Avia MooreCDSS Board Member Avia Moore, Toronto, ON. Photo by Laura Kirby.

From a Board Member

It’s a running joke on the Board that I want to join every committee and every task group, particularly new ones. I admit, I do tend to get excited about new projects! But over the past few pandemic-heavy months—has it been a year already?—I have struggled to find meaning in my work. Last winter and spring, when we faced the wave of pandemic cancellations, I realized just how much of my life is about bringing people together in person.

Sometimes a pause of one kind can open a space for deepening other work. I have found motivation in cultural equity work at CDSS, as the Board and staff together take a long and honest look at our own histories, policies, and programs. I found hope in the way that Dr. Dena Ross Jennings, the newly-contracted facilitator for the CDSS Cultural Equity Advisory Group, spoke about the process as one of transformation. For living traditions are resilient in their ability to transform and be transformative.

During my first term I particularly enjoyed Board-staff collaborations. As a Board, we make a point of creating space so that the staff can do their jobs. However, there are times when the Board can directly support staff in their work through helping with background research, groundwork, or simply providing a sounding board for brainstorming. This takes a kind of collaborative trust that not every organization can sustain. That these collaborations are flourishing at CDSS is, I think, a sign of health, commitment, and good things to come.

As I begin my second term on the CDSS Board, it is with the hope that we may dance and sing together in person soon. And, in the meantime, may we continue to create and embrace transformation.

Avia Moore

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