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Opening Plenary Session (9:00 - 10:00 a.m.)
REGISTER HERE for the Opening Plenary Session: “Living in Exile: Inhabiting a World of Displacement”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Brian Walsh (he/him) is a theologian, farmer, pastor, and writer. Before his retirement, he served for many years as adjunct professor of the Toronto School of Theology and pastor of the Wine Before Breakfast community at the University of Toronto. Dr. Walsh is also the co-author of “Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement,” whose 15th anniversary edition is being released this fall.
Morning Workshops (10:30 - 11:45 a.m.)
Please choose one of the following options:
A. You are Eating Injustices – REGISTER HERE
This workshop will examine the three pillars of the Canadian Farm Worker program, and show how it keeps migrant workers vulnerable by design. Participants will learn about multiple forms of injustice that migrant farm workers face in Canada, and what we can do to address them.
Facilitator: Gabriel Allahdua (he/him) Originally from St. Lucia, Gabriel Allahdua worked as a migrant farm worker in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program for four years, from 2012 to 2015, before leaving the program to seek permanent residency in Canada. Now a leading voice in the migrant justice movement, Allahdua is an organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers and an outreach worker with The Neighbourhood Organization, providing services to migrant workers across southwestern Ontario. He is author of the newly released Harvesting Freedom.
B. Parish Nursing: Fostering Connection and Healing – REGISTER HERE
A practicing parish nurse and a retired parish nurse will discuss the work of parish nurses and the role of parish nursing in addressing the experiences of displacement they encounter in the outreach and congregational aspects of their ministry.
Cheryle Pollock, RN started her nursing career at a rural hospital, and served for over 30 years as the camp nurse for Moorelands Camp, where she experienced the profound impact nature can have on a person’s health in mind, body, and spirit. Cheryle is currently in her tenth year as volunteer Parish Nurse at St. Nicholas, Birch Cliff, where she provides nursing consultation, education, and blood pressure clinics to members of the congregation and guests of the outreach lunch program.
Lanadee Lampman, RN is a retired nurse whose career was based in the community, primarily in home care and palliative care. From October 2013 to June 2019 Lanadee worked part-time as Parish Nurse at St James’ Cathedral, where she helped address the impacts of the opioid crisis and built connections with street nurses for wrap-around care. Now retired, she currently worships at St. Timothy, North Toronto, and serves on the Diocesan Poverty Reduction Subcommittee.
C. Resisting Displacement: Building a Movement for Affordable Housing From the Ground Up – REGISTER HERE
The workshop will focus on the community development aspects of building the affordable housing movement. It will draw on theory and practice for effective active participation of community members in building and sustaining the social movement. It will draw on experiences in South Etobicoke in grassroots collective action towards better health outcomes for all members of the community. It will include do’s and don’ts for effective outreach and advocacy strategies by drawing on past and present experiences in community engagement.
Facilitator: Carly Bowie (she/her) is a social worker and affordable housing advocate. She has over 7 years’ experience working in the space of social and economic rights of renters in the City of Toronto. As the Project Manager for Lakeshore Affordable Housing Advocacy and Action Group (LAHAAG) her goals have been to advocate for deeply affordable housing options in South Etobicoke and to support tenants in the housing crisis.
D. Rural Poverty: Making Choices – REGISTER HERE
This workshop will discuss the various elements that contribute to rural poverty. Participants will hear from local residents willing to share their stories. Reducing and eradicating poverty is about giving people the best possible life. Poverty is a day after day life, of difficult challenges that build to a seemingly insurmountable burden. This is difficult to understand unless you can put yourself in their shoes. Participants will engage in a poverty simulation to give a deeper understanding and perhaps change your mindset on what rural poverty is like. There will be an opportunity to debrief and engage in conversation.
Facilitator: The Rev. Lorna May (she/her) was ordained to the Vocational Diaconate in 2007 at St. Luke’s Creemore. She is involved with the Southern Georgian Bay ministry team, and serves on the Diocesan Diaconal Review Committee, and the Chaplaincy at the Collingwood hospital, and the local nursing home. She coordinates clothing swaps and oversees breakfast and lunch support at local schools in the community. Lorna co-ordinates the St. Luke’s Community foodbank, which was initiated in 2022, and has an enthusiastic team of volunteers. Her community support also involves advocacy for those with mental health issues, and assists with support for Ukrainian refugees in the community.
E. Displacement and the Urban Indigenous Experience – REGISTER HERE
This workshop will examine how displacement has affected, and continues to affect, urban Indigenous communities through the impacts of the residential school system, Sixties Scoop, and other aspects of colonialism. It will also look at ways in which reconnections with land, culture, and community are being forged anew.
