Rust 
Thorax of tractor, trailer aground.
Letting the metal go.

The gathering is shrinking. Soon
we forget to ask.

Old men idle over tinto and war.
A dyke gives way nail by nail.

It doesn’t stop here, ever.
Through bulging sewers

and guttered debris,
the music snuck back,

slipped on a hot little dress.
What part of love is patience?

A blown-out, boarded-up
city stuffs its windows with toys.

The derelict car lot
polka-dotted.

Abandon as litter
or landscape?

Insides out
mustering red.



Published Halifax Poetry Series, Frog Hollow Press and FreeFall Magazine
2016

Power and Love 
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that the year I was born in "Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?" Timely given all that is happening right now.

I'm speaking in LA at a social entrepreneurship workshop (Starting Bloc) about how I use these ideas practically in my work, especially in network building. How we balance saying what needs to be said with widening the tent.Tricky beautiful stuff. How being a mutt or at the edges has always felt a bit lonely but I've come to realize is a unique and helpful vantage point. Well placed to help build the bridges.

North End Land Trust 
Working together with a group of people to ask the question: what is the role of a community-led organization in setting aside land and property for public good, particularly affordable housing but not only. Possibly community gardens, affordable rental space for community agencies.

We're in a neighbourhood, the North end of Halifax where gentrification is a serious issue. We're interested in ensuring development without displacement and linking it to neighbourhood employment and community building.

Tenants are in dire living situations and are being displaced. Those on assistance can't afford to live on the $535 stipend they're given so it cuts into grocery money, other things. There are community agencies that are looking for places to rent. Non profits that are losing or unable to upkeep their properties. How to safeguard and watchdog and develop opportunities for and by the community? Then there are those in the community who might be able to donate some of their property or equity. Who can pay market rates and give back to the community to ensure affordability. Maybe even a connection with rural land trusts where swaps are possible.

One thing I've learned from my work in economic organizing. The strongest alternative economic models are built on community networks. Wide networks. The community land trust models seems to have had the most success in providing affordable housing and community building and accountability. We'll have to see what works in our neighbourhood, political context, housing situation.

It's the beginning of discussions and connections that just take time. These aren't technical problems. It's about finding common ground to move forward in the same direction.

100,000 Poets for Change 
Proud to be part of this chorus of voices speaking out on the American election. Click on the link below to read the poems.
  |  related link
Research on Women's Economic Empowerment 
Leading a team through Universalia Management Group (Montreal) to assess GrOW research on women's economic empowerment funded by IDRC, DFID (UKAid) and Hewlett Foundation. Over 30 research institutions in 50 countries.

The definition of WEE is "far more than women’s ability to compete equally in existing markets, or than the beneficial outputs of their contribution to growth; it should include women’s access to and control over economic resources, access to decent work, control over their own time and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions. In turn, WEE will only be achieved in cooperation with progress in other areas of gender equality like women’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, meaningful participation in political decision-making and freedom from violence " (AWID, FEMNet, Gender and Development Network).

Most of the research entails a partnership between North-based and South-based universities or research institutions. There is a wide range from randomized control trials to mixed methods, participatory and feminist research. Three broad aims: quality research; policy uptake and capacity building of in-country researchers. Still very much in process but important questions are being raised about what quality evidence is and how it can best be used to influence thinking, policy and practice.


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