Dear friends and supporters,
We are writing with our first update from The Stand – Community Organizing Centre since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our community. On March 19, heeding the advice of 200 Saskatchewan doctors, we closed our doors to the public along with our co-locator Turning the Tide Bookstore. This meant that we effectively shut down services to the public by halting meeting space rentals, co-working, and equipment rentals.
Our board, along with the rest of our community, spent time adapting to the new reality of life during a global pandemic including working from home, having children at home, and figuring out how to care for ourselves and our loved ones in isolation. While we didn’t meet until recently as a board, some of our members moved into action to address the lack of action by the Provincial Government in providing supports for people who were homeless and underhoused during the pandemic. We started a petition that has gathered over 9000 signatures to date. However, still very little action on the part of the Provincial Government to support people who have been put at risk through structural barriers and discrimination. Much work remains to be done.
AGM and Our New Board
On March 7, 2020 we held the 5th Annual General Meeting of The Stand at the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op. The energy at the meeting was fantastic and we accomplished many things including the adoption of our 2019-2020 Financial Report, our 2020-2021 Budget, as well as a new set of roles and responsibilities for the board. These newly defined board roles will be key to growing The Stand’s capacity as a completely volunteer-run organization, especially given that prior to the AGM, Bonnie Heilman stepped down as our part-time paid Coordinator. The decision to suspend the 0.2 time Coordinator position was made prior to the AGM as a strategy to address budget constraints and increase board stability and sustainability. At the AGM, Bonnie was elected to the Board of Directors along with 4 other new members: Bethani Groat, Catherine Gendron, Charles Smith, and Kathi Epp. They join Karissa Patton and Peter Garden, bringing our current board to 7 members. We will be profiling our new Board members in our upcoming newsletter.
Our Plans – The Space & Services
While Saskatchewan appears to be flattening the COVID-19 curve and the province has just entered the third phase of the reopening plan, it is clear that none of us will be returning to business-as-usual anytime soon. Many of the grassroots groups who have used our meeting rooms for their gatherings have suspended meetings or have moved their meetings online to ensure physical distancing requirements. We expect this to continue into the foreseeable future. To help offset some of the lost revenue from the rentals, Turning the Tide Bookstore, is taking over the rental costs of the small meeting room to use in packing their online book orders.
Co-working and equipment rentals are two of the other services that we offer out of the physical space at the Stand which we plan to bring back online in the coming weeks as we put safety protocols in place.
Our Plans – Community Organizing & Programming
The Stand is going virtual!
We had our first Virtual Solidarity “Potluck” and Meeting on June 6th and will continue to meet monthly on the first Saturday of each month. Together we will check-in with our community and make plans on what we need to move forward during a global pandemic!
In June the Stand is hosting a member led Webinar Series: Histories of Health, Disease, and Community Action! The speakers will discuss historical examples of health crises motivating social action and change.
Click here to register for the Stand virtual events..
Become a Member!
Do you or someone you know want to keep up-to-date with community organizing activities in Saskatoon? Do you want to get involved or volunteer your skills? Become a member of the Stand! Click here to sign up.
The Stand is building a volunteer database to help connect people with opportunities to use their skills and passion to help make change, either by helping grow The Stand as an organization or by providing support directly to the grassroots groups that The Stand serves. Click here to volunteer.
Black Lives Matter Solidarity March – THIS Saturday @ Noon
The Stand is supporting the march by providing a team of volunteers to run the sound system and to give out masks and hand sanitizer. We are looking for more people to help with the masks and sanitizer. If you can help between 11am – 2pm this Saturday, please fill out our volunteer form asap and write “Black Lives Matter Solidarity March” in response to the last question.