In order to create a learning and networking opportunity for Canadian Small and Medium Organizations (SMOs), educators and youth, Spur Change seeks to annually convene representatives of SMOs as well as educators from coast-to-coast-to-coast to learn from peer to peer experiences, approaches and best practices. Sessions include overarching themes of inclusivity, gender transformative programming, sustainable development as well as create opportunities to identify and form partnerships, strengthen the sector’s collective work and to more effectively engage all Canadians as global citizens.

This year’s conference will focus on Human Dignity, while addressing gender equality and the empowerment of women as a cross-cutting theme. The concept of human dignity is intrinsic to non-discriminatory practices along with equal rights for all. Within the context of the global pandemic, the risk of food insecurity, the lack of access to health services and educational opportunities, the hit to women’s workplace participation, and the rise of a “shadow pandemic” are threatening human dignity, and especially women’s rights.

The One Step Back, Two Steps Forward: Human Dignity Post-COVID conference will showcase innovative and creative practices and approaches emerging from SMOs and educators who are searching to adapt to their new realities. Collectively, the conference sessions will demonstrate how these different ways of working, which could be either in classrooms or with projects and partnerships overseas, could pave the way to a just and green recovery.

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SMOs should expect to:

  • Learn about innovative development practices, including feminist and anti-oppressive approaches, and ways to integrate them into their practice;
  • Share expertise, best practices, and resources on human dignity;
  • Identify and initiate potential partnerships and synergies;
  • Share experience and knowledge on effectively pivoting and adapting to the changing context;
  • Communicate and celebrate successes;
  • Collaborate on finding solutions to identified challenges;
  • Collaborate with educators and school communities to explore partnerships to better engage youths as global citizens.

Educators should expect to:

  • Learn about the latest trends on and responses to global issues from sector leaders, experts from the Global South, and practicing civil society organizations;
  • Engage and share in peer learning and sharing of resources, practices, and experiences from across Canada;
  • Facilitate connections and dialogue between civil society organizations eager to learn from and work with schools and educators;
  • Participate in learning opportunities in collaboration with pedagogical experts on how to teach and inspire youth to engage with global issues;
  • Collaborate with and support civil society organizations in creating classroom-relevant resources to better engage youths as global citizens.

  • Human Dignity Now and Beyond the Pandemic
  • Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism
  • Opportunities and Adaptation to the New Normal
  • Just and Green Recovery

... and more.

Help us make this conference an inspiring and forward-thinking learning opportunity for all. We invite you to identify and nominate unconventional speakers and thought leaders in their communities who can speak to the conference theme of Human Dignity and Gender Equality, and subthemes. Anyone in mind? Fill out this form by January 11, 2021, at midnight (EST).

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