Valentine’s Day needs a makeover. The last few years, “Galentine’s Day” has gotten a much better reception as people begin to resist the expectations brought by a holiday predicated on traditional heteronormative courtship, consumer values, and notions of “romance” that date back to Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Valentine’s Day does not have to be about romantic partnership. I mean, if we’re celebrating a holiday about showing love, there are lots of ways to honour that intention and remove it from the usual approach of “kiss, canoodle, consummate and consume.”
It’s okay to show care for yourself. One Weaveaster in the Inspiring Communities changemakers’ network has a Sunday steak-dinner-in-the-bath ritual: boss-level self-love. Perhaps you need a long walk by yourself with a great playlist or a podcast. Or, cuddle your pup and binge the Mandalorian. Create your own tradition.
For many of us, the idea of showing love to our communities resonates. It’s why we do this work, after all. Keep reading for some ways our inspiring initiatives are showing their love. Check out this post for some simple ways you can take action as an individual, family or community group.
Inspiring Communities’ “Love Nests”
At Inspiring Communities, our nested projects show their love of their communities in many unique ways, but particularly in this pandemic time, much of their work has been focused on boosting communications and access to technology that enables connection:
- Turning the Tide’s community ambassadors checked in with community members during the pandemic to ensure they were not isolated.
- The CBYF (Communities Building Youth Futures) in Digby is working on developing technology access for youth in rural communities, and connecting them through initiatives like creating a Youth Space at the Digby Area Recreation Commission.
- Northside Rising have restarted their Zoom-based coffeehouses to connect community members and share insights on topics of interest, including things like “Politics of Hope” and community health.
- The Northside Changemakers Program has started, offering an individuals seed funding and in-depth training sessions–the tools and resources to be changemakers. The program focuses on helping people design and implement innovative initiatives to address health and social issues on the Northside; and delivering targeted, accredited training like mental health first aid, WHMIS, Naloxone training, suicide prevention and more.
- The Nova Scotia Network for Social Change has held several well-attended online events connecting the community and offering wisdom and insight from respected leaders like Linda Carvery, Lynn Jones, Quentrel Provo and Raven Davis among others.
- And Dartmouth’s Between the Bridges has hosted 50 hour-long Zoom Socials since the pandemic began, helping community members connect, have fun and learn through online games like trivia and Wheel of Fortune. And, they have provided one-on-one support to build digital access and literacy, helping community members connect to the internet, learn new devices and use Zoom.