Our Stories: Zillah Wesley II

Inequality is everywhere, if we look closely enough. At least, that’s what Zillah Wesley has experienced, and what has motivated her to get involved in faith and social justice work with the World Student Christian Federation.

Growing up in Washington D.C., Zillah Wesley saw inequality first-hand in the school system. When she went to work with her father, an inner-city art teacher, she noticed a very different environment than she experienced at private school.

“I saw disparities,” she explained. “I had the epiphany that because of money, people were having different surroundings and different outcomes.”

Something stirred inside of her.

Fast forward to today, where she has joined in the struggle for equality both in the United States and abroad through her work with WSCF, as Communications Chair on the WSCF-NA Regional Committee.

It was just over one year ago, when Zillah and a team from WSCF travelled down to the United States and Mexico border in solidarity with Latin American migrants.

“The Border Solidarity trip gave me a new view on immigration – it’s not really a black and white issue,” she said. “They have taken the humanity out of a whole group of people.”

During the trip, she joined with hundreds of others to hold a vigil and rally outside Eloy Immigrant Detention Center, a private and controversial jail in Arizona known for holding Latin American migrants. The vigil was in memory of the 15 people who died while in detention at the facility since 2003 – with a rally in solidarity with the prisoners.

“It was intense. Thousands of people were there. You could see the shadows [of the prisoners] through the windows. They were waving their blankets and making noise.” She also attended a vigil on the US-Mexico border. As participants gathered together from both sides of the border, she joined the vigil from Mexico,

“A lot of people are about their own country, and nationalism. We are a global society, it shouldn’t be like that,” she explained. “WSCF has helped me get an international perspective on issues.They are working for love and humanity.”

“Social justice through a Christian lens is important, and I feel a lot of people forget about that. Jesus was out on the streets, you know. Jesus was with the people, about the people.”

We’re looking for a Fundraising Chair

Letter of Call and Application


Fundraising Chair for Regional Committee/Board of Directors

Letter of Call and Application (PDF)

The World Student Christian Federation-North America Regional Committee, the highest decision body of the WSCF-North America in between Regional Assemblies and board of a nonprofit organization registered in the State of New York, is looking for the Chair of Fundraising to join our leadership. We are looking for an individual who is highly motivated, willing to work with a team and on their own, and detail oriented. Working with the regional leadership team the Chair for Fundraising will have an opportunity to help enact social change, learn and lead with ecumenical partners, and assist in the development of Student Christian Movements.

The Fundraising Chair is responsible to support the Regional Executive, the Program Chairs and the North American Regional Committee in identifying potential financial sources for the region, writing grant proposals and appeal letters and planning a fundraising strategy for the WSCF. The chair of Fundraising is elected for a two years’ term.

Position: Chair of Fundraising
Organization: The World Student Christian Federation-North American Region, Inc.

Qualifications:
• Knowledge of the Mission, Values, and History of the WSCF
• Experience/Affiliation with a Student Christian Movement (SCM) or Church Youth/Young Adult Organization
• Experience serving on an executive level team Collegiate level or above Position

Description:
The Chair of Fundraising of the World Student Christian Federation is a volunteer position and serves as a legal board member of the Corporation. The Chair of Fundraising sits on the board together with three officers, two Global Executive Committee members, four other regional programmatic chairs, denominational at-large members and the Executive for North America as ex-officio.

Duties and Expectations:
• Responsible for chairing the WSCF-NA Fundraising Working Group and for helping implement regional and global fundraising strategies.
• Responsible for production of fundraising material for WSCF-NA events and programs
• Responsible for identifying intersectional working areas with other programmatic chairs
• Expected to attend all-conference calls and meetings of the board (in average online meetings every two months and one in-person meeting every 18 months)
• Expected to contribute to decision making of the board of the NARC.
• As a full member of the WSCF Regional Committee, the Fundraising Chair will be able to become involved in programmatic work of the WSCF, which includes Leadership Training Programs, Regional and Global events as well as regional and global thematic working groups (i.e Advocacy and Solidarity, Bible and Theology, Eco-justice, Interfaith Engagement, Racial Justice, Gender and LGBTQ rights, etc).
• Expected to contribute financially to the WSCF based on means.

