circle of actions 

A Communities Building Belonging Cohort

March - September 2024

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join us to advance community-led plans and interventions for belonging


The Circle of Actions cohort is designed to catalyze community leaders’ efforts to create plans and carry out interventions that foster a sense of belonging. This cohort includes a seven-part workshop series, coaching support, and access to the latest thinking, tools, and resources, all designed to increase your skills and competencies in developing a local plan and/or intervention for belonging.

Through this learning journey, we hope to explore:

  • Who do we choose to be amidst uncertainty and disconnection between ourselves and our neighbours?

  • How can we build more equitable, inclusive, and connected communities for all living beings?

  • What does it take to build resilient, place-based, multi-sectoral collaboratives that cultivate a strong sense of belonging reported by everyone in our communities?

  • How are our communities already fostering belonging, and what conditions are needed to amplify and sustain this?

  • How can we create next-generation social infrastructure that is rooted in our collective gifts and creates a strong sense of shared purpose? 

The Circle of Actions is a key component of Tamarack’s efforts to advocate for a National Strategy for Belonging. The successes, lessons learned, and impact of participating communities will collectively make the case for all levels of government to recognize the importance of belonging and support community-led efforts to foster it. 

doing things differently


The Circle of Actions invites changemakers from across sectors to support local efforts to build more inclusive and connected communities. It represents an opportunity to adopt an asset-based community development (ABCD) lens to finding, connecting, and resourcing community assets.  

Through this seven-month learning journey, participants will take a whole-of-community approach to developing solutions that are grounded in local aspirations. The Circle of Actions will include workshops on:  

  • Asset-Based Community Development: This is an approach to the development of communities based on their strengths and potential. It involves assessing the resources, skills, and experiences available in a community; organizing the community around issues that move its members into action, and taking appropriate action.  

  • Collective Impact: A structured approach to collaboration that brings together diverse groups and sectors to address complex social issues and achieve community and systems impact. The Collective Impact framework contains five core conditions, including the development of a common agenda, using shared measurement to understand progress, building on mutually reinforcing activities, engaging in continuous communications, and providing a backbone infrastructure to move work forward.

  • Weaving the Community Fabric: This is one of the foremost opportunities available to us to foster a sense of belonging and learn about the functions of community. Neighbourhoods are home to an abundance of people with shared experience, while at the same time offering great diversity in experiences, gifts, and backgrounds.  

  • Municipalities Supporting and Doing Things Differently: This is about harnessing community assets to build strong neighbourhoods. When individuals are connected and working together, they strengthen their communities’ economic, social, and physical infrastructure. Understanding the functions and roles that people play in the health of their neighbourhoods will allow municipalities to shift the way they show up in community.

  • When Communities Lead: This is about shifting from a service mindset to one that recognizes that communities have what it takes to solve challenges. It involves identifying community champions and building community from the ground up. 

selection timeline

CBB Cohort Selection Timeline

You can access the recording of the information session held on February 7 here.

why join the circle of actions?

The Circle of Actions is a unique learning opportunity in Canada that brings communities together to develop plans and interventions for belonging through an asset-based community development lens and a collective impact approach. Teams will benefit from access to learning, coaching, and networking opportunities throughout the program. These include: 

  • Monthly workshops with guest speakers

  • Exclusive access to select webinars, events, and publications

  • Group coaching calls, including with our Learning Centre consultants

  • Access to resources on developing plans, consultations, and interventions for belonging through asset-based community development and collective impact methodologies

  • An opportunity for rapid prototyping and feedback on intervention design, piloting, and launch

  • A systems transformers cohort for residents with lived and living experience to develop the skills of facilitation, systems thinking, and collaborative leadership

  • Updates on the latest news and events on building belonging

  • Networking opportunities with actors across sectors and institutions

Consult our membership brochure for a full list of membership benefits. 

 

session breakdown

2024 CoA Timeline

The Circle of Actions is a seven-month program that will begin in March 2024. Our virtual, 90-minute monthly workshops will run at noon ET on the following days: 

 

  • March 19 

  • April 16 

  • May 21 

  • June 18 

  • July 16 

  • August 20 

  • September 17 

 

During our monthly sessions, we will learn together, enjoy a sense of community, and celebrate the gifts we each bring towards cultivating belonging in our communities.

 

Session 1: Making the Case for Belonging 

You will explore the ‘why’ of building belonging and the potential of asset-based community development in fostering inclusion, connectedness, and solidarity. 

