Women-led adult education for radical social change

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Image: Used with permission of Righting Relations.

Adriana Salazar and Miigam'agan are members of the national steering committee of Righting Relations, a pan-Canadian, women-led network of adult educators working for radical social change. Scott Neigh interviews them about their respective grassroots work in their own communities and about the role of Righting Relations in supporting and enhancing that work.

Salazar grew up in Colombia, where she initially developed her passion for social justice and where she was a human rights defender for more than two decades. In 2003, she moved to Canada. She currently lives in Toronto and works for a women-focused settlement agency. She works with immigrant communities around issues of political, economic and social inclusion. Much of her work over the years, both in Colombia and in Canada, has involved using techniques of popular education, an activist pedagogical tradition particularly associated with struggles for justice and social transformation in Latin America.

Miigam'agan is a Mi'kmaq woman of the Fish Clan from Esgenoôpetitj, in Wabinaki Confederacy territory, colonially known as Burnt Church, New Brunswick. She has been involved in struggles related to Indigenous rights and women's rights for most of her life, and in doing cultural and language revitalization work. All along, much of this has involved working with community -- particularly with women, particularly with young women -- to empower through cultural teachings, traditional spiritual practices, and teaching on the land. Her work also includes facilitating links between university and First Nations communities.

On its website, Righting Relations describes itself as "a growing, women-led, pan-Canadian network of adult educators coming together to strengthen our capacity to work critically, creatively and collectively with marginalized communities for radical social change."

The network brings together a wide range of people who are all deeply embedded in their own communities and already doing important grassroots work. The goal of doing so is to create opportunities for people active in different contexts to support each other and to strengthen both their specific projects and broader movements that are working for justice.

Righting Relations currently consists of three hubs in different parts of the country. The hub in eastern Canada is focused on Indigenous women. The hub in central Canada is focused on immigrant communities. And the hub in western Canada is focused on low-income communities.

The network is funded by the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, an organization originating from a progressive community of Catholic women religious that has in recent years been particularly focused on developing a decolonized approach to philanthropy. According to its website, the foundation works based on a "radical commitment to social change, and to empower the marginalized."

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada, giving you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show check out our website here. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or contact [email protected] to join our weekly email update list.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Hamilton, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

Image: Used with permission of Righting Relations.

Theme music: "It Is the Hour (Get Up)" by Snowflake, via CCMixter

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