GOOD TO BE GOOD is an intersectional, community-wide, grassroots humanitarian and advocacy nonprofit organization with a mission to serve women and gender-diverse people from marginalized communities and help build a kind and equal world.
MISSION + VISION
GOOD TO BE GOOD is an intersectional, community-wide, grassroots humanitarian and advocacy organization with a mission to serve women and gender-diverse people from marginalized communities and help build a kind and equal world.
Our vision for an equitable, compassionate, and sustainable world is guided by a feminist, anti-oppressive, anti-racist, trauma-informed framework and the values of compassion and interconnectedness.
Our rights-based and service work is rooted in a commitment to women’s empowerment, equity, justice, and liberation. It ensures a gender-responsive focus that centres on issues impacting women, particularly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) women, girls, and gender-diverse persons from communities subjected to marginalization. Our efforts use an intersectional and holistic approach to respond to their urgent and unique priorities, while bringing awareness to the underlying causes and longstanding systemic inequities that make people vulnerable in the first place.
We combine restorative and empowering supports, programming, and advocacy for women and gender-diverse people in our communities who have felt the effects of inequity—from gender-based violence and structural poverty, to unequal treatment—to realize gender equality for all.
OUR WAYS OF BEING
As a grassroots organization, we aim to address the obstacles concerning gender equity—uniquely, compassionately, and radically—to improve the situations of women and gender-diverse people with whom we work and serve. We offer a range of programs and support services to tackle the complex barriers faced by women and gender-diverse people from marginalized and underserved communities across Canada to empower, restore, and protect rights.
Our work focuses on economic equality, mental health, rights-based and policy advocacy, safety, basic needs, and education about resources that directly impact our communities. We offer virtual and in-person to deliver our work to meet women’s direct needs, promote solutions for communities, and dismantle and counter the systems of oppression that significantly affect everyday life.
Intersectional feminism, equity, radical love, and justice are at the heart of what we do by collaborating closely with those most impacted by gendered inequalities and centring the voices and lived experiences of the people we serve in solutions.
Between 2016-2023—with multiple initiatives and several human rights-focused informed advocacy campaigns—we have advanced Gender Equality by bringing grassroots interventions and strategies to life and providing over 350,900+ essentials for women, girls, and gender-diverse people from groups impacted by violence, socioeconomic disparities, under-representation, and forms of systemic conditions of oppression.
Since inception, we’ve served over 1000 women and gender-diverse community members, promoting equitable and interconnected communities, economic and social power, and the protection of rights for women and gender-diverse people.
Our ethos is solidarity over charity, collective care before individual overcoming. For us, these are verbs, not nouns. We believe that the path to equality starts with centring members of our communities closest to the issues: women and gender-diverse people, and centring the organizing work of empowering communities together.
We recognize their power—including their acts of resistance—as an extraordinary force. Despite the structural elements which constrict freedom and rights, women and gender-diverse people persevere and demonstrate transformative leadership.
Women’s power, compassion, and leadership bring richness to communities and positively impact all spheres of life. They make significant contributions to the workforce and at home. They are our neighbours, teachers, colleagues, community organizers, and friends. Unfortunately, women still face substantial obstacles that limit their ability to achieve social and economic inclusion. Some of these barriers include limited access to legal aid and healthcare, a need for quality employment or education opportunities and adequate financial support.
We are committed to working alongside our community members to address the barriers and disparities to make our communities equitable and just for everyone.
Why women and gender diverse people? Why gender equity?
We centre women and gender-diverse people because we understand that it benefits everyone when we centre the most vulnerable and marginalized among us.
Women and gender-diverse people make up roughly half of the world’s population. Yet, they continue to experience oppression, discrimination, vulnerabilities, and barriers to gender-equal social, economic, cultural, and political realization. Women and gender-diverse people are disproportionately affected on all societal levels by unjust systems and practices ordained by pre-existing patriarchal, racist, and oppressive ideologies. Women are often left out of decision-making and planning that affect them in homes, communities, workplaces, and governments. During emergencies and crises, they are among the first to undergo health and safety disparities and are at greater risk of losing income—especially if mental health, housing, legal, or health care needs are unmet or state institutions increase the vulnerability experienced by gendered groups. As caregivers, health care service providers, or leaders in their communities, they are often at the forefront of crises and conflict and the least likely to be supported in recovery and justice pursuits.
Ample evidence in the public domain underlines how advancing gender equity is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty, promote peaceful communities, reduce violence and exploitation, and bring long-lasting benefits to societies. It also means reducing economic vulnerabilities and mitigating exorbitant human and societal costs.
