An important part of making this project a success will be connecting on an ongoing basis with interesting and innovative efforts to change the world, and I’m hoping that you can help me do that. Who do you know who is doing neat social change work? What projects have you heard of? What organizations do you know about? What’s going on where you are? What have you heard about from elsewhere in the country?
On a certain level, I’m interested in hearing any and all answers to those questions. However, as I go through the process of investigating possibilities, making connections, doing interviews, and producing shows, there are certain things that I want to emphasize in the range of people I talk to. First and foremost, I want to hear from voices, struggles, groups, and organizations that we would normally be less likely to hear about because of racism, colonialism, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism, class oppression, and all of the other axes of social relations which marginalize so many people. As well, I want to be attentive to how geography is marginalizing in the Canadian context — that is, I want to be sure to hear from people beyond the Vancouver/Toronto/Montreal scenes, and from people outside of Ontario, though of course I want to hear from people in those places too.
In terms of the kinds of activities that I’m including in my understanding of “social change work” and the kinds of politics I hope to see represented, I want those to be broad as well. I want to talk to people/groups/organizations that are part of all sorts of different movements and communities-in-struggle. I want to hear about both grassroots work that is unfunded (and, because of the politics behind it, unfundable) and grassroots work that has managed to scrape together some funding (though that is clearly change-oriented and towards the more critical and creative end of what is palatable to funders). I want to hear about direct action, cultural initiatives, the building of alternatives, innovative alliances, faith-based social justice, consciousness raising, mutual aid, efforts to think through the challenges that movements face, and much more. I want to hear about grand visions and everyday resistances, major interventions and small experiments. I’m hoping that my understanding of grassroots social change work gets challenged in the course of this.
So that’s what I’m looking for. If you have any ideas — any ideas at all — I’d be glad to hear them. You can email me at scottneigh(at)talkingradical.ca. You can also feel free to hit me up on Twitter. I look forward to your suggestions!