Wednesday, October 23, 2019
AMAPCEO representatives gathered in Toronto for the Activists and Leaders Forum (ALF) on Tuesday, October 22. This was the final such forum for 2019. The ALF is an opportunity for AMAPCEO representatives from across the province to meet their leadership, learn and share information that helps to strengthen our union, and receive education. Participants represent all 12 AMAPCEO Districts, equity caucuses/circles, every bargaining unit, and the Young Workers and Retiree Caucuses.
In the morning, President Dave Bulmer shared his traditional state of the union address, updating attendees on labour relations and campaigns. Vice President Cynthia Watt, Chair of the Equity Committee coordinated presentations from Chairs of the equity caucuses/circle, retiree caucus, and young workers. Each group provided an update on the work they have been doing, and their plans to further engage members within these identified groups.
Lee Heard, Chair of the Disability Caucus, spoke about International Stuttering Awareness Day, which is recognized on October 22, to raise awareness of this important issue and those who may be living with what is often referred to as an invisible disability and a communications disorder.
In the afternoon, Kairos, a charitable organization of 10 churches and religious organizations who work together in faithful action for ecological justice and human rights, facilitated an educational opportunity through the use of an Indigenous blanket exercise. The exercise is based on “participatory popular education methodology where the goal is to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy.”