Human Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery – ‘Girl Up’ Screening + Awareness Panel

Human trafficking is an extreme human rights violation and from my view, a global feminist issue. It is one of the largest and most lucrative social injustices of our time. There are more people as slaves today than at any point in history.

The magnitude of the issue is so broad and occurs in many forms from forced labour, agricultural work, involuntary domestic servitude, child marriages to sexual exploitation. ⁣⁣
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The reality is that it’s embedded in our everyday lives, happening all around us. We cannot deduce human trafficking to only developing countries or in dark alleys, narratives we’re often told with salacious points that are more provoking for journalism and media. Or Hollywood depictions of eerie men using immediate kidnapping tactics or physical restraint on stock character type of the ‘girl next door.’ Research show that there is no standard profile which means anyone can be vulnerable to trafficking, though, keep in mind that those who face structural inequalities and live in marginalized communities can increase their susceptibility to recruitment. ⁣⁣
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Force, fraud and coercion have a multitude of complexities that are results of social, economic and political problems. There are various contributors that allow human trafficking environments to flourish from mental illness all the way to impacts of globalization. The inbound pipeline to trafficking commonly being vulnerability and types of poverty. ⁣⁣
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The good news is, that there multiple entry points for us to create holistic solutions in ending this deplorable crime in our lifetime. We must do this together by having uncomfortable, necessary conversations at home/work/school, asking informed questions, donating to organizations (namely BOOST For Kids) that offer quality, long term aftercare and services, urging local and government leaders to increase systems that address and protect human rights, and bringing full awareness to what’s going on so that we’re able to invest in people, our relationships and the human family. Inform the police if you notice anything suspicious. And pls share this national hotline: 1-833-900-1010, available 24/7. ⁣
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Thank you Shreya Patel for your cause-driven artistry + GIRL UP, the exceptional Rhonelle Bruder of @rise.initiative and Kim Dhillon for your education and power, and everyone who helped us engage and serve on our mission of equality.

Photos from our GIRL UP screening + human trafficking awareness panel can be found below:

www.goodtobegood.ca 

Girl Up is a documentary that sheds light in the world of human trafficking in Toronto. Directed by Shreya Patel (@imshreyapatel), the film is supported by and stars MPP Laurie Scott and Journalist Tamara Cherry. Toronto International Film Festival connected the documentary to the Civic Action Summit which happens every 4 years. By invites only, hundreds of civic leaders come together to combat issues and come up with solutions for a change. Clips of the documentary were showcased to elected officials, senior business executives, and community advocates to start the conversation on how to combat human trafficking. Girl Up had a world premiere at the 18th Annual Filmi: Toronto’s South Asian Film Festival.

 

#WhoMadeMyClothes?

Sustainable. Ethical. Slow Fashion. Eco-friendly.

The evolution of fashion is gradually growing toward these important standards. The industry is responding to the awareness among consumers in the demands of transparency, fair living wages for those who make our clothes and alternative materials that don’t negatively impact the environment. We’re seeing a shift – especially in our everyday behaviours. With that, more companies are transforming their business objectives while improving short and long-term supply chains to build a better, comprehension-approached system.

The concept of sustainability is founded on 3 pillars: economic, environmental and social equity. The truth is, fashion (whether designer or that simple t-shirt you bought for a weekend) has a BIG connection to everything around us. Our natural environment needs to be protected by using and developing eco-friendly/fair trade components to address climate change and resource shortages. Makers need be ensured fair incomes, working conditions and worker’s justice. The careless promotion of “buy, use, discard, repeat” needs to be quashed. The impact of fashion deeply affects many industries it touches. It has never been more vital for us to create and consume with responsibility.

How can you, as a modern, intelligent consumer, do your part? Do some research before making your next (fashion) purchase. Support ethical brands that are manufactured in an environmentally and socially conscious manner, even if at times comes with a lofty price tag. Buying fewer, higher quality pieces you love that are ethically made tend to last much longer in your closet than those of the fast-fashion method. With some brands, your purchase supports local artisans (the majority of whom are women) all over the world. There are positive benefits of up-cycling, swapping, renting and borrowing clothes as well. From sourcing to wearing, the ways to prioritize production and consumption sustainability are endless and available. This is not a trend or niche market but a holistic tactic to consumption that requires our conscious and innovative efforts.

Big love to some of my favourite female-led brands (tagged!) maximizing benefits to workers and communities involved, while minimizing carbon footprint. Their collections are beautiful (and affordable!) too. Please continue to support women and our planet. 💚

Dress: Cleobella – “Cleobella’s handmade process allows us the pleasure of personally working with local artisans and small factories, creating jobs and sustainable incomes around the world.” Make Up: The Organic Skin Co, Antonym Cosmetics

Dress: Bird + Kite –  “Our pieces are hand crafted in small batches. We use ancient and traditional techniques that support small, family run businesses and ethical work practices. The handmade element of our manufacture supports slow fashion.”

