Nine Inspiring Atlantic Canadian Social Innovation Projects Funded

Goal is to weave connections among organizations that might spark further creative collaborations

Inspiring Communities is pleased to share the nine social innovation projects that have successfully received WeavEast Seed Grants.

“We were appreciative of the response, and the quality of work that is happening around this region,” said Louise Adongo, Inspiring Communities’ Executive Director. “We had a total pool of $50,000 to award, and we could have given three times that much without compromising on project quality. We look forward to learning with these projects, and building stronger relationships around the region.”

The topics of these projects range from 2SLGBTQIA++ health through art, climate change mitigation infrastructure, food action, literacy and researching racism. The Seed Grants process encourages these projects to share learnings with each other and Inspiring Communities around their project development and overcoming challenges. We also aim to weave connections among these organizations that might spark further creative collaborations in the future.

Projects were chosen based on a goal of representing all four provinces, as well as distinct groups including Black, Indigenous, Francophone and 2SLGBTQ2IA++ communities. Projects were selected also based on fit with the WeavEast mandate and three priority areas.

The Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance: Two-Spirit Gatherings

The W2SA will host a series of activities to engage the regional Two-spirit community to assess priorities and needs for its strategic plan.

Youth Art Connection: Atlantic Youth Artist Network

The goal of this project is to lay the foundation for an interprovincial network of youth artists / entrepreneurs / leaders.

Women’s Network PEI: Still Visible — Sharing Our Stories

The Women’s Network of PEI will host a bi-monthly group for Senior Women to better understand the intersections of ageism and sexism. The focus for this time is creating more space for storytelling while also learning more about genealogy and how to trace untold stories in their own family trees.

Black Cultural Society of PEI + BIPOC USHR : Addressing Racism in Health Care, Education, and Housing

The goal of this project is to better understand the experiences and impacts of racism across the sectors of health care, housing and post-secondary education. Research findings will be used to give voice to racialized communities and will inform future work to address racism across these three sectors.

The Rock Vandal (Nina Elliott): Reflections on the internal dialogue

Using mirrors and crocheted text I aim to install street art pieces in Twillingate, Gander, Corner Brook and St John’s Newfoundland that encourage reflection on one’s internal dialogue to promote community health and mental well being.

Karen Berglander, Graduate Student (MUN): Access on the Rock: Gender, Sexuality, and Healthcare Across Newfoundland

The project’s goal is to organize a series of health fairs around the province, where members of the 2SLGBTQIA++ community can access safe and affirming health appointments, as well as peer supports and information traditionally provided to the St. John’s area by Planned Parenthood NLSHC, Trans Support NL, PFALG, and other affirming organizations.

Food First NL: St. John’s Food Assessment — Phase 3

Going into Phase 3, of action planning and implementation, Food First NL is leading engagement with residents, organizations, and policy makers to develop and apply a St. John’s Food Action Plan.

Core outcomes of this work are recognition of community food leaders, increased collaboration and coordination between food system stakeholders, and to see food embedded in the City of St. John’s strategies, programs, and policies.

North Shore Micmac District Council: Solar District Energy First Nation 2 MW

Design and planning for the manufacturing of an environmental social innovation of 2 MW Solar District Energy Solutions for Eel Ground First Nations. This will be used for six other First Nation communities.

Elementary Literacy: Intergenerational literacy learning

Building on our new program, we will be prototyping a model where the volunteer is replaced by a low literacy parent who could also benefit from literacy instruction. Normally adult literacy and childhood literacy are approached separately but there are best practices in other jurisdictions that use parental tutoring as a way to increase adult literacy as well as childhood literacy.

WeavEast is a social innovation network, a project of Inspiring Communities, which aspires to connect fragmented changemakers in Atlantic Canada. We aim to create collaborative systems change efforts that work to address regional systemic issues that diminish or restrict the work of changemakers. The three areas are bridging across sectors, communities, and decision makers; shifting narratives: strategic storytelling to shift dominant, negatively reinforcing patterns; and influencing the design of restrictive policies.

In 2018, Inspiring Communities received a three-year grant from The McConnell Foundation to build the Atlantic Canada network of changemakers. Since then, through WeavEast, we have prototyped several approaches in building this network, including a funding round in 2020 that supported the Narrative Project with How We Thrive and the Atlantic Youth Weavers Photovoice Project with ACIC.

Inspiring Communities is a nonprofit organization building collaborative relationships for social change and supporting the growth and vitality of the field of systems change in Atlantic Canada.

WeavEast is a regional platform for connecting and serving people and organizations who are making positive social change in Atlantic Canada.