. And we do that with providing an inclusive approach to accessing STEM education. We are in our last week of our Black futures month fundraiser.
And we appreciate all of those that have donated to the cause already. We are able to expand our programming, create more opportunities for mentorship with young people, and also to put on some amazing events to raise awareness, just like our last one last week around representation and STEM. And we want to be able to do this more and scale it to more families. So for those that haven't been had an opportunity to give to this campaign, I'd ask maybe two things. Number one, feel free to give. If you have a couple of dollars, it would be great, go to our website, check out our Patreon. Or you can also do some one time charitable giving
to this fund. The second thing that you can do is share this post. Share the news, talk to your friends about Ethos Lab, tell them about our impact and community. Tell them about the young people that are inspired by the mentors that are coming in and talking to them. Tell them about the amazing video games and AI workshops that we have put on over the last number of months. We want to be able to continue to do that. And we need you to help us. So thank you again, for everyone that's
been a part of the journey. And I want to say thank you in advance for those that are giving. A place to create and connect. We are Ethos! You know, I…I sent the video and I forgot the light because I just kind of watched the beginning of it. And I forgot it was our fundraising video. And that's our fundraising video, but it highlights all the things that we do. But I hope that that gives a bit of a flavour of what we do at Ethos Lab. Great. Thank you so much, Anthonia we're going to speak directly about Ethos Lab coming up.
But as a foundational piece, I'm wondering if you would both give us the pleasure. And I'll start with you, Patty. And then we'll go to Anthonia. What in your personal background makes you interested in the ideas of creating new spaces that are youth and children inclusive? What about your personal background brings you to this, to this day. To this this day, right now? Sure. Hello, everybody. Thank you, Angela. That is such an interesting question.
(Laughs.)You know, like, like you mentioned, the land where we're in, Canada, is a blessed land, right? When you come as an immigrant, you have your suitcases full of things, but you have your mind full of dreams. You want a community that is inclusive, you want to come to a place that you're welcome. You want. You have this idea of a better life. That's why you come for a better future. So when I first arrived to Canada, obviously everything sounds so beautiful, but then reality hits, right? This is a blessed land.
But once you have children, um, things start to get complicated. It’s not cheap to live in this beautiful place. It has a really high price. I am really grateful to be part of this community. I am Canadian now. But when I came, it was a struggle. It was a journey.
So I came with my husband, we…we came, we settled here, and we started to have a family. So I thought I—I could work as an international trade professional. That was my career. Business Administration, international trade, everything having to do with customs and imports, export. So I couldn't because my degree was invalid here. So I was like, okay. After that, I was like, okay, I have to go to school again, that is expensive. I need to work English is my second language,
I need to learn the language. In that process, I got pregnant with my daughter. She's 18 now. Um, wow, that changed my perspective completely. So I didn't really know what to do. Um, and I started to look into the different options that I had in front of me. So what should I do? Should I keep on working? Should I keep on studying? Should I keep on pressing to, to have that better life that I came to, you know, to, to achieve? But I have this little one in my belly that I need to, you know, to provide for and see, how am I gonna take care of this girl, you know? It takes a village to raise a child, it really does. Everybody says that phrase. I mean, it really, really does. You need your community. You need your neighbours, you need agencies, nonprofit, not nonprofit organizations providing different trainings, English classes, different type of trainings, professional training. You need a community
space to bring your children if you don't, if you can't afford to be in the box of nine to five childcare. There are so many different situations for young families and for families in general. So for that reason, having my background being a professional, being a new immigrant, and having so many needs and the needs of a baby, I started to be interested in this industry and say, well, I love children. I really want to provide a good education for my daughter. I want to know what are the options out there? What are the childcare options that we have? And I—as soon as I started learning about the chocolate industry, I came into the knowledge of all the barriers, you know, not everybody can afford childcare. It’s a very complex world regarding regulations and laws.
You can’t do this, you can’t do that. And you know, if you go to a daycare, you need to have certain age and the subsidy only covers certain amount. So there are so many complexities. Patty? Yes. Patty, I'm gonna ask you—I want to ask you about some of those issues later, but I'm gonna stick with you. About, I'm gonna give you a few moments just to wrap it up.
Because what I want to know is what brought you personally, so not so much about the industry, because we're going to tuck into that a little bit later on. But like, as I'm, you know, what I know about Venezuelan culture, because Trinidad is right off the coast and my people are Trinidadian and you know, we know what some of the situation in Venezuela, but we also know that southern communities have a different relationship to how the children are cared for. And so I'm wondering, to the degree that you're comfortable, just like I'm looking and interested in some of the cultural impetus you had growing up around how a new world could be possible for you in Canada, with also what you were carrying, like what of your personal life comes into this? Yes, definitely. Thank you, Angela for that, um, I'm so passionate about this topic. We’ll get there, we’ll get there. Yes, absolutely. So yeah, the way I was raised and the way we do it in South America, specifically in Venezuela, um, well, right now, the situation is very different than when I was growing up, as you mentioned, that we're going through a very hard time in Venezuela but when I first came, I had this idea that, you know, the way I was raised, everybody helps. It’s like a little village. So you, you count on your neighbours, you count on
your family members, you count on people around you to give you a hand every time you need some childcare. Right? So when I came here, I didn't have that. I didn’t have a sense of that support. And that was what I was looking for. And that's what really motivated me to give back. Once I got in touch with the different services and agencies that were really hard to find because, you know, sometimes the lack of funds and sometimes the lack of programs makes it really difficult for families to find that little village that they can relate to, you know? So… Thank you, Patty. You're welcome. That's great. We're gonna get to everything. And Anthonia, same question to the degree that it's comfortable for you. I'm just wondering in terms of your own personal background, what it is that
you're bringing to this conversation that you're having right now about like, how you think young people could be engaged differently and, and to the degree that you're comfortable. I kind of want you. Your story. Not the overarching, but just you, and maybe how you—you in the system, but you. (Laughs) Okay, I'll try and I'll try and…I'll try and hit all of that. Again, thank you so much for…Thank you so much for everything and thank you so much, Vanessa, for really, really starting this off right with in terms of grounding, all of us. I had a different type of response to this question that I prepared. But when
you start asking like, about me, right? Um, you know, I have a sordid background from many different things in professional spaces that Madeleine kind of read off. But, you know, I'm, I’ve been in music and I lived in Toronto and so many different experiences, but none prepared me. Um, or maybe it all prepared me to become a mother to an amazing tween. Um, who’s now a teen. And for someone becoming a new mother at that particular stage and point in, in child development and growth, my husband and I both found ourselves quite unprepared to understand the systematic complexities of the whole thing. So number one, just being able to access or have the savviness and connection to networks that had been established by other families, right? Other networks and communities that share resources between each other to know what's happening, where the deals, which summer camp to sign up for. You don't sign up for summer camp
at the beginning of June. That was a hard thing I had to learn. I didn't know that. And, and the thing is, that's that I was new at that time, but there are people who are first language learners, there are people that don't necessarily are as savvy to understand that maybe culturally, in talking to different family members or in our community. So that, you know, in London, England, these things were all provided in the school. So they didn't think that they needed to have their kids engaged. And so there are a number of kids that I saw, were not gaining access to
unique and innovative programming that often was created, if you're the enriched or gifted child. And for…and as you start to look at the direction of where the world was going. And so this is even in advance of, of, you know, George Floyd's passing to understand what was happening in terms of the deep underrepresentation of Black youth STEM, in enrichment activities in general, that made that that decision. And that was an emergency for me to step out of my employment, and then and really look at community resilience more than anything, which is a passion of mine. And so that's how I come to this conversation. Initially, seeing that there's this need, but then
taking it a step further on how we create. We don't—there are these different needs of whether it be more childcare, more education, more programming, but we don't ask ourselves how they're created. The intentionality or interrogate the culture of which they're created. And so when we do a robotics class, or if we're doing coding, we don't dig into bias with the 12-year-old, we just give them the code, they go, and they learn and do it. And then we end up in a situation
that we're in now. Where and, and, and, yes, I was gonna get into the intergenerational piece there. Oh, okay. And also, I know, I'm sorry to interrupt. May I interrupt? Or would you like to keep going and I can… Go for, go for it. When you talk about the, the urgency for the issue, even pre the uprisings at the end, as we watch this court case, go on, which is one of so many deaths, but the way that George Floyd’s murder, galvanized the world to consider these things, maybe you could give a little bit of insight around the urgency around representation in STEM and even in gaming and avatars.
Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, just the technology. So I think just everyone on the call as parents, your young people are engaging with their friends and community more as avatars, than they are in real—as real people. They're online. And that's where the and that's where they're going to be. And that's kind of the future of where things are going. And with Ethos Lab, it's, it's not so much “stay away from the technology” as it is so much as “let's interrogate the tools, the systems that create the tools and skills and systems that we use.” So when it comes to underrepresentation, or the lack of representation in STEM, in particular, looking at, you know, how avatars are created, you know, again, the technology itself is incapable of actually creating like Black textured hair. And that's a limitation to, you know, upon looking at different catalogs of avatars. They're usually set up in different settings. And Black characters are exoticized,
in different scenarios in order for people to choose them for different games like their… The, the race, the racism, the blatant racism that has occurred in terms of that development, that the, I think the community is beginning to acknowledge, plays a role in the psyche of young people and how and how they see themselves. So part of the work that we've done is done. We did a workshop on avatars and identity to allow us to, to have young people create their own avatars, but in that process, you know, interrogate who they are. Maybe, maybe they were creating an avatar, and they put blonde hair, and it's like, why did I do that? To maybe they want to show up as a strawberry in virtual space. But I think it's about asking those different questions. And, and there are many things when you come to AI bias, how that—how to access employment, to surveillance, there are many different angles to it. And I think, right from the age of, you know, 10 or 11, as soon as they're picking up their iPad, they, the kids know how to navigate these spaces. But they don't—they're still at a point, and I think we're at a really interesting point where we are still able to interrogate between the digital and physical, but it really is quite intersected now. I hope that answers the question, Vanessa.
Yeah, it did. It was one of the things, and Rosalyn, can we turn off the admit people sound please? Rosalyn or whoever doing the tech, thank you so much. It's such a startling sound. Yeah, I just found it so shocking when I found out that there's, you know, millions of Black children gaming without avatars that can represent themselves, they're literally forced to look like other humans. That was startling and true. So I have another set of an inquiry to follow. We're going to go for about another 10 minutes. And then we're going to go into some breakout rooms. And we'll be able to talk about a couple of things in smaller groups. A couple of things very fascinating things, I forgot to do some housekeeping, I just wanted you to know that. If you need to go to the washroom, it's just right down the hall to the left. (Laughs)
It’s the first time I've ever said that. I’m like, that's really funny. That's a good one. To myself. I amuse myself. 32:37 But furthermore, yeah, so the bathroom’s to just down the hall to the left. And if you
need any snacks or anything like that, just help yourself, the fridge is yours. And make yourself comfortable. And if you need to turn off the camera just lay down or like whatever you need to do, just please make yourself comfortable. And we love comments in the chat. Because we have a small group here. It's kind of nice to stay in communication that way. Also feel free—does everybody see the happy face at the bottom of their screen with the little plus sign? If you can see it, can you give me a thumbs up sign? If you can see it. Okay, so that's most of us.
Dayna, can you see the happy face at the end of your screen? Perfect. Jacob Sales. I know you got it. Jenn Wint’s got it over there. So what I'm going to invite you to do when you hear somebody say something like excellent, like the bathroom is down the hall. Sure, just like,
keep us like in the party. It'll be fun for you too. You're gonna love this part. Like, just rock the reactions. Now that my housekeeping is up to date, thank you very much. I wanted to know if Amanda and Anthonia, and I'm gonna invite you to speak leanly about this. And by leanly, I mean like, take your pause, think about what you really want to say. And then say it. Or you can tell me, Vanessa, that's like really bossy, I don't need you to tell me how to talk. And I'm not doing that. I'm just making an invitation,
about the concept of revillaging, and what that means for you in the context that you just said about how you’ve grown. What you're up for. And what does this mean now? And we're gathered here in Nestworks. Can we talk about this idea of revillaging? And why don't we both take all—everybody take three good breaths. And then we'll start with Patty, and she'll give a little room for Anthonia, and then we'll get to something else. And after which also, if you've
got any questions from our speakers, excuse me, from our, from our guests here, that's you, put them in the chat or raise your hand and we'll just get in there. Okay, so three breaths. Imagine as the breath comes in, it's filling a ball and the ball is getting more and more concave, which is your diaphragm coming down. And you exhale the diaphragm’s pushing the air so the air is coming up. It's upward motion, upward motion.
What does revillaging mean for you, Patty? Revillaging, I love that term. I think it means a lot. It means community. It means family. It means work connection inclusivity diversity. It means also government. It means union. Compassion. It means so much. Revillaging is a concept that we need to create as we go. I think things are changing. I think not only because of COVID. Things have been changing slowly in front of us. Families are growing, Vancouver is growing, Metro Vancouver is expanding. And we all need to put our efforts to be a community, to be
unified, to change some legislations, some childcare licensing regulations are so old. We need more flexibility. We need different types of care. So revillaging is real reinventing ourselves as a community and being more open. Revillaging is reinventing. Love it. Thank you. Muchas gracias. Ms. Ogundele? Revillaging for you.
