10 posts categorized "global citizenship"

May 12, 2011

Giving Birth to Your Activist Self: Finding Your Voice as a Mother Activist

Workshop Handout for


Giving Birth to Your Activist Self:

Finding Your Voice as a Mother Activist

International Conference on Motherhood Activism, Advocacy, Agency

May 13-15, 2011 - Toronto, Ontario


Presented by

Sharon Aschaiek and Ann Douglas


  • Awaken. Hear your activist voice.
  • Respond. Know what to do with that call to action.
  • Collaborate. Form meaningful connections with other activists (online and in real life) to reduce isolation and maximize your effectiveness.
  • Communicate. Connect with the public and generate media interest in your cause.
  • Lead. Achieve consensus and inspire your fellow activists to action.
  • Succeed. Learn from successful activists. Discover what takes some movements over the top?
  • Sustain. Avoid activist burnout, which zaps your energy and enthusiasm. Fuel the fire within. Self care, professional development,  and sabbaticals are ways to nurture your activist self.



Ansell, Jeff. When the Headline is You: An Insider’s Guide to Handling the Media. Jossey-Bass, 2010.

May, Elizabeth. How to Save the World in Your Spare Time. Key Porter Books, 2007.

Moyer, Bill et al. Doing Democracy. The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements. New Society Publishers, 2001.

Sussman, Amanda. The Art of the Possible: A Handbook for Political Activism. McCelland and Stewart, 2009.



Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)’s Media Activist Kit

The Citizen’s Handbook: Practical Assistance for Those Who Want to Make a Difference

Campus Activism.org: Movement Action Plan by Bill Moyer

Campus Activism.org: Event Planning Worksheet

Campus Activism.org: Four Core Elements of Strategy

Campus Activism.org: Organizing: Lessons Learned


Useful Social Media Tools and Platforms

Appbistro:  Directory of apps for Facebook Pages.

Bit.ly: URL shortening service (useful for Twitter).

Facebook: Social media platform

Flickr: Photo-sharing community.

Klout: A measure of social media influence.

LinkedIn: Showcase your resume and connect with others.

ManageFlitter: Manage your Twitter followers/following.

Oneforty: A directory of business-oriented apps for Twitter.

Posterous: An easy way to publish to multiple channels.

Storify: Combine content, including chat tweets.

Twitter: Social media platform.

YouTube: Video-sharing.


Sharon Ashchaiek

Sharon Aschaiek is a mother to a five-year-old boy with autism, a professional writer and an autism services activist. Sharon leads Autism Resolution Ontario, a grassroots, non-partisan, parent-run advocacy group protesting against Ontario’s severe autism services gaps, and working to achieve appropriate treatment and social justice for kids with autism.

Ann Douglas

Ann Douglas is active in the democracy movement and the women's movement, She volunteers with Citizens Advocating Political Participation and serves on the Board of Directors of YWCA Peterborough Victoria Haliburton. She is an author and mother of four. www.anndouglas.ca and www.onewomanoneblog.com

June 28, 2010

G20 Video and Blog Package I Prepared for Indie Media Site PtboCanada.com


PTBOCANADA: Peterborough Activists Insist The Media is Missing the Message with the G8/G20 Protests

is a G20 blog and video package I prepared for indie media outlet PtboCanada.com yesterday afternoon. There are a dozen videos (accessible on YouTube via a link in the article) plus a blog post with many embedded links. You'll find eye-witness accounts from activists who were in Toronto on Saturday, analysis of G20 issues - including media coverage of the protests - from Peterborough-area activists, protests songs and a whole lot more.

November 08, 2009

Let's Have a Grownup Conversation About Climate Change: Pembina Institute to Harper Government

Denying Canada's Environmental Truths, (The Toronto Star, November 8, 2009) is another must-read. But be forewarned: you'll feel frustrated as you're reminded, yet again, of how far Canada has strayed from its once-proud record of environmental leadership -- and how far out of synch the Canadian government is with the attitudes of the Canadian public when it comes to taking action on climate change.

Here's a key quote.

"[The Harper government's attitudes towards the environment] runs counter to modern ideas of sustainable development and green growth, which are now part of mainstream business thinking. As countries around the world act to cut emissions, the federal government's approach risks putting Canada at a serious disadvantage in the global race for clean energy jobs....It's clear that Canada can choose to be both green and prosperous. Science and economics both argue that we need stronger climate policies urgently. Now the politicians need to show that they are grown up enough to face the climate challenge."
- Clare Demerse, Associate Director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program.


ParentCentral.ca: Moms Against Climate Change

April 19, 2009

Flora MacDonald to Speak in Peterborough Tomorrow Night: Event in Support of YWCA Peterborough

This comes via Betsy McGregor (Peterborough Federal Liberal candidate):

An Evening with Flora MacDonald

The Hon. Flora MacDonald will be speaking on Monday April 20th, at 7:00 PM, at the Princess Gardens Atrium in Peterborough. Donations will support YWCA Peterborough Victoria and Haliburton's fundraising efforts for its new women’s shelter.

The evening will commence with the showing of her recent CBC documentary Flora’s Mission about her courageous work building girl’s schools in Afghanistan and promoting the use of solar panels in mountain villages. That will be followed by a short talk by Flora on Canada’s challenges; and an open community discussion.

Flora MacDonald has been active in Canadian politics since the 1970s. She served as an MP and Cabinet Minister, and in 1979 she became the first woman to be appointed Secretary of State for External Affairs. Since leaving politics in 1989, Flora has been deeply involved in a range of human rights and environmental activities around the globe, and is currently working in Afghanistan and India.

