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Lighting a candle for West Broadway

By Anna, 1JustCity intern

A wonderful day of sandwich making and the solidarity of thousands of people in Winnipeg. The day I am recalling is September 27, 2019, the Global Climate Strike when millions of people across the globe gathered together to voice concern for the earth and call leaders into action. I was among those people, standing and marching with other members of the 1JustCity community.

On an average day of my 1JustCity internship at West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) I spent time in sharing circle, helped to provide emergency food service or connect clients with other community resources and engaged in conversation with guests over lunch and coffee.I first came to Winnipeg 6 years ago for university, but as recently as last year I found myself being surrounded by mostly university peers, and I wanted to expand my circles here. One of my hopes for this internship was to have experiences with people that have been marginalized in our city. Through conversations and listening I have learnt in a tangible way about the daily struggles, relationships and resilience of my new friends and community members at WBCM.

One of the things I am going to miss about internship is having the sharing circle be a regular part of my week, it became a valued rhythm in my life.The leader of the circle, Elder Corrina, described the sharing circle as “a time to talk to the Creator”, she also reminded us regularly that what we share during sharing circle stays in the circle. I am grateful for the intentional and safe space that the sharing circle gave.It’s been a gift to learn teachings from Elder Corrina, to be trusted with the stories of those that have shared in the circle and to have a space to be vulnerable in new ways.

I started my internship with 1JustCity in July 2019 and volunteered at the WBCM weekly on Wednesdays. Thinking back on my time as an Intern, September 27th stands out.On this day I met other volunteers at WBCM to make sandwiches and pack bagged lunches for community members that would bejoining us at the Global Climate Strike.There was an excited energy in the room, for some people this was going to be their first time attending a rally, for others like myself there was anticipation that this rally was going to cause a wave of positive actions for the environment. Once the lunches were packed we grabbed our array of creative signs and walked down Broadway to the Legislative building together— it felt like our own mini march to get there! The Climate Strike in Winnipeg was the largest rally I’ve ever been to and it was special to be part of this with my new friends from 1JustCity. This experience stands out because it joined together my long standing passion for climate action with the new connection I had with the 1JustCity community.

One other thing that happens every day at WBCM is that before lunch is served a short thought is shared and a candle is lit for a person or need in the community. Today I light a candle for the people of the West Broadway Community.

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