Again, I’ve thought a bit about revillaging. And what came to my mind is, I'll just go kind of through my thought process, I thought about village, the idea of going from the big to the small and a smaller network or smaller community. And, and the nature of going to small is that there's a personal to it, there's a vulnerability to it. And so when I think of revillaging, I think of courageousness and courageous communities,
to be able to be your full self, and held by the people that are around you. And so it's almost a coming back to, to who we are, is what revillaging, revillaging means, to me. To, to care deeply. To love radically. And, and to not be afraid to be together. That's, that's how I describe it.
Can I get a reaction to that last sentence, to not be afraid to be together? Tell me how that sentence makes you feel, to not be afraid to be together. Put it in the chat, you can do it the reaction. Just transformed. I think that's really the work. What Patty just said reinventing. What did the thing that so somebody put it in there reinventing, we've… Reinventing ourselves as a… Reinventing revillaing, and to not to be afraid to be together. I'm wondering if everybody in the room could just sort of hold in their own selves right now the ways that they're being courageous, the ways that they're stepping through their discomfort so that they could bring people together in the work that you're doing, or the work that you're imagining? What are the ways that you're working towards not being afraid to be together in a pandemic, as we imagine…what our future looks like, together? We need that more than ever once we move past COVID. But what if COVID just lasts? Then how
do we how do we keep holding on? Like, if we're waiting to be together? How might we be together now? Like, we have one pandemic, and then and then another, and then something else? And then our earthquake, and then and then and then the satellite debris falls from the sky and then and then. So how might we be together now, practicing being together in all of this complexity? And I'm going to ask you to cast your minds back a little bit to think of your own family line, if you're aware of it. And if you don't have a personal family line that you can recall, think about human history. Other times and
great changes. What were the ways that people stayed together? How did they do it? Gyda…we can't hear you yet. Unmute. Thank you, Vanessa. Oh, so much is going to my heart and my head as we hear from you and Patty and Anthonia. And I'm remembering a story my husband told
me. He came from Trinidad as well. But in the way mid-50s to go to UBC, I said, without a computer, how did you get to UBC? He said, I wrote by hand and got accepted. So a story that will always stay with me about rethinking is that he and his friend only had enough money to fly from Port of Spain, capital Trinidad, to New York. After that, they have to take the Greyhound bus to Vancouver, because they don't have money to fly. So he said, people at the New York airport were very courteous and nice when they said, Can you help us find you know where to go for the Greyhound bus? They get to the bus, the driver welcomes them very warmly, they pay their money.
Driver says great. Just need about five minutes, we expect a few more passengers so find a seat. We're all good. They sit down, then my husband sees the bus driver attorneys head and motion him up to the bus driver area. My husband assumes they didn't pay the right money, because you know, the currency is all different. So when he gets to the driver, he begins by saying, I'm sorry, did we not pay the right money? The bus driver said no, no, that's fine. I just needed time to think about the problem. My husband's thinking, What's the problem? Driver says and actually
we're not waiting for other passengers. I just said that to give myself a few more minutes. Long and short, problem: where the driver stops to get gas for the bus and not to the left, but where the passengers can use the washroom, get a coffee and a sandwich, no Blacks allowed. So my husband's thinking, well, that's the end of that till the driver says but I figured it out. And I know if anybody reports me, I'll be fired on the spot. But I'm gonna go off route because I know of some places where I can get gas, you can use the bathroom, get a cold kind of whatever. And
that's on the way south. And as soon as we turn west, no, no more problems. So my husband said, we knew there was racism because you know, this was before civil rights, before Martin Luther King. But we had no idea. It's not like we're going to the Fairmont Hotel. We're going to a little gas station area. Blacks not allowed. So he said I should have been on
my knees with blessings to that driver who was ready to risk his job to help us. So I just want to say that in the reimagining and the rethinking and the revillaging, we want to recognize a lot of people who are also with us in great support. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Beautiful. Gyda? Gyda. Yes. Gyda, thank you. Yeah, I'd love to know your husband's name. Roland Bishop. Okay. I think he knows my dad, Rudolph Richards. Yeah, absolutely…I was gonna ask you that too. Perfect connection. We can talk after.
Yeah. And so like, to Gyda’s point. This is one of the things I think when we keep making these, like making the connection. Hey, I heard you say something. And this is something Indigenous people always tell us to…Who are your people? Hmm, who's your family? Because then if I know we're connected, like all of a sudden, Gyda and I are like, oh, we have something so important to share together. Right? And so again, what do we do in these times of emergency? We actually have to identify ourselves, who are, who are your people? What are you up for? Are you the one that will take the back route? Right? Are you the one that will have a gas station that will permit children to sit at the table? Or you know, whatever the situation is? Yeah. So I just wanted to make a little moment for that conversation around what do we do when the villaging doesn't seem easy.
