Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
In a landscape of skyrocketing residential and commercial rents, how could cooperatives provide stability and ensure property resources respond to community needs? This public conversation considers how collective ownership is a critical tool for the preservation of neighbourhoods targeted by private interests. To what extent do coops offer the opportunity to advance reconciliation by challenging the problematic nature of the private ownership of unceded lands? And how could collective ownership free those at the mercy of increasing rents to engage in work that is to the benefit of whole communities?
This conversation is co-presented by À nous les quartiers / From the ground up
Shannon Franssen has been working in the community movement since 1996. She has been a frontline worker with housing and homeless organizations and sat on numerous boards of community-based and social economy organizations in Montreal. She joined the Community Development Corporation, Solidarité Saint-Henri, as the coordinator in 2010. She's passionate about designing and implementing democratic and inclusive decision-making processes and other tools for community engagement and collective empowerment.
Eunbyul Park joined Solidarité Saint-Henri's team this year as a Project Officer. Her role involves supporting the À nous la Malting collective in their effort to re-appropriate the Canada Malting site, one of the last abandoned industrial sites along the Lachine Canal in St-Henri. She works with the collective's mobilisation committee to push the city and other levels of gouvernement to remove the site from the private real-estate market and allow community groups to purchase and develop the land.
Mubeenah Mughal is a mother of 3 boys that attend 3 different schools. She represents parents of children with special needs at the CSEM. Mubeenah is an educator in social media with an interest in community dialog on education and racism. She is a member of the Quebec Black Muslim Women Collective. Mubeenah also works at Bâtiment 7 where she is responsible for community engagement.
Accessibility: The space is wheelchair accessible, but the ramp to access the main door is quite long, and the elevator to reach the 2nd floor where the conversation is held, can be finicky. There are gender neutral washroom adjacent to the space where the conversation will be.