On May 28, we were very excited to host the first Ideas2Action event of the year! For those new to Ideas2Action, I2A is a forum hosted by CivicMuslims that showcases community organizations and individuals who have taken “ideasfor good” and have brought them to life. Ideas2Action is one of our key banner events, and we were thrilled to kick things off in May!
Last month, we invited Ahmed Hussein, Executive Director at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO), Zehra Abbas, Founder and Board Member of Studio89 and Ziyaad Mia, Founder of Give30. That evening, we gathered at The Garage at the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annexe. The room was full! As dinner was served, guests exchanged banter with familiar and new faces alike. We were so glad to see some newbie CivicMuslims come out and join us!
Ahmed Hussein, Executive Director at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO), spoke about the history of the agency and its achievements.
“Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office is a multicultural, multi-service agency providing a wide range of community services since 1985,” said Hussein. “We have more than 120 staff at service locations on Thorncliffe Park Drive and at 3 satellite locations in Toronto.”
What was inspiring about Hussein's presentation was how he spoke to the influence of connection - human, social and even digital! TNO, much like several other successful organizations, utilizes social media to share it's story and narrative. Hussein wrapped up his session by encouraging the audience to regularly self-reflect. He harped on how self-reflection is a key mechanism for learning and consistently improving.
Zehra Abbas, founder and president at Studio 89, gave a presentation about the youth run social enterprise - a local fair trade cafe in Mississauga. “Studio 89 is a youth empowering social enterprise comprised of a fair trade cafe and an artademic resource centre,” Abbas told the audience. “Studio 89 offers youth leadership, empowerment, and entrepreneurial opportunities while promoting conscious consumerism," she said. Abbas also gave an inspiring lesson on the importance of supporting local goods and looking past the brand name label. Customers vote with their wallets - make the right choice when you purchase a product.
Ziyaad Mia, founder of the annual Give30 Ramadan campaign, spoke to the power of working for the greater community.
“Give 30 wants everyone, regardless of faith, donating to the Give 30 Campaign Food Banks during the month of Ramadan so we can fight hunger in our community,” said Mia. His presentation was candid and authentic, and also included a photo of Grumpy Cat. Need we say more? You had to be there!
All in all, our first I2A for 2015 was an inspiring & motivating event. Speakers shared their journey, openly and honestly, from the ups and downs to the lessons learned and reflections made on making change. We hope you took a tidbit or two away from the event, enough to inspire you to aspire change in your community!
By the Numbers:
3 incredible speakers x 40 engaged attendees x 2 inspiring hours
= priceless lessons of doing good for the community!