There are many ways, big and small, for you to get involved with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network. Keep reading to find out more!
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Three ways to be a part of MISN’s work:
1: JOIN MISN’S CORE COLLECTIVE
MISN is a grassroots group that organizes entirely on a volunteer basis. Everything we do depends on a team of organizers (like you!) to bring it all together. We need your skills, knowledge, and energy!
Core collective members organize MISN events, campaigns, projects, and materials while also planning the larger direction of the group and working behind the scenes to offer direct support to mining-impacted communities. They research what’s going on and share what they learn with the rest of the collective so we can do effective work. They meet about two or three times a month. Meetings are usually held every other Tuesday evening, currently over videoconference while social distancing requirements are in place. Collective members are also part of smaller sub-committees planning specific actions and projects, or representing MISN as part of other networks and coalitions.
You don’t have to be an expert on mining issues to join MISN! We do ask, however, that you be open to learning and working within an anti-oppressive framework. While it’s expected that members follow through on commitments and keep informed, everyone understandably has different capacities at different times and are encouraged to contribute what works for them individually. Core members are part of the internal higher volume list-serve. New members are added onto this list-serve, if interested, after attending several meetings and getting involved in the group.
MISN is very committed to making sure that new members are supported well in their transition into the group. Because of this, there will sometimes be times when we are not accepting new members due to capacity issues. If you’re interested in getting involved in the core collective, please email us at [email protected] and we’ll let you know if and when we might be able to onboard you!
2. BECOME AN AD HOC VOLUNTEER
Volunteers are MISN Supporters (see below) but are also on a special volunteer listserv. MISN calls on this small group of amazing people to provide help at specific events when they are able. Examples of volunteer activities include – making banners (aka art builds), setting up for events, doing tweet blasts on social media, taking on roles in creative actions, greeting attendees, etc.
This is a good option for folks who want to help but don’t have the capacity to attend regular meetings or make a consistent commitment.
You can join the volunteer listserv by signing up at events or by emailing [email protected] with “Volunteer” in the subject line.
3. BECOME A SUPPORTER
Are you getting updates from MISN? Hundreds of supporters get news from MISN’s low volume newsletter, on Twitter, and from our Facebook page. They make MISN activities a success by sharing posts and event notices with their networks. They attend MISN events, whether protests, vigils, public speakers, or film screenings, as they are able. Some make financial contributions to help MISN, an all-volunteer group, function. Everything you do to raise awareness of mining injustices and to challenge the Canadian mining industry is important.
Organize in support of mining justice where you are!
Some of the most powerful activism takes place in our most intimate spheres of influence — in our workplaces, our places of worship, our neighbourhoods, our arts communities, and so on. Are you interested in organizing your community to take a stand against mining injustice or divest from the mining industry? Please get in touch with us so that we can support your work!
Frequently Asked Questions
Didn’t get your question answered above? Here’s some more information about getting involved with MISN.
Fast Facts about MISN!
- The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network formed in 2008 under the former name “Community Solidarity Response Toronto”. We began as a network of activists wanting to link up their individual solidarity work and make it stronger. As the years passed, we became less of a ‘network’ and more of a ‘collective’ in how we operate and make decisions.
- MISN is a member of a number of national and international coalitions, including the Yes to Life, No to Mining network, the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, the Friends of the Attawapiskat River coalition, and more.
- We usually have anywhere between 8-15 active members in our core collective.
- For more about what we do and the values that inform our organizing, please see our About Us page!
How can I find out more about what you're working on right now, to see if now's the right time to get involved?
In addition to our usual behind-the-scenes work supporting communities impacted by Canadian mining, participating in coalitions, and showing up for other grassroots movements in Toronto, here are some of the campaigns and projects we’re working on right now.
What if I have an idea for a campaign or a project that you're not working on already?
Amazing!! Depending on capacity in the group, we might not be able to get started on it straight away, but we love new ideas and definitely want to hear about yours.
I want to be involved in grassroots organizing but I'm not a "rah rah in the streets" kind of person. Can I still join?
ABSOLUTELY. We need all kinds of people to build a strong mining justice movement. If you’re more of a behind the scenes person or intimidated by some of the more confrontational or theatrical parts of our work, not to worry! There are tons of ways to contribute, including banner painting, press release writing, direct support and communication with impacted communities, collaborating with allies, video editing, meeting facilitation, research, and lots more!
I have zero experience with activism. Is that okay?
More than okay. MISN is proud to have been many people’s first activist home, and we would be happy to be yours too 🙂
Do I have to live in Toronto to be a join MISN's core collective?
Currently we do have collective members who live outside Toronto, but they are longstanding MISN members who are already well-integrated into the group. We’re not currently accepting members who don’t live in Toronto.
How does the MISN collective make decisions?
We are horizontal collective (which means that no one person is in charge) and we make decisions by consensus.
How are you funded?
MISN is a grassroots group of unpaid activists that operates on a teeny budget. Our funding comes entirely from individual supporters and a few amazing unions and NGOs. We don’t and have never received government or corporate funding of any kind. If you’d like to contribute to MISN’s operating budget, please click here!
Support mining-impacted communities directly by Donating to our Impacted Communities Fund!
Anything you donate to this fund will go directly to communities impacted by Canadian mining companies when needed, upon their request.
Examples of needs that have been met in the past through our Impacted Communities Fund include:
- money for land defenders incurring medical costs after experiencing violence for their activism,
- youth scholarships for mining justice activists,
- funeral costs,
- travel costs for land defenders connecting with each other across a distance, etc.