I'd like you to put a question for Anthonia and Patty in the chat if you have one. Or if you want to speak it into the room. I'm going to give you a moment and quietude to think about if there's a question you have for Patty or Anthonia, and I'll give you a few moments and then I'll, I'll invite questions in the room, but the chat can go…let it rip in the chat. Maybe if it isn't a question, it can just be an observation. What—something else that I've really feel like I've got great permission from now some of these teachings is how to praise each other and acknowledge the people in front of you, the courage they've had. And say, wow, Patty, I want to acknowledge that what did you notice about
their stories or themselves that might make them feel good to have a reflection back. And that this time you spent together can deepen our bonds together. Um, when my dad came from Port of Spain to the Stratford Festival for the first world culture festival that Stratford, Ontario did, my father was a dancer and a drummer. They didn't take the Greyhound, he took the train, and they also didn't have a lot to eat. But he would
take—he had one sardine and a loaf of bread. And every time he went to bite the sardine sandwich, he just pulled the tail back until they got to Vancouver. All right, that's my…He told me that was true. So here's a question. Is there a question in the room? Somebody wants to, or question or reflection in the room? Somebody can unmute. We're not in a rush. So we can just—I know you got the good ones, Madeleine. Let's see what—what else is in there. Maggie Knight, are you comfortable to ask you a question? Sure, yeah.
I'm the one I just put in the chat is, what gives you hope? And where do you see the most potential for systemic change? Whether that's towards revillaging, towards justice, like I'm assuming that we have a shared understanding in the room about like, revillaging needs to seriously act on systemic root causes of all kinds of crap, including racial justice, including climate crisis, including all kinds of inequality. But that's like a whole lot of big problems. And my day to day life, sometimes it's just like looking after a tiny human who has a lot of teeth trying to come out of her face. So like, where do you see hope? And what gives you hope, specifically for that kind of systemic change, as opposed to the smaller pieces? What doors do you think we should be pushing on harder, ‘cause they're, like, ready to open if enough of us push in the same place? Were you gonna go, Patty? You can go first. I think I saw yours… Definitely. Yes, that's such an important question. Thank you, Maggie for that. That's something that I continuously think. Because as time passes, we see more and more problems and deeper problems and bigger problems. And we get overwhelmed with all the negativity
that we see from the media. We also forget that every single thing that we do has an effect. We're all connected. So I will say that, even though sometimes you feel like losing hope, the hope should be always there. Because we need ourselves together to keep on pressing, what doors should we be pushing? So I think, basically the ones that make the law, right, so we need to keep on pushing for some changes. So I am a big advocate for childcare changes. Better regulations, more diversity and more inclusivity when you see a situation that is unacceptable, call it by its name, and—and teach that to your children to be kind, respectful individuals with a lot of compassion. So we need this world to heal, we need this world to be a better place. And everything we do, always, always, always have an effect. So if you go get on the bus, be that
person that is ready to say something if it, if you know, if you, if you see anything that is racially oriented or anything regarding the mask, regarding your child screaming or whatever, don't don't, you know, don't be silent. Just speak, speak up. And as a community, I think honestly. You need to talk to the government. Like I've seen many changes in childcare, and I see many people coming together as a voice. And I see a potential possibility of changes in childcare licensing regulation, for example, having more flexible policies for childcare providers, more affordability with a $10 a day childcare, for example. So there are so many initiatives happening around us and if we don't get together and we don't support and we don't get education, and we don't inform ourselves, it's gonna be really, really difficult to push doors. So get educated, and, and keep on pressing.
