December 30, 2018
Mental illness. The phrase has only recently taken on the weight of its significance, and even more recently have we begun to understand the complexity of the many conditions. It’s become so glaringly obvious that so many of us have or will experience a mental health condition to some degree and in some form in our lifetime.
A dear friend of mine who has worked closely with individuals suffering from mental health conditions, and even has a son who navigated through his own conditions, once said:
“I have learned through my life experiences and my profession that I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some type of mental health condition and physical disability. The difference is only degree. That’s what determines obvious or subtle behavior – degree. What type should be treated, what shouldn’t. What should be marginalized, avoided and shunned, what should be accepted. What is ‘normal’, what isn’t. Stigma is a learned judgment that builds walls and maintains inequality.”
Working on Road to Possible has allowed me to listen to and share a space with some amazing individuals that have experienced and dealt with, or continue to deal with varying mental health conditions. No two stories are the same and no two outcomes are the same. However, it’s the support, understanding and patience of the people around them that allows for the path to healing.
Mental illness is only a stigma as long as we are ignorant to its prevalence.
Blog with Babz #2 – Growing on the Journey
December 30, 2018
Road to Possible has been quite a journey to say the least. There have been a few rough terrains, but I can honestly say this is a trip worth taking again, and again, and again.
There are so many stories to be told and so many special individuals behind those diverse stories.
The best part about this experience has been meeting with these remarkable people, listening to their stories, watching their Talkies and their follow-up interviews.
It’s amazing what you can learn about an individual when you engage in the right conversation and “listen” to their responses, and believe it or not, what you can learn about yourself.
I’ve learned so many lessons throughout this process.
So many of the experiences at the heart of all these individual stories and journeys are so easily transferable to our own personal lives.
It reminds us how connected we as human beings truly are.
Often times, who we are as human beings is boiled down to a weak reduction of name, nationality, gender, sexuality, and occupation.
Road to Possible dives deeper and explores the experiences that truly make a person who they are, what defines their personality, how they interact with the world and the space around them.
Why certain choices are made and not others, and what attracts human beings to certain passions and not others.
We spend so much of our time contemplating our own lives. I’ve learned while working on this show that it is possible to learn and grow more when I take in other people’s experiences. The truth is, we might actually be able to make better sense of our own journey when we allow ourselves to experience other people’s.
RtP (Road to Possible) is all about the human experience, joining these different humans on their own road to possible. Hopefully it pushes us and encourages us all to work harder in the pursuit of our own goals and ambitions…
Blog with Babz #1 – Your GPS
November 1, 2018
Road to Possible is all about taking you on a journey – a road trip, if you will – through the lives of some incredible individuals who are pursuing or living their own dreams and ambitions. Imagine, if you will, driving across the country and stopping frequently at new and interesting destinations along the way. You’ll be entertained, intrigued, and you’ll even learn some lessons and learn more about your own personal path along the way.
As your Navigator, my role is simple: I’m here to navigate you through the journey. Your… GPS. However, unlike a GPS, I promise not to steer you through any dark alleys, into dead-end streets or force you to make any unwanted U turns. I’m so excited to continue getting to know our profiles and help share their unique stories with you.
EDITORIAL / ANNOUNCEMENT: Bonus Talkie with Arys Dejan
October 5, 2018
There’s been a change in plans with today’s scheduled Talkie…
We were going to begin our Talkie Series with nutrition student, Neesa McRae-McNicholls. However, she decided she doesn’t want to make her interview public. We fully support her decision. At Road to Possible, we do everything we can to make sure our profiles are comfortable.
So instead, tune in after 5 PM today for a Bonus Talkie of Arys Déjan performing his spoken word poetry:
SOMETIMES ART IS NOT ABOUT MAKING ART – by Carlos Delgado
December 12, 2017
Originally posted on Carlos’ website: https://www.artcarlosdelgado.com/blog-1/
The holiday season may be upon us. For me this time of the year always makes me think of how we can give back. I have always felt that artists have a social responsibility to give back through their art. I have throughout my career always tried to find ways to do this, because art isn’t always just for the sake of doing art.
