Northside Community Coffeehouse
With the onset of COVID-19 increasing feelings of isolation and detachment, Northside Virtual Coffee Houses were born as a simple way to safely connect with others in the community.
Hosting online conversations helped to create a new norm for socializing on the Northside. The events were live-streamed on our Facebook page and provided a space to explore community issues. Guest speakers ranged from farmers, musicians, youth, disability advocates, and others. Fifteen Coffeehouses were hosted between May 31st and Sept 16th 2020, discussing stories of resilience while also highlighting disparities experienced by folks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and other social issues.
Guest & Executive Director of the Glace Bay Miners Museum, Mary Pat Momborquette said it best: “We are all in this storm together, but we have lots of different boats trying to weather the crisis – some are built to make it and some are not.”
These online events served as a way to shift attitudes and perceptions, the space became an opportunity to go deeper and consider diverse perspectives. Northside Rising’s commitment to the issue of substance use brought this topic into some of the conversations. One participant said, “This conversation is so important. I think we need more resources for people. Mental health and addiction go hand in hand and there are not enough mental health resources available. It is so heartbreaking to watch people self-destruct because help is not always readily available.”
We heard lots of comments like, “I never really thought of it that way…” and “this is a really important conversation…” We got into the root of some common community narratives around issues and began to unpack where these ways of thinking came from.
Head over to Wayside to check out the blog series Pandemic Perspectives, written by coffee house guests about how they managed their lives through the first phase of the COVID-19 crisis.
Politics of Hope
In the fall, the coffeehouse discussions evolved into a space to discuss themes related to the ‘Politics of Hope’ speaker series developed by CBU & partners. These events gave us a chance to further our understanding of indigenous perspectives and practices and created space for community members to ask questions.
Check out recordings of the Politics of Hope series here:
Community Health Series
For 2021, we’ll focus our discussions on Community Health, aiming to build our collective understanding of complex health issues and create a safe space to consider solutions and share experiences.
We started the series off with Sharon MacKenzie, the Outreach Nurse on the Ally Centre of Cape Breton’s Mobile Clinic. Check out the Facebook Live recording where we talked about how things are going since the launch of the Mobile Clinic, why it’s needed in our communities, and where we need to go from here.
Health is personal, and each story is unique. We would love to hear your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions about the topics that are important to you.