Urgent social issues. Profound inter-generational economic, social, cultural, and environmental consequences.

The research speaks for itself. The courageous storytellers remind us.

We need innovative, collaborative, heart-felt approaches to shift the underlying conditions that hold complex social issues in place. For good.

Below are just a few examples of why Condition Shift exists. What’s your call to action? Do you have a powerful statistic or story to share?

“Sexual violence as part of the broader continuum of gender based violence (also called Violence Against Women) often presents as “the bruises  you don’t see.” Of the 135,000 people living in [Peterborough] City-County, 52% are women (Peterborough Social Planning Council, 2014) and an estimated one in three have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime (Ontario Women’s Directorate,  2015). According to a 2009 Canadian survey, only about 10 percent of all sexual assaults are reported to police (Perreault and Brennan, 2010).”

Source: Clarke, L. T., DeGeer, I., & Williamson, T. (2015). Lessons From Behind the Door: A Community Report Addressing Access to Services in the Response to and the Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in the City and County of Peterborough. Peterborough: Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre. Page 14. Retrieved from http://kawarthasexualassaultcentre.com/KSAC-WIP/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/KSAC_FinalCommunityReport_Web.pdf

“Between April 1st, 2018 – March 31st, 2019, Ontario’s food banks were accessed by 510,438 individuals that visited more than 3,059,000 times throughout the year. The primary reason that an individual or family may need to access a food bank is because they do not have sufficient income to afford all of their basic necessities each month.”

Source: King, A., & Quan, A. (2019). Hunger Report 2019: Ontario’s Changing Employment Landscape and Its Impact on Food Bank Use. Toronto: Feed Ontario. Retrieved from https://feedontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Hunger-Report-2019-Feed-Ontario-Digital.pdf

“A one-bedroom apartment is affordable to full-time minimum-wage earners in only 70 of 795 neighbourhoods in Canada. A two-bedroom apartment is affordable in only 24 of the same 795 locales. “Unaccommodating: Rental Housing Wage in Canada”, is based on October 2018 rents and wages and defines affordable as no more than 30 per cent of before-tax income spent on housing. “…. in most Canadian cities…… there are no neighbourhoods where it is possible to afford a one- or two-bedroom unit on a single minimum wage.” the report says.”

Source: United Way Peterborough & District. (2020). Housing is Fundamental 2020: A Report to the Community of Peterborough. Peterborough: United Way Peterborough & District. Retrieved 07 14, 2021, from https://www.uwpeterborough.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Housing-is-Fundamental_2020-V12-PRINT.pdf

“Opioid-related deaths in Ontario have risen from 111 fatalities in 2000 to 1,475 victims in 2018. While prescription opioids were previously a substance of concern following their addition to the Ontario Drug Benefits Plan, the presence of bootleg fentanyls has been the leading contributor to escalating fatalities since 2015-16.

“Safe supply initiatives provide pharmaceutical equivalents to contaminated and unregulated substances such as opioids, stimulants, and benzodiazepines. Pervasive throughout the focus groups* was a sense of limited time before participants or their friends faces another overdose emergency. Every participant had experienced multiple and escalating losses and trauma due to overdose poisoning, and all participants fear it is now the new normal. Participants were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the opportunity for a safe supply program, and anticipated strong demand. Such a program was thought to have very positive impacts on both individual and community health, safety and well-being. By stabilizing and decriminalizing the withdrawal – acquisition – purchase – use – withdrawal cycle, participants suggested other opportunities would become possible.

*In September 2019, focus groups were held in Kitchener, Ontario with people actively using opioids from the unregulated market. Participants were asked if a safe supply program would be appropriate locally and if so, what that program might look like.

Source: Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council. (2021). Focus On: Safe Supply – Findings from Focus Groups With People Who Use Unregulated Drugs. Waterloo: Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council. Retrieved 07 14, 2021, from https://preventingcrime.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/WRCPC_FocusOn_Safe_Supply_Report.pdf

“When people hear the words white supremacy or white-body supremacy, they often think of neo-Nazis and other extremists with hateful and violent agendas. That is certainly one extreme type of white-body supremacy. But mainstream American culture is infused with a more subtle and less overt variety. In her book, What Does It Mean to Be White?, Robin DiAngelo describes white supremacy as:

“…the all-encompassing centrality and assumed superiority of people defined and perceived as white, and the practices based on this assumption…White supremacy does not refer to individual white people per se and their individual intentions, but to a political-economic system of domination.

“White-body supremacy doesn’t live just in our thinking brains. It lives and breathes in our bodies. As a result, we will never outgrow white-body supremacy just through discussion, training, or anything else that’s mostly cognitive. Instead, we need to look to the body – and to the embodied experience of trauma.

Source: Menakem, R. (2017). My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Las Vegas: Central Recovery Press.

“For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entitiein Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy,which can best be described as ‘cultural genocide.’

“To some people, reconciliation is the re-establishment of a conciliatory state. However, this is a state that many Aboriginal people assert never has existed between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. To others, reconciliation, in the context of Indian residential schools, is similar to dealing with a situation of family violence. It’s about coming to terms with events of the past in a manner that overcomes conflict and establishes a respectful and healthy relationship among people, going forward. It is in the latter context that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has approached the question of reconciliation. To the Commission, reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. In order for that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.”

Source: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Retrieved 07 14, 2021, from https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Executive_Summary_English_Web.pdf

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action