The North American Regional Committee of the WSCF is responsible:
a. To provide a forum for the development of a North American Regional identity;
b. To provide leadership and support at the Regional level for work within the Region;
c. To support struggles for justice, liberation, and human fulfillment that are going on within the Region and to interpret these struggles to the churches in North America and to the rest of the WSCF;
d. To serve as a channel of communication among the various student movements in the Region;
e. To provide a means for expressing solidarity with the work of other movements and regions of the WSCF;
f. To initiate projects which involve concerns of member movements in both countries of the Region

Selection Process
The selection process will be handled by the WSCF-NA board, which will examine the applications and interview the shortlisted candidates. According to the NARC internal guidelines, members of the NARC should strive to reflect differing gender identities, sexualities, races/ ethnicities, denominational and geographic backgrounds and no more than two members of NARC may be 35 years or older and those over 35 must be part-time or fulltime student at the time of their election.

Application Due: November 15, 2017

Application information is including in the following document:
Application Form & Letter of Call (PDF)

We’re Hiring: WSCF-NA Regional Executive – Advocacy and Solidarity Program Director

Letter of Call 

THE APPLICATION FOR THIS POSITION HAS CLOSED.

World Student Christian Federation North American Regional Executive
Advocacy and Solidarity Program Director

Download PDF: Letter of Call

The life of WSCF is based on local ecumenical groups of students called SCMs – Student Christian Movements – in universities and colleges who work, study and pray together. Presently there are 117 affiliated student groups in 94 countries, reaching out to over 2 million members worldwide. The North American Region is a fellowship of diverse ecumenical and denominational student Christian movements in Canada and the United States.

The WSCF seeks a regional staff person with a vision for nurturing dynamic ecumenical student movements in the US and Canada; committed to social justice; and desiring to work as part of an international team on global student concerns. This role will be under a 2-year contract with the opportunity to renew for a maximum of 8 years. Salary and Benefits are negotiable.

The North American Regional Executive and Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity will serve as part of the WCSF’s staff team currently comprised of 7 executive staff – a General Secretary in the Inter-Regional Office (IRO) in Geneva (currently based in the Philippines), and the five other regional executives located in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific, and a Fundraising staff.

The Regional Executive is employed by WSCF’s Executive Committee and supervised by the North American Regional Committee (NARC). The WSCF Regional Executive is responsible for coordinating, managing, supporting, organizing, and expanding the WSCF activities in his/her region according to the WSCF Constitution and WSCF Executive Committee, and guidance from NARC.

Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of this role fall into five areas.

  • Organization & Communication
    • Coordination and oversight of the work of member movements in the region
    • Bi-lateral coordination with the Inter-Regional Office and other Regions
    • Implementation of initiatives from the Executive Committee and Regional Committee
    • Communication To relay information from the Inter-Regional Office to the national movements in the region
    • To participate in the Executive Committee and the Inter-Regional Programs
    • To facilitate communication between national movements, regional committees Executive Committee, Inter-Regional Office, and other regional offices
    • Building and maintaining new and existing relationships within the region including:
      • Youth Movements
      • Non-Governmental Organizations
      • Church Executive Bodies
      • Senior Friends
    • To articulate the WSCF vision and communicate with outside partners, ecumenical institutions, other student organizations,
    • To communicate with the Trustees of the Centennial Fund (WSCF endowment fund) in the region so as to facilitate accountability.
  • Project Planning
    • Coordination of meetings and programs for the Global Advocacy and Solidarity Committee
    • Support of National, Regional, and Federation programs
    • Preparation of project proposals, budgets, financial plans, project reports, financial reports and any other regional reports
  • Finance/Administration
    • Preparation of reports on regional administration and finances to the Inter-Regional Office, Executive Committee, and Regional Committee
    • Preparation of financial plans, budgets and actual expenditure reports along with the Treasurer and President.
    • Cultivating and pursuing fundraising opportunities with Churches, NGOs, and Non-Profits
    • Organization of yearly audits for regional accounts
    • Update files and records on regional administrative, and financial activities.
    • Escalation to the Inter-Regional Office and Regional Committee in the case of out-of-line situations
  • Personnel
    • Hiring, managing, and dismissing regional office support staff
    • Supervision of interns
    • Organization of regular meetings and trainings for the office and personnel,
  • Advocacy and Solidarity
    • Organization of  monthly online meetings with the WSCF Advocacy and Solidarity Committee (ASC)
    • Empowerment and coordination with regional Advocacy and Solidarity Chairs to plan regional AS work and liaise with the global committee
    • Communication with colleagues on the global staff team on issues relating to Advocacy and Solidarity in their regions and globally
    • Participation in global events/programs relating to Advocacy and Solidarity in regards with the Federation’s thematic priorities and the ASC’s work
    • Participation in the work of WSCF Preparatory Committees for global Inter-regional Leadership Training Programs where Advocacy and Solidarity has relevance
    • To liaise with the Interfaith Taskforce at the UN in New York and to coordinate WSCF UN work
    • Fundraising for the WSCF Advocacy and Solidarity programs and initiatives

