Latest News | Anti-Racism

Tick Tock

Published: Jul 17, 2024 @ 6:00 PM

We have been engaged in a lot of chatter recently around time. Who has it, who does it, how long things take, how to have more of it, where to spend it. 

Someone once told me that “time is an allocatable resource”, that everyone can decide how their time is spent and where they spend it. This same sentiment was recently shared again (probably 20 years after the first time) and this time it fell on wiser ears. There is a danger in this over simplistic version of assessing another person’s capacity and it is rooted in privilege, ignoring systems and realities. In both these scenarios the speaker was white man, in his middle aged with employment that fairly compensates. Both these men would have considered themselves with the times and aware of social justice issues and yet this massive blind spot exists and persists. The added danger of this view are the spaces that are controlled by this mindset and the trickle down in attitudes that happen across organizations. That then also shows up in norms, practices and policies. This of course shows up in the discourse around volunteerism. It puts the onus on the individual and absolves the organization of thinking deeper about who makes up their community and how much “allocatable time” actually exists for them and when that “allocatable time” occurs. For those individuals that have autonomy over their time let this serve as an important reminder that that reality is the abnormal one. 


Why Wouldn't You Want to Give Back?

Published: Jul 10, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

This week we welcome guest blog writer Aaqib Rahim. Aaqib was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan and has called the vibrant country of Canada home since 2013. Back in March 2020,

I applied through the VolunteerConnector website to volunteer with the Tetra Society of North America. Following this, I was then approached by Annae Jones, the Chapter Coordinator at that time. Even though, my stance initially was never to land a volunteering position at a non-profit specifically having seen Annae’s enthusiasm, kind, and welcoming gesture, despite being physically handicapped I felt almost obliged to accept her proposal. Simply put, having witnessed this, my perception regarding what it is like to volunteer at a non-profit changed significantly. I now hold the opinion that we must try our best to benefit our local and regional communities as much as possible to then ensure that both the environment as well as the nature are adequately preserved and taken care of. What incentivised me the most however was the fact that I would be helping in making a notable contribution upon the lives of the vulnerable individuals. These past four and a half years have helped me grow in confidence substantially. Tetra Society of North America provides valuable incentives for their volunteers. In that, all their volunteers are given out a small token of appreciation such as gift cards. Now thanks to this immeasurable experience I could apply elsewhere as well if I really wanted to. All that is required of me in this position at Tetra as an outreach volunteer is to promote the organization efficiently and effectively. That said, this then enables Tetra Society of North America in effectively attracting potential volunteers. In addition to which, provided the awareness methods are efficient Tetra is also able to help expand its reach across the various other Chapters (cities). Throughout my time here with Tetra Society of North America I have always felt welcomed and appreciated. That said, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been gifted the opportunity of giving back to the community. In my opinion, it is the little acts of generosity such as these that make up a significant difference, consequently bettering our livelihoods. So, let me ask you this: why wouldn’t you want to give back to your local community?


Celebrating Community Spirit and Strengthening Ties in Coquitlam

Published: Jun 26, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

This week we welcome as a guest blog our wonderful colleague from the coast- Danielle George. Danielle is originally from Kansas, USA, she has fostered over 20 cats, dogs (see this guy with a fancy bowtie) and rabbits in the past 4 years! She is a roller derby aficionado and believes strongly that food is love. Danielle is a brilliant community leader at Volunteer Connections in Coquitlam, BC. 

Celebrating Community Spirit: The Community Connections & Volunteer Fair-On June 9th, the Port Coquitlam Community Centre buzzed with excitement as it hosted the Community Connections & Volunteer Fair. This vibrant event, a collaboration between Community Volunteer Connections and The City of Port Coquitlam, brought together community members from all walks of life to explore a myriad of opportunities to get involved locally.

A Day of Discovery and Connection-The free-to-attend fair was a resounding success, drawing in over 250 attendees eager to learn about how they could contribute to and benefit from their community. The heart of the fair was the diverse array of 28 organizations, each one dedicated to various causes and activities. These organizations provided information on local clubs, societies, summer programs, and the volunteer needs of area non-profits. Attendees had the chance to engage with representatives, ask questions, and find opportunities that matched their interests and availability.

Workshops: Learning and Creating Together- In addition to the booths, the event featured three workshops led by local organizations. These sessions covered a range of important topics impacting the community, like the pressing issue of the toxic drug crisis, and where to get resources for help. Another workshop offered a creative outlet with a hands-on activity to build hearts out of woven willow branches, bringing participants together through shared artistic expression.