The vision of gender equity is based on fairness, justice, and having equal access to opportunities and resources according to their respective needs. It is the means to identify and remove barriers that compound the disadvantages faced by women and gender-diverse people and tear down gender and racial discrimination caused by the parameters of patriarchy, racial hierarchy, and colonialism. Advancing gender equity is the foundation for healthy and prosperous societies.
Gender equity is at the heart of our work so that equality unfolds at the forefront of our collective existence. We are the community we serve.
Our method is two-fold: we focus on acts of humanitarian service and development programming for women and gender-diverse from historically marginalized and underserved communities. And we reinforce active prioritization for gender equity through our advocacy, community-building initiatives, and social programming.
Our primary objective is to promote and advance gender equality, prioritizing the intersecting identities and lived experiences of women and gender diverse people. This includes factors such as ethnicity, culture, race, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, income, Indigeneity, spirituality, education, and physical or mental abilities.
We promote our values in our work and the communities we inhabit through our initiatives and programming.
OUR PRIORITY AREAS
- Women and gender-diverse people deserve to live free (and well) from violence of all forms.
- Addressing systemic barriers that further marginalize and discriminate against women and building solutions—moving toward just, compassionate, and equitable outcomes in communities.
- Women and gender-diverse people with intersecting identities and experiences must be invested in and cared for to build safe, prosperous lives and have access to equal opportunities.
We are committed to employing ameliorative and fundamental frameworks within our programming and services. Our approach uses an intersectional and root cause analysis, informed by research and lived experiences, to help identify the interlocking causes—not just the symptoms—that our work aims to challenge and address. We also use a gender lens when analyzing, planning, and making decisions in our work to deliberately examine all the implications of what we do in terms of gender and the different needs and circumstances of the people within who we serve. Trauma-informed, strength-based, pro-choice, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and participatory-based practices are adopted and integrated with every facet of our approach to the work we do.
It is critical to dive deep into the root causes, name them, and tackle them to minimize the chances of replicating harm and derailing lasting progress. When we unpack the root causes of oppression using a gender lens, we see how gender power relations manifest to create these inequities.
Our approach focuses on community-oriented strategies, that prioritize the experiences of women and gender-diverse people and their communities most impacted by the underlying drivers and societal elements that give rise to inequalities and barriers. To empower and support women and gender-diverse people, we consult our community members with programming development and implementation processes by centring their unique and distinct needs, priorities, learnings, aspirations, and challenges.
To enhance meaningful outcomes, centre agency and interdependence of served communities in opportunities, we engage community members through various ways, such as outreach, cooperative relationships, service design, capacity-building, and comprehensive response planning. We ask, “Whose voices should be heard as we shape our future together and share the bounty of our collective efforts?” The answer comes down to one simple yet thoughtful idea: shift and redistribute power.
Recognizing our inherent interconnectedness and shared values empowers us to build a just and compassionate world.
We must come together to protect the fundamental human rights of every person—especially those left behind but at the forefront of radical change.
TOGETHER—as a force for good.
A note from GOOD TO BE GOOD’s Executive Director
How can we be of service and see a place worth going so that we may do the work of reimagining equitable connected communities?
When we cultivate a sense of service rooted in solidarity, and with the hope of building an equal and compassionate world, we inadvertently discover the great paradox that underpins what it means to be human—in our power lies the discovery of inherent togetherness and a way to arrive at our shared humanity. By doing unto others, we not only support others: we care for ourselves and the future of our place while participating in its transformation.
We are all interconnected, and our lives are linked to one another, our freedom goes without another. By recognizing this truth, we can work to improve our world on personal, cultural, and institutional levels. A world we know is available to us.
Shoulder-to-shoulder, heart-to-heart, a just world involves the simultaneous co-creation of our individual and collective power through simple yet bold acts: embodying our kinship, acting in solidarity, upholding human rights, and permitting ourselves to be wide awake in the interdependence of life. We must think about everyone involved so that no one gets left behind and do away from systems that hurt us by moving toward spaces that hold us.
May you say no more to injustices put against our women, girls, and gender-expansive neighbours. May you find the possibilities to turn to one another, especially those who confront these injustices in the raw. May you harness the power of care and abolition. May you build the expansive spaces to belong and be equal.
Let it land in your heart again and again that good is within reach—it’s us who makes this happen.
– Char San Pedro
Founder of GOOD TO BE GOOD + Gender Equity Advocate
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As long as gender inequities persist, none of us can truly rest.