So what I'm also seeing Patty say is that she's taking care of the childcare piece. So like, what the thing is that, you know, I see her saying both be individually and socially responsible, and then hold elected officials accountable. But also let's look at the role of policy. And that policy is another pressure point where we can go and each of us is an expert in our own lives. And each of us has an opportunity to see where policy and social life
meet in your own existence. And if you can stay in and engaged in that piece that…Would that sound like a fair reflection, Patty? Yes. Manage your social life, manage like, who you are socially? And, and push on politics and policy? Anthonia, what about your thoughts? Yeah, I'll, um, I'll try and be quick with this. But what gives me hope, is, you know, I sat down with my daughter, my husband and I were having dinner. And we said, we, I usually say a prayer, and it's just like, we should just be so blessed that we're all here and everything's good. And
then we're about to start eating. And then my daughter says, what about climate change? You know, and, and so when I say what gives me hope is that she cares. They're concerned, and hearing the young people and the way that they speak about these issues, you can't…I know, some of our kids can lie about certain things about having two cookies, when, you know, they really say oh, I didn't have any at all. But when it comes to these types of issues, I see that there's like this, they're, they're truly wrestling with the reality right now. And the hope that, and the hope comes in the conversations that we're having with the young people. And when I see in terms of the doors that need to be pushed, and this is going to be a bit of a hard conversation amongst parents as well is, we really need to let go of some of these conversations around the good schools, or the good programs and the bad places and such. People are more likely to play basketball with my
child, then come to an enrichment program with my child, unless it is a community centre program or something that's free, or what, whatever it might be. The biggest barrier around engaging in terms of Ethos Lab, and when we start—there's Ethos Lab and thinking about an anti-racist environment. And now when you start talking about revillaging, these things take risk. And right now, if we're going to talk about anti-racism and inclusion and building these types of spaces, we need to take the risk of just allowing ourselves to be in community with one another. And, and for me, as a mom inspired by my black daughter, I have no choice. But it for it to be just an anti-racism,
anti-racist base, it's not a policy, it's not an option. It has to be because she is, and our children are. And so when we create and think about revillaging, and we think about Nestworks, I know the heart of Madeleine and the rest of the board. It is not an option. And it's not a policy, it's about looking at me, and looking at another parent, and we are going through it right now. And we're both agreeing that there's a mental, mental health challenges happening with children right now. And my child is being seen as truant, or not doing well in school or whatever, or,
you know, different options versus no—there's a mental health issue right now, and really challenged in a different kind of way. And so I know, and I see it, amongst other parents that people see me very differently. And they don't see me as I—just as another mom trying to do something or another parent trying to do something. I think where I think we need to push is some of the cultural norms that we have in place that have kept us separate, different exclusive, and wanting the best for our kids has, has created a great inequity. So really, we want the best for all of our kids. And I think that that's what revillaging is. And
I think that that I hear in the spirit of what Madeleine and the rest of the group is trying to do is that we want the best for everybody. It's not it doesn't matter if my kid goes to a top school or not. If the other kids are still struggling and if she walks in the street, is still also going through her own challenges. So, I feel so passionate about that, because when I became a mom, it became so clear how I was interacting with the school system, how I was interacting in these enrichment spaces and how other parents treated me. And I'm just trying to do my best. Like that’s it—we're all trying to do our best. I think your best is pretty darn good. And I think Anthonia you really touch on it
that's touched on it in an important way. Because “good schools” is code word for “white school.” “Good places” or—is code word for “white.” “Bad” or “rough” is codeword for anybody that's been racialized. We don't call it—is it Lord Nelson, the Indigenous school for young, like elementary
school kids just off of Commercial Drive? Is that called a good school? It's a good school. And it's giving an Indigenous education to Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids. But that's why being a good school model, you know, the one right behind Donald's there by the Vancouver Opera, the good opera. I want to also point to what you said Anthonia that you touched on, and I think it speaks to so Shayna’s issue about sitting here thinking about folks who are doing their jobs and living their lives and not feeling not feeling agency to make change. But the opportunity is always in our modeling. Right? So if we touch lives
of people who seem to be unaffected by the big issues, then who are we when we meet them? Right? Who, what are the cultural references, like if you never read anything, but one kind of writer, watch one kind of show, do one kind of cultural event, do one kind of sporting event, then their world will always stay like so. But like the invitation, and that's why I think us as guests on these beautiful territories, we’re always being invited. Come. Sit with me talk with me. Hey, would you like—this pow-wow is open. Would you like to come in the—when we when we start to pow-wow again? Here's the friendship dance. Oh, god, I'm so horrified. I'd never do that. But what would it feel like to embody the shell dance, and you think that looks so small
and simple. And then you do it for like six rounds around the circle, and you're like, Oh, my God, it's a thigh burn. Right? And you have this sense of elegance come into your body. And all of a sudden you start to understand all this is a dance has been danced on this land for since the first sunrise. So I think for me, my—my thing is, I think about the other people, but I'm thinking about what can I learn? And if I am talking about other things in your company, as a Black woman talking about other cultures and inclusive of mine, well, maybe it noticed that and then it's like, oh, she must be reading other authors thinking about other things. And this, I think, is everybody's opportunity. Even like, I'm interested in revillaging. I
don't have children. This is our interest. This is our opportunity is to do things that maybe don't seem like they're part of your life, but they are if you care about the village. There's too much talking from the host. Let me stop. We're going to go into breakout rooms, everybody can talk to each other. You should try and tell a joke or two if—excuse me. You could try and tell a joke or two. Just for levity. What is a good school? Can be subtle. Yeah.
