20 years of spirited action for justice Gathering

Thank you for joining us in celebrating KAIROS’ 20th anniversary at KAIROS Gathering: 20 years of spirited action for justice, October 26 to 28, 2021.  

In case you missed it, or want to see it again, access to the video recordings will be available soon.

The virtual KAIROS Gathering featured a daily plenary session, anchored by a panel discussion with partners and participants who have played an important role in making KAIROS what it is today. Using the theme of time, plenary sessions explored Where we have come from, Where we are at now, and Where we are headed to. 

While the plenary sessions accentuated the cross-cutting nature of KAIROS work, drawing speakers from many different areas of concern, the workshops each highlighted one current area of KAIROS program. We heard first-hand from program coordinators and partners about KAIROS’ current work to advance social and ecological justice. 


PROGRAM SCHEDULE

DAY 1 – TUESDAY OCTOBER 26

Opening Plenary SessionWhere we have come from (10:00-11:30 AM EDT)

The origins of KAIROS date long before 2001 to the ecumenical coalitions that began in the early 1970’s. Many churches, church organizations and justice coalitions worked together to form KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. Join us in this first plenary session to look back at the beginnings of KAIROS and the early years. What were the hopes and dreams of twenty years ago and how have they manifested? Meet a few of those who have been a part of the KAIROS movement for twenty years and more, as we consider the importance of where we have come from.

  • Elder’s Opening - Barbara Dumont-Hill, Algonquin Anishinabeg from Kitigan Zibi, Quebec; long-time KBE facilitator
  • Panelist - Ivonne Yanez, Environmental activist and founding member of Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
  • Panelist - Sister Priscilla Solomon, csj, Ojibway and Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie
  • Panelist - Lee Cormie, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Theology at St. Michael's College and the Toronto School of Theology
  • Respondent - Georgine Kengne Djeutane, Economist and Programme Coordinator, African Gender and Extractive Alliance (WoMin) based in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Respondent - Joe Gunn, Director, Centre Oblat – A Voice for Justice
  • Moderator - Emily Duggan, Minister, Louisbourg Pastoral Charge (UCC)

Informal Networking Time (11:30 AM-12:00 PM EDT)

Equal in Rights, Equal in Dignity: a KAIROS migrant justice workshop (1:00-2:30 PM EDT)
Global migration is at an all-time high and the pandemic has exacerbated their circumstances. When migrant workers cross a border, they do not lose their inherent right to human dignity. Yet, migrant workers report consistent violations of human and labour rights in Canada. Join Connie Sorio, KAIROS Migrant Justice Manager and guests, in a workshop that will explore the issues migrant workers face with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program in this current context and provide tools for taking action for migrant justice including emergency support and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indigenous Rights in a kairos moment (3:00-4:00 PM EDT)
KAIROS is committed to a new relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the globe, a relationship based on mutual respect, equity and the full realization of Indigenous peoples’ rights. We are all Treaty people who share responsibility for taking action on reconciliation. Without truth, justice and healing, there can be no reconciliation. Join Ed Bianchi, Programs Manager and members of the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle to look at where we come from, where we are at, and where we are going to in this particular kairos moment.

Virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise (6:00-9:00 PM EDT)
The virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise (vKBE) maintains the impact and participatory nature of the original KAIROS Blanket Exercise, while ensuring that participants are well supported as they experience the history and shared stories of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. Hosted on the Zoom platform, the vKBE incorporates new interactive and engaging elements that visually and emotionally demonstrate the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada through colonization to present times. The vKBE is a live, participatory experience, not a webinar or lecture. Our facilitation teams support participants via online features and special measures, and host virtual talking circles for the second half of the exercise.  Maximum 40 participants in each session; only register for one session.  Other dates: October 27, 3:00-6:00 PM EDT and October 28, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.

DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27

The Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security program (9:00-10:00 AM EDT)
Gender justice is a critical overarching goal in all KAIROS’ work. Women are key catalysts for change when they exercise leadership in human rights and peace building, even while they experience many injustices. The Women of Courage program and the Women, Peace and Security emphasis are both rooted in and shaped by the wisdom and experience of KAIROS’ long-standing partnerships with Canadian and international women’s organizations working for peace-building, human rights, and ecological justice. Join staff and partners as we look at where we come from, where we are at, and where we are going to in partnership. This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish with translations. Maximum 50 participants in this participatory session.

Spirited action for ecological and climate justice (11:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT)
The world is at a crossroads as we continue to grapple with the pandemic and ongoing climate crisis. These emergencies are intertwined with every aspect of our lives: health, jobs, housing, education, social justice and security – with the burden falling on the most vulnerable. Join Beth Lorimer, Ecological Justice Program Coordinator, to learn how intersecting calls for Indigenous, racial, gender, and economic justice shape KAIROS’ climate and ecological justice work today. In this workshop, Beth will provide an overview of the KAIROS Ecological Justice Program including current advocacy priorities and our collaboration with the faith-based climate justice initiative, For the Love of Creation.

Plenary SessionWhere we are at now (1:00-2:30 PM EDT)

KAIROS has been purposefully growing and adapting to achieve significant development in recent years through initiatives such as the enhanced Women of Courage program, enabled by government support of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the Migrant Justice through the Empowering Temporary Foreign Workers During COVID-19 project. KAIROS has also deepened partnerships with women land and water defenders on climate justice and corporate accountability and experienced the exponential expansion of the KAIROS Blanket Exercise program. Join us as we listen to the voices of those who are steeped in the work right now share the triumphs and challenges that face us today. A three-person panel will be complimented by responders who will deepen the reflection on where we are at now.