A few years back when the refugee crisis started on a large global scale we saw large number of people leaving their homelands, putting themselves through treacherous trips to bring a better future to their families and themselves. Coming from a country that has the second biggest number of internally placed refugees, this had a huge impact on me. In response to this, I wanted to find the humanity within it all, and not have it just be numbers of people. I wanted to find hope that we can find in the darkest hour. So, I created a series called Travelers Under the Moon. Pics below:
This year before I left for my trip to Colombia, I decided to donate some of the pieces in the series to a local agency who works with supporting refugee every day, FCJ Refugee Centre. I am honored for them receiving me and my artwork. Thank you for your conversation, the delicious lunch and generosity. Here are some pics:
I still have two large (4’x’5 ) pieces from this series that I would love to donate to someone who can put it up somewhere and show hope, show human connection, show the energy of love and family. If interested feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving Forward Together
January 30, 2017
We’re shocked and saddened by the attacks at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
In times like these, we remember the editorial we wrote two years ago, in response to the escalating global terrorist attacks:
Road to Possible is not about politics; however, living is political.
Our multi-platform project is about our diverse community of people living in harmony with respect and support for one another regardless of the obstacles they face.
We oppose all forms of discrimination, abuse, extremism and violence that threaten our individual freedoms and political democracies.
We hope that we can all move forward together as one people and heal, love and support one another.
-Lesley & Edward
January 28, 2017
Originally posted on Eva’s Initiatives blog: http://www.evas.ca/blog/changemaker-profile-mardi-daley/
Mardi Daley first came across LOFT Community Services, a Toronto-based organization that supports youth, adults and seniors, as she sought services herself. She soon became a Peer Support Worker to provide care and mentorship to youth dealing with housing, mental health, and substance use matters. “I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if they had given up on me” she says, “and now I feel confident that I can be a changemaker in my community.”
Mardi deeply understands what many young people go through. She herself experienced barriers of low income and had to live in emergency shelter a few times throughout her youth. She also experienced the life-changing effects of getting the right help at the right time. “I got a Big Sister when I was 7,” she explains, “and without her as a positive role model, I’m not sure what would have happened to me.” Later, Mardi was able to use extracurricular programs to enable and motivate her to go to university and put her in a position to give back. “I knew that, should I want to step into a mentorship role, I would have to commit 110% of my energy towards others,” she says. “This part is really crucial because vulnerable people, youth especially, want to feel a sense of community belonging and empathy.”
Mardi’s peer-to-peer youth work is critical to LOFT’s youth-friendly approach. “One of the most important parts of peer work is being a consistent face for other youth to see in the space,” she says. In many other ways, Mardi also acts as a youth voice for the organization. Her most recent project is the beginning of a survival guide for youth that addresses topics like life skills, housing strategies, and healthy living. She also attended the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’ national conference to speak to the importance of peer approaches to working with youth experiencing homelessness.
Mardi attributes the success of her peer work to the power of shared experience. “We understand what it feels like to be stigmatized, the feeling of vulnerability involved in asking for help and importantly, the rollercoaster of recovery,” she says. Knowing that someone has been in the same situation can help a young person believe that their own story will be met with empathy. Mardi stresses how peer approaches can go hand-in-hand with other kinds of support and service for youth.
“I hope that, with an increase of the visibility of peers in the field, others will feel less afraid of being stigmatized should they decide this is a path they want to pursue,” says Mardi. She speaks to how organizations must truly value and support those they hire to do peer-based programming. “Peers take a huge risk by vocalizing their lived experiences,” she says. There’s no doubt in Mardi’s mind that, when done right, the rise of peer approaches to youth services can help transform the world. “If we can take care of our children and youth,” she says, “then we will ultimately have more independent, productive and happy adults.”