GOOD TO BE GOOD provides a range of community programs and services to women and gender-diverse people, and humanitarian and advocacy initiatives fuelled by a shared vision for a gender-equal world.
We view our work as an entry point for creating change: meeting women and gender-diverse people where they are, providing supportive and empowering care, and bringing awareness to change systems and practices that perpetuate harm and long-standing interlocking inequalities.
We aim to deploy community-centric and gender-responsive solutions that address systemic barriers and lack of equal access while strengthening the underpinnings of compassionate and equitable communities.
The grassroots outcomes of our work reach hundreds of women and gender-diverse people every year in local Canadian communities.
DIRECT HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE
Women and gender-diverse people are at the centre of our response.
GOOD TO BE GOOD’s humanitarian work consists of both response and resilience. We do so by meaningfully engaging with community partners, volunteers, and community members to address priority communities’ issues and basic needs that centre lived experiences. Working collaboratively with members of the community and community-based organizations ensures those seeking support have direct access without experiencing high barriers or shame. Our services work from a peer-model support service delivery model to meaningfully engage, listen, and act on priorities of community members as they know best what they need.
Our recovery-based solutions include distributing initial supports such as nutritious foods, grocery items, transportation, personal hygiene items, household supplies, clothing, baby essentials, gift cards, cash assistance, rent or income supplements, economic readiness supports, and resources. For example, more long-term support may mean working with others in a community member’s support network or providing resources for more extended needs and goals. Intake is ongoing, supporting and working with community members in compassionate environments rooted in restorative justice, autonomy, and dignity.
Our services provide in-house support to access and navigate essential resources that are culturally relevant, trauma-informed, and increase self-advocacy and adaptive supports delivered with care, rapidness, confidentiality, and flexibility. Services include:
- Emergency Financial Aid
- Basic Necessities Assistance
- Peer Worker and Community Worker Services
- Resources, Information, and Support Assistance
- Specialized Referrals
- Advocacy Support
- Counselling Referrals and Support
- Informal care and social spaces
- Access to Free Hygiene Products
Women and gender-diverse people should not have to decide between buying groceries and keeping a roof over their heads; no one should be forced to choose between staying in an abusive environment and finding safe, affordable housing. We know that injustices aren’t equal and everyone’s experiences differ. As a result, needs are complex and multi-layered. They will differ, so meeting folks “where they are” and adapting to changing realities that equip community members to withstand emergencies is essential.
We don’t approach supporting community members as a traditional charitable “quick-fix”—but as an opportunity for transformative investment and act of collective care that enable pathways for those affected to restore dignity, safety, and health, and establish them as empowered and resilient, cared-for equal members of society. We also understand that providing relief is a step in recovery and transitional living. It is a temporary measure for community members to meet the day-to-day costs of living without fear or harm to their well-being, safety, and health.
To narrow gaps and minimize disparities in our communities, we must do more than provide relief-based programs—we must create the economic and social conditions for women and gender-diverse people to grow the capabilities needed to achieve their goals and dismantle institutional barriers to equity along the way.
ADVOCACY + PUBLIC EDUCATION
From our fundraiser events and panel activations to our annual campaigns, we integrate advocacy in everything we do. We promote empathetic and educational dialogue that yields connection and opportunities for reflection and healing; and, ultimately, mobilize the power we hold to be a part of accelerating progress together.
Relatable and relevant engagement is crucial to centring voices and bringing critical attention to causes—but advocacy brings another layer of consciousness: it encourages progress from ‘seeing the issue’ to participating in integrative action. Actions anyone can do.
Our advocacy efforts are rooted in urgent and long-term organizing and from the work of past and current social justice movements. We understand the importance of balancing being of service and raising awareness to recognize underlying root causes that maintain unequal conditions that disproportionately impact historically-marginalized communities. We are committed to speaking out and bringing awareness about major issues affecting women, gender non conforming people, members of LGBTQIAA+, and girls at every level. Our commitment to advancing gender equity at a systems level includes attending rallies, taking to the streets, signing petitions, public engagement, education, and bold advocacy that equips us to promote intersecting solutions, challenge attitudes, policies and practices, bring communities together and demonstrate broad support for gender equity. We also use our platforms to share inspiring stories and real-time information and amplify the work of other people in this movement.
Our advocacy work includes:
- UNDIVIDED—a visual campaign promoting inclusivity, solidarity, belonging in sisterhood by honouring individual and collective power through photo and video mediums.
- Community-focused speaker panel activations that tackle gender bias and issues such as human trafficking and gender parity. We create safe, engaging spaces to connect and mobilize communities to address harmful practices and discriminatory biases.
- Product launches such as our “Black Women Matter” masks.
- Online multi-channel awareness campaigns that centre issue advocacy and champion collective change
- Petitions that involve national and international entities to deliver action that respects human rights and liberty of all.
- In June 2019, we organized a documentary presentation and panel discussion to address the issue of human trafficking—one of the most underreported crimes—and its dangers and harmful effects on societies.
- In March 2020, we held our first International Women’s Day panel community-focused event, which consisted of five BIPOC speakers who work towards gender equality and equity in their respective spaces and industries.
- In the early days of the pandemic, we saw a dramatic increase of gender-based violence throughout the lockdown. This increase in gender violence and intimate partner violence led us to respond quickly to the crisis and educate the public. To equip women and gender-diverse people and their families while locked down at home, we developed a #GivingTuesday campaign and fund, Women’s Relief Fund, to be accessed for emergency care such as food, financial assistance, telecommunications, and baby essentials. With no media budget available, we purposely built a campaign for social media and newsletter publishing which garnered a significant amount of responses, correspondence, and several partnerships. Our one-month campaign contributed to the awareness of the increase in gender-based violence and animated over 300+ supporters, including local politicians and media outlets.
- For International Women’s Day 2021, we called attention to 9 inspiring male advocates for the #ChooseToChallenge theme. Our goal is to raise awareness around men and boys’ equal participation in the gender equality conversation and how men, as allies, can take steps to disrupt the status quo and institutions that maintain the conditions of gender inequality.
- On a policy level, our advocacy to remove structural obstacles and increase support for women includes sending letters of concern to governments, contributing to debates and discourse through the media, holding seminars to create a forum for public discussion on specific issues, and supporting grassroots and national campaigns such as Encampments to Homes: A Path Forward, Canadian Campaign for Afghan Peace, Indigenous Deserve Clean Drinking Water, and Amendments to the Divorce Act.
- On International Women’s Day 2022, we featured 10 diverse advocates of gender equality in our “Let’s Get Intersectional” campaign. Our goal was to bring more attention and education to the overarching message of Intersectionality and help audiences better understand the significance of this critical framework through storytelling, personal narratives, and educational prompts. Our campaign reached over 19,000 people across what is currently called Canada.
We actively integrate equity and self-determined empowerment of women and gender-diverse people in all aspects of our programming and initiatives. Supporting our diverse priority communities is our priority when combatting inequities facing them. Free, low-barrier, and accessible programming allows us to invest in communities directly by providing interventions and grassroots solutions that address gender inequities.
When we invest in women, we invest in our communities, and ultimately, we invest in our societies at large.
We provide programming that focuses on the development, dignity, leadership, well-being, and healing of diverse women and gender-diverse people who have been made vulnerable and face structural barriers due to lack of supportive policies and access to public services. Our programs serve women and gender-diverse people from our priority communities by providing accessible, confidential peer support, educational and supportive mentorship, workshops, resources, knowledge-sharing opportunities, and a sense of community in relational, strength-based, trauma-informed, feminist, and anti-oppressive environments. We ensure that each program offered to community members is supportive, empowering, promotes their rights, builds capacity, emphasizes interdependence, centres lived experiences, and bolsters connection and autonomy.
When women and gender-diverse folks complete our programs, we hope for them to be empowered to effectively employ choice, have the resources they need, gain a sense of economic or social security, and participate fully in decision-making in society in a wide variety of life situations.
Our programs and services are delivered by facilitators, advocates, social workers, and community members with lived experiences who have working knowledge in development and community sustainability and share a deep commitment to advancing equity for all women and gender-diverse individuals.
GOOD TO BE GOOD respects all people’s inherent dignity, worth, and autonomy while acknowledging their resilience and circumstance. As an organization, we commit to providing services equitably and working to care for community members from marginalized communities.
As part of our active commitment to advancing equity, intersectionality, belonging, and justice, we prioritize women, non-binary, and gender-diverse people in Canada who identify as members of one or more of the designated groups:
Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, racialized people, Indigenous Peoples, 2S individuals, LGBTQIA+, survivors of violence (structural, intimate, economic, psychological), immigrants, refugees, newcomers, low-income, provisionally accommodated/precariously sheltered or housed, have lived/living with intersecting experiences such as isolation, mental health conditions and mental health consumers, invisible and visible disabilities, and other unequal factors that limit the full exercise of rights to life, safety, equal opportunity, such as lack of access and education, location, and state harm.
Not only are diverse identities centred, we also aim to ensure that community members have equitable access to our programs and services: through reasonable accommodations; identifying barriers to participation by considering the needs of diverse groups of people; increasing inclusive participation in our systems and processes; and using evidence-based disaggregated data needed to include equitable considerations in decision-making and service delivery. We strive to create safe spaces for meaningful conversations about diversity, equity, accessibility, human rights, and respect to inform our work and move toward our vision together.