February 4, 2016
Leadership for spiritual and systemic transformation
Now accepting applications for 2020 cohort!
About the program:
Undivided is a program developed to respond to the longing for an integrated life. A life where our inner, spiritual journey and our desire to participate in effective social change can be understood as not only supportive, but essential to each other. This program is a small group (12-25 people) cohort who will gather four times throughout 2020 to explore contemplative social justice. The program is a combination of workshop style teaching, group process, and individual exploration. We will balance hands-on learning of practical social change tools, with contemplative practices and community building. Small groups will be formed around issues of interest to work on social change projects over the course of the program, this will allow participants to implement their learning and see how the rubber hits the road.
Do you want to:
grapple with your role in addressing social and environmental inequities
learn in a diverse community
connect your inner and outer work
be challenged to grow within a community of practice
In this program you will:
deepen knowledge of social change frameworks, including theories of change, allyship and anti-oppression, and systemic power analysis.
explore your own social identities and power in relation to social change.
develop leadership skills such as community organizing, conflict resolution, public speaking, campaign building.
explore ancient and contemporary practices that sustain compassion and provide clarity of purpose.
network with diverse leaders in social and environmental change efforts.
receive year-long mentorship and support to apply for grant funding
Watch the video below to hear what past Undivided participants say about the program! (Video by Aslam Bulbulia, editing by Moataz Billeh Mednini)
- Weekend one: Gambier Island (February or March)
- Weekend two: Vancouver (June)
- Weekend three: Location Bowen Island (August or September)
- Weekend four: Vancouver (November)
In addition to in-person gatherings, we have five online calls which take place before and during the program. There are also three small group meetings that happen between each weekend either in person or online.
This is a rough outline of the 2019 program. The program adapts and responds to the needs of the participants and the skills of the facilitators. Details for the 2020 program will be uploaded soon.
Weekend One: Laying the Foundation
- Introduction to contemplative practices of grounding and centering
- Anti-Oppression and allyship
- Group formation and storytelling
- Social movement history
- Communication and deep listening as tools for transformation
- Selection of focus groups and issues (i.e., climate justice, homelessness, right relationship with Indigenous peoples, etc.)
Weekend Two: Theories of Change
- Inner work exploring resilience, motivation, and what holds us back
- Theories of how change happens:
- Analysis of economic, political and social systems
- Building partnerships and movements
- Conflict resolution and the spiritual work of anger, healing and forgiveness
- Meet with focus groups and project mentors
- Begin project planning and implementation
Weekend Three: Change Embodiment
- Contemplative practices of seeing with new eyes
- Media literacy and technology as social change tools
- Peer feedback process on project plans
- Practices that sustain us through failure and success
- The discipline of self care
- Next steps for project implementation and evaluation
Weekend Four: Sharing and Sending Forth
- Additional skill and training content in response to group needs
- Community event sharing projects and learning
Christina Kinch: Program Creator and Facilitator
Christina (she/her/hers) is passionate about the intersection of inner transformation and community healing. She is a queer, cis-gender, white settler woman living on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueum and Tseil-Waututh Nations. A Christian with working class roots, Christina has worked in a variety of secular and religious environments including child protection, mental health and addictions, faith formation, yoga therapy and energy healing. She embodies a strong sense of the mind-body-spirit connection which allows her to guide people into deeper experience of themselves, each other and the sacred.
Christina has studied and practiced with teachers from various traditions, with a particular focus on Contemplative and Mystical Christianity, Hatha Yoga, and Buddhist teachings. In 2006 she completed the Living School Program with Richard Rohr at the Centre for Action and Contemplation. Recently, she completed a Masters of Education in Contemplative Inquiry at Simon Fraser University and is currently working towards a PhD in Education. Diversity of spiritual practice and education allows her to connect with people from a variety of backgrounds including those connected to a religious tradition, spiritual but not religious folks, seekers, agnostics and atheists.
You can find her dancing, sipping tea, hiking or engrossed in poetry. Her official title is the Justice Coordinator for the Contemplative Justice Network of the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada.
M. “Asad” Asadullah: Program Consultant and Facilitator
Asad participated in the 2018 Undivided Leadership Program and became deeply engaged in contemplative practices. A reflective practitioner, he offers workshops on Restorative Justice and Compassionate Communication in prison, university and community settings. Recently, he was chosen as the 2018 Contemplative Social Justice Scholar by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, USA. He dreams of living in a community where contemplative practices of diverse heritages and traditions are welcomed.
Previously, Asad was a Reconciliation Ambassador with Reconciliation Canada. Subsequently, as a caseworker and project coordinator of ASPIRE’s HOPE Project, he provided counselling and mentoring services to the vulnerable and minority youth population in the Greater Vancouver area. Along with being an active board member of Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice and Salish Sea Empathy Society, Asad is a certified NVC trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, USA. To showcase his work, he has participated in a number of international trainings and conferences in Bangladesh, Canada, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Norway, Turkey, UK, and USA.
A new settler on Coast Salish territories of Muslim and South Asian heritage, Asad remains a full time PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University University’s School of Criminology. He also teaches Restorative Justice and Interpersonal and Professional Development at SFU and KPU. He enjoys trying new sports (archery, anyone?) and board games.
If you are interested in being on the leadership team, please email <christina [at] contemplativejustice.org>.
We understand that due to inequities in our world, each person applying to the Undivided Leadership Program will have different social, financial and time resources.
Actual Program Cost:
The cost to run the program is over $3600 per participant. Each participant accepted into the program automatically receives a $2400 program subsidy through the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada. This leaves one-third ($1200) remaining.
Suggested Program Fee:
Our suggested ‘base’ participant fee is $1200 per participant (with payment plans available).
If you can contribute more, your financial contribution directly supports another participant through our Equity Fund.
If $1200 is too much for you, you apply for a full or partial scholarship through our Equity Fund when you fill out your application.
Volunteering and program sustainability:
This program is subsidized by a lump sum generously donated from the sale of Capilano United Church. We rely on participants (past and present) to volunteer their time in order to reduce program costs and support the longevity of the program. We ask that participants volunteer approximately one hour per month over the course of the program to support the participation of current and future participants. In your application, you will be asked about your skills and interests and be offered opportunities to volunteer that are in line with your capacity.
Program fees includes travel, accommodation and food.
I have a contemplative practice but not much experience in social change work (or visa versa), can I apply?
Yes. We are seeking people with various degrees of experience in both contemplation and social change. A sincere desire and willingness to engage and learn is required.
I’m not sure if I can commit to all four weekends, can I attend just one?
No. Each weekend builds on the previous one, and the learning community we create is an essential component of the program.
How does this program engage spirituality and religion?
We understand that spirituality and religion are practiced both individually and communally; in the Undivided Leadership Program we work together to balance diverse spiritual needs of our cohort. We acknowledge that while many of us long for spiritual nourishment, we have also been hurt by institutional religion and are cautious about engaging in the perpetuation of religiously-sanctioned harm. In our time together, we share with each other our own religious and spiritual backgrounds, learn contemplative practices from our facilitators and each other, explore the pros and cons of engaging in contemplative practices inside and outside of their traditional religious frameworks, and apply an anti-oppressive lens to help us understand the difference between appropriation and sharing of contemplative practices. In 2019 our facilitators come from Christian and Muslim backgrounds and will be sharing practices and frameworks from these traditions. Participants are encouraged to explore and share practices from their own faith/ spiritual traditions.
Undivided is a United Church sponsored program, does this mean I need to be Christian to participate?
No. Undivided is sponsored by the United Church of Canada and draws on Christian wisdom and contemplative practices to guide and inform the program. We welcome, respect, and celebrate people of all and no faith backgrounds and invite you to bring your whole selves to the program. We have no expectations of theological consensus, but ask that people come willing to share authentically and engage in a way that embraces diversity and curiosity.
Will the facilitators try to convert me to their faith traditions?
No. We celebrate who you are and your ways of knowing yourself, your community, and the Sacred. We invite a soft and open-hearted posture and encourage a willingness to explore new ways of knowing and being.