A Hub for All-The Community Connections & Volunteer Fair was designed to serve as a vital link for various groups within the community. Seniors and retirees found new ways to stay active and involved, newcomers discovered avenues to integrate and contribute, students explored volunteer opportunities to complement their studies, and families enjoyed a day out learning and connecting together.

Strengthening Community Ties-Events like the Community Connections & Volunteer Fair are essential for building and maintaining strong community bonds. They provide platforms for individuals to find their place within the community, support local organizations, and work together towards common goals. The fair was not just about volunteering; it was about creating a sense of belonging and mutual support. The success of the event is a testament to the dedication of Community Volunteer Connections and The City of Port Coquitlam, as well as the participating organizations and enthusiastic attendees. Their collective efforts have fostered a more connected, informed, and engaged community. As the day came to a close, there was a palpable sense of accomplishment and optimism. The Community Connections & Volunteer Fair had not only highlighted the many ways to get involved locally but also reinforced the idea that a connected community is a thriving community. Here’s to more events like this, bringing people together and making a positive impact in the Tri-Cities areas.


Thinking about recruiting a human for to the board?

Published: Jun 5, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

Last week we shared some tips for humans looking to join a board for the first time, this week we want to offer some tips for orgs trying to recruit humans to serve on their boards! 

-Have an honest conversation about the voices that are missing from around the table and where those humans might be and the reasons they are not there. There are reams of research available on why diversity and intersectionality lead to more vibrancy and better decision making. 

-Think about what the humans will get from the experience with your board. Be explicit about what that is. Ask other members of the board what they are getting from the experience. 

-Center the cause and the work you do, that is what people will connect to. Avoid leading with a bunch of qualifications. 

-Be clear and concise about the time commitment and schedule required. If you are a group of humans who always meets the 3rd Thursday of the month put that right in the opportunity

-Try not to overwhelm a human with an aggressive time commitment. No one apart for boomers knows where they are going to be in 5 years so keep it flexible if you can!

-Post your opportunity on VolunteerConnector, you choose where in the country you recruit from and we cue you with all the information humans want to know. It takes 5 mintues…we have timed it! 


Thinking about volunteering on a board?

Published: May 29, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

‘Tis the season for board recruitment and public committee members! Although the defined season of AGM’s seems to have stayed as part of the before times it does feel that they are more frequent right now. In the land of AGM’s there is also looking for new humans to join the work of governance or operations, depending on the flavour of the board. 

There are lots of opportunities live on VolunteerConnector right now so if you are reading this and thinking about joining a board- do it! You are qualified and your life experience makes you a great asset to anyone trying to do great work in the community. Like most things there is a shoe for every foot…large organizations with a national scope who meet 4 times a year and converse about millions of dollars and strategic ideas and small organizations who meet monthly and do all the things from writing grants to planning events. 

Some quick tips: 

-decide how much time you have (boards usually have regular meetings and then there is usually work in between, most orgs ask for 4-6 hours a month)

-decide when you have time (lots of these meetings occur in the evening so depending on your life that might be a conflict) 

-decide what you care about?  are there causes that really connect with you (use the filters on VolunteerConnector to find the right fit) 

-reflect on what you want…are you looking to share a specific skill set like social media or knowledge of the law or accounting or are you looking to engage in work that you feel really connected to and are happy to just be involved! 

Good Luck! If you want to share your experience joining a board for the first time we would love to hear about it via our blog! Get in touch at


Excavating A Volunteer Opportunity

Published: Feb 22, 2024 @ 1:29 PM

We recently facilitated a session around what engaging volunteers looks like in 2024, it occurred to me mid conversation that perhaps there needs to be more of an explicit conversation around what first needs to be dissolved, unlearned, let go of. It is hard to build something new on the foundations of an old existence. It feels impossible with the pace of charitable sector life to take time to consider what needs to be stripped away. This is not a novel take to say there needs to be shift a bit away from doing, always doing to thinking and sitting. Unless people who engage other humans in making their communities thriving places take a good hard look in the mirror about how they’ve been doing what they are doing we will be in the same place in a decade that we are now. We have written previous blogs about how the oldest and long-standing organizations will have the hardest time navigating the shift in volunteerism that is playing out in live time. There seems to be a sense out there of a magical “thing” that will encourage more people to engage with a cause. Perhaps it is less about adding components and shiny recognition items and more about excavating the current opportunities for new growth. Here are maybe some helpful questions to ask when considering deconstructing a volunteer opportunity. 

Why do we meet when we meet? 

Do we need to meet this often?