Application Submission Information & Details

Qualifications: Preferred candidates for this position should have the following qualifications.

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s from an accredited University
  • Relevant job experience

Location: The Regional Office is currently located in New York, New York. Staff have the option to work remotely and will not be required to relocate to New York City. Relocation of the office will also be negotiated after its lease is complete.

Travel: This position includes travel to National, Regional, and Global events. Travel can be expected for 30-40% of the year.

Compensation: As mentioned above, salary and benefits will be negotiated. The Executive Committee of the Federation will finalize staff salaries and the Regional Committee will calculate their contribution based on the cost-of-living, experience, and regional capabilities.

Please submit the following materials by October 20, 2017. 

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Personal Statement 500-1000 words (this can be about your faith, theology, or social justice journey)

Logan B. Boese
President | World Student Christian Federation North American Regional Committee
Chair |North American Regional Executive Search Committee

Electronically: loganboese@gmail.com

Logan Boese
3005 Triverton Pike Dr.
Fitchburg, WI U.S.A. 53711
Apt. 205

The Un-Settling Work of Indigenous Solidarity: A North American Perspective

By Jacqueline Sookermany, SCM Canada

For four days this June a small group of students and WSCF/SCM staff members gathered in my resident city of Winnipeg, Canada for the Indigenous Solidarity Program, where we spent time learning about Indigenous culture from Indigenous members of the community and explored what it means to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous neighbours. Winnipeg is not a common travel destination and has a reputation for being cold and inhospitable for much of the year (with a nickname like Winterpeg there isn’t a lot of tourist draw), but with the highest provincial population of Indigenous people in Canada, and 40% of that population living in the city of Winnipeg, it is a unique space well suited for a conference of this nature. With the mix of cultures and communities in this small city has to offer, there are rich resources for learning about Indigenous culture, learning from Indigenous communities, and exploring the ways in which settlers and the Indigenous communities have come together to work toward reconciliation, as well as to hear from the communities where we, as settlers, have more work to do.

Our group was a diverse mix of settlers born in North America (6 from Canada, 1 from the US) and more recent settlers (from the UK, Italy, and Nigeria), each bringing their own perspectives and experience from their personal, educational and professional backgrounds. The diversity of our group allowed us to expand our definition of what Indigenous culture and solidarity looks like and to make connections slightly beyond the North American Indigenous scope to look at Indigenous issues in Nigeria and issues facing the African-American communities in the US. These stories added depth to our discussions about what solidarity and activism looks like beyond our immediate context, while also showing the ways in which each community faces their own distinct struggles in overcoming colonization, corrupt power structures, and discrimination.

We began our conference learning about the land we would be calling home for the next four days, Canadian Mennonite University. Our first speakers, Annika Reynar and Michael Veith, shared the history of the land we were on with us, a history spanning from its original inhabitants– the Saulteaux and Cree Nations– and the earliest settlers of the Selkirk Treaty to the present day University and its adjoined urban farm. We also discussed the problems of placeness and story when taken out of context or prescribed unfit meaning; how truth can get lost when we lose the collectiveness of storytelling and history keeping and instead focus on our own perspective fragments of the whole. Starting our time together sitting on the University’s farm, hearing part of the story of how we came to be there, parts of the story that we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, set the tone for the rest of the week-understanding that our stories as settlers goes far beyond the spans of our own lives. In addition to our introduction to the land, the following morning we were graciously welcomed to the land by Elder Theodore Fountaine, who would later share his own story of residential schools, as well as his vision of what Canada’s reconciliation should look like.