Facilitator: Sandra Campbell (she/her) is a traditional Wahta Mohawk First Nation counsellor currently living in Tkaronto. Since 1992, Sandra has devoted her time to serving and spiritually mentoring her community and is also involved with congregational work within the Diocese of Toronto. From 2010 she has been working at Toronto Urban Native Ministry (TUNM) as the Indigenous outreach coordinator and pastoral care worker. In this role she dedicates her time to helping survivors of Residential Schools dealing with the legacy impacts of the system, people without housing, and children, among other vulnerable sectors within Indigenous populations. Sandra has actively participated in various healing/sharing activities, women’s traditional drumming circles, youth and family mentoring programs and LGBTQ2S+ awareness discussions focusing on leaning into reconciliation.
Afternoon Workshops (1:00 - 2:15 p.m.)
Please choose one of the following options:
A. Living in Encampment: Mental Health, Stigma and Place – REGISTER HERE
This workshop will examine topics related to the social model of mental health and stigma in the context of urban Toronto’s homelessness crisis during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
Lowe’s presentation will draw from experiential knowledge, and share some of the teachings gained from working to support people living in encampment. It will explore how living in encampments has become a community led form of resistance to the imposed state of continuous displacement that is propagated by Toronto’s emergency shelter systems.
John’s presentation will focus on building up resources to offer stable and supportive housing to people experiencing homelessness and living with mental health problems.
Lowe Goldsmith (she/they) is a queer, crazy identifying, white settler living and working with unhoused people on unceded Treaty 13 territory. They are the Mental Health Case Manager at The Neighbourhood Group’s Corner Drop In located in Kensington market. Their work focuses on improving access to Ontario Disability Support Program, Health, and Mental Health services for drop-in clients, most of whom are displaced, transient, unhoused, or vulnerably housed.
John Spragge (he/him) is a member of the Diocesan Poverty Reduction Committee and helps staff the drop-in programs at St. Stephen-in-the-Fields.
B. Saving Ontario’s Greenbelt: Setting the standard for sustainable growth – REGISTER HERE
There is a significant housing shortage in Ontario, and what’s available isn’t affordable for most. All this set against a background of worsening climate catastrophes and reconciliation. This workshop will explore how saving the Greenbelt can resolve the competing priorities of housing, affordability, carbon reduction and Indigenous recompense.
Facilitator: Kim Bradshaw (she/her) is a founding member of Stop Sprawl Halton and Greenbelt Guardians. She is a grassroots activist and Indigenous ally, working to advocate for change in the way we grow our communities by fostering attitudes of eco-spirituality and responsibility, or “kinship” with the natural world. Kim is currently working with St. Aidan’s Eco-Spirituality committee to “protect, sustain and renew” the Duffins-Rouge Agricultural Preserve.
C. Sorry, this workshop has been cancelled due to low enrollment. Please choose another option.
D. Making Room at the Table: A Guaranteed Livable Basic Income Can Address Hunger and Food Insecurity – REGISTER HERE
Rates of food insecurity in Canada reached a record high in 2022 and are expected to be even higher in 2023, as those living on low-incomes face a cost-of-living crisis. Workshop participants will learn about food insecurity, its public health implications, and a feasible remedy, a guaranteed livable basic income.
Facilitator: Elaine Power (she/her) is a professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies at Queen’s University and has been studying food insecurity for 30 years. In 2013, she co-founded the Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee. Elaine is co-author of The Case for Basic Income: Freedom, Security, Justice, which tells stories of participants in the prematurely cancelled Ontario Basic Income Pilot to explain the benefits of basic income.
E. Find A Home Place: Diasporic Experience of Belonging – REGISTER HERE
This workshop positions the Church as a location for community building and resistance. By exploring diasporic experiences we will engage with the concept of placemaking and the ways in which it creates a sense of belonging.
Facilitator: Amanda Lyn (she/her) is interested in examining the impacts of colonialism and racialization in the production of space, with a particular interest in diasporic and transnational experiences. Her background in Kinesiology gives her insight into how different bodies experience space and their experiences with the embodied spaces such as dance, sports and physical activity. Her primary focus is to unpack and amplify the multifaceted and diverse experiences of people of colour in order to examine, discuss and confront common stereotypical narratives and often monolithic perspectives. Amanda has been a parishioner of St. Joseph of Nazareth, Bramalea for over 21 years, where she is currently a Server.
Closing Plenary Session (2:45-3:30 p.m.)
At the close of our program, we will gather together again to share reflections on what we learned and pray for each other in our respective ministries.
REGISTER HERE for our Closing Plenary Session