Our interview series returns to help you get to know the very special people who make up our Community One Foundation board! Over the next few weeks, be sure to check this space to learn more about our newest members and how they’re contributing to the many missions of Community One Foundation. This week, meet the wonderful Michael Schneider!
1. How did you first learn of Community One?
About a couple years ago. I had known about the Community One Fruit for 14-15 years but only connected them to the work that the Board does in 2019 when a colleague of mine was working with C1 at that time.
2. What is your role and for long have you been involved?
I joined C1 as a volunteer in January 2022 and became a member of the Board of Directors in the Spring. I am also one of the Co-Chairs for the Rainbow Grants Committee and a member of our Equity Committee.
3. Why is Community One important to you?
As a queer person, I think it is important for younger generations to be a part of something intergenerational and that is for an important cause. The work that C1 does is simply inspirational and socially transformative as it both acknowledges and fosters the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and racialized individuals with a focus on Black and Indigenous communities, to raise funds for community-based projects which in turn support many of Toronto’s stalwart 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations and campaigns.
4. Do you have a favourite memory/initiative with Community One? Feel free to elaborate!
Some of my favourite moments with C1 happen when we are informally gathered prior to our Board meetings when everyone is sharing what their day has been like. Simply talking about things like plans for the upcoming weekends and holidays, any new books or TV shows that they are invested in, and especially when individuals share tidbits of themselves from their otherwise removed lives letting us know more about the person at their center- like memories from a concert, having met someone noteable, fighting for change in a demonstrative march, going somewhere remote to help build a school, etc.
5. As Community One is a volunteer board, what other roles do you take on in your time?
I have been actively volunteering in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for over 10 years at some of our local ASOs, marching in the Pride Parade, working on Committees for the AIDS Vigil, Pride Vigil, Pride Weekend Festivities, and working with queer youth and older adults from marginalized communities.
6. What do you want people to know about Community One Foundation?
We are always growing, reviewing and adapting to the needs of our communities that we work with. Although, the Foundation has been around for over 40 years, it is still relevant and important in the lives of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and has been working on decolonizing its processes and taking fundamental values such as equity, social transformation, diversity and the greater involvement and inclusion of racialized and marginalized individuals into its policies and practices. I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful opportunity and to have met such passionate and giving individuals. Thank you.