Top: YIREH – “Transparency: Ethically Made. We are passionate about creating slow-fashion apparel by producing small-batch collections throughout the year.” Pants: Novella Royale – Designed, sourced and handmade with love in Southern California.

Photos by my beloved friend, Ashley Klassen, who has the most gorgeous and creative spirit.

UNDIVIDED v2 Featured in Luxur Lux Magazine, Issue 9

UNDIVIDED is a modern feminist visual by Good To Be Good Foundation photographed by the talented Tara Noelle, that highlights the unity of women and the power that lies within us. A campaign created to amplify voices, celebrate the women’s movement and bring awareness to the innumerable intersectional ways women face and feel challenged.

For us, women’s rights are human rights – a fundamental belief that when equal balance is achieved, together, we are all more free. Through the twinkle of honest art, we express our feminist presence – unarmed and in total union – and symbolically stand on the shoulders of women revolutionaries that have paved the way for us globally. We acknowledge that being a ‘woman’ can signify many complex, unparalleled things and cannot (and should not) be boxed into one.

This campaign is made up of women and collaborators who mutually stand for advocacy, uniqueness and the unbolted support we hold for women everywhere. In league, we work fervently in demanding justice and respect for not just one kind of woman – but for all women who share space in equality discourse.

Our commitment to putting women to the front and centre starts with inclusion in all fields while promoting a culture of true, earnest diversity beyond the visible. We must continue to work toward systemic change by coming together as a community to strengthen the chain of parity, advance essential human rights, and honour the common values of humanity. The fight to end injustice is one that asks of you and me. This Women’s History month, whether you are celebrating, marching or uniting, share the hope with other women around the globe and help amplify attention to areas where improvement in women’s rights and equal, accessible opportunity is still needed.

Photo: Tara Noelle MUA: Irina Badescu Women: Shreya Patel, Tia Duffy, Char San Pedro Clothing: Richer Poorer, ShopBop, We Are HAH

Big love to Luxur Lux Magazine, a female-led magazine that features stories from thriving women and female leaders and founders doing incredible work in the world today. Read more about our UNDIVIDED campaign in issue 9 – print and digital available on their website!

 

Good To Be Good Foundation Featured in Future Female Magazine!

Article: Lauren MacKay of Future Female Mag Photo: Tara Noelle 

At the most transparent level, I am indebted to the ever-so-erudite Lauren Mackay and the ever-so-badass Future Female Magazine team for this endearing piece and feature. Beyond that, I am grateful for the creative space you’ve produced for women to share their remarkable stories, their world views, their courage, and their giant hearts. In a society where we are constantly inundated with devastating and folly “news,” it is of great pleasure to have sincere platforms like Future Female Mag expressing the human capacity of endurance and resilience.

As someone who struggles from a vortex of needing to fix everything (obnoxious at times) and sheer hypersensitivity, as we all sometimes do I’m sure, I’m profoundly inspired by today’s commitment to women and altruism, as a response to anguish and difficulty. People are AWESOME! It brought me pure joy talking with Lauren about my obligation to Good To Be Good Foundation and my trust on the significance of the “small yet mighty”. I can keep rambling on about it but there are pages waiting to be read and photos of enthusiastic smiles wanting to be echoed.

Please check out the latest fall issue online now: https://issuu.com/futurefemalemag/docs/ffm_fallissue03_2018_finalcopy3

Article: Lauren Mackay for Future Female Mag Mentions: Good To Be Good Foundation, Women’s Habitat

 

Interconnectedness

Interconnectedness is the nature of foundations – that the foundations in one area are also the foundations of many other areas.

The route in which we are able to reach many truths (even conclusions and breakthroughs) is by understanding the varied complex layers deeply and therefore more broadly. That’s the essence of the concept of a foundation, and cultivating core, fundamental values that cannot be deduced or compromised any further, whether in our personal or professional establishments.

When we reason from our primary principals, not by comparison or by account, we are able to build up from there to a great extent and cover as much mass as we so desire. This also helps with solving issues and creating new solutions from the center. We construct something stronger and operate from what we know is authentic. An empirical example would be in botanical anatomy: every flower, every tree and every mountain literally stand on the same foundation; namely the earth. It depends on the value of other things such as water, soil, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc. All life, both subtle and intricate as we, stand on the same theoretical base. So by comprehending verticality and depth, you can relish in the notion that everything is somehow connected and the previous that seemed separate and disconnected become part of the entire truth.

Nature signifies the whole and sum total of everything not the quality of one. Just as every leaf on a tree is attached by twigs, which are connected by branches which are contingent on the trunk and the support of its roots, so too are people, principals and ideas connected by universal systems and deeper truths.

