This is a different approach to immigration than one I see so often. The difference is refreshing.
The ACORN Canada office in Toronto reflects the same kind of diversity that I find throughout this wildly cosmopolitan city. We have staff with roots in India, Tajikistan, Argentina, Tanzania, and, hey, even the US. Almost no one on staff is actually from Toronto with even the Canadians from here and there.
It breeds a different perspective on both how integrated people are with people around the world, but also the fact that people around the world are as important perhaps as Canadians. That’s not a south of the border worldview, eh?
I found myself trudging on train and bus the short haul to one of the neighborhoods through a cold, sloppy rain yesterday afternoon with one of the organizers for an opportunity to visit one of the local group leaders. Elise Aymer had not only listened to our organizing rhetoric and ideology about membership participation and direction, but had also absorbed the insight from her own experience in project management for tech companies that the organizers simply couldn’t do “it all” even if they wanted to, and needed the members to not only pull their load, but in fact to deeply help in recruiting other members with special strengths, volunteers, interns, and any and all available labor to make the organization able to build the capacity to realize its objectives. From that insight she was carving out her contribution from her home with her growing family. This meeting that started as simply another chance to see a member turned out to be a gift and inspiration. In less than an hour it felt like I was walking out on the puddles as if strolling on water with the feeling that anything might just be possible and being reminded even after 40 years of organizing why I continue to believe, sometimes in spite of the evidence, that our eventual victories are inevitable, if we can only marshal all of the latent capacity of our people and their unimaginable collective strengths.
Maybe we’re all Canadians now?
Watch the Utube video here: