The We Have Power Project is grateful to highlight Nova Scotians who are making real change in their communities.
This campaign will grow as this project expands - reach out to us if you know other changemakers deserving of a spotlight ([email protected]).
We give thanks to those who raised their voices and who worked with us to share their work with us.
Archive Download (1.57 MB) a folder containing all our portraits with text on the images below, and share on your socials.
Advocacy is the backbone to social work practice. I went into this profession to use my privilege and lived experience to be the voice of those who are not YET at all the tables.
UNToxicated Queers is important to me because it filled a void in the system where queerness intersects with substance use and where harm reduction intersects with recovery. We offer a spectrum of care approach that challenges the binary of support systems and brings community together for healing and connection and JOY!
Personally I’m inspired to keep moving forward with this passion project as I have witnessed and experienced such positive change in our community in regards to substance use and addiction. I created this initiative to offer others a much safer, queerer, and fulsome experience navigating their own journey with substance and addiction. The light is coming back into people's eyes! This is inspiring
Patrick co-founded UNToxicated Queers, described as part-support group, part-sober events, part-harm reduction initiative, and 100% queer. UNToxicated Queers comes together to support, connect and hold space for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks to chat about problematic substance use and addictive behaviours of all kinds.
North-End Community Health Centre
Advocacy is important to me because there is an immediate need of change that needs to happen. As a little child, I was always along side my Mum at various community events advocating for equal rights, as well as Black health. My job as an African Nova Scotian Outreach Social Worker allows me to positively contribute to Black Health, by being someone who looks like the individuals who are accessing service, while having an understanding of the social determinants of health and how they also contribute to Black Health.
Tara Downey is the ANS Outreach Social Worker at the North End Community Health Centre. At the NECHC, Tara has been able to provide culturally appropriate support around mental health, food security, social justice and rapid response services for the community. Tara grew up in the North End of Halifax, so she is well known to the community. One of Tara’s dream vacations is to visit Giraffe Manor in Kenya, Nairobi.
Advocacy is important to me because I’m a health promoter, and my role is to support and help communities and groups advocate for their health and well-being. Advocacy helps us shift the curve to include everyone rather than those with privilege.
UQ is important to me because it is a unique program; it’s run by queers with lived experience for queers with substance use problems through a harm reduction lens. It’s important to me because I am seeing a difference in the community and the shift towards more thoughtfulness and care.
I am inspired by my collaboration with Patrick and working in and for the community is what keeps me going. Hearing stories and lived experiences really helps me put into perspective how badly we need systematic and structural change.
Liane co-founded UNToxicated Queers, described as part-support group, part-sober events, part-harm reduction initiative, and 100% queer. UNToxicated Queers comes together to support, connect and hold space for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks to chat about problematic substance use and addictive behaviours of all kinds.
Nova Scotians deserve good access to care. Our province needs to stabilize family medicine, establish health homes to aid in team-based care, and ensure specialty services, especially in rural areas, are sustainable. This is all essential if we are going to ensure Nova Scotians can access the care they need, when and where they need it.
Leisha Hawker is the president of Doctors Nova Scotia, an association representing more than 3,500 physicians, including practicing and retired physicians, medical students and residents. Their purpose is to help physicians thrive and have a positive impact on their patients’ lives, at an individual and system level. She works as a physician with the North-End Community Health Centre.
Membertou Men’s Health Society
Membertou Men’s Health is important to me because it helps us to create a safe space for all generations to come and heal from their traumas. By being able to express our feelings and emotions, we will be able to access the proper professional support that will help us to address some of the current issues we face; such as addictions, mental health, grief, poverty, etc. This helps us in: achieving our fullest potential in life, completing the circle of family support, (women, children, elders, and men), as well as finding our cultural identity! This just scrapes the surface of the many amazing benefits, with support for men.
Ryan founded Membertou Men’s Health Society, noticing the need for support for men who are struggling in his community.