Finding connection and community online during COVID-19
I miss my community right now. I miss the energy of a group of people coming together with the same goal — whether it’s thousands at a climate strike, hundreds working on an election campaign, dozens in a tightly packed room for a fundraising gala, or just a handful of friends catching up over drinks after work. I miss my people. I miss the feeling of being physically together, celebrating our wins and commiserating over losses.
This depth of connection is near impossible right now. And what’s more: it’s uncertain when we will be able to convene again.
Now — more than ever before — we need our community. The global pandemic has pulled the veil off the breakdowns in our social and economic systems that have been happening all along. It was like a light switched on, and within the span of one weekend, we were exposed to the inequity within our society, as some people retreated to their country homes while millions of others stood in line at a food bank for the first time.
We’ve seen clearly how our system is one where public healthcare has been systematically dismantled over the past 30 years, and how the people who are saving our lives are now being forced to risk their own without proper support and protective equipment.
We’ve all now been made aware. But how do we get out of this dumpster fire? How do we overcome loneliness and remind ourselves of our interconnectedness? How can we work together without being face-to-face?
One answer is: we must turn to digital tools to continue building and mobilizing our community.
At New/Mode, we work with hundreds of communities who are coming together to demand governments and employers take responsibility for the inequity they’ve perpetuated — to bail out people, organizations, and small businesses because it is the fair and just thing to do.
We need to build a world where no one is exploited because of their income— a world where power isn’t concentrated in the hands of the predominantly male few who are driving us down a road of mass systems breakdown.
In the absence of my in-person community, I’m fuelling my hope and commitment to a better world by joining the progressive movement taking action the only way we can right now: via emails, phone calls, video calls, letters to our newspapers, and social media.
We need to collaborate, not compete, to get through to the other end of this pandemic with a better, more sustainable way. Thank you to all our amazing subscribers for leading the charge and for inspiring and fuelling me in the absence of my face-to-face community.
Here’s a few to inspire you, as they have inspired hundreds of thousands of action-takers in the past two months:
- Canadian Labour Congress is demanding that banks and credit card companies lower interest rates during this unemployment crisis.
- Migrant Rights Network is standing up for essential workers who have been ignored by all levels of government.
- Save Your Local is calling on governments to help protect the bars and restaurants that make up the fabric of our cities.
- Our beautiful grandparents and parents living in long-term care homes are now at highest risk in the midst of major outbreaks. The Ontario Health Coalition is demanding more testing and protection for our loved ones.
- Vancouver HUB sees you trying to stay six feet from your neighbours on your daily walk by spilling into car traffic lanes. They’re requesting the city create more space for active transportation.
- An idea I’ve personally campaigned on is Universal Basic Income, which has clearly become one of the best economic policies in this crisis. It’s so inspiring to see that UBI Works has gathered 30,000+ supporters for this campaign.
Jackie DaSilva is a New/Mode Campaign Advisor based in Toronto. To book a demo with her to discuss your campaigning needs, click here.