December is the perfect time to reflect on the year and to look forward towhat can be built in the next year. In Vibrant Communities, 2019 was a year of growth and impact. We are excited to work with our member networks to build on our growth and impact in 2020.
In 2019, Cities Deepening Community took a huge step in its transition from momentum building to a movement of cities working to build community. We started our formal membership structure, which has grown to 16 members since June; we hosted a webinar with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health about social isolation and the role of community building; grew our learning community to 6000 individuals; and…
At the same time, the Cities Reducing Poverty network continued to grow, while seeing the impact of its efforts. Cities Reducing Poverty reached 80 members working in more than 300 communities and cities. Working locally, Cities Reducing Poverty members are leading the way in poverty reduction in Canada. These local collectives are leading movements for affordable transit programs, living wage campaigns, volunteer tax clinics and meaningfully engaging individuals with lived/living experience of poverty as experts.
Most importantly, we are seeing real impacts on poverty in Canada. This year, Canada announced that poverty had dropped below 10% and that 825,000 few people were living in poverty; Alberta’s child poverty rate dropped by 50% in two years; and Hamilton reported that poverty had decreased locally from 21.9% to 16.6% from 1996 to 2016.
Vibrant Communities, Cities Deepening Community and Cities Reducing Poverty, are playing an important role. Our networks are having an impact and driving forward agendas that are reshaping their communities and shifting priorities for provinces and the federal government. In 2020, we will be working to strengthen our work, reflecting and reporting on the impact of our network, and building even greater momentum for deepening community and reducing poverty.
Things you can expect in 2020:
- We will grow to at least 25 Cities working to deepen community
- We will host 300 practitioners and learners passionate about neighbourhood development and community building in London Ontario in June for our Asset-Based Community Development Workshop
- We will release a TEN Guide for Cities Deepening Community
- We will release a TEN Guide for Cities Engaging in the National Poverty Reduction Strategy
- We will host The End of Poverty in Calgary in October 14-16. We are partnering with the City of Calgary, the United Way of Calgary and Area, Vibrant Communities Calgary, and Momentum Calgary to bring Mayors, community builders, individuals with lived /living experience, and poverty reduction experts together to learn together and harness the momentum to end poverty in Canada.
- We will strengthen our support in British Columbia to harness the provincial support for communities to develop and implement local poverty reduction plans.
Additionally, we will continue to work with our members and learners to co-generate and share knowledge. You can expect 12 webinars; 20 publications (Tools, Guides and Case Studies), and the continuation of our Communities of Practice to support deeper learning.