Peace Cafes

[Updated 09/19/16, 8:21 pm]

An evening of Peace Cafes

Friday, September 23, 2016

Downtown Nelson

7:30-9 pm


In the name of peace and shaping our futures through conversations that matter, the Peace Café is an ongoing initiative that provides an opportunity for individuals to produce community based solutions for global challenges and encourages "reconciliation and connection" through open dialogue.

The following 9 peace cafes are a signature component for the 2016 Peace and Justice Studies Conference, hosted by the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College.  The peace cafes will be held throughout downtown Nelson at popular locations where beverage and snacks will be available for purchase.   Events will be open to the public (i.e. people who are not conference registrants) as space is available. 

To ensure your spot, please register for the conference at

There are still a very limited amount of specially priced conference spots available for people in the West Kootenay Boundary Region.  Please go to: 

Solidarity Trade and the Economics of Hope

Steve Stewart, CoDevelopment Canada

Railtown Coffee House, 91 Baker St.

Host Group:  Kootenay Coop Radio

Music Guest:  Quinn Barron and Brian Kalbfleisch

The Campesino Committee of the Highlands and the Café Justicia Solidarity Trade Model

The Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) is a Mayan farmer and rural workers’ movement that makes solidarity trade an integral part of its struggle for social transformation.  Originally comprised primarily of peons from the large coffee plantations, the CCDA took advantage of credits established by the 1996 Peace Accords to begin to obtain land for its communities. The organization then made use international contacts developed during the war to create direct lines of solidarity trade, obtaining a living price for producer-members, but also investing profits in infrastructure, education, campaigns and social mobilization. The CCDA sees the Café Justicia brand of coffee it sells as both an economic endeavour, and a tool for educating people about the goals and challenges of its movement.

This talk will explore how adding solidarity trade to its toolkit has made the CCDA a more autonomous and powerful advocate for rural peoples in Guatemala. Following the presentation there will be opportunities to discuss other experiences of the solidarity economy and its role in social transformation.

Steve Stewart is a coordinator of the Café Justicia Network in Canada. He first began collaborating with the CCDA while working as a journalist in Guatemala in the mid-1990s. In his paid job, Steve is the Program Director for CoDevelopment Canada, a BC-based organization that facilitates links of solidarity between Canadian and Latin American social and labour organizations. He is currently completing a thesis at the University of British Columbia on the experiences of rank and file guerrilla combatants at the close of the armed conflict in Guatemala.

Indigenous Nonviolence – Protecting the Streets of Winnipeg’s North End

Bear Clan (James Favel and Jessica Leigh), Winnipeg

Empire Café, 616 Vernon St.

Host Group:  Circle of Indigenous Nations

The Bear Clan is a community based project to increase safety and security in Winnipeg’s north end – a neighbourhood plagued by violence and poverty.  The bear clan members offer unarmed street patrols -   aiming to stop fights, keep an eye on sex-trade workers and find a way to get people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol to safety.

Enowkinwixw – Resolving Conflict using Traditional and Ceremonial Processes

Lauren Terbasket – Enowkin Centre, Penticton First Nation

Farm Fresh Café, 198 Baker St.

Host group:  Kootenay Region United Nations Association

Music Guest:  Tyler Isaacs-De Jong

Enowkinwixw is a traditional, ceremonial and harmony building process for planning and conflict resolution.  This workshop discusses the methodology which draws inspiration from the Four Food Chiefs story “how food was given”, and the multiple layers of meaning and teaching embodied in this creation story of the Okanagan People.   A collective process of community/organizational dialogue and decision making that builds on multiple often oppositional perspectives, this methodology is passed on from a time before humans, and works to draw on collective knowledge and wisdom held across a community.  Most Importantly,  this traditional dialogical process builds harmony,  trust,  and collective commitment.

 Lauren Terbasket is  the Executive Director of  the Enowkin Centre,  
 one of the foremost Indigenous Cultural Education Centres in Canada.   
 A member of the Okanagan Nation from the Lower Similkameen Community, 
 Lauren has extensive experience in aboriginal education and pedagogy, and  
 Teaches Okanagan Cultural courses  and is a facilitator utilizing Okanagan 
 Based knowledge and methodologies 


Building a Collaborative Community for Climate Action: Local Success Stories

Laura Sacks and Jan Inglis, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, West Kootenay Chapter 

John Ward Fine Coffee, 503 Baker Street

Host Group:  Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Music Guest:  Ami Cheon & Austin Parachoniak

The Nelson area has initiated several projects to engage its citizens collaboratively in addressing the complex and challenging issues related to climate change. We will briefly discuss our experiences and use project themes to stimulate participants to engage in a dialogue about what works (or not) in their part of the global community.