Through the remainder of the week there was sharing from other conference participants including the journey of the Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights and a bible study focusing on reconciliation (from the text: 1Kings 21:1-1). We also heard from our other guests, such as Indigenous artist Heather Bjorklund, who led our group in Indigenous storytelling, drama, and dance exercises and Adrienne Leitch, who spoke to us about the documentary project she collaborated on, Reserve 107, which looks at community facilitated reconciliation efforts between rural Saskatchewan settlers and the Young Chippewayan Nation members whose land they live on. During our conversation cafe and Senior Friends event facilitated by Elder Fountaine, we heard about Elder Fountaine’s experience in Residential schools and how his time there
impacted his family and relationships throughout his life. He shared with us some reading from his book, Broken Circle, and told us about his vision for repairing relationships between Canadian settlers/government and Indigenous peoples. The conversation cafe was also a time for people to share their experiences, ask questions, and to showcase an art project featuring the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission embroidered onto Canadian flags. This session was very moving and it was an honour to listen and share with Elder Fountaine.

One of the most impactful experiences for me was walking with the Bear Clan Patrol- a group of community members who patrol Winnipeg’s North End every evening to pick up drug paraphernalia and check in with community members. We started our evening attending a weekly event called Meet Me at the Bell Tower- a community check in where North End community members rally together to end violence and poverty in the community. We were able to participate in a smudge and drum song there, before heading out on patrol.

Walking through a part of my city that I rarely go to, with people who are invested, passionate, and knowledgeable about their community was inspiring. Seeing how Bear Clan members make a conscious effort to reach out to every person they pass while on patrol and how trusted they are in their community as service members and friends was a prime example of what it means to be an active member of community and how we can create change through relationships and intentionality.

Sharing in these experiences and learning along side each of the amazing people who participated in the Indigenous Solidarity Program was a blessing. Being able to take on the role of listener and learner as part of my journey of activism and social justice work was so important, as these roles can sometime be put on the back burner. This experience renewed my commitment to stand beside and not in front of my Indigenous friends and neighbours, creating space for them to speak into our shared community and advocating for their leadership in solidarity work.

Request for Solidarity after Hurricane Irma hit Cuba

A message from WSCF-LAC:

On September 7th, Hurricane Irma, the most powerful on the Atlantic according to the the Saffir-Simpson Scale (category 5) with winds at its center ranging between 250-295 km/h, arrived to the Republic of Cuba after generating material damage and loss of life in several countries and Caribbean islands.

DONATE TO WSCF-LAC HERE

In Cuba, 12 of the 15 provinces were affected by the hurricane. Damage stood out in infrastructure of housing, losses which affect food due to ruined crops and poultry complex, problems with food and electricity supply systems due to damage from power plants, as it is the case of the Matanzas’ thermoelectric, being this one of the most affected regions in the island along with the provinces of La Habana, Ciego de Ávila and Villa Clara in the west central Cuba. Losses and serious damages are also reported in the north coast that affected the hotel-touristic complex of Cuba, which is one of the main sources of economic income. This in addition to the crisis and mobilization of evacuated people that the hurricane has caused.

“Ten people dead, destroyed towns, thousands of fallen trees, serious damages in the generation and transmission of electricity, in the supply of drinking water and in the housing, besides strong flooding from storm surges, left the powerful hurricane Irma in Cuba, between Friday 8th and September 10th,” SEMlac reported in their newsletter.

Evacuees: According to reports from the authorities the passage of Hurricane Irma by Cuba forced the evacuation of 1’738.000 people, 86% of them in houses of relatives and friends. It was also reported that more than 26thousand people are still in evacuation centers.

Energy Sector: The strongest and most difficult impact to solve in the sector was suffered by the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric power plant in Matanzas, which house of circulation of sea water, key in the cooling system, was destroyed by the waves. Besides, 15 transmission lines suffered damage and more than 3600 poles and 2039 kilometers of lines were affected. Around 90 oil wells, located in the on the north coast of the west and center, were also broken by the strong waves which the hurricane caused. Currently, the restoration of the electric service will be focused in the provinces of Villa Clara and Ciego de Ávila.

