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Past EVENTS / Stories of Collective Care in the Time of COVID-19: Part One

Stories of Collective Care in the Time of COVID-19: Part One

Please join us for a series of online conversations with essential workers, food justice advocates, and the adult literacy community. Learn about collective strategies of mutual support and grassroots organizing. Experience some of the cultural practices being created during this time of global transition.

These important panel discussions will explore community care in Toronto and beyond.

Panel One: What is Collective Care?

The pandemic may have forced many of us to practice physical distancing, but is also encouraging some to collaborate and support each other in creative ways.

This discussion focuses on Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood, and how people are providing collective care to the most vulnerable members of their community. Looking beyond COVID-19, what can we learn from these strategies, and are they here to stay?


Tish Carnat (ESL Instructor, Board Member of Parkdale Land Trust & Founder of Milky Way Garden) Tish has been an English as a second language (ESL) Instructor for the Toronto District School Board since 1988 and has been teaching ESL literacy to adults for the past 15 years in the Parkdale Library, where most of the learners are refugees and seniors and many are Tibetan. Tish is the initiator of the Milky Way Garden acquiring it for the ESL class learners in 2007 to allay food insecurity, and one of five community gardens supported by Greenest City. Milky Way Garden is the first parcel of land acquired by Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust in June 2017. Tish has been a board member of PNLT since 2015.

Phylicia Davis-Wesseling (Co-Chair and Board Member, Parkdale Project Read/Founder & Board Member, KGO Adult Literacy) is the Founder and Project Lead of the KGO Adult Literacy Program; an community-based organization that supports adults 21 and older with the literacy and numeracy skills in Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park community of East Scarborough. Phylicia has her Masters in Education from the University of Toronto, OISE where she focused Adult Education and Community Development. Phylicia is a board member with Parkdale Project Read in the role as Co-Chair and has been involved in civic engagement and equity work at Ryerson University and Toronto Foundation. In her spare time, Phylicia enjoys watercolour painting, reading, cooking and baking, spending time with family and friends and long walks around the city.

Angela ElzingaCheng (Executive Director, Greenest City) grew up working in a farming community providing a foundation for her food and growing knowledge.   She has been a community organizer and developer for over 23 years, and worked at FoodShare for ten years after working at a neighbourhood-based food security organization in Vancouver, Canada and getting a Master’s in Social Work at the University of British Columbia with a focus on community development and anti-oppression. Angela’s passion is to support change towards a more just society that reflects the diversity of Toronto through food and environment justice work.


Jillian Tamaki, (Illustrator and Parkdale Project Read Tutor) and Victoria Miller Johnson, (Author and Parkdale Project Read Learner).


This event is moderated by and presented in partnership with Kwentong Bayan Collective, who are Myseum of Toronto’s 2020 Artist Collective in Residence. Kwentong Bayan is a collective of two Toronto-based artists, Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. Their artistic mandate is to explore a critical and intersectional approach to community-based art, labour, and education. In the Filipino language, “kwentong bayan” is the literal translation of “community stories.”

Stories of Collective Care in the Time of COVID-19: Part One

13 May 2020


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