KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting: Thursday 12 March 2020

New Date: Due to many other events on the 19th, the KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting will be held on 12 March 2020 at 6:00pm in the Civic Hub

Potluck dinnerHello again KWPeace Groups organizers! The poll has spoken and the most popular date for the KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting is Thursday 19 12 March 2020.

It turns out the Civic Hub is very popular, and there are already two other groups using the space on that date and time (Hello, Extinction Rebellion and KW Our Time!) Hopefully we can all share the space together (and have increased participation in the potluck), but I’ve indicated on the Civic Hub booking request that our alternate date would be Thursday 12 March 2020. So, keep both dates open for the moment!

The Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting is just before the summer festival season begins. I know some groups are already busy planning their events for the summer, so this is a great time to let us all know so we’re not booking the same dates and we’re able to attend each others’ events.

Vegetables on a plate in the shape of a Peace sign
Peace
What: KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting
When: Thursday 12 March 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Civic Hub Waterloo Region
Location: 23 Water Street North, Kitchener, Ontario Map

To enter the Civic Hub at the doors on Duke Street; press the buzzer for Social Development Centre Waterloo Region to summon the doorkeeper.

And although the time for the actual meeting is 6:00pm to 8:00pm, there’s setup at 5:30pm and cleanup from 8:00pm to 8:30pm. Setup and cleanup assistance is greatly appreciated!

See you all at the Civic Hub!
–Bob.

Civic Hub – 2nd Small Groups Summit hosted by @SPCofKW

Dear All,

It has been a year since our initial mobilization around the idea of a Civic Hub. A number of us continued meeting throughout the 2018 and worked on grants, connections and the first vision statement: A home, a landmark, accessible to everyone interested in civic and grassroots groups to showcase what is being done in the community, to allow groups to support each other, recruit, communicate and build credibility and capacity for advocacy and delivery of services to the community.

The number of small groups and organizations interested in the initiative is growing. A number of projects bringing together ethnocultural groups in Waterloo Region in 2018 testified that common, affordable space is a foundation for communication, collaboration and growth for many groups who feel isolated, under-resourced and in constant competition for supports.

However, there is little understanding of the core work that civic groups and small non-profits do in Waterloo Region.

We can learn together with other non-profit networks who want to create hubs for their sectors, such as WR Environmental Network and WR Arts Council.

Our strength is in our diversity and our common vision.

On January 21st 2019, we will gather again to share updates and brainstorm ideas about the next steps in creation of a Civic Hub.


6pm at SDC Office Map
in St John Church,
23 Water St North in Kitchener
Entrance and doorbell on Duke St.

RSVP by January 15th. Please get in touch if you need more information or have ideas/comments to share before the 21st.

Wishing you only the best to come in 2019.
Warmest Holiday Regards,
Aleksandra Petrovic

Executive Director
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region
23 Water St. North, Kitchener ON, N2H 5A4
(entrance and doorbell on Duke Street)
Phone: 519-579-3800

Your Voice and Your Donation Count!
Give for A Better Common Future

We will gather again in the New Year! | Social Development Centre Waterloo Region office reopens on January 2nd 2018 (people sitting in a discussion group with notetakers in the background)

Video: Perspectives On Peace — Where’s the Peace and Justice?

Perpectives On Peace: Where’s the Peace and Justice? was held on Saturday, 27 October 2018 at Kitchener City Hall.


Logo for Perspectives on PeaceSee the pictures from Perspectives On Peace — Where’s the Peace & Justice? Canada’s New Foreign and Defence Policies

The video is ©2018 by Laurel L. Russwurm and released under a Creative Commons Attribution Only (CC BY) license.

Oz Cole-Arnal writes about Squirrel Hill

Baptismal Expectations — Now!

Oz Cole-Arnal holding a "Stop C51" sign
Oz Cole-Arnal
I was visiting my oldest son Bill and his partner Darlene when I heard the awful news of the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I felt gut-punched and burst into tears. With so much hatred in the world, with the “othering” of all God’s vulnerable — Jews, blacks, women, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ — reaching new heights of murderous invective and hate as the wave of neo-Fascism arising throughout the western democracies, this attack in Squirrel Hill struck me exceedingly close to home. I am an ex-American from Western Pennsylvania, roughly an hour by auto to Pittsburgh, yet the emotions involve a deeper gut-wrenching connection than the thirty-mile jaunt by car to that city. In the years of graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh (1970-1975) my wife and two boys lived in the Greenfield neighbourhood, immediately bordering Squirrel Hill, within easy walking distance. We would often walk and browse the shops in that lovely neighborhood, enjoy kosher baked goods, hearing yiddish that we could not understand but always welcomed by residents Jew and Gentile alike. Our landlord Ezra Stein, a practicing Jew, was gentle, kindly and fair with his rental charge. I remember fondly how he quickly repaired a broken pipe, working to get the job done quickly so that our newborn Brad could be warmed as soon as possible upon his arrival from the hospital. My academic mentor was Dr. Seymour Drescher, renowned scholar on abolition of the slave trade(s), who, with his wife Ruth, also practice their Jewish faith. Since that time we have become friends and colleagues. Add to that my doctoral thesis, the relationship between French Catholicism and the right-wing, horribly anti-Semitic Action Française, brought me deeply in touch with the so-called “Christian” legacy of anti-Judaism from the medieval pogroms to Hitler’s Final Solution. During my research in France I met Joel Blatt, another brother of Jewish background, and we remain in touch to this very day. So I cry out in outrage and have shed many tears against this murderous rampage in Squirrel Hill, beyond principle alone. It has grinded my very viscera.

Yes, I celebrate not only those Jewish brothers and sisters of Squirrel Hill who, instead of seeking even “appropriate” retribution have marshalled their forces collectively, in that locus and in my own Waterloo Region, along with Muslims, LBGTQ folk, a grand variety of faiths, including us “Christians”, to cry out NO MORE” to simple “eye for eye & tooth for tooth” but like the prophets of old have railed against evil (such as the hate fascism of Donald Trump, et. al., including his minions in our own land). Yet even louder have they embodied a massive solidarity in vigils that say, our collective voice of non-violent courage will stand tall against such fascist rebirth.

Chiefly though I call out to my fellow “followers” of the “Way” to remember the demands of their baptism to embody that ancient formula (Galatians 3:28) — “There is no longer Jew or Greek (Gentile), …slave or free,… male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” This text does not squash these separate identities into some kind of neutral category, but rather affirms that the character of each is embraced with fullness and acceptance, something that those vigils in my two countries (the U.S. and Canada) affirmed loudly. Yet vigils are not enough! We must daily find ways to roll back the encroaching fascism exploding in our midst, liberated into open violence by “hate” regimes, whether in France, Germany, the United States and Canada. We must, as my dear friend Rabbi David Levy chanted in Hebrew over against the attack on the poor in those Days of Action over two decades ago (Isaiah 58:6-7a): “Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice,… to let the oppressed go free…? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your houses?”, embody this daily. Our baptism is our pledge to stand tall and massively against any and all attacks on all who are “othered” and victimized in our society.

The Squirrel Hill violence reminds us yet again of the long history of our marginalized and murdered Jewish sisters and brothers. The Hitler ovens are not just past history. They lurk as hidden beasts, beginning to pounce again. And, of course, we who are Lutheran bear a heavier load of need to repentance, which means much more than the easy escape of a cheap confession of guilt. That Greek word of metanoia means “to turn one’s life around.” So, in our baptism we promise to embody this radical stance against “the Powers” and for the vulnerable. And, lest we forget, the one in whose name we were watered is Yeshua bar Miriam & Joseph, a Jew!

Photo cropped from Oz Cole-Arnal and Nadine, © 2015 by Laurel L. Russwurm, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Only (CC BY) 2.0 license.

Pictures: Perspectives On Peace 2018

Perspectives logo: Stylized dove with laurel leaves
Perspectives on Peace



On Saturday, 27 October 2018 KW Peace held the second Perspectives on Peace symposium. Lunch was provided at no cost thanks to the generosity and work of Kitchener Food Not Bombs.

People at Perspectives On Peace 2018, eating lunch provided by Food Not Bombs


People in discussion before the presentation

Emcee Sandee Lovas speaks with participants


Laura Hamilton at the microphone Sandee Lovas

Laura Hamilton gives the Land Acknowledgement, and emcee Sandy Lovas introduces the participating groups from KW Peace

Tamara Lorincz gives a presentation on The Climate and Environmental Impacts of the Canadian Military. Download the slides (PDF, 6.2 MBytes)


Participants at Perspectives On Peace 2018

Participants at Perspectives On Peace 2018 gather for a group photo


Perspectives On Peace 2018: Tamara Lorincz on Video

Video of Perspectives On Peace 2018 will be available soon

Photos copyright © 2018 by Laurel L. Russwurm, used under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Slides of The Climate and Environmental Impacts of the Canadian Military copyright © 2018 by Tamara Lorincz used by permission.

Fall 2018 KWPeace Potluck Meeting — Thu, 4 Oct 2018

Potluck dinner Are you an organizer for a Waterloo Region group that advocates for Peace, Nonviolence, or one of the many faces of Social Justice? Please join us at the Fall 2018 KWPeace Potluck Meeting.

The primary item on the agenda is this year’s Perspectives On Peace. This year we’re planning to serve lunch courtesy of Kitchener Food Not Bombs and we have special guest speaker Tamara Lorincz to talk about Canada’s new defence and foreign policies and the environmental and social impacts such as climate, military spending, &c.

If you have any particular items you’d like to discuss please let Mo Markham know at mo.markham@kwpeace.ca

The meeting is also a potluck dinner, so bring something to share if you can. Past contributions have included salads, entrées, snacks, and desserts. Some will be vegetarian and vegan dishes.

What: Fall 2018 KWPeace Potluck Meeting
When: Thursday 4 October 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Peace and Justice Room, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church
Location: 57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener, Ontario Map

See you at the potluck meeting!

–Bob Jonkman
bobjonkman@kwpeace.ca

Pictures from the KWPeace Potluck Meeting for Summer 2018

KWPeace held its Potluck Meeting for Summer 2018 on Thursday, 19 July 2018 in the Peace and Justice room at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church. Scott Miller Cressman was there to take pictures.

All pictures by Scott Miller Cressman.

@KWPeace Potluck Meeting for Summer 2018 — Agenda

Potluck dinner It’s time we held another information sharing and planning meeting, and have some wonderful potluck food.

Every few months the organizers of many different peace, social justice, environmental, political, and spiritual organizations from Waterloo Region come together to share what they’re doing in the community, invite each other to participate, and possibly collaborate on new ventures. Everyone is invited! It’s a potluck meeting, so bring some food or a beverage to share, and enjoy all the different dishes others have brought. The food is mostly vegetarian, some vegan, some gluten-free.

Many thanks to our hosts at the Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church for letting us use the Peace and Justice room again!

–Bob.
bjonkman@kwpeace.ca

What: KWPeace Potluck Meeting for Summer 2018
When: Thursday, 19 July 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church
Location: 57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener, Ontario Map

Agenda

Please send brief updates and upcoming events to Mo at mo.markham@kwpeace.ca so we can include them in the minutes of the meeting. Thanks!

Updates of Our Groups
We’ll each give updates on our groups.
Upcoming Events
We’ll each share upcoming events.
WR Nonviolence Day In The Park
The Day In The Park is coming up this Saturday, July 21st, on Roos Island in Victoria Park, and many of us will be participating. Speak to Bob Jonkman or Matthew Albrecht if you have questions.
Photography At This Meeting
From Scott Cressman: Scott would like to take some photos at the meeting, if people are okay with this, but he will not photograph anyone who doesn’t want to be photographed. He is hoping to take some pictures to post on some of the social media sites, and he will explain more at the meeting.
Grant Applicant Needed
From Laura Hamilton (KW Peace): We need someone to apply to the city for an in-kind facilities grant for our October 27 Perspectives On Peace event. See below regarding the event, and contact Bob Jonkman or Mo Markham regarding applying for the grant. This is the application is at https://www.kitchener.ca/en/city-services/grants.aspx
KW Peace Blog
From Bob (KW Peace): An invitation for all groups to post to the blog. http://kwpeace.ca/posts/
Civic Hub
From Aleksandra Petrovic (Social Development Centre Waterloo Region): We have a chance to move ahead with the idea of a Civic Hub and I can ask how important is that civic space to the groups that come to the potluck. If yes, I would have specific questions for the groups such as:

  • the need for the space (meetings, work, events, etc.)
  • the times the space would be mostly used (evenings, weekends… )
  • other logistics needed in the space for the first while (telephone, Internet, printing, scanning, storage, etc.)
Blanket Workshop
from Hannah Enns: Blanket workshop taking place on July 25th at Seven Shores Community Cafe… Register at http://www.sevenshores.ca/events-1/2018/7/25/blanket-exercise. Tickets: $25/settler (non-indigenous); $15/student/low-income/refugee; Free for Indigenous folks. What does it mean to be a treaty person today in Kitchener-Waterloo? What is the untold history in Canadian society about colonization and movements of resistance? How do you push yourself to unsettle the settler within?
Perspectives On Peace
Laura Hamilton has arranged for KWPeace to use the Rotunda at City Hall on Saturday, 27 October 2018 from noon to 2:00pm (setup at 11:00am). Tamara Lorincz will be the speaker, and I believe Food Not Bombs will provide snacks. All KWPeace groups are invited to have display or information tables around the rotunda. …we’re calling the event “Perspectives on Peace” or “KWPeace Connections”.
KW Peace co-sponsor film?
From Tamara Lorincz: She’s wondering if KW Peace would “co-sponsor” a screening of the film A Bold Peace: Costa Rica’s Path to Demilitarization that she is hoping to screen at Conrad Grebel with Project Ploughshares this fall (likely early November) as this year is the 70th anniversary that Costa Rica abolished its army. The movie is a very powerful. It wouldn’t cost KW Peace anything to “co-sponsor” just to add “moral” support. (Tamara can’t be at the meeting on Thursday.) More info about the film is at http://aboldpeace.com/

Speak Peace Rally — 26 August 2017, London, Ontario

Hello CPT and seekers of justice and peace Friends, Several weeks ago there was a rally that PEGIDA, a right wing Islamophobic group held in London, and our group People for Peace was there to counter their message. The turnout was better than expected and we outnumbered the above group, and were mostly successful in drowning out their hateful rhetoric. Having to plan at short notice, we did experience a number of situations during the rally which could have been managed in a more positive way.