Housing and Infrastructure: According to the Ministry of Construction, the major damages caused by the hurricane are concentrated in housing, especially by roofs that were flown.

Agriculture: It was found that the most serious damage in agriculture is concentrated in the poultry area, because dozens of birds destined to the production of eggs lost their sheds. Also according to the Ministry of Agriculture was explained that processing of feed, plantain and corn crops, as well as fruit crops have been affected. Currently, the work in reactivation of the countryside in several crops is being intensified, and it has been reported that there are seeds, fertilizers and pesticides are available for that purpose.

Public Health: It was reported that the health system maintained its vitality during the passage of the hurricane and to date there are no outbreaks of contagious diseases in evacuation centers or in any territory. It was announced that 516 health units were damaged and work is being done to restore them in the shortest time possible. Additionally it was announced that now priority will be given to environmental sanitation and vector control.

Tourism: on the damages to tourism when the hurricane hit the island there were more than 51 thousand vacationers, around 45 thousand of them were located in the north cost. The tourism sector is one of the most generating economic income and employment in Cuba, damage to infrastructure and recovery is one of the biggest challenges in the upcoming Cuban tourist season. This creates uncertainty thousands of employments and the direct source of income of the population of the most damaged zones.

Updates on the Students of the Student Movement of Cuba:

“It has been a habit of the Movement to mobilize us to offer help in areas most affected by emergent disasters such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This time will not be different, we are evaluating how we can get to the cities of the center of the island which had the biggest damages (North of Villa Clara, Yaguajay-Sancti Spíritus, and Ciego de Ávila) to work with people and affected vulnerable groups “Elderly people who live alone, persons with disabilities, children in situations of poverty, etc. ” (…) “In the same way, we are worried about what we are already experiencing in regards to food supplies for the population. Agriculture and tourism are two essential sources to generate money and food. The country will have to invest a lot in materials to re-build, while the unemployment generated by the stagnation of tourism services and the recovery of agricultural production will lead us to a period of scarcity and of rising of prices which will affect most of all to those, that as I was saying, represent the most vulnerable sector of the Cuban society.”

Tells us Dianet de la C. Martínez Valdés, president of the SCM of Cuba confirming also that there has been a calling to coordinators of the local groups who are in Sancti Spíritus, La Habana, Cienfuegos, Cárdenas, Matanzas, San Nicolás and Santiago de Cuba and it has been verified that they are all right, although some of the students and young people of the different local groups have had damage in their houses. Besides the SCM of Cuba is preparing for their next regional workshop on leadership training in the west of Cuba, in September 21 to 23, were they will plan the next steps in the agenda of solidarity and mobilization.

From the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), considering the consequences caused by the Hurricane Irma and the emerging situations that are rising in the reconstruction and recovery stage, we extend a call for solidarity to WSCF friends, Student Christian Movements (SCMs) and the fraternal organizations to participate in the collection carried out by the WSCF to assign to the work of the SCM of Cuba in the process of recovery, social and material accompanying in the zones that were damaged the most and in the 7 cities were the movement develops its work with young people and students.

All that is collected will be used to directly support affected communities, primarily by targeting the most vulnerable people including children, the elderly, people with reduced mobility and following the advice of the SCM of Cuba a possible way to contribute would be through food, personal and household hygiene pack.

DONATE TO SCM-LAC HERE

Read full PDF here: Solidarity Appeal Huracan Irma – Cuba WSCF LAC

In Solidarity with the Afflicted Rohingya People

An important message from SCM Bangladesh  & WSCF Asia Pacific:

[source = ABC News]
According to global mainstream media and the United Nations reports since the 25th August 2017 nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslim including Hindus have fled Myanmar and have entered to Bangladesh while others have fled to different regions in Myanmar to escape violence and have become internally displaced in the country. The gory violence erupted in the western region of Rakhine state of Myanmar after suspected Rohingya insurgent attacked 30 police posts and an army base killing 12 security personnel. As a result, a military retaliation was launched against the Rohingya people.

