All pictures by Scott Miller Cressman.
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!
Please send brief updates and upcoming events to Mo at email@example.com 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/
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There 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:
People for Peace, London Ontario
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
(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.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 8:45am to 8:45pm
Rotunda, Kitchener City Hall
(even by Skype – that can be arranged)
annual commemoration of the
in our 16th year
a FREE public event
Elder Jean Becker
dignitaries bringing greetings
theme for this year:
Our Home ON Native Land
- multimedia presentations
- panel discussions
- essays on various related topics
Inspector Mike Haffner
Mike Haffner is the WRPS Executive Officer to the Chief and is there on behalf of the Chief – will give acknowledgement of our indigenous peoples land
Hate Crime Presentation
Kristin Little is an extremely valuable civilian member of our police service. She is an Open Source Analyst with the Hate Crime and Extremism Investigative Team. She monitors social media for 15 different police services in Ontario. She will be talking about hate crimes and the different types, hate incidents, why people commit hate crimes, types of extremism and the importance of reporting hate crimes
Our Home ON Native Land
- are indigenous people history and culture being taught in your school? If so, by whom?
- where are you getting your information from?
- what do you need to inform yourself ?
- what is your extent of awareness, your experience, your interaction with indigenous people and in what capacity ?
Narsiesse a First Nation writer, director, and filmmaker will open up about THE WINEMAKER film series and discuss some elements of the film’s origins that cover many of his passions, including First Nation mythos. Narsiesse will show phase one of THE WINEMAKER film series, then will share various artwork created by artists from around the world, who were inspired by THE WINEMAKER imagery and many of its First Nation themes and symbols. An interactive discussion and an opportunity to speak with Narsiesse and other members of THE WINEMAKER cast follows
Home To Me & Outsiders
two lovely music videos done my First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in Canada followed by group discussion(led by Marianna Worth & Tammy Webster)
Islamic School of Cambridge & others
to include all students signing
Bring your own lunch
schools usually attend from the morning till approximately 2:00pm when they need to return to their respective schools
however . . . students are welcome to stay and attend .. but at their own responsibility or accompanied by their own adults
2:00pm – 7:00pm
we continue with
more speakers & interactive dialogue
discrimination against “other”
the emerging / surfacing biases and fear of unknowns
The different labels attached to Muslim women
Skypeing with Wendy Goldsmith
A social worker and mother of three from London Ontario
As a social worker she has worked with many marginalized and traumatized individuals, families and communities and began her work in Palestine after Operation ‘Cast Lead’ and saw through photos and direct accounts of the horror and devastation inflicted by Israel on Gaza. Wendy is a member of the steering committee of Canada Boat to Gaza, a representative at Freedom Flotilla Coalition and on the Media team for the Women’s Boat to Gaza. Wendy recently returned from Barcelona, Spain, Ajaccio, Corsica and Messina, Sicily where she participated in the sailing of the Zaytouna
The Political Meaning of Teaching Introductory Psychology to Indigenous Students
Dr. Richard Walsh
A retired professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he specialized in community psychology and in the history, philosophy, and ethics of psychology. He is the lead author of the 2014 book, A Critical History and Philosophy of Psychology, published by Cambridge University Press. In 1999 he received Laurier’s outstanding teaching award.
Richard is an active member of a local faith community; he sings in its choir and in Inshallah, the local interfaith choir
Richard was the Green Party candidate for Waterloo in the 2015 federal election. He serves as critic for mental health in the Green Party of Canada Shadow Cabinet. He is also the critic for poverty reduction in the Green Party of Ontario Shadow Cabinet
Locally, he is a founding member of the Alliance Against Poverty
Bridges to Belonging
Cameron Dearlove – executive director
Carmen Sutherland – community relations
“Bridges to Belonging ‘s vision for “a Waterloo Region where everyone belongs- where we value meaningful relationships, honour choices and dreams, and celebrate the uniqueness of each person”. How do we get there? How does inclusion and belonging interact, and how are they different? How can you build bridges to belonging in your community?”
