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About Regenesis

About Regenesis

Regenesis is a grassroots environmental and community organization founded in 2007 by students, primarily from York University. We believe in empowering students as initiators of change in addressing today’s social and environmental concerns, through advocacy and service in local chapters. We focus on real, comprehensive and practical initiatives and programs to make our campus and our communities, cities and planet more sustainable places. Our vision is to create an interconnected network that engages both the university community and wider communities to establish environmental and community initiatives on the foundation of ‘just’ sustainability, which is defined as: “the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, while living within the limits of supporting ecosystems”.

Our History

Regenesis is an environmental and community organization started in April 2007 by a group of six young people from the Toronto area.  We wanted to create an organization where we could provide the tools where anyone could make a difference in their community or in the world.  We wanted to empower people as fully capable of creating and sustaining projects related to the environmental sustainability, community-building and social justice.  We established Regenesis as a grassroots organization absent of a hierarchy of decision-making, one where everyone in the organization had equal say as to the direction and initiatives of the organization.  We decided on a structure that allowed any individual or group to pursue the creation of initiatives or programs, with a focus on their long-term sustainability. Since our creation, thousands of volunteer hours have been dedicated to dozens of community initiatives created by our chapters.

Our Structure

Grassroots Structure
We affirm that mobilization cannot occur without the organization of a diversity of individuals, each contributing their unique skills, perspective and experience to the collective aims.  To this end, our organization is structured for collective decision-making from the ground up.  Any individual may propose a program or initiative related to environmental sustainability or social justice.

Initiatives

Food

food2

Alternative Transportation

alttrans

Alternative Economics

altecon

Education

educationfuture

Events

January  2015
MTWTFSS
 1234
5678
  • YUM! Farmers' Market
    Starts: 11:00 am
    Ends: January 8, 2015 - 4:00 pm
    Location: York University, Keele Campus, TEL Building
91011
12131415
  • YUM! Farmers' Market
    Starts: 11:00 am
    Ends: January 15, 2015 - 4:00 pm
    Location: York University, Keele Campus, TEL Building
161718
19202122
  • YUM! Farmers' Market
    Starts: 11:00 am
    Ends: January 22, 2015 - 4:00 pm
    Location: York University, Keele Campus, TEL Building
232425
26272829
  • YUM! Farmers' Market
    Starts: 11:00 am
    Ends: January 29, 2015 - 4:00 pm
    Location: York University, Keele Campus, TEL Building
3031 

Regenesis

Regenesis and its chapters commonly engage in research related to the communities we serve.  Our research ranges from the local and regional, to research that is national or global in scope.  Our research covers a broad scope of activities, including information gathering, surveying, data collection, and writing reports.

Research

On-going Research

• North American Activist, DIY and Collective Space Directory

• Canadian Intentional Community Directory

• Fluoridated Municipalities in Canada

• MindF*ck Documentary Film Guide

Research Papers

• Bike-Share Network for York University and surrounding communities – Completion Date: April 2015
• Student-involved Campus Sustainability and Social Justice across Canada – Completion Date: April 2014
• Toronto Ecovillage Project Business Plan

Resources

Does my municipality fluoridate the water?

Canada and The United States

According to Health Canada, 45.1% of Canadians drink fluoridated public water.1 Canada is one of the most fluoridated countries in the world. In comparison, only 5.7% of the world’s population has their public water supply fluoridated. (2)

Approximately 72% of Americans drink fluoridated public water.3 The United States of America is one of the most fluoridated countries in the world. In comparison, only 5.7% of the world’s population has their public water supply fluoridated. (2)

INDEX
D = Defeated or repealed
N = Never
R = Currently resisting efforts to fluoridate the public water supply
F = Currently fighting to end fluoridation
* = Mandatory (legislated by the State or territorial government)

Intentional Communities Directory

      This directory lists the following types of residential communities:

 

  • Abbeyfield Homes (Seniors)
  • Camphill Communities (Developmental/Learning Disabilities)
  • Cohousing
  • Collective Houses
  • Communes
  • Co-op Housing
  • Ecovillages
  • Farm Co-ops
  • Rural Land Co-ops
  • Student Housing Co-ops

MindF*ck Documentary Film Guide

MindF*ck Documentary Film Guide is a directory of hundreds of documentary films and mainstream cinema that we felt had an important message.  All films have been reviewed, and we have provided links to where these films can be watched online.

To suggest a film for inclusion, please email: info [at] regenes [dot] is

The 2015 MindF*ck Documentary Film Guide will soon be available for download and online viewing.

Space Activation/Creation

Borrowing Centres

Why buy when you can borrow?  So many of the products that individuals consume on a yearly basis are items which they rarely use and would be better off borrowing.  Items such as toolssporting equipmentbooksDVDsluggagecamping equipmenttoysboardgames and some electronics are all items that are not used on a regular basis. These items are often too expensive to rent, but too impractical not to have access to. Borrowing centres provide a great alternative, thus helping to prevent unnecessary consumption.  Borrowing centres also go by other names, including Tool Library and Toy Library.

Regenesis provides assistance to those wishing to establish a borrowing centre in their community, school or housing co-op.  Please get in touch with us at info [at] regenes [dot] is.

_________________________________________________________________________

Resources:

 list of tool-lending libraries (International)

 list of toy library locations (United States)

• list of possible items for a borrowing centre

Cafés

Community (PWYC) Cafés

Pay-as-you-can community cafés and restaurants (aka community cafés, community restaurants, PWYC cafés) are a relatively new concept, allowing people to pay what they are willing or can afford for a meal.  The odd restaurant or café using this pay model can be found all over the world.  Well-known examples include Just Around The Corner in London, UK and Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey.  This pay model, under the right conditions, has been proven to be financially successful (Chen, Koenigsberg & Zhang, 2009, 21-22).  While the pay model has existed for some time, its use to alleviate hunger as a business model and as a movement is new, formulated in 2003 by the Salt Lake City, Utah based One World Café and their nonprofit organization One World Everybody Eats.   The model is quickly spreading with places already created, such as Denver’s SAME Café, or in the works in cities such as Baltimore, St. Louis and Toronto.

GI Coffeehouses

GI coffeehouses (or GI resistance coffeehouses) are anti-war, pro-soldier and pro-veteran cafés that have existed since the nineteen-sixties, offering support to soldiers, veterans and their families.  Their goals include providing a safe space for soldiers to find out about their rights, benefits and supports, access to counseling, and providing employment to ex-soldiers and their spouses.  Current spaces include Coffee Strong in Lakewood, Washington, Under the Hood Caféoutside of Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, and Different Drummer in Watertown, New York — along with one café in Germany.  Former G.I. coffeehouses include Oleo Strut (1968-1972) in Killeen, Texas and The Shelter Half (1968-1974) in Tacoma, Washington, just outside Fort Lewis.

Peace Cafés

Peace Cafés are community spaces that focus on promoting a ”Culture of Peace” using conversation, workshops, talks and a peace resource library.  The term was developed by the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace and these cafés began forming after the millennium.  The term is not dissimilar from GI resistance coffeehouses in the United States popular in the nineteen sixties and seventies, some of which still exist.

Collective Houses

Collective Houses are residences where inhabitants share more than just space, but often food, backyard produce grown, household chores, and sometimes money.  These houses espouse collective, non-hierarchical values, believing the mutual support provided strengthens both individuals and communities.

In some cities, networks of collective houses have been established to facilitate organizing, connect people, and to learn from each other’s experiences.

– Boston Collective House Assembly
– Vancouver Collective House Network


There are three major sub-types of collective houses: (1) Activist Houses, (2) Punk Houses, and (3) Catholic Worker Houses.

1. Activist Houses

An activist house is a residential house or apartment that a group of activists share together.  These houses often serve as activist hubs, acting as creative spaces and hosting events such as meetings and film screenings.  These residences provide both mutual support and networking opportunities for resident activists, while providing them with an affordable and cost-effective residence.

2. Punk Houses

Punk houses are residences comprising of those who identify with the punk sub-culture, and are sometimes squatted.  These houses have many features of communes, often serving as crash-pads for others, while residents often share expenses such as food and live in relatively close quarters with each other.  Many punk houses have specific ideologies, often anarchism, straight-edge, or vegan.  Punk houses often serve as hubs for the local punk scene, hosting bands and concerts.