The world is witnessing one of the largest mass exoduses of people in recent history in South Asia and probably Asia’s biggest refugee crisis! The arson, killings, and reported rapes have forced them to flee through whatever means is available either through seas or by road to save their lives. Streams of terrified people including pregnant women, children, new-borns, elderly are seen in various media walking through fields, jungles, crossing through submerged fields and rivers in horrible conditions.

The recent influx has added to the existing 400,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and the number has increased to nearly 800,000 – a worrisome number of refugees for an economically poor country like Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government was not prepared for the overwhelming number of refugees in just three weeks of time. Therefore, the situation of the new arrival refugees in Bangladesh is catastrophic. Not enough aid even to provide basic need of food, water, shelter for the overwhelming refugees.

The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) joins the Student Christian Movement of Bangladesh (SCMB) to condemn the on-going violence against the Rohingya people by the Myanmar Army in the strongest terms. While we are aware that a faction of Rohingya community took up arms and indulged in violence and do condemn their act. However, this is purely human rights violation as more than a million Rohingya people have been persecuted through decades. We show our support and solidarity to the civilians who are violated and killed by an unjust political system and military aggression victimising a particular religious community.

We as faith community seek your support and solidarity and call the SCMs, (Student Christian Movements), Churches and Ecumenical organizations to respond to this major humanitarian disaster unfolding. The new arrival refugees are in desperate need of food, drinking water, tents, clothes, and medicines. The SCM Bangladesh together with the faith communities in the country is initiating assistance to the desperate community together with other aid agencies.

We seek your support, solidarity, prayers and action to reJoint Appeal of WSCF AP and SCM Bangladeshspond to the humanitarian disaster. You can do the following to express your solidarity with the suffering and affected people by:

– Taking immediate measures beyond of the verbal condemnation
– Writing to the Myanmar Consulate/ Embassy in your countries urging them to immediately stop the ongoing violence in the Rakhine state
– By facilitating response by the humanitarian aid agencies to assist in food, drinking water, shelter and medical help to the affected community including the internally displaced people and to protect the vulnerable children, women, men from traffickers
– Writing to the Consulate/ Embassy of India in your countries not to deport the undocumented Rohingya refugees (Indian government is planning to deport all the undocumented Rohingya people) but allow them to live in the country on humanitarian ground and based on the principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect the right to life
– Creating awareness of the Recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State 2017 and bring pressure to the government of Myanmar and Bangladesh to start implementing the Recommendations
– Increasing international pressure on UN and international communities to find a lasting solution to the conflict in the region.
– Providing financial support to meet the basic need of the refugees in Bangladesh

Send your financial support here. 

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9

In Solidarity,

Edward Tarun Roy
Chairperson
Student Christian Movement Bangladesh

Kingson Selvaraj
on behalf of the Human Rights Justice & Peace Committee of WSCF Asia Pacific

Sunita Suna
WSCF Regional Executive for WSCF Asia Pacific

View/Download the PDF here: Joint Appeal of WSCF AP and SCM Bangladesh

Celebration of WSCF Canada & Luciano Kovacs

You are Invited!

Come and hear about the work of the World Student Christian Federation in North America: an anti-oppressive ecumenical community of students and young adults from Canada and the USA, committed to the radical and prophetic words of Jesus Christ.

We will celebrate the work of Luciano Kovacs, North America staff, who is completing 10 years of work this year.

Join SCM Canada staff, ecumenical colleagues, friends and comrades for refreshments and conversation!

September 21, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Christie Gardens
Recreation Room, Lower Level
600 Melita Crescent, Toronto

RSVP – andersonbetsy528@gmail.com or 416-656-6064

Your Faith on Feminism: October 20 – 22

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 9.58.36 PM

Your Faith on Feminism [PDF]
Conference Schedule [PDF]

Your Faith on Feminism is an interfaith and ecumenical conference where feminist advocates of various ages and walks of life will come together to share ideas, build community and participate in worship. Friday evening to Sunday, the program will encompass discussion-based educational and creative breakout sessions, music and worship, and reflections on what it means to be a feminist in the present, global
atmosphere of fear, war and oppression.

Individuals and groups are invited to submit papers at any stage of the writing process to be workshopped in an informal, academic group environment, facilitated by experienced and knowledgeable feminist advocates but with the understanding that everyone has wisdom. Participants will eat, pray, study and share with one another throughout the weekend.

