IMOVE WELCOMES YOU
MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE WITH HEALING, WELL-BEING & AGENCY
ENABLING PEOPLE TO MAKE A LIVING WITH DECENT, MEANINGFUL
CREATING SYSTEMIC CHANGE IN COMMUNITY & SOCIETY
iMOVe is a nonprofit organization that has been a formal organization since 2013, but the unique programming iMOVe offers goes back much further, and was pioneered by Executive Director Sobaz Benjamin using the arts for healing and self-expression, to enhance participants (including youth at risk) ability to make a living, and to develop their leadership skills.
iMOVe has been working on these programs for many years, but the organization has grown significantly in the last couple of years due to some important funding and support from the Nova Scotia Departments of Justice, Communities Culture and Heritage, and Labour and Advanced Education.
The goal is to develop iMOVe’s programming and document its impact so in the next few years iMOVe can expand to teach other organizations about the work they’ve been doing, further enhance participants abilities to find decent and meaningful work, develop participants leadership skills and ability to contribute to systemic change in their own communities, and build bridges with other communities.
To accomplish this, iMOVe is working to develop itself as a social enterprise with a variety of revenue streams to enhance its sustainability for the future. iMOVe’s approach is based fundamentally on meeting participants where they are at, developing community support around them, holding them accountable for their actions but also not judging them.
A key component is also helping program participants to understand the ‘systems’ in society that have had an impact on their lives and how they can build skills to help them address these challenges in positive ways. Another key component is teaching them about how they can work together to increase economic benefits for themselves, each other and their communities.
The iNSpiRe program is about helping marginalized and racialized people who have been incarcerated or who are incarcerated to prepare and practice for successful re-integration into community. One of the ways iMOVe helps them do this is by developing skills in film and television.
LEARNING ABOUT CO-OPS
New! for iMOVe is work related to building inclusive economies with unique, culturally-appropriate learning opportunities about how co-operation and the co-op model can be used to solve challenges in marginalized communities.
"At 36 years old I can honestly say I had no future until I met Sobaz and became a part of the iMOVe family. And now that I’m here, I plan to help as many people and change as many lives as possible."
"Sobaz helped me see and understand things that I have never before. I think that In My Own Voice can help me answer some questions and find solutions that I have been hoping for my whole life."
Founder & Executive Director
As an award-winning filmmaker and social justice activist, it was only natural that Sobaz would approach the work he has been doing from an arts-based approach, and as a black man he also intrinsically understands the impacts of racism and marginalization.
Sobaz’s NFB film from early in his career is called Race is a Four-letter Word. His sense of empathy and the unique programs he’s designed are anchored in his own experiences. He has received awards from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Heritage National Anti-Racism Competition, National Film Board, and the Minister’s Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention.
Sobaz has certificates in Compassionate Listening, Community Based Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding (from the Coady Institute), and diversity training facilitation. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communication from York University in Toronto, and is doing a Masters in Sociology at Dalhousie University.
The programming Sobaz has designed is also based on his own experiences as a black man, as a father of two African Nova Scotian children who are now in their twenties, a filmmaker, community activist and so much more. iMOVe’s programming starts with meeting participants where they are in their lives, and using an arts-based approach including learning about Compassionate Listening (a program that iMOVe is the only organization in Canada to be certified in). Participants are then invited to participate in ‘re-authoring’ their stories through the Kintsugi Monologues program involving filmmaking, radio and theatre work.
In conjunction with this programming, iMOVe then also looks to help youth to find positive ways to make a living by working together in a co-operative manner.
This unique, holistic approach to every participant’s wellbeing goes beyond the common concept of providing ‘wrap around supports.’
Join Us! in enabling Racialized and Marginalized People
to take Centre Stage
In solidarity with iMOVe, the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia helped us to create a new charitable fund called the Centre Stage Equity Economic Development Fund to help iMOVe and other black-led organizations to build their capacity and do more of the great work they are already doing. You can contribute monthly or with a one-time larger donation by going to the CFNS website.
Celebrate Black History & Heritage, Get a Great T-Shirt,
and Support iMOVe!
Cyclesmith is a remarkable Halifax-based business and bike shop that is always one of the first to step up to support community, and be an ally for black-led organizations. iMOVe is thrilled to partner with Cyclesmith. Sales from this t-shirt, available on Cyclesmith's website, will be donated to iMOVe to help support the work we're doing.