Flora MacDonald has received numerous honours in her life, including the Order of Canada and Companion of the Order; the Pearson Peace Medal; the Churchill Society’s award for Excellence in the Cause of Parliamentary Democracy; the El Kawkab Medal by King Hussein for significant contribution to public service and was the Padma Shri Award (India’s highest award to civilians) from the President of India for distinguished service in the field of public affairs. She was given the EVE award from Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan advocacy organization committed to promoting the election of more women to every level of government, and to raising awareness about the under-representation of women in Canadian politics. Ms. MacDonald holds honorary degrees from universities in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom.

This remarkable woman was born in North Sydney, NS, in 1926, is a sixth generation Canadian whose forebears came to Canada from the Scottish Highlands in the 1790s. She also worked in Peterborough in her early career, singing in a local church choir. She will be departing within weeks of this event for her 11th solo trip to Afghanistan.

There is no charge for this event.

Seating is limited so please come early.

January 13, 2009

Transition Town Peterborough: Meeting This Week

Plantman Transition Town Peterborough is hosting a meeting that will focus on permaculture (designing sustainable human settlements that mimic patterns and relationships found in nature) on Wednesday, January 14th. The meeting will be held at the Peterborough Public Library from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m.

The session will be introduced by Trent Rhode of Transition Town and led by Paula Anderson of Peterborough Green-Up. It will define permaculture, outline local action steps, and end with a public discussion.

To find out more about the event or Transition Town Peterborough, email Trent Rhode.

December 11, 2008

Emily Berrigan, Political Whirlwind

Peterborough Green Party of Canada Candidate Emily Berrigan must dream political dreams at night. (Does she count political sheep as she tries to fall asleep?)

It's the only way she can possibly have time to come up with all these great ideas -- and do all the things she's already doing.

In a town that has more than its share of political dinosaurs/neanderthals, it's so refreshing to have Emily speaking the language of political change. Go, Emily, Go!

December 06, 2008

Don't Forget to Send a Rose to Your MP Today

The YWCA is asking us all to send a virtual rose to our MPs in order to lobby for a national action plan to address violence against women.Rosecampaign

If you wish to support the excellent work that the YWCA does throughout the year --in Peterborough and/or in your community -- you might be interested in knowing that this is the organization's tag day (an annual fundraiser).

If you didn't bump into a canvasser in person while you were out running errands this morning, no worries! You can donate to this very worthy charity in all kinds of different ways, either in Peterborough or elsewhere. (Note: I think very highly of this particular charity -- so much so that I serve on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Peterborough, Victoria, and Haliburton.)

My MP may be quite surprised to get a rose from me -- but that's okay. Violence against women is an issue that crosses party lines. In fact, it's an issue that crosses all lines. And it can't be allowed to languish any more than it's been allowed to languish over the past three years.


If you're looking for a gift for that impossible-to-buy for friend, why not make a donation to the YWCA in her name? It's the gift that keeps on giving -- and saving lives -- year round.

December 02, 2008

Sign Spotted at Political Rally in Peterborough, Ontario -- Quote from THE NATIONAL on CBC

Political Sign Spotted at Pro-Coalition Rally in Peterborough, Ontario

First in a series of photo posts from a noon rally in Peterborough.

Related: CBC.ca coverage about Harper government and public reaction to coalition government.

November 11, 2008

Environment + Justice and Fairness + Strong Political Democracy = Powerful Progressive Force: James Gustave Speth

Tulip “Our best hope for real change is a fusion of those concerned about the environment, of those concerned about justice and fairness, and those concerned about building strong political democracy. The fusion of these things will create one powerful, progressive force. We’ve got to remember that we are all in a community of shared faith. We are all in the same boat and we will rise or fall together.”
- Yale professor and environmental activist James Gustave Speth, delivering the 2008 Beatty Memorial Lecture at McGill University in October

October 28, 2008

Paul Martin on The Current

Paymentdue I don't know how many others managed to tune into Paul Martin's interview on The Current this morning. I found it to be both inspiring and disheartening, given where we find ourselves today.

Martin talked about the role he played in founding the Group of 20 (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors and how, following some earlier world-wide economic crises, he saw the need for international cooperation on economic matters. He offered up a very wise analysis of the world's current economic woes: it's a crisis triggered by a lack of transparency and federal de-regulation of the U.S. banking industry. He stated that the crisis was predictable and preventable and noted that there is  a need for greater transparency in the banking industry world-wide and for governments to hold banks more, not less, accountable. (The crisis in the U.S. followed a period of federal de-regulation in the banking industry.)

De-regulation seems to lead to dire consequences wherever and whenever it occurs -- and yet the public is repeatedly sweet-talked into electing governments that seek to deregulate industry after industry. Maybe the magnitude of this disaster -- and the fact that it's hitting people in the pocketbooks -- will cause people to pay a little more attention. Or maybe not. After all, listeria-related deaths didn't prevent people from re-electing a government committed to more deregulation, now did it?

On an unrelated note, Martin also commented on the attacks on Ralph Goodale that were made during the 2006 election -- and how they impacted that election. Knowing what we know now, you have to wonder if the success of that attack strategy led to the subsequent Dion attack strategy. After all, if the attack strategy worked once, why not try it again -- but this time go for the jugular by launching the ads the moment the new Liberal leader tried to establish a relationship with the Canadian public?