We are living through dangerous times. And dangerous times require innovative and creative solutions to bring new voices to the table. That is exactly the space that Textile aims to create with their new magazine. I have spent a lot of my time working with people in the communities I serve who are “voiceless.”
Please don’t get me wrong—these are community members who speak out regularly, expressing great concern about numerous day-to-day issues. Issues like healthcare, education, access to social services, equity issues and transportation are just a few of the concerns that are raised. So what is it that makes so many of us consider them “voiceless”?
From my own experience working in community, I would argue that being considered “voiceless” has very little to do with these courageous community members who regularly raise concerns to me regarding ways that our communities can truly become more inclusive. In fact,
being “voiceless” has everything to do with the ways that those in power create (or don’t create) spaces for non-traditional voices to speak to some of the most traditional issues that impact our communities.
And it is because of this that I am so pleased to see Textile taking this work on with and for our communities. By making use of the traditional and non-traditional writing and artistic expression to engage with so many that are left out of these conversations, Textile is creating a space for dialogue that traditional outlets do not. And by bringing new voices into the fold, Textile is providing a space for solution building to address issues that impact all of our community members, starting with a look at transportation.
I hope that this issue on transit moves you on a variety of levels.
I hope that you are moved to think differently about the key issues that impact decisions and decision-making about transportation.
I hope that you are moved to think differently about who can and should be speaking about transportation decisions in our communities.
And I hope that you are moved to think differently about what is considered important when we talk of expanding transit opportunities for everyone in Waterloo Region.
So thank you, Textile, for making a space for the voices of those who have traditionally been ignored. And thank you for recognizing the power of the arts to do this important work.