2016 Pre-Conference Events

Taste of the Ashram

Taste of the Ashram is a tour to Yasodhara Ashram (http://www.yasodhara.org/) on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake. The program includes the 30-minute drive along the lake, the free 35 minute ferry ride, and an introduction to a community that was established 53 years ago that continues to thrive and adapt to change. While at the Ashram you will participate in a gentle yoga class that will put you in touch with your body and rest your mind through an effective end relaxation. Then you will have time to browse and meet Ashram residents before the silent lunch, which features produce from the Ashram organic gardens and orchards, as well as from neighbouring farms. Following lunch, you will be led on a tour of the Ashram grounds, including the gardens, the meditation rooms, and the emerging Temple of Light. The original Temple was completed in 1992 and was destroyed by fire in 2014; the beautiful innovative new structure will be partially or completely up by the time of your visit. In discussion and dialogue, we will consider what is involved in living together peacefully, how spiritual practice and willingness to work through interpersonal issues are essential. We will examine what is required to elevate us from loss to new beginnings, using the Temple as an example. And we will explore what it takes to create a symbol that calls people together in peace and understanding. What is our hope for the Temple and its message? How does it relate to you and peace in the world?

Deconstructing Local History: A focus on Peace and Justice

This day-long field trip will introduce you to some of the ideas, issues, and people related to peace and social justice in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. Taking place within the traditional territory of the Sinixt nation, we will visit some sites associated with the history of the pacifist Doukhobors, including the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College and the Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar. We will also visit the Sinixt memorial stone in kp’itl’els/Brilliant, and the Sinixt village site at Vallican in the Slocan Valley. The tour will conclude at New Denver on Slocan Lake at the Nikkei Internment Memorial which commemorates the internment of the Japanese and Japanese-Canadians during World War II.
Virgil Seymour, Sinixt Arrow Lakes Facilitator, Colville Confederated Tribes
Duff Sutherland, History Faculty, Selkirk College

Intersectional Curriculum Workshop: Creating Anti-Racist, Anti-Sexist Classrooms

This half-day workshop examines how to effectively integrate an intersectional lens in peace and justice studies. How do we make anti-sexist and anti-racist classrooms and curricula? Many courses continue to take an additive approach to issues of race and gender—adding one week or section of the syllabus—which can server to only further marginalize them. This workshop considers how to draw from and effectively mainstream critical race, feminist, queer, and de-colonial studies throughout our curricula, thereby expanding and strengthening students’ understanding of and practice in the field. We will discuss pedagogy: how do we integrate an intersectional lens? How do we address issues of diversity even if our classrooms are not themselves diverse? Further, how do we remain sensitive to and support survivors of violence in and outside the classroom, including of campus sexual assault or racial violence on campus? An opportunity for collective brainstorming and learning, participants of this workshop will use each other as resources, exchanging readings, materials, and best practices from their classrooms. Participants will also have an opportunity to workshop a syllabus they want to transform. This workshop will serve as a precursor for a possible summer institute that will further these discussions and strategies, drawing on the experiences and expertise of the PJSA community of scholars and practitioners.

Facilitators: Sheherazade Jafari, Geoffrey Batemen and David Ragland