Happy first day of summer!
I'm writing this week's report from a Richmond hotel room as I'm attending the Board Voice Conference. If you are unfamiliar with Board Voice, it provides peer-led support, connection and advocacy for nonprofit community boards throughout BC whose organizations are dedicated to supporting and strengthening social health in their communities (description from their website). If you are an organizational leader of a nonprofit, I encourage you to seek Board Voice membership for your organization to support the efforts of your volunteer board members. Over the past few years, Board Voice has created its Building Better Boards curriculum and has offered it free of charge. One takeaway I use for my board onboarding is the Navigating the Waters: Governance as Leadership document. It clearly articulates board members' roles and responsibilities and how they can use their position on the board to effect change. I highly recommend it.
Yesterday was the first day of the conference with Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Honourable Shelia Malcomlmson, as one of the first speakers. (photo at right). In particular, I was delighted to hear of her commitment to continuing the work started by former Minister Shane Simpson on the Social Services Sector Roundtable (SSSRT). As you may remember, ASPECT is a member of the SSSRT reference group, which comes together to inform the sector's needs. Just yesterday morning, on the ferry to the mainland, I was working on a collaborative memo to SDPR Deputy Minister David Galbraith. I was delighted to see some pertinent issues identified, such as decolonization, infrastructure needs, and ontology. Minister Malcolmson's speech made me feel hopeful.
I'm rushing a bit this morning because the first session of day two is a presentation from former Attorney General Colin Gablemann and former Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson. They will discuss what advocates need to do to get their issues included in the BC Budget and how to "use our skills, connections and influence in our communities...to help address gaps and better respond to needs" (quote from the conference program). Not to worry, I've already talked to former minister Simpson to see if he can come to the ASPECT Conference for a similar session. We will work on the logistics of making that happen.
Before I fly off, I wanted to remind everyone that our call for conference presenters closes on Monday. I have looked at some of the outstanding proposals already submitted. Also coming on Monday is a provincial announcement I'll discuss in next week's Aspectives.
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO