While COVID-19 has changed the ways we gather, celebrate, and honour one another, it has not changed the way our communities step up to support each other in times of crisis. From making essential grocery trips for immunocompromised neighbours to conducting wellness phone call checks for seniors or even helping newcomer families access the support services they need, volunteers have come together when we need them the most.
Early in the summer of 2020, in collaboration with Apt613, United Way East Ontario sent out a call for nominations to honour local volunteers who stepped up in this time of need. Together, we recognized five outstanding COVID Heroes with Community Builder Awards to honour the incredible work they did to support their communities and the most vulnerable people within them throughout the pandemic.
With our host and former Community Builder Award recipient Davy Sabourin, we were joined by our friends at Capital Pride for a very special edition of our Community Builder Awards, recognizing five more incredible community builders who have worked tirelessly to make our communities safer, healthier, and more accepting for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. These people are community leaders, fearless advocates, and supporters of the Queer community, and have stepped up and demonstrated a local love that has not gone unnoticed.
We thank everyone who took the time to nominate these everyday heroes and we thank you, community builders, for your exceptional contributions.
Read below for a post on Community Builder Ali Arbeau, and check out our other Community Builder posts here.
Ali is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher with a passion for helping people feel at home in their bodies and meeting people where they’re at. Her practice is rooted in accessibility and grounding, and she truly believes that yoga is for everybody and every body.
In addition to offering classes online, Ali spends a lot of her time working with Warrior Yoga—an international nonprofit with a mission to make yoga accessible for all. At Warrior Yoga, Ali serves as the leader of the 2SLGBTQ+-serving Spectrum Committee and the BIPOC Committee, sits on the board of directors, and offers and facilitates workshops.
She works to create safe and fun spaces for all people to practice yoga and go deeper into their personal practice. Ali runs and coordinates events for both the Spectrum and BIPOC committees, develops content and programming (including a Diversity & Inclusion program for local yoga studios), and engages with clients and partners directly in all of her work.
Ali is always sharing opportunities to teach yoga to various communities, and outreaches with local 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC-focused organizations to engage with Warrior Yoga’s important work and build strong partnerships.
Only a couple of years after becoming a yoga teacher, Ali has created and provided so much space and programming for communities that are often underrepresented in the yoga and fitness industry. Her classes are inclusive of all races, body types, genders, and sexualities.
Do you know a community builder who has gone above and beyond to support their communities through COVID-19? Our Community Builder Awards program accepts nominations year-round. Nominate your Community Builder today!