Report from the Executive Director, September 2023

By Hazel Corcoran

CWCF Conference/Staff Retreat and Transitions/JEDDI Project/New Director/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

As we enter into the fall, CWCF staff and board are hard at work preparing for our 2023 Conference, “Stronger Together”. While there’s more information about this event in the separate article in this newsletter, it will contain a great mix of inspiring and engaging workshops, plenary sessions, and further opportunities to connect with others in the worker co-op movement. I hope to see many of you there, and encourage those of you who know you’ll be going to register today.  Our early bird registration rate ends September 22nd.

CWCF staff, meanwhile, came together in Ottawa last month for our first in-person retreat since 2019. After so many years apart, it was great to reconnect with those with whom our recent interactions had been limited to Zoom, and meet others we had never met before in person. We were particularly pleased to welcome two new staff members: Chloe Williams, our new Executive Assistant; and Ven Drake, our Information Technology Assistant. Staff members deepened their knowledge of the work of CWCF, learned more about each other’s roles and responsibilities through presentations and interactive activities, and appreciated the chance to engage in some social opportunities as well. We also had a discussion on improving our communication processes.   

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank CWCF’s previous Executive Assistant, Rebecca Smyth, who stepped down from this role in July but is continuing to assist us in the short term with our social media platforms. We greatly appreciate Rebecca’s past and continuing contributions to CWCF and wish her well in her future endeavours. 

Work continues on our JEDDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion) Business Conversions project, with the recent addition of Sope Ogunrinde who will be helping us connect with potential business conversions. We’re pleased to have her assistance.   I would also like to thank Ashley Igboanugo, who provided support to the JEDDI Business Conversuion project this past summer as a Create Action intern.   We are pleased to welcome a new Create Action intern, Aniqah Rahman.

CWCF is also pleased to welcome Leslie Brown of Flourish Community Development Co-operative Limited as our new director for the Atlantic provinces, filling a seat that had been left vacant. Having a full slate of directors is a welcome development as the board continues its important work.

Finally, CWCF staff will be marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Saturday, September 30th; recognized on Saturday, October 2nd in some places this year), through attending community events and individual learning and reflection, something we hope many of you will engage in as well. We also recognize that taking the time to remember and begin to repair the wounds of the past and present cannot be limited to a single day, and commit as an organization to continue our work to achieve justice for Indigenous peoples.