My name is Monica, I am passionate about human rights, justice and equity for people. I have a strong interest in immigrant and refugee accessibility to education and youth engagement in leadership initiatives. My background is law and political leadership. I recently started working in an immigration firm and I also volunteer in this field. My personal experience navigating the immigration system and living the struggles of coming to a new country made me the person I am today. This experience also turned on a fire in me to convert ideas into actions.
The Undivided Program offers the opportunity to have unique conversations about privilege, power and social injustices. Having hard conversations is part of the transformational part of this program, it is uncomfortable and difficult- but what kind of advocacy are we doing if we are not willing to have uncomfortable conversations about our identities and power dynamics? In addition, Undivided helps you to find re-centering practices that are a huge part of seeking social justice and taking care of your spirit. I would suggest to those applying to the program, to go in with an open mind and heart in order to be able to truly learn and reconnect to the self.
The Undivided Leadership Program is one of my deepest life experiences. In this program we joined with individuals of multiple ages, faith backgrounds and beliefs. Despite these differences, we shared a similar purpose, to understand how contemplative practices can teach us about interfaith connections and lead us to build our society. It is a big project to know and educate yourself about how to make change in your own community and in the world. It all starts from knowing yourself. Change is important and we can make it possible when we are together. In the Undivided program, we had the opportunity to learn about learning zones, as well participate in a variety of contemplative practices and develop our interfaith leadership skills. We engaged in workshops designed to address social needs. I find myself grateful for this experience. I felt supported in a difficult time as I am adjusting to a new country and culture. I am grateful for the understanding of the group and how the leadership team is able to hold space for all members of the group.
If you are someone struggling to find a space where you can reflect on your spirituality and activism the Undivided Leadership Program is the perfect space for you.
Many of my formative years were spent between the Mosque and student activist spaces in South Africa. I was fortunate to have a group of friends there who had their social activism inspired by their faith practice. Since moving to Canada, I was lacking this community. During the course of my experience with the Undivided Leadership program, I not only found this community with whom I could talk through what was going on in my inner and outer worlds, but my thinking and living into these reflections was also supported. The diversity of participants' experiences and perspectives deepened my own thinking on what it means for me to live in an authentic and holistic way.
My name is Jenna, and I’d say I’m most passionate about healing our relationships to the land, to each other and to ourselves. At this point in my life, I’m trying to integrate past trauma and teachings to heal my relationship to myself, as well as continually learning to navigate the privileges my white-heterosexual-cis-able bodied-settlerhood afford my in life. Currently, I work for two Tsilhqot’in Nation communities, coordinating Nexwagwez?an - Dasiqox Tribal Park, an Indigenous protected area that presents an alternative vision for land governance.
I found myself drawn to the Undivided program because it acknowledges what I’ve felt to be true for a long time: that justice work and contemplation/spirit work need to be done together, to be able to engage in difficult issues in a meaningful and sustainable way. I have found the conversations exploring the tensions around this work with other participants thought-provoking, and have really appreciated the learning opportunities Undivided has offered in anti-racism and integrating contemplation into group processes. I think future applicants should be aware of the potentially uncomfortable conversations and incredible learning opportunities that are available – I encourage you to remain open to them!