To Cancel or Not to Cancel?


with Isaiah Ritzmann

Cancelling, shunning, social boycotting – call it what you will, this tactic for accountability has gone mainstream over the last decade. As the practice has grown it has attracted both controversy and confusion. Is it ethical? Is it effective? This workshop explores cancelling as one tool within our social change toolbox & considers the right contexts for its use. By looking at its history of use both within liberation struggles and religious communities we navigate the tricky questions about how to use social boycotts in morally unproblematic and strategically mindful ways.

about the facilitator

Isaiah Ritzmann (he/him) has been part of the Cahoots “extended family” since the inception of the festival in 2014. A facilitator of community-based learning on sustainability, democracy, & degrowth in Kitchener, Ontario (Haldimand Tract), he also helps coordinate a home-based hospitality network called Open Homes that serves newly arrived refugee claimants. A deep believer that effective nonviolent strategies exist that can help us avoid climate catastrophe, he is excited to explore these in conversation with others.

promotional image for a workshop at a radical festival called cahoots. the picture is of a male presenting person with a light beard and glasses, and the title - to cancel or not to cancel - is made to look like a rainbow

CPJ’s Advocacy Toolkit for Non-Partisan Political Advocacy


with Natalie Appleyard + Rena Namago

Want to be empowered to influence policy and legislation in Canada? Join us for a dynamic, interactive workshop where you will learn how to make your voice heard in the political arena! We will be using Citizens for Public Justice’s Advocacy Toolkit as our guide: a comprehensive resource designed to help you influence policy and legislation in Canada through effective and non-partisan advocacy. You will learn about various methods of advocacy, when to use each, and how to craft a powerful message that makes an impact. While we will primarily focus on advocacy related to poverty, refugee & migrant rights, and climate justice at the federal level, the principles and strategies covered in this session can be applied to any issue or level of government. Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or just starting out, this workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn and grow!

about the facilitators

Rena is the Public Justice Intern at Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ). She is co-authoring a chapter in CPJ’s upcoming book discussing refugee and migrant rights through an anti-oppressive lens. Natalie (she/her) is the Socio-Economic Policy Analyst at CPJ. She grew up and lives today in the unceded and unsurrendered lands of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People. She feels a strong connection to these lands and a deep gratitude for the people who have cared for them since time immemorial. She now shares her love for the outdoors with her husband and two children.

promotional image for a workshop at a radical festival called cahoots. the picture is of the two facilitators, female presenting, and the title is made to look like a rainbow

Befriending your stressed out nervous system


with Esther Townshend

Bring your stressed, anxious or burnt-out nervous system and practice listening to its messages about how to care for yourself. We will discuss the stress response and window of tolerance, and how these concepts can help us to understand our bodies’ signals. We will also explore some simple trauma-informed stress release practices involving breathing, humming and shaking.

about the facilitator

Esther is a writer, organizer, peacemaker, disturber of the peace, Gestalt psychotherapy student, and nature lover. Since a concussion in 2018, she has been learning to live well with a finicky nervous system, with considerable help from Dr. Shailla Vaidya’s Reconnect Concussion yoga program. Her favourite stress relief practices include yoga, singing, walks by the lake, tea and chocolate.

What does it mean to be an ally to Indigenous peoples?

with Clarence Cachagee + Scott Morton Ninomiya

Join us for a transformative circle conversation delving into opportunities to be an ally to Indigenous peoples. Along with Scott, Clarence will lead us through key steps towards building meaningful partnerships that undermine oppressive, colonial systems. If you are exploring ways to be a more effective ally, this workshop is the perfect opportunity to gain valuable insights and gain new perspectives. Please come prepared to listen, share, and experience wisdom together!

about the facilitators

Clarence, founder of Crow Shield Lodge, is a helper, visionary and author who is known for investing his whole self into his community. Clarence originates from Chapleau Cree First Nation and calls Cambridge his home. Scott is the Coordinator of Mennonite Central Committee Ontario’s Indigenous Neighbours program. He will share his perspective as a settler working to earn the title ‘ally’ in his home community on the Grand River Watershed and with partners across Ontario.

the title of the workshop - what does it mean to be an ally to indigenous peoples - in a rainbow design with a photo of one of the facilitators in the background

Visit our Attiwandaron Neighbours (who moved out 400 years ago)

with Jay Thiessen

Have you ever noticed the National Historic Site across the road? Come walk back through time and see the raised earth mounds that remain from the fortified village that was home to 800-900 Attiwandaron people (also known as the Neutral Iroquois) when they lived here between 1500 and 1650. It is also just a nice long walk (1.5km round trip). So come for the excercise; or come for the joy of historical education; or come to spend time in nature; or come spend the afternoon imagining you live in a Attiwandaron fort. All are welcome.

about the facilitator

Jay never misses a chance to read a historic plaque so he couldn’t resist the one across from Cahoots. He’s ready with interesting historical facts for anyone who shares his fascination with Canadian history. He won’t be offended if you hang back a few feet where you don’t need to listen to him.

the title of the workshop - visit our attiwandaron neighbours - in a rainbow design on top of a picture of the facilitator smiling

