Saturday, January 2, 2021


Which 3 People Influenced Your Thinking the Most in 2020?

Ericka Hart || sex educator, radical social/gender disruptor, black activist. 

Ericka continually pushes me further beyond my bias and status quo comfort zone, speaking to issues through the lens of white supremacy and heteronormativity. Their views are often sharp - they aren’t always easy for me to immediately agree with or accept, but they ALWAYS challenge me to dig deeper, question my tension/resistance, check my privilege, and keep pushing myself to (un)learn. They also focus on sharing black joy- something not typically highlighted by other forms of media. 

Glennon Doyle || author, feminist, activist, and founder of the organization Together Rising. 

Several of her books have truly changed my life, including her most recent 2020 release, UNTAMED, however, it’s her ability to show up, speak clearly about big, important, often scary things, and activate when she is needed that have landed her on this list. Her not-for-profit, together rising, has a mandate to turn collective heartbreak into effective change, donating every single penny they receive to people in need. In 2020, they raised over $4.5 million for projects like migrant family reunification, covid relief, and holiday support for families in need.

Julie van Rosendall || chef, cookbook author, food access activist, writer and inspiring Calgarian.

I’ve loved Julie since my days living in Calgary listening to her talk about food on CBC, but this year has really solidified her place in my heart. Her love of community and cooking has completely overhauled my relationship with both in 2020 - I’ve cooked and baked so many delicious things with her guidance, cookbooks, and Instagram lives. The way she loves and passionately celebrates local food and business has really sparked a new appreciation in me for small rituals, indulgent moments, everyday celebration, and fiercely supporting/protecting local.

What was the Best Book or Article you Read in 2020?

Book || Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed 

Article || The Unraveling of America

What is Something you Changed your Mind About in 2020? 

The power given to the word ‘racist’. To call or be called a racist has always felt like the harshest, most bitter of insults. After spending time last year really unpacking and reeducating myself about race issues, white privilege, and colonialism, it’s been explained that we as white people all have racism inside of us to some degree - we have grown up in and benefit from the societal norms of a world built on white supremacist ideologies. Unlearning and dismantling these everyday systems of oppression and continually doing the hard work to become anti-racist are both things I will keep very close to my heart in the new year and beyond. 

What was the Most Profound Lesson from 2020?

That giving things away is so much more rewarding then receiving will ever be. Our connecting to community is truly the most valuable thing we have in life. The world fell apart for so many of us this last year - people struggled in ways we’ve never had to experience in our lifetime. But through it all, the small acts of community, of people coming together to pick each other up and carry us all through was life changing. Jeff and I stretched ourself to give more this year - to not hold on so tightly and trust that the universe will continue to take care of us, as it always has. Some of the things we did that have allowed for more meaningful community connection: 

We joined our neighbourhood buy nothing group on Facebook - this has allowed us to give away items and connect directly with our close-by neighbours, some of whom are have been struggling this year, rather than just donating to a second-hand store.   


Last Christmas (2019) I bought a couple rolls of loonies and quarters from the bank. The idea being we could all always have a pocket full of change available to give whenever we saw someone in need around the city. It’s something we continued doing through all of 2020 and something I have no plans of ever stopping. The menial cost to us is completely unnoticed, but being able to have a moment of connection with someone going through a hard time has been deeply meaningful for me, but more importantly, for Finn. I always want him to know that sharing what we have and taking care of those around us is just something we do.  


I joined a mailing list called Rapid Response - it’s run by group of community organizers in Toronto working towards the equitable redistribution of land, wealth, and power in Canada. The RR mailing list is a resource for marginalized people and groups struggling for justice to ask for urgent support from folks who have access to more resources than we need. Emails are sent on an as-needed basis- typically a few times per month. Whenever a request comes through that really speaks to me or I feel like we have $20 or $30 to spare, I send some money through. It has been a really good way to hold myself accountable and remember to give on a more continual, ongoing basis (rather than just around the holidays, or when a friend shares a go-fund me request.) If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the link.