Laura Sacks currently devotes much of her time to climate advocacy and leads the local chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby. She has worked for over 20 years as a hydrologist and also operated a local community-focused organic farm for a decade.

Jan Inglis, PhD, has taught the Culture and Conflict course in the Conflict Analysis and Engagement Master’s program at Antioch University , and the Environment, Conflict, and Justice course in the Peace Studies program at Selkirk College. She has worked on public engagement, perception, and motivation in relation to climate change for many years.

What Does Reconciliation Look Like? Visual Data from the Perspective of a Descendant.

Dr. Christopher Horsethief

Jaganatha Express Vegetarian Bistro, 660 Baker Street

Host Group:  West Kootenay EcoSociety

Music Guest:  Soniko

"Reconciliation is a frequently discussed topic in 2016. The topic can evoke discourse that heals, as well as dialogue that tears us apart. Ultimately reconciliation requires all concerned, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, to pull the damage imposed by the Canadian Indian Residential Schools into a shared social space. This presentation will draw form current media opinion to identify potential themes that can be used to build bridges."

Christopher Horsethief is a professor and researcher concerned with First Nations resilience. His teaching background includes coursework on Engaging Difference, Complex Leadership and the Ktunaxa Language, while his research centers on strategies that foster resilience in Indigenous communities. He has spent 20 years among the Columbia River tribes exploring the nexus that fuses critical cultural theory to community practice. 

Anti-Semitism, Racism and Empire: Moving Beyond Rhetoric

Matt Meyer, New York City based author/activist/educator

Dancing Bear Inn, 171 Baker Street

Host group:  Rotary Daybreak, Nelson

Music Guest:  Bessie Wapp

This inter-active dialogue will look at very real issues of prejudice and power, historically and in contemporary context. Myths will be exploded, misconceptions explored, feelings will be respected as we explore anti-semitism in the contemporary context. Join us! You have nothing to lose but 57 minutes; you have new friends to win!

Understanding Political Violence in an Age of 'Terrorism'

Dr. Michael Loadenthal, Miami University

Sidewinder Coffee Co., 696 Baker St.

Host Group:  Boundary Peace Initiative

Music Guest:  Carmina Bolinao & Trevor Unruh

Terrorism is a global and historical form of political communication that has marked the 21st century through spectacular displays of violence by non-state groups and individuals. In this talk we will discuss and interrogate the construction of the 'terrorism' both as a means to criminalize political dissent, as well as a new form of asymmetric warfare challenging the State.

Michael Loadenthal is the Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and a Professor of Sociology and Social Justice. He has lived amongst armed guerrillas abroad, and organizes domestically against the criminalization of dissent and the terrorization of militant protest. His work focuses on understanding political violence, terrorism and social movements through the lens of sociology and critical theory.

How to Get the Community to Talk: community building and solidarity

How to get the community to talk: community building and solidarity"

Stephanie Meitz

Café Momento, 535 Baker St

Host group:  Amnesty International, Nelson Chapter

Music Guest: Sophie MP & Davis Yates


Gay and Middle Eastern in post-Orlando America

Dr. Sa’ed Atshan, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania

Expressions Café, 554 Ward Street

Host Group:  ANKORS

Drumming: Donna Wright

On June 12, 2016, a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people, and injuring 53, most of whom were Latinax. This was the second largest attack on U.S. soil since 9-11. The perpetrator, Omar Mateen, was Afghan-American, and other information about him and his past is still being gathered by the press and law enforcement. How do we make sense of this tragic event? There are no easy answers to this question but we will think through some of the issues that this case raises for the nation. I will share my personal experiences and perspectives as well.

Sa’ed Atshan is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He holds a PhD (2013) and an MA (2010) in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. He also received an MPP (2008) from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA (2006) from Swarthmore College. Atshan has served as a Lecturer in Peace and Justice Studies for more than five years at Tufts University. He has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He is also the recipient of a Soros Fellowship and a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the UN High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai. He grew up in Palestine and is also an LGBT rights activist.

Conference Year: 

  • 2016 Conference