February Good News

We are starting a new year with the faith and the commitment to ensure the WSCF-NA continues to be a community of students and young adults committed to embodying the radical and prophetic voice for peace, social, economic, gender and ecological justice. 
We will send a monthly update of what we have done, what we are planning and what where we are going to do. However, we pray that this newsletter is not just a one-way street of communications, but also you will be in touch with us. Send us your stories, accomplishments and upcoming events so that we can share with the wider community communications@wscfna.org. Also, we encourage you to follow us on our social media channels Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
So far we are off to a flying start as we celebrated our Board Meeting January 5th through to the 6th in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to discussing plans and ideas for the year, the time was spent sharing in fellowship and growing a deeper connection throughout the board.

In Solidarity,

Yenny Delgado
Regional Executive for North America
Global Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity

Your Faith on Feminism Program Report

Your Faith on Feminism was a conference held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in October 2017 that brought together people from countries including Canada, the U.S., India, and Mexico to explore the intersection of faith and feminism.

Read the Program Report for reflections on workshops held, a conference schedule, resolutions, thank yous, as well as the WSCF-NA Statement on Gender Identity and Sexuality.

Read the report here.

Introducing Yenny Delgado

Yenny Delgado - WSCF

Yenny Delgado is serving as the new Regional Executive and Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity for WSCF-NA.

WSCF North America Welcomes new Regional Executive and Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity

The WSCF-NA Regional Committee is delighted to announce that Yenny Delgado has accepted the position of WSCF-NA Executive and Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity. Yenny joined the WSCF North American Region on January 4. In her new role, she will continue the work of Luciano Kovacs, who served in this position for the last 10 years.

Yenny is a psychologist, theologian, activist, writer, and educator. She first became engaged with advocacy work through the student Christian organization in Peru (AGEUP) where she participated as a student, leader and later as a staff member.

Yenny earned her Masters in International Development, a Public and Nonprofit Management Certificate, and has more than a decade of experience working with young movements, local organizations, and churches. She has co-founded Umbrella Initiatives Foundation, a non-profit has been focused on social justice issues, equal opportunity, and access to education in Latin America and the United States.

Yenny hopes to see WSCF recognized with a growing number of churches, universities, and nonprofits throughout North America, as well as see more leadership and global perspective development for young leaders.

“I would like to thank the Search Committee for their hard work and dedication selecting our new Regional Executive. Yenny comes to us with years of experience and will help the North American Region and the WSCF implement our strategic short-term and long-term goals. On the behalf of the North American Regional Council I look forward to working with Yenny throughout her tenure and welcome her to the WSCF Family.”

Logan Boese NARC U.S. Co-Chair & Chair of the Search Committee

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.”

Your Faith on Feminism: October 20 – 22

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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.


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).


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.

Ecumenical Tranformative Diakonia: Border Solidarity Trip

BorderFrom October 1st to October 11th, 2016, World Student Christian Federation (WSCF)-North America held a solidarity trip to the Arizona border between the US and Mexico as a regional follow-up project on the Inter-Regional Leadership Training Program on Migrants, Refugees and Asylum seekers. The solidarity trip was organized in the framework of WSCF’s strategy of Transformative Ecumenical Diakonia and Overcoming Violence Program.

During the program, a delegation of ten young adults and students from across the United States were able to roam in the border and witness the cruelty of human-made efforts to keep off migrants coming from the Southern part of the Americas on the basis of “illegally” crossing the border.

The participants visited the site where a border patrol officer killed Jose’ Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a harmless 16-year-old Mexican boy. The agent has always claimed to have acted to defend himself from rocks being hurled at him, a very warped hypothesis given the 12-15 meters wall sitting on an already tall stone embankment rising off the street where Jose’ Antonio was standing. Likewise they joined a vigil and interfaith servicein front of the Eloy Detention center on the eve of the School of the Americas Convergence in Nogales.

The group was also able to witness the cruelty of a border enforcement program called Operation Streamline, a strategy set up in 2005 to fast track deportation practice consisting in a pre-agreed plea where migrants who are caught crossing the desert are arraigned and sentenced to “illegal entry into the United States”. In the Federal Court of Tucson 60-70 migrants appear in front of a judge in shackles and chains on any given day in a show reminiscent of slaves just off the boat where they plead guilty to entering the US. Many of these people are imprisoned in so-called detention centers where inmates are subjected to all kind of abuse, which often ends up in unexplained deaths or suicides.

At the end of the program, participants recommended that the Solidarity Border trip should become a WSCF signature program, as it challenge participants and changes young people’s lives. In the words of a participant: “Thank you for disturbing me”. “We all need to be disturbed to fully understand what is ethical in doing solidarity in deep and meaningful ways”. This program enabled participants to see that “thereis hope amidst suffering and that marginalized people continue to take charge of their narratives”. The program was in partnership with the American Waldensian Society and Borderlinks, a Tucson-based non-profit organization that receives delegations throughout the year for a full-immersion visits in the borderlands.

Originally published in the WSCF Federation News.