This pandemic is disproportionately affecting many of those already disadvantaged or who are at-risk for systematic marginalization in Edmonton and around the world. While we are highlighting some of these challenges each day of #LocalGoodYEG, we invite you to take a moment today to place additional focus and reflect on your privilege during COVID.
It’s been recognized during this recent pandemic (as so frequently outside of it) that health, social and economic burdens are felt disproportionately by those affected by colonialism, racism, ageism, homophobia and transphobia, and other factors. Intersectionality recognizes the interconnected nature of social and economic factors related to race, class, and gender and how they can apply overlapping effects of discrimination or disadvantage.
These are effects that are felt widely throughout Edmonton, and it’s great to bone up on local resources which help explain how women, gender and sexual minorities, and those with unstable housing status, age and prior health condition, and income status/poverty (among other variables) intersect to heighten the negative health, social, emotional and economic impacts of this pandemic.
Here are some specific ideas for how you can share your Local Goodness resources with those who are at-risk of falling between the cracks:
Consider how you could share the effects of your economic privilege. Many local organizations are continuing to offer programs and supports while also worrying about bills for space, staff, wages, and engaging volunteers. Here are some A to Z organizations in our city that work with those disproportionately affected by social and economic disadvantages:
|Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society||https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/3908/donation|
|Creating Hope Society||https://www.creatinghopesociety.ca/membership-application/|
|Elizabeth Fry Society||https://www.efryedmonton.ab.ca/donations.html|
|George Spady Society||https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/13929|
|Multicultural Family Resource Society||https://mfrsedmonton.org/donate|
|Native Friendship Centres||http://www.cnfc.ca/donate|
|Pride Centre of Edmonton||https://pridecentreofedmonton.ca/donate/|
And make sure to consider businesses and organizations who represent the intersections of difference throughout our #LocalGoodnessYEG project.
Your time is valuable, but consider investing some of it today. The coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the vulnerability and precarious situation of at-risk seniors, often with complex health challenges, who live in congregate housing situations whose resources can become easily stretched, and who can face isolation and fear amid lockdowns.
We invite you to use your time today by making or signing a card or writing a letter to send to an isolated senior. These folks don’t have the privilege of staying home and isolating. One place to direct your well-wishes is the Greater Edmonton Foundation that operates facilities across the city. You can send messages, images, or cards by email or post to:
Shelby Johnston, Life Enrichment Coordinator, Greater Edmonton Foundation
Postal Address: 14220 ‑ 109 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 4B3
They’ll be there to make sure the folks most in need of your encouraging words get them!
Use your voice today and everyday to advocate for people with added disadvantages who have needs for things like more space for physical distancing in communities where car ownership is less (e.g., by closing road lanes for more walking and biking space). There’s a great article on this very subject by Edmontonian researcher Robin Mazumder here that you’re welcome to share with your networks.
You might also want to find ways to elevate the efforts of local Edmonton groups in their desire to maintain public access to nature and recreational spaces in the city, and who are working to ensure adequate public transportation for essential access to food, medicine, health care, and essential service work during this time. And don’t forget that you’re voice is a powerful force in government: you can use your privilege today to amplify the needs of at-risk and disadvantaged populations, including with your local Councillor, MLA, or MP.
In short, there’s a ton that we can all do to pitch in and make sure everyone in our #good city has a safety net for anyone who might slip through the cracks. Just use your time, money, and voice today for some #LocalGoodnessYEG, and use the tag to share how you’ve helped across social media!
The TLG Team