Helping people make connections is our passion. People who have strong connections to others have improved health, and communities where people are connected are healthier places to live. We provide training, information and resources for strengthening peer support groups and peer-led initiatives throughout British Columbia. We work with many diverse groups and communities including First Nations, rural, urban, multicultural, youth and online. PeerNetBC is a non-profit, registered charitable organization.
PeerNetBC has a wealth of resources to share with individual people, peer support groups and peer-led initiatives. One of the main ways we help people to connect is through our workshops. We provide open registration workshops that are available directly to the public and customized workshops created to meet the needs of specific groups and agencies across the province.
PeerNetBC workshops are designed to be accessible and useful for people at differing levels of skill and experience. We offer a range of courses every spring and fall with the aim to address a variety of learning needs. Be sure to check out our upcoming workshops.
For community groups or agencies interested in PeerNetBC’s customized workshops, check out our list of potential workshop topics.
For people seeking further information and advice regarding peer support or peer-led initiatives, please contact us directly.
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almost two years in the making – our allyship zine is officially being launched! we would like to acknowledge, give thanks, and honour the collecive wisdom of the individuals whose work we have compiled as well as those who have come before us – whose names we do not know.
this zine only scratches the surface of what practicing allyship means, and yet through the process of making this zine we have found how adjusting our language in the way we talk about allyship can profoundly impact how we approach those we seek to connect with and the work that we do.
what we have boiled it down to – is that “being an ally” is not simply about the isolated, short term actions we make (or don’t make) and is, at the same time, about following leadership from those directly experiencing injustice and the process of un/learning, growing, and building a better world together.
for a condensed version of the zine content, please continue reading below!
[image description: the first page of a zine. it has an inch-sized border going around the edges. inside it says IN TEXT: allyship: begins when a person of privilege seeks to support a marginalized individual or group.
it is a practice of unlearning and relearning, and is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals or groups.
allyship is not an identity1, nor is it self-defined.
our work and our efforts must be recognized by the people we seek to ally ourselves with. because of this, it is important to be considerate in how we frame and present the work that we do.
i.e. we are showing support for…2
we are showing our commitment to ending [a system of oppression] by…3
we are using our privilege to help by…4
an active, consistent, and challenging practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to work in solidarity with a marginalized group
we are not acting out of guilt, but rather out of responsibility5
we act out of a genuine interest in challenging larger oppressive power structures15
it is important to talk about allyship in this way, as much confusion has come out of the idea of “being an ally”. these ideas may be well-meaning, but they often recreate the same oppressions or perpetuate new ones.
allyship is greatly valued and a huge step towards challenging oppression, however, we must understand possible feelings of resentment, bitterness, and even resistance towards us from the people we seek to work with. these feelings are not personal to us, but are reflective of peoples’ experiences with allyship with others like us (past and present.) building trust takes time, so we must recognize that what we can offer may not always be immediately needed or accepted, and that our work being seen as help by one person from a marginalized community may not be seen as help from another.18
in the meantime, we have opportunities to practice allyship every day:
take a moment to reflect on your own personal relationships with your lovers, friends, and family. it what ways do these relationships look like allyship?
accountability: being called to account for one’s actions; being responsible for one’s actions; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility (www.merriam-webster.com/)
marginalization: the social process of becoming or being made unimportant and without worth, especially as a group within a larger society (www.memidex.com/)
power: the ability to do something or act in a particular way; to make happen what one wants to happen in spite of obstacles, resistance, or opposition; the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of people, the course of events, and/or resources (www.thefreedictionary.com/)
privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people; a privileged group views its social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that everyone should experience; rather than being something that is earned, privilege is something that is given to a person based on characteristics they are assigned at birth, such as cultural identity, ability, class, sex, gender, age, species, size, etc. (www.thefreedictionary.com/)
oppression: the exercise of authority or power in a cruel or unjust manner; an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened mentally, emotionally, and physically; the exploitation of one social group by another for its own benefit—real or imagined; it is a systematic social phenomenon based on the difference between social groups involving institutional control and cultural domination over the oppressed group (www.merriam-webster.com/)
this document was compiled on unceded and occupied Coast Salish territory—Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations respectively. we acknowledge that colonization exists, and that without it we would not be here. we also recognize that alternatives exist—that another world is possible—and without them we would not be who we are today.
we also acknowledge the pervasiveness of ableism, and that this document creates barriers by: using the english language, using academic words, and other ways in which we are not yet aware.
this document is not exhaustive—we encourage folks to expand this work. below are the various zines, articles, and points of unity which this zine is based on.
1 2 3 4 14 No More “Allies” by Mia McKenzie:
5 6 13 15 Ally Bill of Responsibilities by Dr. Lynn Gehl: