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   Background to SEII
   Video Intro to SEII
   SEII Partners

What is SEI?
   SEI & Population Health
   Closing the Distance

   Central-West Ontario
   Thunder Bay

   Design Studio (videos)
   Tool Box
      Deep Distancing
         Street Youth
         Street Youth Chart
      Peer Problem Solving
      Sudbury Example
      Journey Metaphor
      Sculpturing Change
         Gallery Tour
   Case Studies
      CTD in Sudbury
      CTD in Kingston
      CTD in Thunder Bay
      CTD in Peel-Halton
      CTD in Central West Ont
   Literature Review


Gallery Tour of Closing the Distance Projects

SPNO used the "Sculpturing Change" exercise at its All-Region REFLECTIONS session with local project staff and community leaders in Mississauga in November 2004. Each community group was asked to use the arts materials to portray what transformative change would like in their communities if they were successful in closing the distance. Several examples with their accounts from the Gallery Tour are presented below.

Gallery Tour: Peel-Halton Sculpture

Before Transformative Change:

Before we began this journey, our community structure could be depicted as a rigid square with only one entry point for members of diverse groups in the community, as the model suggests. In other words, mainstream organizations in our community had 'closed' and rigid practices that were defined years ago and which had not been adapted to respond to the diversity of the community as it changed over time. The model shows gatekeepers who allowed only limited entry and access to organizations, and token staff and clients from diverse minority groups who were flattened by the weight of the dominant culture of the organization and limited attention to their needs.

Peel-Halton Sculpture

After Transformative Change:

After the experience of this transformative journey, organizations themselves are transformed. Our model shows a transformed structure with many points of access, an activated toolkit to support the new structure, a diverse group of executive directors with their hearts in the right place, and community voice incorporated into organizational functioning through research. Though not shown on our model, we anticipate the transformation will involve conflict and resistance. We also anticipate the transformative process will be enabled with access to funding.

Our project can be interpreted as a bridge (see sculpture) to transformation of mainstream human service organizations: from organizations designed to serve members of the dominant group in society to organizations designed to serve Diverse groups in society in egalitarian and culturally appropriate ways. The bridge consists of mobilizing leaders of mainstream agencies to address the issue of diversity, providing them with information on best practices for providing services to diverse groups in the community, and assisting them in applying this information to their organizations.

Gallery Tour: Kingston Sculpture

Before Transformative Change:

Tenants and people without homes are scattered about the City without many connections. They have their own "tight community", a street culture, and small networks, but no strong collective group or voice exists. Some but not all have a relationship with Ontario Works.

There is a big barrier between people without homes (smaller objects in the picture) and landlords (larger objects) and a huge gatekeeper in the form of a landlords association. Power and influence and connections with City Hall (white inverted carton) reside on the other side of this barrier to people without homes. The Kingston SPC is pictured here as in the "star"-"heart" truck (mobile) symbol, just starting to make connections with tenants and trying to move developments into a new future (hence, on the boundary between "before" and "after").

Kingston Sculpture

After Transformative Change:

The actors in this picture are all the same, but their relationships are changed. Tenants and people without homes are better linked and pathways through the barrier to the housing provided by landlords are being developed. The barriers are coming down and a mechanism ("star") positioned as pathway between landlords and tenants represents a capacity to do matching and relationship building that both landlords and tenants accept and feel confident about. The whole community is being better defined and connections between City hall and Ontario Works and people in the community are more consistent and appropriate. Symbols representing landlords are more equal in scale to those representing tenants indicating greater equality (closing the distance). There are also new defined roles for the Kingston SPC with a broader range of connections and relationships.
© Social Planning Network of Ontario