the Last Mish Mash

My name is Jenny Katz, and 11 years ago, I sent out the first email of what eventually became the MishMash.  It started as a random collection of job postings, program announcements, and requests from, and for workers in the youth-serving sector, outside of our organizations and workplace hierarchies.  It grew into a resource for learning and sharing the stories, struggles, insights, and activities of frontline workers in Toronto and beyond. It was a vital organ for the group that became FPYN. 

In 2014, when FPYN lost funding and staff, and closed its office, beautiful volunteers kept up the work of
creating the MishMash. In 2015, Youth Action Network took on the costs of the MishMash and the FPYN website. A few of us kept trying to incubate new face-to-face FPYN activities, and the job of maintaining the MishMash finally landed back with me in the summer of 2016. 

That whole time, I kept believing the newsletter and the organization didn't have to die.  I hoped that we could keep them going until there was a group that wanted take up the torch that FPYN had carried and build something new and vibrant. And they could do it with the benefit of experiences and insights from FPYN and the ongoing connection provided by the MishMash.

But this is the last MishMash. I haven't been able to send one out for months. FPYN/the MishMash were my focus/obsession for so many years and I haven't wanted to say goodbye, especially like this.  

More groups, activities, and platforms where frontline workers can safely speak and hear each other's truths are desperately needed. I still wish for more spaces where you can support each other to do the unrecognized and most VITAL work that you are doing, wherever you are. 

I know that, eventually, these activities will grow up through the cracks and chasms in the system and replace it with humane, just, flexible, holistic, stable, loving, creative networks that nourish all of our layers of communities. From the soil and concrete to our heads and our hearts.

With sadness, great respect, some relief, and so much love,


P.S. If anyone wants to do something like the Mish Mash here's the recipe.