HOW WE CONTINUE TO LEARN

We commit to expanding our shared humanity through our inclusive community-driven work. We believe that together, we can and we must ensure that everyone has a fair shot at a kind, just, equitable and peaceful life. We believe it is each of our responsibility that we ensure others are not left behind, pushed aside nor oppressed. We strive to inspire all who step into the ASOH experience, to consider and enact steps, every single day to contribute to a more just, equitable, kind and peaceful world.

About 6 years ago, we saw an injustice and acted upon it. We noticed that young people exiting foster care had overcome the odds against them, achieved securing a roof over their heads, only to be forced to sleep on cold bare floors, and struggle without fridges, stoves, lighting, a table to eat from nor study off of. The lack of means to make a space a home is a significant inequity that has proven to hold back those working and studying hard to overcome the challenges of the world and create a better future for themselves.

We were not working in the foster youth space at that time. We were in fact, undereducated about the crisis. We were simply community members who saw an inequity and moved to do what we could. In those initial steps, we recognized that the community could share their hearts and resources to change lives whilst also gaining much-needed understanding through an immersive educational experience. In the space of service, we saw an opportunity for a diverse group, to come together to see one another, hear one another and better understand one another, in the intimacy of a home being shaped and created by all hands gathered.

ASOH evolved out of a genuine random act of kindness. It continued because the best of humanity showed up, time and time again. And every day that we have walked this walk, we have asked ourselves how can we do and be better? How can we deepen our understanding? How can we extend our shared humanity more profoundly? How can we be more efficient? How can we ensure everyone who steps into the space is equally respected, is seen, heard and understood? We challenge our approach every day to ask of ourselves, how can we impact more lives, more deeply? Not just for those we serve but those who volunteer and donate resources so that we can provide more opportunities to educate, enlighten and amplify humanity. How can we increase and open up the dialogue and understanding to advance peace, justice and equality? For without peace there is no justice nor equality. And without equality, there is no peace nor justice. And so too when there is an absence of justice, there is no equality nor peace.

We haven’t always got it right. We never will always get it right. But from our missteps, we look to our community and ourselves for ways to do better. We are imperfect beings doing our mighty best to unleash our humanity and the humanity in others with authenticity, heart and humility. We thank all who generously teach, enlighten guide and encourage us.

Today, and every day we ask more of ourselves and we read, listen, reach out to the community for wisdom, insights and guidance. Below is a long list of ways we are currently seeking greater insight and understanding. And when we share these details, raise our voices or take actions or do the work, we will not always please everyone. You might rightly feel timid to take steps, speak up or take action for fear of getting it wrong. There is plenty to get wrong but therein lies the learning. When we receive balanced, fair and insightful observations of how we can do better, we deepen our shared humanity. Yes, there are always plenty of social media comments and whispers that undermine well-intentioned efforts. It is to be expected. It’s not a deterrent for speaking up for what is right nor acting in love and kindness.

The work is hard. The road ahead is extremely daunting. There is much to be despondent about. But it is incumbent upon us to forge ahead with love, hope, kindness and a determination to celebrate that which unites us — our humanity. This is the biggest opportunity that we have seen in generations to fully unearth all of our talents, gifts and our collective humanity…. to be all that we can be. For if we do not, we will no longer be standing on the edge of the abyss. We will become the abyss. There is only one way forward, and we know, intrinsically how to get there. Let’s go.

A unique space and opportunity for learning and healing for all.

We bring together volunteers to work in communities that they would normally never visit. And we connect young disenfranchised BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) people (mostly women and 50% have children of their own) with compassionate members of the broader community that they might otherwise not meet, let alone link arms with to create a home for themselves, and when they pay it forward — create a home for others.

By entering the space the recipient can gain:

  • Healing
  • A platform to use their voices and understand that their voice matters
  • Inspiration to elevate their voice to educate, enlighten, and inspire all gathered to be better, to do better, and most of all, drive sustainable change
  • The ability to trust and build connection with those who have had a different experience than theirs and who could be wonderful partners in building the world that they dream of

By entering the space, a volunteer can gain:

  • Insight that could inspire them to create technology, or a business, or a nonprofit to drive sustainable change towards peace, justice and equality
  • An educational experience that provides context for the importance of championing legislative change
  • An opportunity to become motivated to volunteer more and seek out more organizations
  • A deeper investment in communities that need loving investment, rebuilding, healing and support

We are committed to action for impact and won’t stop learning, listening, growing and serving. We are committed to evolving our work and model to ensuring we always:

  • Evolve how we achieve our goals and deepen the impact
  • Listen to those we serve
  • Partner with organizations that uplift marginalized communities
  • Find and implement new tools in our programs that overcome unique barriers to healing
  • Amplify more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) voices
  • Ensure a safe, inclusive, and diverse workplace for employees, volunteers, donors, and for those we serve
    Integrate social justice and public health scholars in the development of our organization

We strive for a world in which all humans thrive in health and happiness, yet for those who don’t feel safe in society, thriving can feel like an unrealistic dream. So we harness the power of this ASOH movement to ensure sustainable liberties for all.

Where to Learn, Take Action and Donate

What We Are Reading, Watching and Listening To

Learning and Training

How We Continue To Learn - A Sense of Home