Having recently attended the Harnessing the Power of Community for Change workshop, jointly sponsored by the newly formed Greater Victoria Acting Together for The Common Good and LeadershipVictoria, I left inspired knowing there is a local group providing training to help organizations embrace the power of collaboration and explore the power of creating impactful change together.

Community organizing is an approach to connecting many people together in support of mutual interests and goals for a better future. About 24 people from various organizations explored how to find common ground to move forward on issues that impact us all and powerfully create the needed changes together.

Through listening, role playing, questions and conversation we learned how to work through the overwhelm presented by big problems to determine what the shared issues are to work together on creating solutions for a winning outcome.

Seeing videos on how the Australian Alliance organized their communities to create impactful community-led change further demonstrated what is possible and left me truly inspired.

This sums up the important work of Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT):

Why: We need to listen, learn and act as a collective to reclaim the common good. Together we can build an effective power base for change.

Who: A broad based alliance of union locals, faith communities, co-ops, neighbourhood houses, community associations, environmental groups, front line poverty workers, and all who focus on the common good.

What: Listen, learn, articulate, dialogue, organize and act to advance social environmental and
economic justice.

How: There are over 60 such alliances with a proven track record across the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia. We emphasize relationships, learning, the crucial need for diversity and the power we have when we act together. The Metro Vancouver Alliance is an example.

Goals: To build an effective power base to make community wide change; to identify and nurture values based community leaders; to strengthen existing organizations.

Thanks to Patty Lane, Peggy Wilmot and Joe Chrastil for their professional group facilitation.