This is my first post on a blog since Skyrock (do you remember Skyrock?). When Vivienne, one of our board members and volunteers (she makes the cookies <3), started the blog two weeks ago, I did not think I would participate.
Not that it was not a good idea to start a blog for Coop Le Milieu, but I am usually shy in sharing my personal writing.
However, unfortunately (or fortunately?), I registered for the class Community Engagement at Concordia, and my teacher asked me to write the weekly reports to you instead of writing them to him.
Therefore, you will be the ones responsible for evaluating how good I am at reading the assigned book, volunteering for a community organization and building relationships with my community!
Every week for the next two months, I will share with you a personal reflection on my work as a volunteer, with inspiration from my weekly chapter of the book Toward Psychologies of Liberation by Helen Shulman and Mary Watkins (shout out to Rachel, one of Le Milieu’s founding members, for the book recommendation).
This week, I begin with an introduction to psychologies of liberation.
The discipline of psychology as we know it in North America came from and is imbedded by a colonial ideology of dominance. Such ideology created a psychology of painful experiences forgetting and denial, both at the collective and personal level.
It can be seen through popular mottos like ‘Never look back’ or ‘What is past and cannot be prevented should not be grieved for’. Such denial of the past does not acknowledge the traumas oppressions like racism, colonialism or sexism can create and therefore impairs the possibility for personal and collective healing.
In opposition to classical psychology, psychologies of liberation aim to offer possibilities for people to critique the past and create another type of future.
Throughout the weeks, I will discuss liberation psychologies as being ideas, projects and practices which allow to imagine new ways of acting and thinking - ways that acknowledge psychological sufferings and seek to create more caring and inclusive communities (Toward Psychologies of Liberation - Introduction).
Stay tuned, this one was for last week, so the next one will come soon!
Blanche discovered Le Milieu when she first moved to Montreal in 2013 and has been a volunteer sporadically since then - sometimes she cooks soup, sometimes she writes emails, sometimes she shows volunteers how to make coffee and sometimes she just passes by to hang out. She is currently finishing my degree in Anthropology at Concordia, but in her dreams, she is an odd travelling artist and carpenter who build kids' houses in community gardens...