Portes Ouvertes: Reducing Social Exclusion in Community Groups in Quebec
Increasing anti-oppression capacity within community groups is one of COCo’s Six Strategic Directions. Portes Ouvertes: Réduire l’exclusion sociale dans les groupes communautaires du Québec will address this issue directly.
The project stems from from the results of COCo’s 2011 Just Practice: C’est Pratique project, where participants voiced a need for the development of concrete anti-oppression resources and tools to be made available for use in community organizations in Québec. In addition, groups participating in Just Practice voiced a desire for the creation of an ongoing learning community, where anti-oppression issues could be worked on, talked about and resolved collaboratively: a space where community groups could draw on each other’s areas of expertise. Portes Ouvertes sought to work towards both of these important goals.
Anti-oppression work and work around social exclusion operates in specific ways in the multi-lingual and diverse context of Québec. Creating anti-oppression tools that will be useful for community groups working in the Québec context and creating an ongoing learning community, where community groups can draw on each other’s strengths and expertise are the primary goals of this project.
Portes Ouvertes, funded by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), involved the collaboration of community group leaders, facilitators and popular educators who are working on issues of anti-oppression and/or social exclusion in Québec.
Anti-Oppression in Practice
The Portes Ouvertes Collaboration resulted in a documents of findings about the internal and external challenges community groups face with regards to anti-oppression. It also includes different strategies and solutions these groups have found to break through these challenges.
This project also created a list of things to consider when writing an anti-oppression policy. Writing an Anti-Oppression Policy can be a great way to assess the strengths or your organization, and identify areas that need improvement. This can be very useful in figuring out where your organization might focus in terms of training. COCo has since also written on the topic of anti-oppression policy here.
Many of the groups that we contacted and worked with throughout this project did not have Anti-Oppression policies in place. As Michelle Duchesneau talked about in her interview, Saint Columba House has put a lot of energy into developing and implementing their Anti-Oppression policy. Here is the policy itself for you to have a look through (scroll through for the English version)- thanks Michelle for passing this along!
Videos About Anti-Oppression Practice
The Portes Ouvertes project also created a number of videos about anti-oppression in practice for community organizations in Quebec.
- Click here for a video about anti-oppression policies with Michelle Duchesneau (St. Columba House) on Anti-Oppression Policies
- Click here for a video about legal capacity building around anti-oppression With Bianca Baldo (NDG Senior’s Centre)
- Click here for a video about networking as an anti-oppressive strategy with Jerome Pruneau (Diversité Artistique Montreal)
- Click here for a video about going beyond policy making with Tynan Jarrett, (Social Equity and Diversity Education Office)
Resources About Anti-Oppression Practice
The project also produced or collected a number of resources about organizations working on inclusive and anti-oppressive practices in Quebec.
- Click here for video about Arc-En-Ciel d’Afrique, an organization working with African LGBTQ communities, their Massimadi film festival, and how they use film as a way to continually expand how the international LGBTQ afro-carribean community is represented
- This guide to trans inclusive health practices
- This resource about class issues in community organizing
- This resource website assemble by Dalhousie University’s Social Work program offers a good history of Anti-Oppressive practice in Social Work. The section titled “What is Anti-Oppressive Social Work” offers a good overview for those not familiar with the term “Anti-Oppression”
- These resources about privilege