I like these comments. Actually, let's maybe we can all just take a moment and read the chat and make sure we've got a chance to catch up on some of those things before we go into our breakout rooms. And how many people are going to be in the breakout room? Two to three? Who’s determining… Hi Vanessa. So. Hi, everyone. Rosalyn here. Just a quick announcement about breakouts.
There will be four breakout rooms. And because we have about 23, 24 folks, there will be five or six people per breakout room. Okay. Great, thank you. And then everybody just… A quick note, you might be invited, but just ignore it if you'd like to remain in the main room.
Yeah, this can also be a breakout room. So why don't we all take a moment if you'd like you can scroll to the top of the chat if you haven't been reading all along and take a moment of inspiration from our friends here. Great time to copy any links that you may want. Sorry, Hilary, I missed that message. Maybe
before we go into our breakout, Madeleine, you could…make a setup for us. Would that feel nice to you, Madeleine? Um, sure, I'd be happy to do that. And that's cool. Um, yeah, that was awesome. Um, amazing. Thoughts there from Patricia and Anthonia, and really, I like the way you
both…Like there's a—there's a challenge, there's a fight, there's a push. There's, you know, like, this isn't just a nicey nicey like revillaging, it feels so good. And it's like, and we need to end racism. And you know, it's like, social justice is part of revillaging because if it doesn't include everybody, if it doesn't include our elders, if it doesn't respect indigenous land, if it doesn't include people of colour, and just everybody, diverse abilities, and then what kind of a village is this? We're gonna have the French immersion village per Maia's comment in the chat here. And it's like, I don't, that's not the village that we want, either. So yeah, so anyways, I'm the founder of Nestworks. And it's just an idea that I started developing a long,
long time ago. And that was born of an experience I had bringing my daughter then…she's turning 16, on Saturday!...to work with me, and it just exposed this whole kind of weird construct this false separation of work life, that we sort of, I don't know, we'll have been socialized around here in North America anyways. And so I'm just excited about it. And it's conversations like these that sort of bring us forward. And leaders like Anthonia and Patricia and Vanessa, and just people who believe in—our whole board. And so yeah, so I think I'd be happy to move on to just seeing what is, who else is in the room and what we want to talk about, because really where we're trying to go right now is we're doing some research right now with Nestworks about, like, what, what do we want work to look like coming out of COVID? Like, we've been super disrupted, and it's been all this, you know, working at home hasn't been comfortable for everybody, especially those with little kids. So. So let's talk to each other about that. Because when we do,
then we will come up with alternatives. And like, you know, Ethos Lab and like, Nestworks. And like the work that is being done, what's happening with the pop up childcare at PIRS, and hopefully will be happening again. And yeah, let's just jam a little bit. So thanks, Vanessa. My pleasure. And I just want to say the comments in the chat are so beautiful. Aaron, I am wondering, let me see which Aaron, can you give me a wave Aaron? My heart is racing, and I can't see you on the screen. I think Aaron went to cook dinner or something for their kids. Oh, drats. Okay, that was great. While the comment that they had about,
they sent their kids to another school, that wasn't a good school “on purpose.” And it's just kind of interesting, again, like, how do we take? How do we take initiatives around the kind of education and the kind of world we want to be together? So to Madeleine's point, if you would like to go into a room and enjoy some conversation, from what we've been discussing, we've also got a couple of questions here that we can put into the chat. I shall do that. And for our time in breakout rooms, which is really a nice opportunity to build relationship with each other and talk and listen, but maybe if you’re one who talks a lot, you could let one of the listeners go first. And maybe you could identify yourself as like, if you're a talker.
If you’re a listener, you could be like that, this like…Actually, could we just have a look at the room? Who generally more often is a listener? Can I get some of this, the listeners in the room? So that'd be Sandra. Maia, Jenn, everybody, look at them. We got Belinda there. Caroline, can we let them if they're in your circle? Can they speak for us if you guys are up for it, and give them a time to collect their thoughts because not everybody can talk off the top of the dome. So you can let them do it and all the talkers will be like this. We’ll give them, we'll give them a moment, okay. So here's the questions, you can carry them into your breakout room. From that…and
we will be speaking for about 20 minutes. Is that right? Let me take a look here, it’s 6:20. Let's do that. 6:05, maybe we'll go to 6:23. So good 10 minutes or so. And now the magic of technology will put you in new spaces. Down with that. Yeah, awesome.
