Apathy into Action 2018 Panel Information

Apathy into Action – Faith and social justice panel – 3:30-5pm

Karen Nurkowski from Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (SDHHS) will be providing ASL interpretation for this panel. The moderator will ask the prepared questions below, and at approximately 4:30 we will have a 20 minute public Q&A session.

Maysa Haque is a Masters student in the University of Regina’s Department of Religious Studies. She recently completed a Bachelors of Arts & Science at McMaster University, where she studied young Canadian Muslim women’s perceptions and experiences of menstruation. Her academic and activist interests include Islam, feminism and gender-inclusive religious movements. She also loves cats.

Cam Fraser, the minister at Knox Metropolitan United Church, is interested in churches moving beyond acts of charity to resisting, critiquing, and opposing systems of injustice (many of which churches have lamentably been part of creating). Cam is currently working on a Masters exploring radical readings of the Christian tradition ‘from the edges’ that challenge the church’s own complicity in empire and oppression. Cam definitively does not believe in a literal hell (with flames or pitchforks) or that gay people (or anyone else) would go there if there was one. When it comes to God, Cam is fairly convinced that she does not favour Christians over any other group of humans (and may in fact often find them kind of frustrating).

Gagan Deep Singh is an Electrical Engineer by profession. He completed his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from India.  He was admitted to Masters program at the University of Saskatchewan and is currently working as a Senior Engineer. Mr. Singh is from the Sikh faith and has been active in the community performing various roles. He is the recipient of Spiritual Service Award from the Regina Multi-Faith Forum.  He has been a President of provincial organization called Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and also acted as a Chairperson of Regina Multi-Faith Forum. Currently, he is serving these organizations as a board member. He has been involved in various projects at the community level to promote mutual understanding among faith groups through education and awareness.

The Panel will be hosted by Risa Payant, the Executive Director of Common Weal Community Arts and an all around awesome community minded person who originally asked us to tackle this topic at Apathy Into Action. Risa is curious about the relationship between religion and social justice, particularly in cases where religion seems to be historically counter to progressive movements. She is excited to explore the topic of social, economic, and environmental justice through the lense of faith and religion.

Risa’s questions will be as follows (or based on these):

1) How does your faith and/or religion inform your approaches to justice issues in your community and globally? Is there a specific event or movement that has called you to action?

2) What opportunities does faith and/or religion present for self care and community care in building sustainable justice movements?

3) How can non-religious activists and organizers work across communities to support solidarity and build movements that are inclusive of all faiths and religions?

4) How has your faith/religious community’s relationship to social justice evolved or changed in recent times? How do you see it evolving now?

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