Current president of the Afghan Association of Waterloo Region, Wasai was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and for over 22 years has served with numerous non-profit organizations, here in Canada and overseas and has been living in Kitchener for the past 14 years
- he is serving at the Safe and Healthy Community Advisory Committee, at the City of Kitchener
- he is representing Kitchener residence at the Safety-Kleen Public Liaison Committee
- he is a Board member of Bridges to Belonging Waterloo Region
- he is founder and Executive Director of iHelp International
- B A -Kabul University diploma – Conestoga College in Electrical Engineering Technology where he also studied Civil Engineering and Management
The Laurier Friendship Dinners
The Laurier Friendship Dinners brought forty Laurier students, fourteen Syrian newcomer families and 40 community members together for a series of celebratory, welcoming dinners in the fall of 2016. Come and listen to a group of students, Syrian newcomers and community members share what they learned about refugee realities and building cross cultural friendships through this initiative in which students and community members collaborated through family visits, menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking Syrian feasts and celebrating together
Syrian refugees — newcomers — integration
…the existing homelessness & poverty
the concerns of a community split between prioritizing:
- addressing the existing poverty and homelessness
being sensitive to fellow human suffering
- resentful of the funding allocated to accommodating and integrating refugees
contributions and benefits to the economy of bringing newcomers
- and whatever more comes up in the discussions
Political Policies for Indigenous Peoples
Resolutions passed by the Green Party at last year’s Special General Meeting.
Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer, activist and journalist. He is the former justice critic in the shadow cabinet of the Green Party of Canada. In 2012, he was named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada, and in 2013, Canadian Business Magazine named him one of the 50 most influential persons in Canadian business. He is currently a board member and correspondent of The Real News Network, based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dimitri will discuss the disconnect between Canadian public opinion and the Canadian government’s unqualified support for the government of Israel.The International Court of Justice has held unanimously that Israel’s settlements constitute a grave breach of international law. Virtually the entire international community, including Canada’s government, agrees with this assessment. Yet the Canadian government continues to support Israel lavishly. A new poll leaves no doubt that Canadians do not agree with its government’s approach to Israel. Why does this disconnect exist?
Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak
Good Hearted Women Singers
Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak (Good Hearted Women Singers) are an Indigenous and non-Indigenous women’s drum circle following the teachings of Community Elder Jean Becker and led by Songkeeper, Kelly Laurila. Our outreach and singing in public has much to do with building positive relations with Settler peoples. Although Canada is in a process of reconciliation, colonization and assimilation policies still permeate the lives of many Indigenous peoples today. In addition the water, mother earth and our environment need everyone’s help. We believe that building relationships with one another can help us understand one another and work towards the good of all peoples.
All My Relations
Songs our drum circle will sing:
(Song created by Anishinabe woman, Josephine Mandamim)
Humma (Ulali. A lullabye to comfort in difficult times)
Friendship (Mohawk Friendship song. We extend our welcome and friendship to all of you)
Seven Grandfathers (love, respect, truth, honesty, humility, courage, wisdom). For reconciliation.
I am from Ontario and grew up along the mazina’iga-ziibi/Missinihe-ziibi (Credit River) and the springs of the Naadaw-zaaga-ziibi (Nottawasaga River). As far as I know my ancestors are of Irish and English decent. I have relatives from Pimicikamak Cree Nation, known as Cross Lake, and other connections to the original people of Turtle Island. My given name is Kip Matthew Carpenter.
The first time he met Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak it was a true honour to offer a poetic blessing to these Good Hearted Women. Having been born on Turtle Island it is deeply humbling for him to be able to express support in anyway possible for the international day to end racism. Much of his time has been spent in what is now known as Ontario and if there is ever a chance such as this to express and pray for more progress or healing, it is with deep gratitude he offers much more than his words. He will and does listen. He hopes semaa will keep him strong as he offers this same blessing again to all today. Acknowledging this land was taken in broken treaties, his support to the best of his ability is freely offered, he currently lives in Guelph and his given name is Kip Carpenter.
G’chi miigewetch, Kip
followed by the
and the visual artists extravaganza …
Brenda Lewis is a professional musician – Jazz Soul & Roots vocalist, publicist and human rights advocate, longtime Guelph resident she was most recently featured in The Jazz Room’s celebrated concert series in Uptown Waterloo, and currently performs with some of Canada’s finest musicians, including Margaret Stowe, Tony Quarrington, Jeff Bird, John Zadro and Gayle Ackroyd in this region, Toronto and across Ontario in acclaimed venues and festivals. Her CDs have been played on CBC, BBC and Jazz.FM and her new jazz release “Far & Near” (her third) is quickly garnering critical praise
Rhythms in Steel
Rhythms in Steel have been playing for about 3 years as a six piece acoustic Steelband in Waterloo Region. Band members include
- Lisbeth Haddad on the tenor pan and vocalist
- Murchison Callender on the tenor pan
- Wendell Claxton on double seconds
- Carol Taylor on the guitar pan
- Karen Asumang and Chloe Callender on percussion
The band’s repertoire has a Caribbean flavour of reggae, soca, calypso and folk songs of the Caribbean. They perform at Parties, Churches, Retirement homes, Schools, Community Festivals and Fundraising Events for Charities.