3. Catholic Worker Houses and Faith Houses

The Catholic Worker movement is an egalitarian and communitarian movement founded in 1932 centred and originating from the Catholic faith and drawing heavily from anarchist thought.  The movement is centred on communal housing — residents live simple lives dedicated to helping the poor, resisting war and fighting social injustice.  Each house is autonomous and there is no global or regional Catholic Worker headquarters.  Income for the house can come from in-house business activities, or from residents working outside jobs.  There are currently 200 houses in the United States, 6 in Canada and 2 in Mexico. Modeled off the Catholic Worker Houses, there are a few mulch-denominational Faith Houses that now exist in North America, such as Faith House Ottawa.

– Directory of Catholic Workers Houses

Ecovillages and Cohousing

What are Intentional Communities?

Intentional communities are a broader term used to describe such communities that are planned by those who intend to live within the community. These include many housing cooperatives, and almost all cohousing and ecovillage communities, along with other types of intentional communities such as ashrams, kibbutzes and communes – and some housing co-operatives.

What is an Ecovillage?

An ecovillage is a sustainable community, committed to living in an ecologically, economically, and spiritually sound way. Astrophysicist and environmentalist Robert Gilman created the term ecovillage in 1991. Self-sufficiency, designed for community and well-being, local economy, minimal environmental impacts and growing organic food are features of an ecovillage. It is this commitment to the environment that differentiates ecovillages from other intentional communities.

What is Cohousing?

“Cohousing” is a concept for communities and housing from Denmark. The key principles of cohousing are that of a sense of community, participation, having some common shared facilities, affordability of the units and residents managing the building themselves. Everyone works together as a collective and shares ownership of common areas, but rents or owns their own unit. Most co-housing developments are designed to be environmentally friendly.

What is a Cooperative?

A “cooperative” is a legal arrangement that serves as an alternative to for-profit incorporation that is owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. There are numerous different models of cooperative ownership and governance. The scope of the cooperative, along with the period of existence, can also be limited. Such is the case with building cooperatives, which only exist until a building is complete and ownership of the units is transferred to individual members. Co-operative housing is cooperatively owned and managed. Residents share the responsibilities and have control of their own units, which they either rent from the co-op or own themselves. There are over 2,200 housing co-operatives with 90,500 units in Canada with a market value of 5.7 billion in assets. Over 250,000 Canadians live in Housing co-ops. Housing co-ops offer more security at a lower cost than renting or condominium ownership. Co-operatives are a way for a group of committed or caring people to accomplish great things. Some of the better known co-operatives are Gay Lea Foods, Cooperators Insurance, Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Autoshare, Windshare and Mountain Equipment Coop. Many ethnic communities use cooperatives to facilitate the creation of non-profit housing for their community; in addition to community centres which they rent out for events and banquets that make them self sufficient for the services they provide to the community.

Reuse Centres

Reuse centres exist for the purpose of diverting unwanted goods and other potential waste from landfill, giving away or selling items to others.  Reuse centres differ from Goodwill Stores, The Salvation Army Thrift Store, Value-Village and other similar stores in that they are owned and operated by the community or local government, with the primary purpose being waste diversion – with any profits from sales being used solely for the operation of the centre and other waste diversion activities.  Some reuse centres have specific focuses, such as art supplies, building materials or electronics – computer-focused reuse centres are called Free Geek.

Regenesis provides free assistance to those wishing to establish a reuse centre in their community.  Please get in touch with us at info [at] regenes [dot] is.

Work with Us!

Volunteers are critical to the success of our projects.  We would love to have you get involved with us! Besides the tasks offered on our Volunteer Task Board that you can just go ahead and do, we also offer numerous volunteer positions.

Adjacent is a list of all our volunteer positions.  Positions are often split between two people (e.g. co-coordinators), and additional volunteers may be available to assist with certain tasks or aspects of the position.  Some of the positions below may be currently filled, but there are frequent openings, so please get in touch with us!

Volunteer Task Board

We have embarked on a new approach of engaging with volunteers who are self-motivated and work independently.  Below you will find a list of volunteer tasks that anyone willing may work on.  Just email us with your completed work.  Email all completed work to: info [at] regenes [dot] is

Tasks are categorized by skill-set or area of interest:

Fluoridated Municipalities Research

Free Meeting Space Research

Contact Us

If you have any questions feel free to contact us using the adjacent form.

If you would like to volunteer, please include the position that you would like to apply for.

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