Safe Haven

with Esther Kern

The award winning documentary film “Safe Haven” explores the lives of American war resisters who came to Canada as conscientious objectors, seeking asylum from conscription into the USA military. It weaves together the powerful stories of resisters who who sought protection in Canada during wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the risks and challenges, they faced in their quest to be able to live with their conscience and advocate for peaceful co-existence. Esther, who married a deserter from the USA Marine Corps, is featured in one interview. He wrote to her in one of his letters, “I will never be one of them. They may beat me, they may break me, but they will never win me over. If love is not more powerful than hate, that what is there? If killing is more Godly then kindness and love, then how will anyone survive? As for myself, I cannot live with myself knowing I am a lie. To be a Marine would make me and my life a complete and utter lie. I hope that it doesn’t take being a Marine to be a man. If it does, then may my manhood never come.”

about the facilitator

After a 34-year career as a Registered Nurse, Esther took early retirement and joined Christian Peacemaker Teams in 2004 as a “second career”. This commitment has taken her to Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, Colombia, the USA/Mexico Borderlands, and to many Indigenous communities on Turtle Island. Social justice and activism have been an integral part of her life beginning in 1969, when she came to Canada with her War Resister fiance to seek asylum and to be able to live in freedom with one’s conscience.

Queering Spirituality

with Mäki Ashe Van Steenwyk

Ashe will explore what it means to “queer” spirituality. To “queer” something is to re-examine, deconstruct, or subvert it though a queer lens. It means to pay attention to our deepest longings and listen to the wisdom of our bodies as we join the Spirit in the Great Work of Liberation. This work involves unearthing the toxic myths and ideas that weave through our own consciousness as well as challenging the way these myths and ideas take concrete expression in the world around us. This session, which will benefit cishet folks as well as queer folks, will include a presentation, as well as discussion and contemplative practice.

about the facilitator

Ashe (she/they) is the Director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a spiritual director, activist, author, and teacher whose work focuses on the intersection of spirituality and radical action. Ashe is the author of A Wolf at the Gate, unKingdom, and That Holy Anarchist, as well as a contributor to a number of edited tomes and publications. Ashe earned an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary, studied Spiritual Direction at the University of St. Catherine’s graduate school, and is currently writing her doctoral dissertation at United Theological Seminary.

the title of the workshop - queering spirituality - in a rainbow design with the photograph of the facilitator in the background

Like a Tree Planted By Streams of Water: contemplative prayer in the forest

with Leanne Wild

This session will use the practice of silent attentiveness to/in the woods as well as practices and texts from various ancient forms of christian contemplative prayer to provide an opportunity for prayer (possibly unlike anything you’ve called prayer before!) in and among the community of the forest: our fellow created beings. It could be called ‘lectio natura’ (something like ‘lectio divina’, an ancient method of prayer through silent attentiveness to specific words of scripture): we will ‘read’ from the book of creation. As we slowly wander a path through the woods we will alternately listen (to short readings; questions or prompts), perceive, meditate, share observations, walk, stand and sit.

about the facilitator

Leanne has been a community development worker, trainer of camp leaders, writer, high school drama teacher, grief support facilitator, and theology student, and has been a lover of both the woods and Jesus since she can remember. Her recent experience of homeschooling led to new ways of seeing and being in the woods; and her experience of a Theology course in Contemplative Prayer led to new ways of knowing and understanding prayer. Together, these discoveries have opened a space for praying in a way that is instinctive, gentle and powerful, and she has been sharing it with others whenever she can.

the title of the workshop - like a tree planted by streams of water - in a rainbow style design with a photo of a woman with a flower in her hair in the background

Laudato Si’: What is it, why is it, and how might one use it?

with Sabrina M. Chiefari

Laudato Si’ was written to all of humanity from Pope Francis about care for our common home. In this session, participants are invited to take in an overview of the letter and the impact it is having around the world. We will explore questions around the document and how it can be used in care for Creation, decolonization, and climate justice.

about the facilitator

Sabrina (she/her), BES, is a Catholic Environmental Educator from Tkaronto/Toronto. As Creation Care Animator for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, she’s a long time proponent of Deep Ecology and Integral Ecology. Her work centers on community engagement, outdoor education and environmental well-being. She uses story-telling, community action and spiritual thought to help all people understand how to act wisely towards our water, air and earth.

the title of the workshop - laudato si' - in a rainbow design in front of a picture of the facilitator leaning against a tree

Drag as a Spiritual Practice: Theology and Performance Art

with Julian Munro / King Julez

What is Drag? This workshop will go over the history of the art form, and very key figures in the development and popularization of the art. Participants will learn the different forms of drag, queer performance, theatre, and music. Through this workshops, participants will be guided through different skills and themes that artists have needed through the ages, and how drag can now fit into religious spheres as an expression of theology.

about the facilitator

Julian/ King Julez (they/them) is the chair of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, a national non-profit organization that works for full inclusion and affirmation of 2S-LGBTQ+ folks in religious spaces and in all of society, and a board member for Student Christian Movement. After getting a BA in Diversity and Equity, King Julez is studying their Masters of Divinity with the goal of becoming a drag clown reverend with their own congregation to serve.

the title of the workshop - Drag as a spiritual practice - in a rainbow design with the painted face of the facilitator behind the title but still visible
Copyright © 2024 . All rights reserved.