Sunday, 19 May 2019

Angela Bowden on growing up Black in Nova Scotia. “You do not belong here” became the name of the unfamiliar place where I lived, churning my stomach for as long as I can remember. It was as if I had arrived on a foreign planet and even though I spoke the language of its inhabitants, it still felt forced, unnatural, uncomfortable and entirely unfamiliar.”

It’s been hard to picture the total impact of two side by side massive developments on Spring Garden and Robie, since the two initiatives have been winding their way through the approval process independently. Now, thanks to the hard work of architectural student Hadrian Laing, there is a model that encompasses the entire neighbourhood, its current buildings and the two proposed developments.

This morning Tim Blades, anti-poverty advocate, member of BRAG and CASAR, and NS Advocate author, spoke truth to power about the Community Services’ Employment Support and Income Assistance program, better known as welfare or income assistance. Tim did so at Law Amendments, while the Financial Measures Act (this year’s budget) was under the microscope. And oh boy, did he ever tell them a thing or two!

Laura Shepherd, reflecting on the Transgender Day of Visibility and inspired by the wisdom of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, writes about being an older trans woman, allyship, friendship, and all the complexities that entails.

“That I and my trans peers harbour our own private doubts about the extent of the allyship we enjoy even among our closest friends underscores Miss Major’s assertion that it is time for “The people who care about us, who are involved in our lives, and who know us… to become more visible.”

“These stories are true.” Brenda Thompson introduces five people who lived between the early 1800s and today. “Their hardships were not their fault, yet they were punished for being different or for merely being poor. When it comes to people in poverty, our minds remain shut. Our attitudes and policies are still stuck in the 1860s, Brenda writes

Brenda’s piece was produced in partnership with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, for co-publication in Connections, published three times a year by the College. We really appreciate this wonderful opportunity to promote longer pieces by Nova Scotia authors on topics so dear to our heart.

Angela Bowden remembers growing up Black in rural Nova Scotia, and reflects on the enduring damage done by abusive police practices over the generations. “I vividly recall, as do many of my peer group, police officers slowly driving by us numerous times, following us as we walk, asking us our names, where we are going, where we are coming from, and who our parents were.”

Scott Domenie reflects on the Christchurch terror attack. “Anger is a gift. It is powerful and anyone who fights for a more just and equal world should not shy away from it. However, what we need now is the collective rage of people and communities working together, and who have each other’s back.”