Hi, my name is Nathalie Lopez and my background is in Political Science and Documentary Film. I have written and directed a few short documentary films on topics of motherhood, linguistic and cultural identity, immigration, gender and exclusion. I have done community outreach work and advocacy and explored ways in which to incorporate film and radio in social programs aimed at marginalized groups. Currently, I am writing a fiction on the topic of francophone single mothers, a subject that hits close to home for me.
I was drawn to the Undivided program by a deep desire to connect with like-minded individuals in order to break the isolation I felt here in Vancouver. Given the current political climate in the world, I felt an urgency to reconnect with my activist roots and feel more empowered in the face of so much negativity. I was also equally drawn to the spiritual aspect of the program and was curious to learn where the intersection of social justice and contemplative practices lies. The program is as rich as it is demanding. It requires a depth of participation that I have never hereinto experienced. The contemplative aspect of the program requires that you show up fully, be forewarned that there will be moments of intense vulnerability but also of deep growth. On a more theoretical level the topics dealing with race, power and inequality also stir-up strong emotions but serve a clear objective.
I am grateful for the insight and the language that this program has allowed me to gain around the topic of race relations and power dynamics. I am also profoundly moved by everything that was shared within our cohort. I have learned how incorporating contemplative practices can have a profound effect on one’s approach to social justice work and activism. This program is really unique and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a deep reconnection within in order to be more present and grounded in your
path towards a more just society.
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!
Hi my name is Greg. I've worked on various social justice issues for most of my life, long before answering my call to be a minister in the United Church. Along the way I've seen groups come and go, and I've seen activists burn out. I've wondered if it's because of a lack of grounding, or not drawing from a 'deeper well', or simply not sufficiently caring for oneself (or something else altogether). When I discovered the Undivided program, it seemed like the perfect confluence of grounding through contemplative practice and taking action to address systemic injustices. I was right. I've come to learn new practices, and gain new insights into common struggles. I've had my own thinking tested, and I've been able to share what I've learned through Undivided in my various communities. This cohort isn't something to take lightly; it isn't a navel gazing exercise. This is about finding the Source that transforms our world.
The challenges our time call for a deeper engagement, far beyond 'clicktivism' and far beyond individual tinkering. Our challenges require a complete body-mind-soul commitment, one that requires uniting with something greater than ourselves, and one that allows us to transcend our doubts and fears.