Asking the right questions
The Reweaving Support Project will answer the question - can half a million dollars, plus intersectional feminism or (GBA+), and an organizationally empowered feminist movement, transform our over extended social safety net in Manitoba?
Project concept overview
Reweaving Support is a participatory action research and systems change project that will implement an intersectional feminist or GBA+ on the social safety net in Manitoba. The project will mobilizing community based research and lived experience of community members navigating 5 social policy areas. We will change systems.
The Reweaving Support Project will reweave the Manitoba women’s movement or intersectional feminist movement. The big ideas! We can’t keep doing what we have always done and expect a new or different result.
- Systems change – Is more than a new program or policy. It is about understanding and transforming structural violence and barriers in systems that perpetuate harm. It is about addressing power dynamics and oppression in systems by connecting people lived experience with development public policy and programs development.
- Trauma informed – Studies show that the long term effects of child abuse and neglect are the root causes of addictions, poverty, crime, and repeated patterns of abuse. Research and traditional knowledge from Indigenous cultures also have tried and true ways to heal people, families and communities as well as systems.
- Community Development Lens – Many community organizations and public institutions recognize the difference between community development and charity. It is time that our social safety net embody this understanding with new models for social services that empower people and families, that encourage self-determination and offer supports that transform lives. The principles of community development can be applied to public social services. This is not pull yourself up by your boot straps, it is giving support in a way that supports health and well-being, life long learning, and equity.
- Collaborative Governance – Most governments now have offices of community or public engagement and they consult with residents and community agencies. Now it is time to move up the ladder of community engagement from consultation to collaboration. Governments invest millions of dollars in community services agencies with have years of experience, evidence and ideas to contribute. It is time for a return on that investment through new collaborative partnerships between these community organizations and government. Reweaving Support will first improve solidarity and collaboration in the community then brings community to the table with government in new collaborative planning, and decision making.
- GBA+ participatory budgets – We will not be able to address the waiting lists for childcare, income supports, public housing and mental health supports for CFS and gender based violence, etc. without improved public investment. Research shows that prevention of poverty and inequity will save funds in expensive interventions in acute health care, justice, CFS, etc. Good work was done to incorporate gender, equity and diversity into the Manitoba budget in the early 2000s it is time to revisit and implement this approach.
- COVID and Climate Smart – The new reality we live in has put tremendous strain on our social services requiring us to reimagine the social safety net. Climate impacts like drought, heat waves, as well as COVID have affected supply chains, housing and food prices, job availability and demands on parents and other family members. It can feel like a permanent state of crisis and instability, or a new trauma of unattainable expectations. We must respond together, not react, we can to adapt and embrace some circumstances and intentionally choose as a province how to respond to and resist other changes.