As—Can somebody else tell me something that happened in their room that was noteworthy, inspirational, or shapeshifting for them? Or just charming. I'll share. It was really heartening to hear from Gyda that the $10 a day project, which has been underway for as long as I've had children and probably longer than that. That it's being moved forward a little bit further and that the, the ECEBC and Coalition of Childcare Advocates BC have released a roadmap, which I'm excited to take a look at.
And which actually sounds like a sort of a way forward where it actually can be implemented. But also as direct messaging with Maggie and just sharing our frustrations like just feeling like, you know, I've been hearing about $10 a day ever since I've had kids and have gone to the rallies and been a great supporter of the…the activists who've been at the forefront of that movement, but feeling like…it feels like a false hope it feels like, you know, as Maggie shared in our group, sorry, Maggie, I hope it's okay for me to just be like, outing you. But um, that, you know, if ever, there was a time to pour money into childcare, if ever there was an excuse to do it, it seems that the pandemic would have been it. And for the government, the provincial government not to have done that not to have taken that opportunity feels bizarre, actually. And I mean, hopefully, something can shift. You know, when we see other governments around the world using this as an excuse to build out a different kind of infrastructure. I'm speaking about the folks down
south below the, south of the border. But hopefully something can shift and quickly, but this could have been that moment, especially when we see so many capable, amazing women having to drop out of the workforce full time or part time even. And it's not over yet.
Yeah. And it sort of tangential to that is something that came up and thanks for saying that Hilary, because that is the cold, hard truth. Right now that we're not done. Patriarchy is not over. And we've got a lot of work to do. And it's still—it's still so present. But in one of the people who spoke in the group that I was in, observed that one of her children didn't perceive that she was working, because she was at home, whereas her husband goes out to work to an office. So that defined works for this, this child. And so there was this kind of like, “Oh, well, you don't work” sort of thing. And it's like, that's nothing could be further from the truth on all fronts. And yet, you know,
just the visual on it was informing this child's perception. But on the…on the better news front in the room, one of the insights that came up was just the notion that even that we're working virtually, and people are on Zoom. It's like you trust that people are working. Like I don't think anybody, I don't think I've ever felt like, oh, that person is just slacking off or whatever because I can't see them. Like I think there, there is something about a sense of pulling together and deepened trust that we've all like, we're all just coping with so much and getting stuff done and kind of nobody’s slacking off. So I thought that was kind of interesting.
Thank you for that. Madeleine. Jenn, love to hear what you were thinking you raised your hand. I was in Madeleine's group. So we just did sort of the same thing that we were just saying we miss, kind of the before and the after meeting parts. Like an event like this, I actually just messaged Caroline and said, I wish you're going for a glass of wine after this. Because that's sort of when you get to continue all these conversations. So we kind of identified that we miss the—the parts before the meeting and the parts after the meeting, as well as connecting in person.
So I understand we could have some breakout rooms here afterwards, if that's possible. Madeleine, is that something we could do? Because I believe there's this water cooler moment from 6:30 to Yeah, I… I think you're welcome to continue talking until 7pm. You get your own bottle of wine and just straight. Take her back.
Right? Yeah, don't hold back. Yeah, I mean, I think the way it's been is that we've at this point, kind of, you know, thank Patricia and Anthonia for joining us and that, like this sort of concludes the formal programming. And if people just want to stick around in this Zoom, we don't need to go into a breakout because, you know, we're—we're down to 20. And we'll probably lose a few people
now. And personally, I'm kind of hungry, and I'm sure people have stuff to do. But um, yeah, that's—that's kind of what we what we did last time around that seemed to work. Yeah. Thanks, Jenn. Thanks so much for coming. You’ve got hungry kids and…all good. Glass of wine in the future. Yeah, so and also I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Vanessa Richards. The one, the only, the extraordinary. The way you hold space, there's just nothing. There's nobody else like you and you are spontaneous and whimsical and funny and…Super smart. Super smart,
and so good looking. And yeah, it's—it's always a treat and like yeah, just thanks for, yeah, being—being with us this evening to do that work. It’s extremely valuable. So… My pleasure. Yeah. Thank you so much Madeleine for having me and to listen to what I had to say and to…connecting with with everybody in this group. It was wonderful. I really, really loved it. And as I said in my break, break, breakout room. We are working together. We're a village and we have to continue, right? Even though things don't look too