A set of conference papers will be published on the ideas presented and discussed by participating students and ministers, including the influence of workshops and the community.

Participants of all intersections, including age, race, culture, gender, size, ability, sexuality and faith, will contribute to their collective knowledge on diversity in feminism and enrich their activism with interfaith dialogue, friendships and intergenerational context. Relationships of mutual giving will develop across distance and divides both literal and figurative to help empower women and feminist advocates of various faiths to create meaningful change in their communities.

What?​ Your Faith on Feminism Conference
When?​ October 20 – 22, 2017
Where?​ St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta, Edmonton
How?​ Please register by filling out the Registration Form​.
Fee?​ Registration costs vary based on if you require a billet and whether you are a student.

Full attendance with meals and lodging: $200 CAD/$160 USD for students and under 35; $275 CAD/$225 USD for clergy/faculty and over 35

Full attendance with meals, no billet needed: $175 CAD/$140 USD for students and under 35; $250 CAD/$200 USD for clergy/faculty and over 35

Saturday-only attendance with meals, no billet provided: $100 CAD/$80 USD for students and under 35; $125 CAD/$100 USD for clergy/faculty and over 35

Scholarships and bursaries are provided on an individual basis and are dependent on funding and demand. If you require financial assistance, please indicate so and we will contact you. Priority will be given to students and young adults.

WSCF encourages participants to seek funding with their schools, family, communities, family and houses of worship. Christian participants can also go to their home denomination for assistance.

NOTE: If you need extra time to prepare for travel, secure a visa, book flights or for any other reason— please let us know and we will do our best to fast-track your submission review and acceptance. 

Land acknowledgement: ​The WSCF-NA recognises that we are meeting on Treaty Six territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Papaschase, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

Payments can be made:
In Canada – through our donation page or by mailing a cheque to SCM Canada’s Office at 310 Dupont Street, Suite 200, Toronto ON M5R 1V9
In the U.S. – through our donation page or by mailing a cheque to WSCF-NA 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 700, New York, NY 10115

Call for Volunteers

Click here to sign up.

World Student Christian Federation North America, in collaboration with St Joseph’s College, is seeking volunteers to assist with hospitality at an interfaith feminist theology conference on October 20-22, Friday to Sunday. Volunteers may choose as many or as few shifts as they like, using the attached form. Each shift will be 1-3 hours in length and, if desired, should not impede volunteers’ participation in the conference.

We require assistance with the following:
● Setup and takedown in the College’s Newman Centre
● Preparing and serving snacks, coffee and tea
● Sound operation
● Workshop hosting
● Registration and accessibility

For more information, please contact wscfna@gmail.com.

Facilitators

storäe michele

storäe michele, [known by her ancestors as Michele Stanback] is an artist, art therapist, eco-feminist, writer, director and educator of ten years. As an Interdisciplinary Masters of Divinity graduate of Union Theological Seminary, storäe infuses the arts into theological inquiries—exploring rituals, and breathing new life into sacred spaces for meaningful reflection.  Her heart-work addresses the ritualized fragmentation of black women into caricatures—in order to call back their bodies, black women must both write and [re]mythologize the story of their bodies. Using her artistic license, she intentionally writes and engages with voices using the language of poetry—honoring its’ epistemology of healing and transformation.  storäe is committed to the sharing of these stories with women of color as subject, while unearthing the narratives of our ancestors. To learn more, please visit www.storaemichele.com.

Salima Versi
Salima Versi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Religion and a Master’s degree in  Religion and Modernity from Queen’s University, and is currently a PhD Candidate and Instructor in the University of Alberta’s Religious Studies Program. Her general focus is Islamic studies, but her research more specifically examines contemporary Nizari Isma’ilism, particularly in Canada. She also holds and a Master’s in Counselling Psychology from Adler University and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor. Within her own Ismaili Muslim community, she is an Alwaeza, which is a preacher and spiritual care giver. Added to these professional qualification is a commitment social justice and community service. Though she is not currently practicing psychology, she is remains actively engaged in mental health work and activism. She is heavily involved the community at the University of Alberta, her own Ismaili community, and the broader Muslim ummah. She is a board member for various interfaith, Muslim, and feminist organizations and actively participates in a variety of projects related to Islam, religion, feminism, social justice, and mental health.

