Work that Reconnects: Gratitude, Grief, Hope and Action


with Sarah Shepherd

For as long as there have been problems in the world, there have been faithful people seeking to make changes. The Work that Reconnects is a methodology that grew from the need to acknowledge and honour the spiritual and emotional components of justice work. through a specific cycle of gratitude, honouring our pain for the world, visioning new responses, and committing to our own contributions, we deal with our pain and exhaustion and find renewed strength.

Come and explore this creative and interactive process, which also touches on concepts such as Systems Thinking and Deep Time/Ecology. Be open to hearing and sharing your own areas of pain and struggle in a supportive space.

about the facilitator

Sarah (she/her) lives in Tkaronto and did an intensive training in the Work that Reconnects in 2011, which resonated with her background in justice work as a Quaker, Anglican, and then–United Church national staff member. She is passionate about pollinator gardening, community-building, and singing.

Beyond Rules: Christian Ethics as Skills


with Michael Buttrey

Becoming a better person is less like ignoring the devil on your shoulder, and more like learning to play a musical instrument. Learn about ethics as skills we can apply, using the langugage of ‘virtue’ rather than rules or precepts. Bring along your memories learning ethics, your questions about how churches and society understand morality, and the willingness to re-imagine some good old-fashioned words like “prudence” and “temperance”.

about the facilitator

Michael Buttrey is finishing a PhD in Christian Ethics at the Toronto School of Theology and work part-time for an Anglican Church and for the Canadian Council of Churches. He is passionate about adult education, books, Star Trek, and tabletop role-playing. In recent years he has collaborated with others on open letters addressing the mishandling of sexual abuse by institutions like the Anglican Church of Canada and Regent College. Michael grew up in the Mennonite Church and still thinks faith and progress is best explored through grassroots dialogue and solidarity, not hierarchy.

Drag as a Spiritual Practice: Theology and Performance Art


with King Julez (Julian Munro)

What is Drag? This engaging session will take participants through the story of Drag through a lense of theology and faith. Together we will learn about the history and key figures in the development and popularization of the art form. We will touch on the different forms of drag, queer performance, theatre, and music. Through this time, folks will be introduces to a variety of skills and themes that artists have created through the ages. Let’s see how drag fits into religious spheres as an expression of theology and faith today!

about the facilitator

Julian/ King Julez 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 and Masters of Pastoral Studies at Emmanuel College in Toronto. Drag as a spiritual practice embodies theology and works to express understandings of God’s word in new and exciting ways while paying homage to the queer artists that paved the way so we can exist freely in the world today.

SCM & International Solidarity


with Johannes Chan and Kay Meshal

Did you know that the Student Christian Movement (SCM) is active around the world and is connecting with other SCM chapters? People are welcome to this session to learn about how students, staff and volunteers do social justice in other countries. Join Johannes and Kathryn to hear about the most recent trips SCM Canada took to the Philippines and Cuba. Reflect on your experiences in solidartiy movements and current issues in the world where people need internatonal solidarity and advocacy. Most importantly, you’ll hear what other SCMs around the world are saying and find out about the ways you can take action in solidarity with radical Christians elsewhere!

about the facilitator

Johannes Chan is a Science & Technology Studies student and a student coordinator for the Student Christian Movement at York University. In their free time, Johannes likes reading books, drinking tea, doing religious things, wandering around woodlots and parks, and tending to a messy vegetable garden.

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

Cookie Mining: How the Canadian Mining Industry Is Destroying the Planet and What We Can Do About It

with Dean Dettloff + Emily Lukasik + Kiegan Irish + Luke Stocking

Mining and extractives are some of the most dangerous industries for land defenders and the environment around the world. Around 75% of mining companies are headquartered in Canada! This hands-on workshop starts with ‘Cookie Mining’, an easy all-ages activity that illustrates mining’s impact on land and homes. Then the group will split off into deeper, age-appropriate discussions about mining, its impacts on communities (especially in the Global South), and what people of faith can do about it in Canada.

about the facilitators

Dean is the Central Ontario Animator for Development and Peace, a section editor at Geez Magazine, and adjunct faculty at the Institute for Christian Studies. He is also co-host of The Magnificast, a podcast about Christianity and leftist politics, and has a cool story about Christian anarchists making short shorts out of roadkill. Emily is the East Ontario Animator for Development and Peace and a professional stage actor. She is a master crafter and knows a lot about making buttons and screen-printed tees. Kiegan is the West Ontario Animator for Development and Peace. He has worked in frontline services for unhoused people. He can play guitar and knows a lot about niche mid-00s hardcore music. Luke is the Public Engagement Director for Development and Peace and a columnist for the Catholic Register. He is also really good at Bananagrams.

promotional image for a workshop at a radical festival called cahoots. the picture is of a mining organization 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

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.

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