Hispanic Development Council – Consejo de Desarrollo Hispano
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Community Alternative Planning

HDC has been both internally and externally involved in community activities which are impacting community development work. In the internal community side for example, we have participated strongly in the development of “Punto de Encuentro” Annual Community Encounter. Here we saw emerge the discussion about economic marginalization, challenges with families, education, health, mental health facilitated by our colleague community workers in the North West quadrant of the City. The objective is simple: to encourage community members to participate and contribute to the problem solving challenges dealing with the many areas of need identified by the community itself and the community organizations.  In addition, participant community organizations have made a commitment to build a stronger community alliance.

community-picture

Externally, the situation has been more or less the same. HDC has contributed to the work of Colour of Poverty to confront growing challenges of racialized communities in terms of wages, economic policy and employment equity. In this particular year many other important initiatives took place.  Indeed, we were part also of the process of exploring a new City vision in regards to building a contemporary Anti-Discrimination Infrastructure for access and equity in all its different components linking citizens with their local government.

Collective advances which should be mentioned include in the field of children, youth and education, the Latin American Education Network (LAEN). For the first time in the history of the community in Toronto, we have participated in building a partnership which includes teachers, parents, youth, community educators, to advance a single perspective dedicated to advance the performance of Latino Hispanic students in the educational system. Indeed, no longer we expect our children shall be in the school system without support or attention.

One last fundamental part of this group of strategies has to do with our partnership with the African, Chinese and South Asian allies of the Alternative Planning Group.  Currently we are working in the development on initiatives for the building of a common agenda in areas related to youth, women and seniors. During these working meetings which we have called round tables we have worked in the exploration of challenges and problems for our communities, but also we have worked in the development of strategies and positive ideas to respond to the problems in each sector. The results of the process will be both, shared with the community but also with the City of Toronto to enhance the public decision making process. In regards to the perspective of HDC, these consultations help us to shape our work in the field of alternative policy development.

More details about the APG’s activities please click here. (An Alternative Tale of the City: Toronto and the Alternative Planning Group, by Uzma Shakir)