Granny Bulletin: September 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Pull out your Dance Shoes: Flash Mobs are Happening
  2. Save the Date for Women and HIV&AIDS: An Intergenerational Conversation on Facebook Live
  3. Solidarity Not Charity
  4. Grandmothers on the Move Podcast
  5. Fundraising Corner: Upcoming Art Sales and Auctions
  6. Regional Grandmothers Gatherings Coming Up
  7. New Member Calls
  8. African Food for Thought Cookbook: An Offer and Invitation

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

It’s hard to believe that five years ago this week, six grandmothers from Swaziland, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe took to the podium and shared testimonies at the African Grandmothers Tribunal in Vancouver, B.C. before more than 1,300 grandmothers and grandothers and four Tribunal judges to demand justice.

They declared, “Our labour, with all of its struggles, challenges, knowledge and triumphs, has gone unheeded for too long. We will not let the AIDS pandemic defeat us, but we cannot prevail alone. We call on you to act with urgency to support our efforts to secure justice.”

The resulting Call to Action remains urgent now, more than ever, as grandmothers continue to face the triple threat of discrimination at the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic, based on sex, age, and HIV status. Today, these African grandmothers and thousands more are leading a rights-based response to the AIDS pandemic. They are mobilizing and advocating for their Human Rights, running for elected office, raising a generation of strong, young women and men, who are leaders themselves. They do this all while continuing to hold communities together and fighting for the justice at the frontlines.

Grandmothers and women leaders will be visiting North America in the coming weeks and months. We’re looking forward to the opportunities for you to hear firsthand from them and to learn about how their work continues and evolves.

The Grandmothers Campaign Team – Megan, Winnie, Asmita and Sarah

1. Pull out your Dance Shoes: Flash Mobs are Happening

Grandmothers Flash Mobs are back by popular demand! We heard from so many of you that this awareness-raising event was not only fun and easy, but a special way to connect together over the fall. This year, we’ll be dancing to the “Powered by Love” song, written and sung by Zev Landsberg-Lewis specially for the grandmothers and released for the Powered by Love book launches in October 2017.

With the intention to create a grand group compilation video, grandmothers groups are encouraged to organize a Flash Mob anytime between November 119. Use the opportunity to raise awareness about your group and the Grandmothers Campaign in your community in a fun way. We’re asking all participating groups to videotape your Flash Mob and send it to us, so we can prepare a compilation video to release on World AIDS Day on December 1st. You can videotape your Flash Mob on your smartphone.

To join, get your Flash Mob (whether it be only your group, your group with friends and family, a few groups together in your region), we’ve prepared a package of materials – including an instructional video to help you learn the dance moves, a lyrics and dance moves cheat sheet, a Flash Mob Guide, registration and insurance coverage information – to provide you with tools for your planning and preparation. Need insurance? We have you covered! Please be in touch with us as soon as possible to confirm the date and location of your Flash Mob. We cannot wait to dance with you again this year! All of these resources are available on the Members Only section of our website. If you need the password or you have questions, please email

If you are new to the Campaign and wondering what this Flash Mob business is all about, in 2016, to mark World AIDS Day, more than 40 grandmothers groups across Canada, participated in Flash Mobs.


Dancing to Aretha Franklin and the Eurythmics,’ “Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves”, grandmothers and grandothers danced in malls, universities, grocery stores, and farmers markets to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic.

2. Save the Date for Women and HIV&AIDS: An Intergenerational Conversation on Facebook Live

On Wednesday, October 4, 2018 join us on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page to watch an extraordinary conversation between three dynamic women leading community-based responses to the AIDS pandemic.

Josephine Nabukenya, Vuyiseka Dubula and Zodwa Ndlovu will engage in an intergenerational conversation about women, HIV&AIDS and their roles as leaders. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Facebook Live Follow-Up: We are delighted by your reaction to SLF Director of Policy, Lee Waldorf’s Facebook Live conversation a few weeks ago.n case you missed it, the video is posted on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page. We also have a summary of interesting and recent international studies and panel overviews that Lee referred to in her talk posted in the Members Only section of the Grandmothers Campaign website.

3. Solidarity Not Charity

Earlier in the summer, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis (Executive Director of the SLF), Idah Nambeya Mukuka (Senior Advisor to the Grandmothers Campaign) and Jean Way (founding member of the Richmond Gogos in the Greater Vancouver region) participated in a panel discussion to explore what it really means when we say that the Grandmothers Campaign is founded on solidarity, not charity.

Our solidarity model broke ground when the Campaign first launched in 2006, and through all of the outreach and fundraising you do in your communities, the Campaign continues to shift paradigms, turning the concept of traditional charity on its head.

Here are some excerpts that Ilana, Jean and Idah shared with the audience about what solidarity looks like in action, and why the Grandmothers Campaign has been so effective in honouring the expertise, dignity and ingenuity of African grandmothers and community-based organizations.

