Wow. What a year to wrap up! As 2021 comes to a close, there’s a general sense of fatigue in the air and a readiness to hide away somewhere cozy, especially as the pandemic rears its head again. At CSCNS, we’re slowing down and reflecting on the past 12 months including what went well and what didn’t, what we want out of our work, and how we hope to feel at the end of the coming year. As we look forward to 2022, we’re resisting making lofty resolutions that are often forgotten. Instead, we’re setting a clear intention to carry us through the year that is encompassed by a single word: impact.
This year we practiced the idea of reimagining productivity and how we prioritize spending our time. We are a new and growing team and have spent many team meetings over the past year developing our foundation for working together, our relationships, and trust.
Our team put a lot of energy behind developing our organizational values and behavioural agreements. These agreements outline our shared beliefs around our team values and how we work together, especially when approaching difficult conversations and in conflict resolution. These consistent check-ins have helped us reinforce a healthy, collaborative workplace culture that will enable us to grow into new and exciting opportunities to make a positive impact. Collective time to gather and unplug is a big proponent of relationship and consensus building. This year we hosted three in-person retreats (one included both board and staff) and an individual reflection “retreat.” The focus was on developing relationships, strategizing around our work and supporting the sector, and deepening our commitment to Justice, Equity, Decolonization, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDDI).
We’ve had many conversations (that aren’t always easy) around systemic racism, our part in contributing to systems of oppression, and our role in decolonization. It’s clear that learning and un-learning is a continuous journey and educating ourselves on how we can be better allies and anti-racists is non-negotiable for our work. Being a team of readers, one way we committed to internal learning was by starting a “Decolonization Book Club”, where we set aside time for facilitated discussion and learning. We’re also building a shared library at our office of anti-racist reads and JEDDI-themed books for borrowing.
As we move into this period of collective slowing down, we hope you will join us in reflecting on your own accomplishments over the past year and the intention you’re committing to going forward. We’re all united in the common goal of making a positive impact – for ourselves, our communities, our sector, and our province. We have some exciting activities planned for 2022 – here’s a taste of what we’re looking forward to!
- Launching our new brand, name, logo, and revealing our new website.
- Sharing our JEDDI statement and activities we are committed to, both for our team and the sector.
- Continuing our Black History Learning Journey series and exploring new learning journeys.
- Launching new learning opportunities and Communities of Practice.
- Returning to in-person learning across the province.
- Reimagining how we work in the sector in partnership with other organizations via the Nova Scotia Nonprofit Coalition.
- Developing a data dashboard and sector map to help increase understanding of the sector and its priorities.
So, returning to our intention of impact in 2022, we’ll be leaning into questions about how we can support transformative and sustainable changes in our sector to help us advance toward an equitable society. We’re holding that theme close as we rest, reflect, and recharge over the holiday break. We wish you a safe, rejuvenating closing of 2021 and we will see you in the new year!