Saying goodbye for now

Saying goodbye for now r1 ...

Goodbye (for now!)

Image shows the South Vancouver Island Chapter of the BC Council for International Cooperation logo. It reads

A NOTE FROM THE TEAM

To the SOVI Community,

As many of you have heard, our team made the difficult decision to put our chapter on hiatus this past September. The hiatus will allow time to reevaluate what SOVI should look like, who we aim to serve, and how to connect deeper with our local and global communities.

Change can provide an excellent forum for reflection. SOVI is an organization that has shifted and evolved constantly– this movement allowed our team to work with innovative and passionate folks, who helped us create some great community-driven events and programming over the years.

We’d like to use this last newsletter (for now!) to celebrate that work, as a thank you to every SOVI team member, volunteer, collaborator, conspirator, and friend.

We thank you for your time, expertise, and presence. SOVI has always been focused on our network and building a community based on mutual learning and discussion. Whether you engaged with us once or twenty times, it meant a great deal to us.

We hope this newsletter finds you well, and serves as a reminder of how people can come together to create something truly special with the resources of a collective.

We encourage you all to continue to participate with the excellent programming and events from the BC Council for International Cooperation’s team.

Thank you!

-the SOVI team

THE SOVI NEWSLETTER

Image shows a screenshot of the SOVI website. The screenshot is a list of the 2022 SOVI newsletters, including the theme names and interviewees.

This newsletter has allowed us the freedom to take a wider look at the themes and questions surrounding our work, and to ask the folks in our network what steps they’re taking to build more sustainable and equitable futures on a local and global scale.

We’ve spoken to the leaders, founders, and executive directors of non-profits about the strengths and weaknesses of this sector. We’ve learned from community organizers focused on housing, anti-racism, and food security. Our feature interviewees have included our peers in Victoria, as well as those working at national and international levels. It was a privilege to have these conversations, as they informed our work and enriched our understanding of our world.

You can still look back on past SOVI newsletters, here.

A LOOK BACK AT OUR EVENTS AND PROGRAMMING


INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT WEEK
  • Since its inception, SOVI has participated in International Development Week activities. We've hosted community events, including one at the Hillside Centre, where we gathered alongside fellow local international development actors to discuss global stewardship and citizenship. In later years, we provided information sessions and “Un-Workshops” on relevant questions in the development sector, like how to connect with Global Affairs Canada. In 2021, SOVI hosted a unique IDW workshop with decolonial facilitator, Nathali Arostegui, called “Healing oppression through reconnection of the self.” Finally, we tried our hand at an Unconference in 2022, where folks could address key sector issues through organic communication. Each year, we aimed to engage our local community on global issues through diverse perspectives and methods.

Image shows a graphic of the Sustainable Development Goals, included all 17 of their names and corresponding images. COLLABORATIONS

SOVI was built on the foundations of community involvement and networking– some of our best events were created alongside other experts.
  • White Allies Don’t Have to Be White Saviors with the Students of Colour Collective and No White Saviors
    • At this panel, the SOVI team and community learned about the difference between collaborating and conspiring when it comes to allyship. Eye opening and action-oriented, it challenged us to critically examine our sector’s fundamental flaws.
  • Youth Talks: Intersections and Climate Justice with BCCIC's Climate Change Branch
    • In 2021, we had the pleasuring of connecting with local youth leading the fight for climate justice and sustainable global change. We encourage you all to continue to platform and support these tenacious young people!
  • Bystander Intervention Training with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria
    • This year, SOVI was lucky to fund an opportunity for our Anti-Racist Community of Practice and wider community to participate in ICA’s incredible Bystander Intervention Training workshop. This was a truly transformative opportunity– and it’s still available through ICA!
PROGRAMMING

While we reflect with optimism, SOVI’s events and programming were also flawed. Through the years, we learned to reevaluate how we perceive success and failure in this work, to incorporate feedback and critique, and to strive for growth, rather than perfection.

  • Community Space Series
    • The 2020 Community Space gatherings were an ongoing series dedicated to critical thinking and community-building amongst international development and nonprofit practitioners. It focused on ​​anti-oppression, anti-racism & decolonization work, and was developed in pursuit of building a local community of practice. This series was transformative for SOVI’s future work, and helped teach us the value of time and intention whilst building programming.
  • The SOVI Book Club
    • In 2021, SOVI expanded our programming and introduced a new book club, where folks could spend an evening discussing anti-oppression through reading. This helped SOVI reach new folks near and far, thanks to Desmond Cole’s influential read, The Skin We’re In.
  • The SOVI Partnership Program
    • This program asked participants to reframe their ideas of mentorship. Its mission was to subvert the hierarchical “mentor” and “mentee” model in favour of something new–a relationship built on mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas among nonprofit practitioners. It was a welcome challenge, and an amazing chance to learn how resourceful people in our network are.
  • The Anti Racist Community of Practice
    • ARCoP was SOVI’s longest running program. Born from the Community Space Series, ARCoP aimed to provide a place to share resources, best practices, and brainstorm ideas to make organizations more equitable, anti-oppressive and decolonized. Over time, it also became a community keen on open-hearted discussion, intrinsic examination, and everlasting learning. A sincere thank you to every person who arrived at these mid-week Zoom calls eager and open to connect.

“What I am most appreciative from my interactions with SOVI included primarily the people. I very much appreciate the connections I have made and renewed - so much rich experience and knowledge And secondly the thoughtful quiet reflective culture of the antiracism group. It has been most helpful and engaging” - Colleen Hanley

SOVI RESOURCES

  • The Unconference Community Resource Pack
    • A collection of resources crowdsourced during the 2022 SOVI Unconference for nonprofit practitioners. This resource packet includes relevant organizations, books, films, podcasts and reading material for folks seeking to improve their work and the sector itself.
  • The SOVI Resource Page
    • This page is dedicated to the many resources that have helped shape our team’s missions, goals, and actions over the years, and those our network has shared with us.

“It’s been a privilege to work, learn, and develop as a community member and individual through my time with SOVI. A small, constantly changing team managed to create spaces built on sincerity and an intention to do better. Thank you to every person who shaped our chapter– because of you all, we’re able to reflect on our past with gratitude and pride.”

- Julie Tierney, SOVI Communications Coordinator

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Our mailing address is:
SOVI c/o BCCIC
Unit 322 – 268 Keefer St, Vancouver,
BC, Canada V6A 1X5

SOVI is based on the stolen lands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples (known by the colonial name of Victoria, BC). To contact us directly, please write us at r34.

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