Idah spoke candidly about why the Campaign strongly believes that a solidarity model cannot involve Western grandmothers “adopting” or “pen-palling” with African grandmothers:

4. Grandmothers on the Move Podcast

Grandmothers on the Move, a Podcast hosted by Ilana Landsberg-Lewis – featuring the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign: Grandmothers Rocking Solidarity Not Charity, Parts 1 & 2! 

Come enjoy these interviews with grandmothers in groups in Canada, Australia and the U.S. – and stay tuned for more about the Campaign in coming months!

Episode 7: Grandmothers Rocking Solidarity Not Charity Part 1 introduces the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign to a broader international audience.

Episode 17: Grandmothers Rocking Solidarity Not Charity Part 2 is the next installment on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign – this time with grandmothers who have started groups more recently in the United States, Australia and Canada.

Find these episodes and more at:

Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world.

5. Fundraising Corner: Upcoming Art Sales and Auctions

Art sales are a great way to grow your personal art collection, and embrace the multi-dimensional world of art. This month we celebrate the many creative art sales that grandmothers groups organize, both online and in-person.

From October 27  to November 1, the Brookbanks for African Grannies are partnering with Toronto Artist, Mark Gleberzon and Waddington’s Auctioneers and Appraisers for an online auction, Small Art Big Hearts. Any Campaign member who is interested in creating a piece of art (12″ or less) is invited to send in their original work by October 12. For more details, please visit our Events Calendar for more information.

Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers Regina will be holding their annual Art from the Attic fundraiser on September 22 from 10am to 5pm at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre. This sale includes a one day sale as well as an online auction.

The West Hill Grandmothers are having an Off the Wall Art Sale in memory of Catherine Richard on September 29. There will be posters, prints, watercolours, oil paintings and more sold at great prices from 10am to 4pm at Westmount Park United Church in Montreal.

On September 30, Grands ‘n’ More will hold their Art from the Attic Sale at the Norwood Community Centre in Winnipeg from 10:30 to 4pm.

You can find out more about art sales and other creative fundraising ideas in the Fundraiser Catalogue. If you would like to submit a fundraising event or idea for the Fundraising Corner, please download and email the completed
Fundraiser Description Form to

If your group is hosting an event, be sure to share the poster with your Grandmothers Campaign Officer. We’ll include your event listings on the Events Calendar on the Grandmothers Campaign. If you’re promoting events on Facebook, tag @grandmotherscampaign and use #grandmotherscampaign, so we can like your events.

6. Regional Grandmothers Gatherings Coming Up

The next few months are gearing up to be busy! The calendar is filling up with grandmothers groups’ events, meetings and fundraisers.

Mark these dates for Campaign-wide events and opportunities.

Fall Regional Grandmothers Gatherings are coming up soon. Join grandmothers and grandothers along with representatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation and powerful African experts and women leaders.

September 14-15: BC Interior Gathering in Kamloops (Register by Sept. 8)
September 29: Northern Alberta Gathering in Edmonton (Register by Sept. 21)
September 29: Ontario South West Gathering in Ancaster  (Register by Sept. 22)
October 12-13: Atlantic Gathering in Dartmouth (Register by Oct. 6)
October 20: Manitoba Gathering in Winnipeg (Register by Oct. 10)

Check out the Regional Gatherings page on the Grandmothers Campaign website for more details.

7. New Member Calls

Are you a new Grandmothers Group Member? Or interested in joining a group?

Join us for a New Member Information Session via conference call on Monday, September 17 at 12:30pm EST to hear more about the Grandmothers Campaign and the work of African grandmothers and the community-based organizations supporting them. Please RSVP to

Can’t make it this month? Don’t worry, we’ll hold these conference calls the third Monday of every month.

8. African Food for Thought: An Offer and Invitation

Hello Grandmothers and Grandothers: it’s the African Food for Thought team – Sue, Linda, and Angie here. September seems to bring a special energy, a sense of new beginnings and excitement. We’ve caught some of that excitement, and we see from the list of upcoming Regional Fall Grandmothers Gatherings, that you have too!

We’d like to build on this special energy by extending an offer and an invitation designed to boost our joint efforts for SLF’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The Offer:

Linda or Sue will spend 15-20 minutes with your Grandmothers Group, virtually, to speak about the creation of African Food for Thought, ways to use it to enhance your fundraising activities, and answer any questions you may have.

The Invitation: 

We’re launching The African Food for Thought Challenge and we’d love you to participate! The Challenge involves selling copies of the cookbook and using the book or some of its recipes for one of your fundraisers. Share your photos or videos of the event on Facebook. Watch our Facebook page for details about how to be engaged.

Contact for more information or to set up a talk!

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