Could this work be delegated differently? 

How could technology be utilized to help support this work?

Do our current volunteers speak positively about us in the community? 

How would be like to be thought of?

Is there a financial burden to this role?

Is the time commitment a reasonable ask? 

Who is being excluded from doing this role?

How is this role directly connected to helping the community?


Africa Centre Launches Black Leadership Development Program

Published: Jan 31, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

If you are an organization based in Calgary, you have an awesome opportunity to work with The Africa Centre as they launch Ujima Fellowship Program. "The Ujima Fellowship is a leadership development program that aims to address structural racism and inequity by creating opportunities for diverse representation within policy-making entities. The purpose of the fellowship is to support young Black leaders between the ages of 18 - 35 who demonstrate a willingness to develop their leadership skills and want to serve within advisory or policy- making entities."

Africa Centre is looking for organizations to host mentors for board placements. If you are interested please contact them here.

If you are a young leader interested in participating in this fellowship opportunity you can find more information here. 


Resources That Shift Your Perspective

Published: Jul 19, 2023 @ 10:52 AM

We are very lucky to connect with great people from around North America here are some resources that have shifted perspectives in the past couple months. We are always happy to connect and chat more if you want to process this information in your context. 

Go Smudge Yourself 

What If Natives Stop Subsidizing Canada 

Foundations in Somatic Abolitionism 

How do we help things die



National Indigenous People's Day

Published: Jun 22, 2023 @ 2:33 PM

Yesterday was National Indigenous People’s Day and was there every celebration to be had! This is the view I had the privilege of taking in from the home of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc people, the Akisqnuk First Nation, Shuswap Band the chosen home of the Columbia Valley Metis. What is not captured in this picture if the joy and energy of the day. The beautiful bead work, the awesome talents of the hoop dancers, the delicious smell of NDN tacos and the sounds of laughter. The vibrancy, resiliency and life force that felt very special to be a part of.

Yesterday was also a time of reflection for those of us working on being accomplices. Acknowledging that this work is generational, but it is constant and requires vigilance in all aspects of our lives and work. We are holding these words by Nikki Silvestri close to our hearts as we enter the summer season of growth and respite. 

“Look at the places you withhold the truth. That’s where you contribute to our world staying as it is. That’s the nonlinear nature of how culture shapes socio-economics. If you’re tolerating that person you need to fire; if you’re allowing that toxic relationship dynamic to go unchecked; if you’re procrastinating on a necessary hard decision. 
Complicity in one area of life, in the micro, echoes complicity in the macro. Racism exists because our collective micro complicities snowball into societal complicities.” - Nikki Silvestri (Soil & Shadow).                                                        

Finally, if you have the means to share wealth, please check out The Feast House. 


Black History Month

Published: Feb 8, 2023 @ 1:51 PM

February is Black History month. Our sector is colonial, influenced by white supremacy and capitalism. Like all sectors that are built on the backbone of these forms of oppression, Black people continue to face extreme forms of discrimination, prejudices, and racism. Many of the people that work in our sector are altruistic, but this is often lost due to the system that continues to be upheld.

It is important to acknowledge this month's focus and the turmoil Black people have experienced and continue to experience. Here are some steps we can take now and throughout the year to support the Black Community: 

Give Your Money

Donate to organizations that directly support Black people. Here is a list of a few to get you started:

  • Action Dignity - The B.L.A.C.K Project (Becoming Leaders Acquiring Critical Knowledge)
  • Black Environmental Initiative - environmental action for black and equity seeking communities
  • Canadian Voices Against Racism - a community of volunteers working to create a living database of police violence in Canada as a means to petition lawmakers to dismantle institutionalized racism, colonialism, and white supremacy within Canada’s governance
  • African Friendship Society - our approach is to intentionally combine the caring and nurturing essence of African cultures and traditions with history and social studies through traditional dances, stories, songs and music of Africa.

Spend Your Money at Black Owned Businesses

Check out the link below to find Black owned businesses is your community.

Continue Learning

Learn about Anti-Black Racism, but also learn about Black History and the Influence Black people have on our music, culture, and society. The talent and influence Black people have is often forgotten or ignored.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Attend Black led festivals and cultural events
  • Read books, listen to podcasts, and watch movies that are created by Black people
  • Listen to the music of Black Artists

Speak Up

Continue to say something when you see racist actions. The oppressive system can’t change over night, but even small steps can make a difference and improve the lives of Black people in our communities.

We are still learning. If you would like to talk to someone on our team about our antiracism journey and what we can do better, please reach out at