Ann is a community organizer in a small province – Prince Edward Island – where the non-profit sector plays a big and important role. She is a project coordinator with Cooper Institute, a PEI-based collective whose primary focus is education and community development. Cooper Institute’s work is typically done in collaboration with other Island groups that are organized for positive economic, political, environmental and cultural change. And it is directed towards the empowerment of individuals and communities.
As a member of Cooper Institute, Ann spends much of her time encouraging people to take part in conversations about and to take action on a wide range of issues: livable income, food sovereignty, inclusion of people with disabilities and migrant workers’ rights. She is dedicated to the idea that the good public policies and decisions can be made only when the people who are most affected are included in a meaningful way, from the beginning, in their development.
Ann has a long history of involvement with many different Island non-profit groups; she has been a board member of PEI Citizen Advocacy, the PEI Watershed Alliance, PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, the Voluntary Resource Council, PEI Food Security Network, and involved in several organizations concerned with women’s equality. She is currently a member of the board of the Environmental Coalition of PEI.
In my home province of Prince Edward Island, with a population of just over 150,000, there are 6,000 people employed in the non-profit sector, and 1,100 registered charities contribute to the social and economic well-being of their communities. They build and provide homes for people, create and share art, promote equality, and protect the environment. And that’s not all. In fact, the non-profit sector is the third largest contributor to PEI’s economy. My dream is that young people seeking jobs in this sector are able to apply their impressive skills, wisdom and passion to jobs that are secure, and properly compensated. And that they can work throughout their careers confident that they will have some security afterwards. Common Good offers that possibility. And I love that it’s based on the idea of the collective. That’s such an important aspect of our work, building solidarity and finding ways to work for positive change, together.