You and I are part of it all. Such a simple yet magnificent thing, wouldn’t you say?

Sustainability For All

Our planet is boiling gently.

The reality is that our natural resources are being exhausted faster than they are being replenished. We live in a modern existence whose linear model has been, “take, make and waste.” This increasing our environmental challenges and putting many at risk. With that, sustainability – a growing interest – is considered more and more everyday. It is a broad discipline and a complex concept that remains. When we hear the word “sustainability” we often think of carbon emission reduction, renewable fuel sources, green infrastructures with policies, the protection of our ecosystems and restoration of natural sources over the long term.

In short, it’s simple principal is based on this: Everything that we need for survival and our overall well-being depends on our natural environment; not compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. It supports our ecological, economical and public health and vitality. Its activity is developing productive harmony between the competing needs to move forward while protecting the biodiversity in which we and others live in.

The march to save our planet involves all and its efforts – from corporations, governments, citizens, to activists. This will not solve overnight. The keys to progress, especially during economic crisis, are fostering innovation, education, legislation and voluntary action. By globally treating sustainability as a main goal (The Global Goals), we will force businesses and organizations to become sustainable, thus becoming an integral ingredient of development. By individually treating, we will force ourselves the responsibility of good social practices which become our everyday. Your part can start with eating for impact, be water ‘wise’, consuming consciously and voting for leaders who care about social welfare.

We must continuously contribute to the promotion of peace, the health of our environment, the eradication of poverty in all its form, the building of workplace conditions, the improvement of supply chains for better value, economic prosperity and a quality of life that benefits the present and future. 🌍

Photo: Tara Noelle / Recycled Swimwear: AMARA Tulum / Sustainable Beauty: Clove + Hallow, The Organic Skin Co & Pai Skincare / Recycled Ring: Christy Robinson Design

#TogetherForWomen – Good To Be Good’s 6th Charity Event in Support of Women’s Habitat

No matter the season, coercive control does not take a holiday. We need all women and children to prosper in a world free from violence and discrimination. We must work toward systemic change by coming together as a community to strengthen the chain of equality, advance women’s rights and honour the common values of humanity.

On the evening of December 10th, Good To Be Good Foundation and NAGI, together with 70+ friends, peers and family, filled the room with energy, allegiance, kindness and the most giant heap of love! From delicious food to a strong sense of community, it was a hopeful evening to support women and children at Women’s Habitat who are survivors of violence and abuse rebuilding their lives. Guests enjoyed a special all-female performance by St. Royal Entertainment.

Big thanks to all of our sponsors for helping us fulfill our initiative: Ari of Muula Humanetics, Meridian Credit UnionS1 GroupLocalBoomThe RichmondLux Furniture RentalsStemz, Blaze Pizza, Crave Healthy Habits, Vieni Estates, Kensington Brewery, Sweet Carnival Cakes, St Royals, Pussy Willow Floral, Simply Protein, Rialto Espresso Bar, Flow Alkaline Water, Tara Noelle Photography, BK On The Scene and all of our cherished contributors and collaborators.

Thank you to Silvia Samsa, Lina and Women’s Habitat for your continuous strong work and passion.

Thank you to all of those who came out and supported. Your contribution and participation makes a huge difference in our community. #TogetherForWomen is one we will deeply treasure and continue to grow.

Thank YOU for being an integral part of the change in the world. May we continue to be loving, supportive and generous this season.

Snapd Coverage: https://downtowntoronto.snapd.com/events/view/1210011

Official Photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/goodtobegood/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2031835487106704&__tn__=-UC-R

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodtobegoodfoundation

Donate: https://womenshabitat.ca/how-to-help/donate/

#GivingTuesday

My grandma taught me to give to those in my life and to the welfare of others in need whenever possible, because she believes that our lives are truly measured by what we put out and how we affect the people we meet. This venerable aphorism is entrenched in my head since the first memory of sharing birthday cake with friends and family.

Courtesy of Red Door Family Shelter

It is often said that we are the most fulfilled when we are responsibly proactive. But beyond the duty lies its joy. I have found that giving liberates the soul and any opportunity to give back to our community/planet is a way forward. It offers a greater perspective – one that reminds us of why we’re really here and what matters most. It’s not just about the donation itself but the great love and awareness we bring into it. It’s about something greater than ourselves. Any charitable act is a stepping stone towards change. That donation or shared time is valued more than the grandest intention and benefits everyone. Your small yet mighty impact goes a long way. And if we all devote ourselves to doing these acts of kindness, I promise you, it’s an investment no one will regret.

Today, on #GivingTuesday, please give generously to the following charities I (@goodtobegoodfoundation) support. They need your contribution and thoughtfulness to continue the significant work they’re doing for our girls and the advancement of women around the world. Learn about the different ways these female-first organizations are leading the charge, and find out how you can lend your support by following their missions.

