Tuesday, May 01, 2018

[the limitations of welcome]

Evangelicals for Social Action recently published "The Limitations of Welcome: An Interview with Amy Jacober", who authored a book called Redefining Perfect: The Interplay Between Theology and Disability.

Some quotes from the interview:
Concurrently, Jacober reconstructs a far more hopeful and healing vision of the church, one that goes beyond making space for those with disabilities by merely providing accessible parking or seating or other accommodations. Instead, Jacober contends that Scripture invites us to honor the gifts those with disabilities can bring to communities in reciprocal, right relationships—gifts that can be used in worship, in discipleship, and in vocational calling.

This includes the paradigms we’ve created for what church leadership looks like. Real change will not happen within churches until those with disabilities are “absolutely” reflected in leadership, Jacober said. And this will not happen until people redefine how we traditionally view Christian leaders, theologians, and teachers.

Read the rest of the interview.

Friday, April 13, 2018

vampires have no reflections...

one vampire in every crowd. cartoon by rob goetze. Image of a group of vampires in front of a mirror. Only one is reflected in the mirror. Another one points at him and, laughing, says "There's one in every crowd!" Another says, "You don't belong here, you freak!"

"You know how vampires have no reflections in the mirror?" the Pulitzer Prize-winning author asked an audience at the Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ in 2009. "If you want to make a human being a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves."

"And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn't see myself reflected at all. I was like, 'Yo, is something wrong with me?' That the whole society seems to think that people like me don't exist? And part of what inspired me was this deep desire, that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors, so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."

Junot Diaz, quoted in an article by Billy Nilles

How is this of relevance to people at the margins, people who are part of minoritized groups? They often do not have any positive role models or public figures who represent them and their group, and thus they can feel like they do not belong, like they are not normal....

Thursday, April 05, 2018

pinned: links to 'uncertain and declared spaces' resources

Read the full article on uncertain spaces and declared spaces, with additional examples and stories.

Watch the introductory video on uncertain spaces and declared spaces.

Read my article on exploring uncertainty and embrace at your church.

Check out all "uncertain spaces and declared spaces" posts on this blog.


"Whatever" washroom sign, found on the internet. Sign shows a mermaid and a centaur with a bird. Text says "Whatever: just wash your hands"

Conversations are going on at work about signage for gender inclusive washrooms, both in our office buildings and in public spaces. While this sign will not be used, it is one of the more creative ones I've seen online.

I did note that my brain, seeing the stereotypical mermaid on the left, assumed that the centaur on the right is male (the fact that centaurs in movies are almost always male didn't help in avoiding that assumption). But the reality is that the symbol is fairly neutral... what do you think?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

[leah dorion, Metis artist]

Leah Marie Dorion is an interdisciplinary Metis artist raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. A teacher, painter, filmmaker and published writer, Leah views her Metis heritage as providing her with a unique bridge for knowledge between all people. (from her site)

Talking Circle Medicine (2005) by Leah Dorion. 7 women in a talking circle, with flowers around.

This piece is called Talking Circle Medicine.

Check out more of her work! Her site also includes discussion of symbolism and some of the projects she has been working on.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Friday, February 09, 2018

ideas for structuring employee resource groups

Employee resource groups are a key component of many diversity and inclusion programs. They provide a safe place for specific groups of employees, such as women, LGBTQ2S+, veterans, indigenous peoples, etc., to meet for support, networking, and personal and career development.

The following options present some ideas on structuring employee resource groups (ERGs) for large province-wide organizations. They allow for an evolution of the ERG structure in a scalable way as interest grows. In all cases, employees at other locations can still videoconference into the meeting individually or in small groups.

lgbtq2s+ employee resource group structures. diagram by rob goetze. full text in linked pdf

Click the image to enlarge it.

Check out the full document to learn more about these options...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

sowing seeds for the flourishing of LGBTQ2S+ employees

From my paper, "Sowing Seeds for the Flourishing of LGBTQ2S+ Employees"


In the corporate world, diversity and inclusion are often promoted as a way of increasing profit, competitiveness and innovation, attracting and keeping diverse employees, and gaining a better understanding of one’s customer base. People are invited to become part of the corporate culture because the company benefits from the diversity they bring … but the corporate culture is not changing for diverse peoples nor is it being changed by their inclusion. While employees do benefit, the primary focus is on the benefit to the company.

In governments, non-profit organizations and socially-conscious companies, we have the opportunity to make diversity and inclusion decisions with a primary focus on the benefits to employees, understanding that of course there will also be a benefit to the organization as a whole and to the clients.

It may seem like a small difference, but I believe that diversity and inclusion must first and foremost be for the people if it is to be authentic and avoid the risk of being assimilatory.

So how about an organization taking initiative to be a place where all employees flourish?

And specifically,

How might we develop our organization into an environment 
in which LGBTQ2S+ employees, in all their diversity, can flourish?

Read the whole paper here.

Friday, January 05, 2018

[images of faith, hope and beauty]

Of special interest to friends in Edmonton:

The Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta in partnership with the Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta is very pleased to launch a new exhibit Images of Faith, Hope & Beauty, featuring Ukrainian Canadian icons and iconostases from national and international collections.

The exhibit takes place December 6, 2017 through January 28, 2018 in downtown Edmonton in the gallery space at Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton.

This free exhibit has over 100 pieces. I especially like the area which has icons painted on ammo boards, by Contemporary Ukrainian artist, Oleksandr Klymenko. The screening room also has a video by him about his icons (runs around 12:30 p.m. and periodically throughout the day at other times). Very interesting to hear him speak about the contrast between death and life, war and peace, etc.

"Intercession of the Mother of God" icon by Oleksandr Klymenko. A bottom board from a box of AKM bullets, temera. 2017

For more information on the exhibit and the five unique collections of artifacts:

Read the Edmonton Journal article including a video about the show:

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

[one sacred community]

I saw this painting by Mary Southard in a small chapel at the Providence Retreat Centre in Edmonton. It's called "One Sacred Community". Here is a detail from it:

Detail from "One Sacred Community" by Mary Southard.

The full picture is found here.