by students from the African UBUNTU kids club
Acoustic Steel is a six member acoustic steel band. The musicians are:
- Carol Taylor on first pan (melody)
- Cheryl Dietrich on double seconds (harmony)
- Rob Hartung on cello (bass)
- Sam Ogilvie on electric bass
- Dick Smith and Kerren Asumang on djembe
The band started playing together seven years ago and play a diverse selection of songs suited to the unique sound of the Steel drum and rhythms of the Caribbean. Events at which the band has been invited to play include
Community Festivals, Charitable Fundraising Events, Weddings, private parties and Corporate functions
- demo on how to do a memory bracelet … they are fun and fairly quick
Canoes Eye View
one of the regular participants over the years will be performing as a three piece this year
This is always a work in progress … it grows as you:
- contact us saying you will participate
- present, have a booth, etc
- help us spread the word among your contacts…
please feel free to call or email me to participate
- present / share
- have an information booth
- for further details
Community building through playing games. Bring a game or play one of ours.
Admission is free
Wednesday 15 March 2017 7:00pm
Queen Street Commons Cafe
43 Queen St. S., Kitchener Map
Board games are inherently about competition, conflict and conquest. What can we learn about peace and nonviolence from playing board games?
Come join us for an evening traditional board games such as Chess, Checkers, and Monopoly.
Special feature: KWPeace member Isaiah has developed an educational game that explores and makes accessible the complex relationship between environmental limits, climate change and various conflicts within and between societies. He’s happy to present this game to our group — Come out, and be one of the first people to play!
On Monday, 17 October 2016 Cross Cultures hosted our FREEDOMS a lively interactive town hall with Dimitri Lascaris, Rehab Nazzal, Wendy Goldsmith, introduced by Gehan Sabry. This audio recording contains only the presentations; the Questions and Answers session is not available (not all participants allowed their comments to be made available).
Released: 2016. Genre: Speech.
Download: 2016-10-17-Town-Hall-with-Dimitri-Lascaris-Rehab-Nazzal-Wendy-Goldsmith-Speakers-only-no-QA.mp3 (22 MBytes, 1h4m)
Here are some photos of Perspectives on Peace: Local Approaches for Positive Change held on Saturday, 1 October 2016 at the Queen Street Commons Cafe. Additional photos and videos will be posted as they become available.
Local community groups are hosting Perspectives on Peace: Local Approaches to Positive Change, an evening of sharing, collaboration, and action on October 1st 2016 from 4:00pm to 8:30pm at the Queen Street Commons Café in downtown Kitchener.
This event, hosted under the umbrella of KW Peace, will emphasize positive work happening in our community and inspire action. KW Peace is a collective of local peace and social justice groups interested in collaboration and networking.
The concept of peace building is very broad, and encompasses a wide range of approaches and issues. The goal of this gathering is to celebrate our individual perspectives on peace, as well as find ways to work together in creating peace and positive change in our community. We’ll do this by showcasing the work that’s already being done and encouraging new action and collaboration.
The agenda includes a Keynote speaker, dinner, showcasing of participating groups, and small group discussions. Keynote speaker Dr. Simon Dalby, CIGI Chair, will be speaking about the interaction between climate change and conflict, from his experience working in the fields of climate change, political ecology, geopolitics, and global security.
Participating groups include: The Nonviolence Festival, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), Spiritual Heritage Education Network (SHEN), Divest Waterloo, Cross Cultures, Green Party, Amnesty International, Centre for Peace Advancement(CPA), FairVote, Animal Save, Vegan Society, and Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church’s Social Justice Working group.
Admission is free, but registration is required as space is limited. Pay what you can donations towards the cost of the event are appreciated (suggested donation is $10). Register: Perspectives on Peace: Local Approaches for Positive Change
To learn more, please contact
This is a reminder that the next potluck meeting for KW Peace is Wednesday, August 17th at 6pm at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.
Please let me know if you plan to attend.
We will be continuing our planning of our October event “Perspectives on Peace: Local Approaches to Creative Positive Change.”
Hope to see you there!
What: KWPeace Perspectives Planning Potluck
When: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Peace and Justice Room, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church
Location: 57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener, Ontario (corner of Weber Street) Map
Reminder: Bring your own plate, cutlery and serving utensils! (the kitchen is still undergoing renovations)
If you’re on Facebook you can indicate you’re going at KWPeace Perspectives Planning Potluck | Facebook