Frankline Agbor (left), Chief Green Officer of Green Crusader and Councillor Sohi (right), City of Edmonton Councillor for Ward 12, Edmonton, during the launch of Afro-Canadian Magazine, December 2012
‘We have this wonderful training program on technical drawing with potential for well-paid jobs; can you put it in your magazine’? ‘The City of Edmonton is holding info sessions on its sustainable procurement policy; can you please share this with your community’? ‘Can you please list our upcoming community’s event in Afro-Canadian weekly e-letter’? ‘Please cover our meeting of Nigerian engineers with their Canadian counterparts in Edmonton’. ‘I started importing mangos from the Caribbean; please share this information with the community’. ‘When is the next African Entrepreneur of the Year or Community Man/Woman of the Year Award’? When we get these requests, the first question that pops up is: Does the proposal build capacity in the community? What opportunities will this bring to our community? How will this affect our common wealth? What good will this do to our community?
You will be asking yourself what these questions have got to do with building sustainable communities…right. Well…these questions capture the element of sustainability often missed – social equity. Policy Link, a US national research and action institute dedicated to advancing economic and social equity defines social equity as, ‘Just and fair inclusion – An equitable society is one in which all can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential’.
Businesses; small, medium or large have increasingly embraced green initiatives because they make economic sense. Companies understand that eliminating waste saves money. They have experienced that saving energy saves money. Increasingly, companies are supporting the communities they rely on; to organize events, to run capacity building programs, to build schools and health centres, to create jobs, to promote diversity, and to support other businesses in their community.
How does Afro-Canadian Magazine help to build sustainable community? Harriet Tinka, Founder of Empowered Youth, Edmonton, puts it this way, ‘Less than a year after launch, my self-esteem and confidence building program has been recognized and supported by the local community and the media. As a matter of fact, within a six months period, my program has been profiled twice on Global TV Edmonton and the number of young girls going through my program to get help with their self-confidence, bullying, leadership, and public presentation and self-esteem issues has doubled. This is due to the exposure I got from networking with community members and potential partners during Afro-Canadian Heroes 2012 event and exposure from Afro-Canadian Magazine, December 2012 edition’.
Well…Afro-Canadian Magazine is a project of Green Crusader Edmonton, an enterprise with a sustainability face. It was launched in December 2012, with a focus on building sustainable communities through a quarterly print publication, annual award celebration, and a weekly e-letter with educative articles and upcoming events listings in the community. The magazine circulates print copies in Edmonton and an online copy for download and view on the website. Calgary launch is being planned for end of July, 2013, and other cities across Alberta by the end of 2014. Involvement with Afro-Canadian Magazine also provides a platform for companies to be involved in building a sustainable community through: