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Be Seen, Be Heard: Nilda Denis Martinez, Region 5

We the North
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I worked part-time as an Athletics and Recreation Coordinator at a Community College in Ontario. The best part of my job was having to work closely with Student Workers who were passionate about making a positive impact in their College Community. We would host numerous program-based events every semester that would provide the students an opportunity to be social and active with their peers. While emphasizing the importance of wellness and general health, a huge part of our role was to create an inclusive environment where our students felt welcomed, safe, and part of the team. Then COVID-19 hit.

COVID 19 Impact Statement:

Although my job was among the 403,000 jobs lost in Ontario this past April due to COVID-19, everyone, everywhere, lost something or worse, someone. This is why I started volunteering my time to remote social planning groups that focused on supporting communities and groups in need. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to host numerous virtual events including a Solidarity Concert to recognize and thank Front Line Workers and an Employee Picnic to remind workers working from home to celebrate each other, as we are all in this together.

I’ve learned that community action is key during times like these. Sharing information on what is going on and what can be done to help is important but meaningless if not followed by action. I’m proud to say that I am part of a community that organizes online workshops for workers faced with layoffs and for workers who now have to go back to work and are concerned about working conditions. Even though COVID may end soon (hopefully sooner than later), it has changed our lives forever.  I am now working on Anti-Racism campaigns to bring awareness of racism in the workplace and mobilizing for precarious workers who are susceptible to social, economic, and political poverty.

My goal is to keep the movement going. Just because we have all been affected by the problem, it doesn’t mean we can’t be part of the solution. Stand active, stand strong, and watch as we change the world for the better. Be safe out there.