 

Session 2: Building Inclusive and Connected Communities 

You will explore the pre-conditions to collective impact, learn how collective impact can accelerate your work on building belonging, and explore useful tools and resources to help develop your plans and interventions.  

 

Session 3: Engaging Everyone 

You will learn about the purpose of community engagement, determine who your key actors are, and identify important considerations for how to design and deliver an engagement process. 

 

Session 4: Mapping our Assets 

You will explore how a whole-of-community approach that is grounded in an asset-based community development methodology can equip you to create local opportunities and respond to needs and challenges in your neighbourhood. At the end of this session, you will be equipped with the tools and resources you need to dive into your neighbourhood’s history, key assets, and vision for the future.   

 

Session 5: Planning, Testing, and Evaluating 

You will learn how to navigate through change as you develop and begin to implement your plans and interventions. You will also learn what to keep in mind as you test your interventions and look beyond proven practices to create innovative solutions. Lastly, you will look at examples of how communities have been developing a theory of change, an evaluation framework, and indicators to track progress.

 

Session 6: Sustaining Community-led Collaboratives 

You will explore the factors that contribute to sustainable, resilient, and impactful collaborations. You will also learn about tools and mechanisms to foster financial sustainability and organizational resilience.  

 

Session 7: Celebrating Community Leadership 

As we celebrate the insights and efforts from our communities, you will learn from the collective wisdom that has been cultivated throughout this program. Our final session will be marked by a spirit of connectedness, solidarity, and excitement for what’s next.

who should apply?

 

The Circle of Actions is open to existing and prospective Tamarack members. Support is available for communities and individuals who may face barriers to participating. Please reach out to Prachir if you’d like to discuss this opportunity further.

 

The Circle of Actions is designed for: 

 

  • Communities across Canada (made up of municipal staff, resident-led groups, nonprofits, and others) that are interested in developing a local plan and implementing at least one intervention for belonging. You must meet the following criteria: 

    • A stated commitment to centering justice and equity in building belonging; 

    • A stated commitment to engage in the asset-based community development and collective impact processes that are central to Tamarack’s work;

    • A stated commitment to engaging residents with lived and living experience in plan development and intervention implementation; 

    • The capacity and commitment to meaningfully engage in the cohort's offerings (e.g., monthly calls, homework assignments, etc.), and

    • Having a cross-sectoral team of participants from the same place will be considered an asset (e.g., someone from local government and someone from the community co-leading this work).

we are inviting tamarack members and learners to complete an application by february 29th, 2024

All applicants will be notified by email of their application status. The participating communities will be announced on March 12th, 2024.

Learn more about the benefits of membership. Support is available for communities and individuals who may face barriers to participating. 

To compensate individuals with lived/living experience participating in the Circle of Actions for their time and expertise, we will be providing $250 stipends per person, for up to three individuals per team.

Please contact Prachir to learn more.

meet the faculty

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Sylvia Cheuy

Sylvia is a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Collective Impact Idea Area. She is passionate about community change and what becomes possible when residents and various sector leaders share an aspirational vision for their future. Sylvia believes that when the assets of residents and community are recognized and connected they become powerful drivers of community change.

 

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Lisa Attygalle

Lisa is a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Community Engagement Idea Area. Over the last six years, her work has focused on creating authentic engagement strategies and training staff teams, teaching and writing about innovative engagement methodologies, designing and facilitating workshops with a focus on raising the voice of the context expert, integrated communications planning, and the use of technology and creativity for engagement.

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Jean-Marie Chapeau

Jean-Marie s a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Evaluation Idea Area. He has been involved in community development and social change for 25 years. Jean-Marie mobilizes his experience, passion, and curiosity to promote evaluation as a tool for empowerment in communities and to accompany individuals and groups in their learning processes. 

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Myriam Bérubé

Myriam is the Consulting Director for Quebec at the Tamarack Institute. She’s passionate about community innovation and development and brings her understanding of the diversity of experiences made in Quebec into Tamarack’s five interconnected areas of practices leading to community change. 

 

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Sonja Miokovic

Sonja is the Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institutes’s Community Innovation Area. She is a dynamic educator, social scientist, and innovator with over 16 years of experience in the sector. Having lived, worked, and played in over 80 countries, she has a broad spectrum of international experience that cuts across the public, private and civil society sectors.

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