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Community Building Monthly Meeting
By Dawar Naeem
Dawar is Community Journalist with Focus Media Arts Centre
Regent Park’s Social Development Plan consists of four working groups, focusing on the following key areas of the Plan: Safety, Employment and Economic Development, Community Building and Communication.
The Community Building Working Group of The Social Development Plan of Regent Park aims to create and organize equitable spaces, events and groups that bring residents together and build bridges, particularly between market and Toronto Community Housing residents and to provide welcoming spaces for residents of all backgrounds and income levels to come together by removing social and physical barriers.
The Community Building Working Group meets once a month to discuss its working plan. The group met at the end of August to vote for the priorities that the Social Development Plan of Regent Park wants to implement in the community. Walied Khogali Ali and Joel Klassen were renewed as the Co-chairs of the group during this meeting.
The group also discussed the 2023 funding requirements for the four working groups of the Social Development Plan of Regent Park. The Funding will be for the various projects and community building activities in Regent Park. The group also discussed the Sunday in The Park event which was held in Regent Park on 14th August. A hiring report regarding the Sunday in The Park event coordinating committee was presented in the meeting. The Group was debriefed regarding the event and recommendations for the next Sunday in The Park event were given by the participants. The group discussed about space for the four working groups of the Regent Park SDP at Daniels Spectrum 3rd floor. Additionally, food insecurity was discussed and how the grassroots group in the community can help with that.
FOCUS Media Arts Centre (FOCUS) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative media stereotypes of low income communities and provide relevant information to residents living in the Regent Park area and surrounding communities.
We seek to empower marginalized individuals and under represented communities to have a voice, through the use of professional training, mentorships and participatory based media practices that enable the sharing of stories, experiences and perspectives on relevant matters and issues. In brief our mandate is to empower marginalized individuals and under-serviced communities to have a voice and tell their own stories.