Doris Kieser
Doris Kieser is Associate Professor of Theology at St. Joseph’s College, the Catholic College at the University of Alberta. She has been teaching ethics and theology for over 15 years in the areas of sexuality, women’s spirituality, bioethics, the body and theology, and, death, dying, and suffering. Dr. Kieser is also a psychological counsellor who maintains a small practice with an Edmonton agency, working extensively with adolescent girls and women, men, and couples.   

All of her work reflects a particular commitment to social justice and the wellbeing of females. In Catholic Sexual Theology and Adolescent Girls: Embodied Flourishing (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015), Dr. Kieser engages discussions and data from theology, moral decision-making, adolescent development, feminist theory, and sexuality to articulate a sexual theology of flourishing, from within the Roman Catholic tradition, that accounts for the experiences of adolescent females.

Dr. Kieser’s current project, the “Purity Project” investigates notions of purity throughout the Christian tradition and history, particularly as they pertain to female bodies and sexuality.

Mayra Dominguez & Adrienne Wiebe
Mayra Dominguez is a businesswoman from southern Mexico and the mother of two young girls. In addition to operating a restaurant, Mayra and her husband, Armando Vasquez, are members of a collective working with undocumented migrants. Mayra comes from the Presbyterian Christian tradition.

Adrienne Wiebe is an applied anthropologist who works with marginalized communities such as refugees in Canada, Indigenous communities in Alberta, Guatemala and Chile, and migrants in Central America and Mexico. Adrienne is a member of the Mennonite (Christian) church.

Mayra, Armando, and Adrienne have been working together for the past four years on a participatory research project with Luann Good Gingrich (York University) and Julie Young (McMaster University).

Speakers

Ani Zonneveld
Ani Zonneveld is founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), a faith-based, grassroots, international human rights organization that embodies and advocates for the traditional Qur’anic values of social justice and equality for all.

She has organized numerous interfaith arts and music festivals, and is a strong supporter of women’s and LGBTQ rights, freedom of expression, and conscience. She is a prolific writer, editor, speaker, and filmmaker and is the subject of the documentary “al-imam.”

An award-winning songwriter, she utilizes the power of music and the arts in countering radicalism and promoting justice and peace.

Aruna Gnanadason
Aruna Gnanadason lives in Chennai, India, and is a member of the Church of South India. She resources churches and the ecumenical movement in India and globally, reflecting on the gospel’s role in challenging patriarchy, caste, and global capitalism and in addressing the impacts of these systems on people and the earth.

She has contributed innumerable articles to Christian and secular publications on a wide variety of topics and has authored and edited books on women, violence, and the church and on eco-feminist theology from an Indian perspective.

She holds a Masters in English Literature, a Doctorate of Ministries in feminist theology, and three honorary doctorates.

SandraLaya Ruch
For almost a decade, SandraLaya Ruch has been the National Coordinator of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW), the only national, Feminist, peace organization in Canada.

She is a founder of the Canadian Boat to Gaza, helped organize the Gaza Freedom March, and is a member of the Freedom Flotilla and Independent Jewish Voices. SandraLaya organized the Canadian delegation when she went on two missions to Gaza with Code Pink in 2009.

SandraLaya is a Feminist and activist. She is currently enrolled in a clergy ordination program to become a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess). SandraLaya is a Life Cycle Officiant, Reflexologist, motivational speaker, blogger, Mother, and Grandmother.

Linda Pelly-Landrie
A seasoned professional with many years of leadership and management experience, Linda has collaborated with, and worked for federal and provincial governments, First Nation Band Schools in Saskatchewan, Alberta and nationally. She has served on many boards in her leadership capacity. She is a dedicated individual with strong leadership skills in language, curriculum development, management, policy, governance development and co-ordination, strategic planning and implementation, intergovernmental relations, strengthening inter-ministerial partnership and collaboration, and negotiating with various government sectors on behalf of First Nations. She has as proven abilities to lead in the implementation and promotion of educational initiatives to indigenize programs, integrate traditional knowledge into teaching strategies for instructional purposes.