  • Elder’s Opening – Ray Jones, Gitsegukla, British Columbia, long-time member of KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle and Steering Committee
  • Panelist - Zoughbi Zoughbi, Director, Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center
  • Panelist - Alma Brooks, Maliseet Grandmother, St. Mary's First Nation
  • Panelist - Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the Bishop, Justice and Leadership (ELCIC)
  • Respondent - Kaitlyn Duthie-Kannikkatt, PhD andidate and Atlantic Regional Coordinator at the Bauta Family Initiative for Canadian Seed Security
  • Respondent - Jesson Reyes, Managing Director of the Migrants Resource Center Canada
  • Moderation - Sister Sue Wilson, Executive Director of the Office for Systemic Justice for the Federation of Sister of St. Joseph of Canada

Informal Networking Time (2:30-3:00 PM EDT)

Virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise (3:00-6:00 PM EDT)

The virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise (vKBE) maintains the impact and participatory nature of the original KAIROS Blanket Exercise, while ensuring that participants are well supported as they experience the history and shared stories of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. Hosted on the Zoom platform, the vKBE incorporates new interactive and engaging elements that visually and emotionally demonstrate the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada through colonization to present times. The vKBE is a live, participatory experience, not a webinar or lecture. Our facilitation teams support participants via online features and special measures, and host virtual talking circles for the second half of the exercise. Maximum 40 participants in each session; only register for one session.  Other dates: October 26, 6:00-9:00 PM EDT and October 28, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT.

Christian Worship Service (7:30-8:30 PM EDT)
All are invited to attend this Christian worship service where we will give thanks to God for all the gifts of the past twenty years, bring our petitions for justice to the Almighty, and ground our dreams for the future in the hope Love gives us.

Rev. Dr. Japhet Ndhlovu of The United Church of Canada will lead us in a prayer of thanksgiving for the gifts of the past 20 years. Dr. Sarah Travis representing Presbyterian World Service and Development will offer a reflection on the biblical call for justice in our current context and Rev. Murray Pruden of The United Church of Canada will turn our thoughts to the hope God gives us for the work ahead.

Pauline Lally, Sister of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, Rev. Leigh Kern, The Anglican Church of Canada, Maura McGrath, CND, Canadian Religious Conference, Ruth Plett, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, Rev. Andreas Thiel, The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, Dr. Allyson Carr, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, and other members of the Steering Committee will offer prayers and other elements, including a Memorial Moment for those who have passed away.

DAY 3 – THURSDAY OCTOBER 28

Women, Peace and Security includes land defense and mitigating climate change (8:45-10:00 AM EDT)

KAIROS supports women human rights defenders and recognizes both their achievements and the challenges they face in protecting the land, water and the climate. Meet Volahery Andriamanantenasoa, director of programs at the Center for Research and Support for Development Alternatives (CRAAD-OI) based in Madagascar; Marie Claude Manga, Minister of the United Church and member of the KAIROS Partnership and Rights circle who brings her experience with the current campaign for human rights in the Philippines, InvestigatePH; Chantal Bilulu, Project Manager for Women, Peace and Heirs to Justice in the DRC as they speak about land, water and climate defense by women in various countries. The conversation will be moderated by Radia Mbengue, Coordinator of KAIROS Global Partnerships: Africa and Climate Justice.

Virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise (9:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT)

The virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise (vKBE) maintains the impact and participatory nature of the original KAIROS Blanket Exercise, while ensuring that participants are well supported as they experience the history and shared stories of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. Hosted on the Zoom platform, the vKBE incorporates new interactive and engaging elements that visually and emotionally demonstrate the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada through colonization to present times. The vKBE is a live, participatory experience, not a webinar or lecture. Our facilitation teams support participants via online features and special measures, and host virtual talking circles for the second half of the exercise. Maximum 40 participants in each session; only register for one session.  Other dates: October 26, 6:00-9:00 PM EDT and October 27, 3:00-6:00 PM EDT.

Closing Plenary Session: Where we are headed to (1:00-3:00 PM EDT)

As we mark KAIROS’ 20th anniversary, we envision what we want the next twenty years to look like. Meet activists who are in the thick of the work, in the areas of global and domestic Indigenous rights, gender justice, ecological justice, rights for migrant workers and more. They will share their visions of what we can accomplish together because KAIROS is nothing if not rooted in doing and accomplishing great things “together.” Join us not only to dream of a better 2041, but to envision how we can make it a reality, together. The kairos time for bold next steps is now leading us to where we are headed to.

  • Elder’s Opening – Rev. Mary Fontaine,is Cree from Mistawasis and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in Canada
  • Panelist - Naty Atz Sunuc, Maya Kaqchikel, Kaji’ Ajpop Association, Guatemala
  • Panelist - gkisedtanamoogk, Knowledge Keeper and long-standing member of the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle
  • Panelist - Stacey Gomez, Migrant justice organizer with No One Is Illegal – Halifax/Kjipuktuk
  • Panelist - Jessica Steele, climate activist, ocean conservationist and youth engager; member of PWRDF youth council and KAIROS Ecological Justice Circle
  • Respondent - Emily Dwyer, Coordinator, Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability
  • Respondent - Janet Gray, Social justice advocate, former KAIROS BC-Yukon regional representative
  • Moderator - Nicholas Jesson, Ecumenical Officer and Interfaith Relations, Archdiocese of Regina

20 years of spirited action for justice