PEGIDA was not happy with us however, and are now coming back with a vengeance on August 26, and they are courting other right wing groups to come with them, as listed in the announcement below, for another rally on the steps of London’s city hall. There have also been vitriolic comments aimed at individuals within our group, threats, and that too, is concerning. We support our Muslim community and want to communicate a message of welcome, and “Speaking Peace”. We feel an urgent need for an even larger peaceful presence, and are planning a two to three hour “Nonviolence Training” to be held either on Friday evening or early Saturday morning, prior to the event. We are still working out details and it depends too, on who may be coming from a distance. We are prepared to offer accommodations as needed. There are already offers for car pooling from a distance.

Please let me know whether you can come, when, what your needs will be, and whether you can help with the “Nonviolence Training”. As we find out who is coming and when, I will provide more details as we plan for this event. Please plan to bring your singing voices, justice and peace signs, banners, rainbows, bubbles, balloons etc, to make it a colourful event!

In peace and solidarity,

Esther Kern <estherk@cpt.org>

Speak Peace Not HateThere are several groups in and around London (PEGIDA, JDL. Proud Boys, Sons of Odin, biker groups such as Hell’s Angels etc.), all xenophobic groups spewing hate who are gathering to try to spread their messages of intolerance and Islamophobia. People for Peace London calls on all Londoners to join us for a peaceful, non violent, inclusive, diverse counter rally:

Saturday August 26, 10:30 am.

London, in front of or near City Hall at Dufferin and Wellington (note: this location may change, and we may gather earlier in Victoria Park to prepare ourselves). We will dispel the myths that the hate groups promote, educate the public and stand together in unity against their violent messages. Please bring drums, rattles, stories of inclusion, poetry and your love for humanity.

Please share the Facebook event and watch that page for updates:

Anti Hate Rally- London Ontario | Facebook

—–

People for Peace, London Ontario

Protestors with bannerSparks fly at London City Hall as protesters clash during anti-Islam rally – London | Globalnews.ca (22 July 2017)

CBC News reports on Cross Cultures event

Kitchener marks UN Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

We need to “treat each other as human beings instead of labelling and stereotyping,” organizer says

CBC News Posted: Mar 21, 2017 7:00 AM ET

This flag was used at a Walk Against Racism in Regina in February. A day-long event at Kitchener City Hall Tuesday is dedicated to the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

This flag was used at a Walk Against Racism in Regina in February. A day-long event at Kitchener City Hall Tuesday is dedicated to the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. (CBC)

External Links

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

An all-day event at Kitchener City Hall Tuesday is meant to open the discussion on racism in Waterloo region.

The event marks the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and is organized by the editor of the local website Cross Cultures, Gehan Sabry.

In the past year, there has been a lot of talk about racism in the region and Sabry hopes this event — now in its 16th year — will help kickstart more dialogue about the issue.

“There is racism,” Sabry said.

“Sometimes it’s more obvious and to the surface,” she added. “We’re hoping that people, through understanding each other, that there will be less of the unknown and treat each other as human beings instead of labelling and stereotyping and being leery of other people because they just don’t understand them.”

Everyone has talents, passions

The day will include several speakers, presentations, booths, music and discussions. The morning and early afternoon is largely for high school students, but the public is encouraged to take part in events starting at 2 p.m.

One of those talks will be by the organization Bridges to Belonging. Executive director Cameron Dearlove said that group is known for helping people with developmental disabilities or mental health issues, but he says they help anyone who struggles to build a full life in the community.

He said their message will be about how we need to see each other as people first.

“Everybody, whether you have a disability or not, has gifts, has talents, has passions,” he said. “If people aren’t sharing those, that’s our job to help people uncover those and find the places where they can share those and build their life within the community.”

‘More peace, more respect’

This year’s theme is Our Home On Native Land, and Sabry said it’s important because we need to remember “we are all guests of the Indigenous people of this Turtle Island.”

Sabry, who is Muslim, said she hopes people will come, listen and then go back to their communities and talk about the issues.

“I’m hoping people will be encouraged to share this information with others: Their family, their friends, their colleagues. And that we can promote better feelings amongst us, more peace, more respect, mutual respect,” she said.

Kitchener marks UN Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Kitchener-Waterloo – CBC News