Happy December Revolutionaries!!! I find as we approach the New Year that it is a natural time of reflection. At this time last year, we were in a hard lockdown and most of us weren’t able to see our families over the holidays. Those pandemic experiences left me feeling isolated and striving for connection for myself, my daughter, and the students who I teach. There were many moments between then and now that led to the creation of Revolution Now, but at its core, this movement was born out of a desire to build connection and to give agency, purpose, and power to ordinary people, in what was starting to feel like a hopeless time. A time that was exponentially more difficult for racialized and marginalized communities, as well as, the non-profit agencies that serve them.
One of the things that I’ve learned in the last year is that there is no such thing as “ordinary” people. People are truly extraordinary!! We might not all be wealthy or famous but we all have power to make change. We all have the ability to create space for others to shine. We all have the ability to love each other and learn from each other. All of those things are extraordinary and can change the world for the better. In the last year, I have been filled with hope by the collective actions of the hundreds of us who have participated in Revolution Now.
Most recently, I have been inspired and motivated by the actions of Ashlynn Fisher. Ashlynn is a Brampton resident, Early Childhood Educator, and Mom of three, who founded the “Welcome To Canada Project for Afghan Children”. Ashlynn began creating Smile Boxes filled with age-appropriate toys and warm accessories for every child who arrives as a refugee from Afghanistan. As someone whose husband came to Canada in similar circumstances, she says she sees him in the faces of these new children coming here. Last week, Revolution Now was able to donate two dozen brand new beanies to be included in Ashlynn’s Smile Boxes. It is moments like these that fill me with hope. Hope that these children, who have experienced such trauma and pain, will now get a chance to heal, to prosper, and to feel loved and welcomed in their new home. It is an honour to be able to be associated with Ashlynn Fisher and the Welcome to Canada Project. We look forward to doing more work together and encourage you to stay tuned for how you can help in our youth letter-writing campaign in the New Year. We also encourage you to like and follow their Facebook page at “The welcome to Canada project for Afghans”.
As I reflect on the end of this year, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of people who have joined Revolution Now. Thank you to those of you who have supported our efforts to promote racialized and marginalized artists and communities. Thank you for sharing about our efforts online and in your social circles. Thank you for wearing our swag, for interrupting fast fashion with eco-conscious clothing choices and for understanding that we can wear our values in an effort to make change. Together in the last four months, we have donated over $2100 to programming for 2SLGBTQ+ youth at the 519, we have generated over $600 for an academic scholarship to be awarded by the Alliance of Educators for Black Students, we have donated two dozen beanies to refugee children and we have raised $120 for after school programming for children in Toronto Community Housing through Urban Promise Toronto. This is just the beginning of what we can do together and I am SO thankful for the opportunity to do this work with you.
As we head into the New Year, I wish you all the gift of hope and empowerment. May you continue to see and be inspired by the actions of extraordinary people around you. May you understand your own power and use it to help others find their own. May we together continue to invest in the excellence that lives in racialized and marginalized communities. May we continue to learn from each other and make the world a better place. Let’s go change the world,