Women’s Habitat

Malala Fund

Red Door Family Shelter

Women for Women

Canadian Women’s Foundation

CARE

Or find a cause here: GlobalGiving

Courtesy of Malala Fund

Hey, fear!

One of the major causes of fear is that we do not want to face ourselves as we are. Fear happens when we remove ourselves from the moment, bringing our attention from certainty to uncertainty, the past interrupting the present or the future disturbing the now. It’s an usual, yet normally primitive, tricky emotion that often can disguise itself in many ways: suffering, egoism, samsara, greed, anger, envy, fright, worry, apprehension, cognitive paralysis, anxiety, irrationality.

While the fear from our beloved ego navigates life by trying to keep us safe (thank it for doing its intrinsic job) and in a familiar place, it has a limited perception and blocks our creative and spiritual progress. We must remember that fear is not who we innately are; it is one of the many ways we are able to respond to life’s moments.

Can we trust the inner orchestras of the mind, heart, intuition and allow fear to flow through us rather than cage us in? Can we watch fear without any conclusions? Without any interference of the knowledge we have accumulated about it? Can we feel the fear, genuinely acknowledge its presence, while not allowing it to lead and dictate the current state of our life?

“I see what you’re doing, fear. Thank you for sending your signal. But it’s okay and you’ll have to take a seat in the back. I am the driver in charge here and I need to pay attention to what’s going on right now.”

It isn’t a matter of being fearless by kicking fear to the curb, rather bringing insight to what’s going on and using benevolence in the face of what oppresses you. COURAGE, my friends. FAITH, my friends. These are the fruitful partners that direct you to the life you’re worthy of living. Because you and I are so much more than what dismays us. We have a right to be here, to do what we love, to try new things outside of our comfort zone. We all deserve to be in the moment – fully ourselves. We are part of something greater than our fears.

The things that we feel in our hearts, the depths of hearts, are far more vital than the things we believe in our minds. What lies within us are comprehensive antidotes to fear: the armour of loving-kindness, gratitude and the vitality of our spiritual cultivation. With that, fear won’t mind taking a back seat.

 

The Skin I Love

Hydrating skin courtesy of Pai Skincare. Natural glow courtesy of True Botanicals. Clean make up by The Organic Skin Co.

 Skin is always in. If your skin isn’t at its best sometimes – that’s OK too! However, there are basic steps that we can mindfully take that help improve and create healthy achievements.

Our skin, being so complex and industrious, is the largest organ on our body so it’s only fair we take good care of it. After countless experiments and long eye-twitching nights of research, I concluded this: a regimen can be made simple, guileless and efficient.

The key is consistency and daily protection.

Keeping things as ‘natural’ as possible is the catalyst to a nourishing relationship with the physical and the essence of simplicity. Like fruitful soil is to a thriving plant, what we put into/on our bodies count. I advocate reading labels thoroughly and staying away from ingredients that suck (chemicals, synthetics, unpronounceable shit) as our skin is wickedly consuming and holds everything in. The absorption rates on our scalp, underarms and face are 7-10 times higher than a lot of parts. Its extraordinary day to day functions are colossal. Unlike other vital body systems, our skin is exposed to the environment, which includes weird germs, heat and harmful substances yet provides an airtight, watertight and flexible barrier between one another.

Feeding the skin naturally by being mindful of consumption is another way we’re able take control of our habits. It all begins from the inside out so eat all the fresh, leafy greens, my friend! Hydrating is important as well – with lots of water and sorry, alcohol doesn’t do the same thing.

What we put on our skin is a crucial variable too. A guiding principle: Choose safe, sustainable products that contain fewer ingredients. This equals less chance for irritations/reactions, higher potency and a smaller, overall ecological impact. You don’t need to go nuts on trendy, luxury botanicals and ornate fillers. However, when you can, invest in good quality products that help optimize skin. Cause, hey, we’ll be wearing it for the rest of our lives.

Below are my favourite vegan, cruelty-free, natural go-to daily products that do the job like no other.

 

True Botanicals (Pure Radiance Oil & Vitamin C Booster)
Anti-inflammatory, balancing, healthy glow/dewy look breadwinner, gentle formulas, clean/safe ingredients, ethical and wonderfully effective!
The Organic Skin Co (Primp N’ Prime & Hide and Seek Concealer in Cinnamon)
Lightweight, oh-so silky, all natural, easy to apply, luxury made affordable, blends beautifully, sustainably packaged and all around multi faceted.
Pai Skincare (Calming Body Cream & Perfect Balance Serum)
Soothing, calming, ideal for sensitive skin, transparent brand, preservative-free, proven remedial, consistent soft results and hydrating 2.0.
Heritage Store (Rose Petals Rosewater)
Refreshing anytime mist, divine smelling, restorative, energy-giving and alleviates tired skin.

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