Executive Director's Message

2021: Who You Be?

January 2021 / Toronto

Mitho Makosi Kesikansi, Bonne année, Happy New Year, Heri ya Mwaka Mpya- regardless the language, the message is the same, best wishes/hopes/joy and happiness for the coming new year.

It is 2021 and a world of possibilities are opened before us as we continue to evolve our responses to the health pandemic and the social and economic inequities it has surfaced including the centuries old anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racisms; pandemics in their own right.

Status For All - If Not Now, When?

December 2020 / Toronto

It was less than a day after the declaration of a pandemic and the closing of most workplaces when we received the first call of concern. It was a colleague in the sector working with Caregivers who raised the alarm. Her concerns were mirrored by my policy and membership colleagues at the Council that the shutdown of services, of work places including home care would exacerbate the problems faced by Ontario residents with precarious immigration status and those who are undocumented.

Hell No – We Ain’t Going Back

September 2020 / Toronto - About ten years ago, the OCASI staff had a heated argument during one of our monthly all staff meetings about shifting most of our offerings to the membership online. We were split into two fractious camps. The in-person is always better crowd and the get with the program, technology is the way forward crowd. Luckily we had a few thoughtful souls in the middle who didn’t get what the argument was about since they held a vision where mixed modes of information transfer, training and professional development, policy and advocacy and public education exist.

Re-Imaginations

July 8, 2020 / Toronto

The tears may flow all night, but joy will come in the morning. A paraphrasing of an oft repeated phrase of my mothers and grandmothers steeped in the teachings of the Black Church. For me this phrase is not only a message of general hope, but a message with specificity about resistance, about the coming of the day of liberation for our people held in centuries-long bondage. A message of hope for all people who have been excluded and violated.

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