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Advocacy

Learn more on our action centers: Centre for Public Dialogue and Office of Social Justice.

Disability Advocacy Journey

I grew up in a faith-based family with an aunt and uncle who spent most of their career as missionaries overseas. They spent many years in Japan and the Philippines establishing Christian churches. I heard enough stories from them when they visited on furlough to know that I was not equipped for their somewhat nomadic lifestyle. I love to set up roots in a community and have a large network of family and friends close by. Listening to their conversations about distant lands always brought me back to the question of how I can invest in my own community. 

Thinking About Travel Restrictions on World Refugee Day

June 20 is World Refugee Day, a day to honour the resilience and courage of refugees around the world and stand with them to show our support. This year, as we celebrate the contributions that people who were refugees have made to our communities, let us also acknowledge the barriers that the COVID-19 pandemic places on those seeking safety and protection. The pandemic has brought challenges to all of us and in particular to refugees abroad whose vulnerabilities have been exacerbated.

How one person’s advocacy can make a difference

On May 20th, the Climate Witness Project had the privilege of hosting a book talk with professor and author Finis Dunaway. His new book, Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice, takes a look at how photographer Lenny Kohm’s grassroots advocacy alongside the Gwich’in people helped protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

I Don’t Want Peace

As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage month came to a close, a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sermon, “When Peace Becomes Obnoxious”, kept ringing in my ears:

[...] and if peace means this, I don’t want peace.

1) If peace means accepting second-class citizenship, I don’t want it.

2) If peace means keeping my mouth shut in the midst of injustice and evil, I don’t want it.

Reading Ecclesiastes in a Pandemic

This is an excerpt from a sermon I recently preached at the CRC’s Campus Ministry at the University of Toronto (my alma mater!).

Words spoken by the wise bring them favor, 

    but the lips of fools consume them.

The words of their mouths begin in foolishness,

    and their talk ends in wicked madness;

yet fools talk on and on.

Former Fellow: Hope Zigterman

About a year and a half ago, I walked into the denominational building in Grand Rapids for my first day as the Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellow for the Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. This had been my dream opportunity since I had taken a justice course in college and had discovered that many of the readings we had been assigned were by political theologians who had been influenced by or arisen out of the Christian Reformed Church. Names like Nicholas Wolterstorff, James W. Skillen, Steve Monsma, and Albert Wolters.

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Former Fellow: Cameron Kritikos

I remember wanting to be the OSJ Fellow for the longest time. When the Office of Social Justice visited my university, year after year, a bright, ambitious Fellow would present at a conference, talk to a class, and always be willing to answer any questions every time they stopped by the school. Having received my degree in International Development Studies, and as a lover of the church, I thought mobilizing people of faith to live more fully into their discipleship in the public realm was the highest calling I could aspire to. And so, I applied. I waited. I waited a bit more. 

Former Fellow: Kyle Meyaard-Schaap

His voice emanated from the speaker, with its signature low timbre and deliberate cadence. “I can’t believe I’m on a conference call with Jim Wallis!” I thought to myself.

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From Child Displaced to International Activist

Mohammad El Kurd and the Settler Takeover in the East Jerusalem Neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah

100 Days in Review

Last Thursday, April 29th, marks the end of President Biden’s first 100 days in office. In recent history, the first 100 days often indicate the newly elected president’s priorities and signal how he seeks to set himself apart from his predecessor. Following his campaign promises, President Joe Biden pursued an approach to immigration policy that is significantly distinct from the last administration. In many ways, President Biden took concentrated measures that ended cruel and unjust immigration practices.

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