To our members: By the end of February, and will be integrated into the Tamarack website at This is a more accessible platform, where you will easily find more engaging content and resources on poverty reduction and community change.

Questions? Send us a note at

Resilient Neighbourhoods | When People Care

Submitted by Christie Nash on June 13, 2016 - 4:17am

Seekers Journal

Dear christie,

"We need one another. We have a shared responsibility for others and the world.
Being good and decent is worth it."

- Al Etmanski, Author, Advocate and Social Entrepreneur

This June 2016 edition of the Seekers Journal comes to you at a very exciting time for our Learning Community. As you are reading this, over 150 passionate community practitioners are gathering in the City of Edmonton, Alberta at our national event, Resilient Neighbourhoods • When People Care, to explore ideas that will inspire and motivate the work of deepening community. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to gather in the beautiful province of Alberta - a place that has exemplified the sheer power of caring for, and taking responsibility of one another in times of need. Albertans have demonstrated resilience time and time again and we are honoured to be able to learn from one another in such an inspirational and strong province. 

Our hope during our time together in Edmonton is to inspire and rejuvenate one another. Our desire is to revive our learners' belief in the power of residents, neighbourhoods and community and to provide them with inspiration, connections, knowledge and tools to deepen community, cultivate care and create resilient neighbourhoods. We know however, that as much as we have to share and to teach, we have just as much, if not more, to learn from
those who have joined us.


This week, participants at the gathering will find themselves rediscovering the act of care, exploring lessons from social innovation, uncovering the significance of place, learning how community resiliency can be rebuilt - the list goes on and on. With such a diverse range of knowledge and experience in one space we are confident that our learning will be epic, and we don't want anyone to miss out. Over the weeks to follow, we will be sharing with our greater Learning Community insights, stories, lessons and inspiration that emerge from our experience this week. Stay tuned to deepen learning and deepen your community! 

If you were unable to attend this week but want to be 'in-the-know', we invite you to follow along our journey and share your reflections online! Tweet us at @CommunitySeeker and use the hashtag #DCYEG 

We also invite you to continue exploring this month's Seeker's Journal for insightful thinking and practical resources inspired by the themes of resilience, neighbourhoods and care. We have also included upcoming events that may be of interest to you.

We look forward to connecting with you and don't forget, we love to hear your stories and share your resources and learn from your experiences! Be sure to connect with us online at or on Facebook and Twitter. 

Happy reading! 

Feature     Learn    Conversations    Neighbours    Insights    Events

One Neighbourhood at a Time

By: Devon Kerslake

“What’s the right level to pursue social repair? The nation may be too large. The individual is too small. The community is the right level.”

-David Brooks

This sentiment is a testament to the importance of our work in communities everywhere! With an
acknowledgement and recognition towards our Learning Community, my Tamarack colleague Kris Culp, shared an inspiring article written by David Brooks with our team this week. The article was originally published in the New York Times on May 17, 2016.

On Bakersfield, Brooks goes on to say:


"It is not a rich town, but neither is it a desolate one. Until recently you didn’t find the community organizations that you’d expect to find in such a place. There’s still no permanent church. Up until now there has been no library and no polling station. The closest police station is 45 miles away. Until recently there were no sidewalks nor many streetlights, so it was too dangerous to go trick-or-treating."

And there is hope:

"Lost Hills is the home of a promising experiment. The experiment is being led by Lynda Resnick, who, with her husband, Stewart, owns the Wonderful Company, which includes FIJI Water, POM juice and most of the pistachios and almonds you eat. You should know that I’m friends with Lynda and Stewart and am biased in their direction. But what they are doing is still worth learning from."

 Read the full post

Smile and Say Hello: You Belong- Oxford County's Story


By: Jennilee Cook, Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre

All stars aligned for [Smile and Say Hello] to begin. In fact, a few things were happening concurrently. United Way of Oxford County facilitated community conversations with residents of Oxford County where they live, work and play: in their apartment buildings, retirement homes, youth centres, and more. While these community conversations were happening, agencies, service providers and our County started to hear, and learn more about the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW). The CIW looks at key indicators of a person’s health and wellbeing, giving us a picture of what it looks like by evaluating what really matters to a community. One of these indicators is Community Vitality, which includes belonging...

Read the full post

Learn more about HC Link here

From Block Parties to Connected Neighbourhoods


Block Parties are a big deal in St. Albert, a small city NW of Edmonton. Initiated in 2008 as a means of addressing vandalism at a community level, the initiative has grown to be so much more than just a crime prevention tool. Over the last 8 years, the program has grown from a handful of block parties to a whooping 102 in 2015, with the ultimate goal of hosting one on every street (approx. 695)... 

Read the full post

Learn more about the Good Neighbour Project in St. Albert

 Homecoming, Gifts and Rootedness


By: Michael Jones, Sophia Horwitz and Heidi Clelland-Sauer

Our current crisis is not the sense meaninglessness and the search for an abstract truth, it is uprootedness and the search for home. The key to finding our way home is through a language of place – a language that speaks to the wonder of the life that is unfolding within us.   

In this moving opening conversation Michael, Sophia and Heidi explored the larger canvas of place and place-making and, in so doing, made visible some of the patterns that shape our experience of community. They also explored how these relationships contribute to our observance of neighbourhoods, local businesses, landscapes, nature and culture, not only as discreet parts but as richly textured ecosystems that are integral to the vitality of the whole of life.

Listen to the webinar

Join us for Michael's next session on Belonging

Upcoming Events


Community Change Institute

September 26-30, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario

We are excited to announce that the first ever Community Change Institute is being held in vibrant Toronto, Canada this Fall from September 26 - 30, 2016. Our cities, the places we live, provide amazing opportunities for resilience in these disruptive times. The Tamarack Institute team has worked over the last year to re-think and re-build our annual five day learning event to respond to this challenge. Join us, along with world-renowned thought leaders Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Roger Martin, Frances Westley, and Stephen Patrick.

Register here!


Deepening Community for Collective Impact

June 14, 2016 in Toronto, ON
June 23, 2016 in London, ON

Join Paul Born, cofounder and President of Tamarack Institute, in this one day workshop to learn how to engage and deepen your community in order to build a common agenda for large scale change. Learn not only the fundamental principles of Collective Impact, but explore key insights on how Deepening Community can sustain us as leaders and produce the outcomes we so desire.

Register here!


Resilient Communities: Cultivating Citizen Leadership for Collective Impact

June 20, 2016 in Orillia, Ontario

Join internationally recognized facilitator and community builder Sylvia Cheuy for a workshop exploring citizen leadership - how it is nurtured and why it is a strategy a growing number of organizations and municipalities are embracing.

Register here!

Upcoming Webinars 


Resilience and Money

Speakers:  Milton Friesen and Brian Dijkema
Date: Tuesday June 14th, 2016 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST

In this timely and provocative conversation, Milton and Brian will provide insights and often muted perspectives into the social dimensions of payday loans and explore the structural issues that support this system. At the heart of this webinar is understanding the social precarity that drives individuals to become susceptible to payday loans and how building social resilience might address these underlying issues.

Register here!


Communities of Belonging

Speakers: A 4-Part Learning Series with host Michael Jones
Date: June 17 & June 24th, 2016| 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

In this profound Learning Series, our host, Michael Jones, will feature stories and perspectives centered around one of four timeless underlying patterns of place. The purpose of these patterns is to inject life energy and soul into the body of community. Each reveals the underlying energy flow and network of relationships which, when made visible contribute to a communities’ sense of vitality and wellbeing.

The topics to be explored in our upcoming conversations include the transformation of communities through stories of place and re-imagining placemaking through local, living economies.

Register here!

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