Friends on the move

We’re pleased to welcome CFSC’s new Peace Program Coordinator Sarah Forrest! Sarah joins CFSC having worked for over 13 years in program implementation, project coordination, partnership development, and volunteer coordination in the nonprofit sector. She has worked internationally in Malawi and Ghana. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University, which she attends virtually from Toronto.

Matt Legge joined Lake Eerie Yearly Meeting for a presentation and interactive practice on communication skills. (The presentation was recorded: He also gave presentations to Mennonite Central Committee staff, an informal study group with members as far away as the Netherlands, and two chapters of the Canadian Federation of University Women (including his first in-person presentation since 2019, delivered to a large audience in Aurora, ON). He continues to facilitate free interactive workshops. You can learn more and join the wait list for a future session:

CFSC member John Samson-Fellows presented virtually as part of a course at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in the UK. John led a close reading of Canadian Yearly Meeting’s minute on prison abolition (see his article on this Anniversary-of-Minute-on-Prison- Abolition) and spoke about how it inspires CFSC’s work. He used the example of our advocacy on behalf of children of incarcerated parents. He explained that work to reduce the harm caused when prisons disconnect parents from their families is a step on the path of prison abolition.

CFSC’s Jennifer Preston has thoroughly enjoyed joining Head of Quaker Agencies meetings. These meetings bring CFSC together with Quaker organizations from the US, UK, and Europe as well as Friends World Committee for Consultation. There are amazing synergies amongst these Quaker agencies.

In September CFSC hosted a virtual meeting between members of the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, government of Canada representatives, and Indigenous and government representation from Aotearoa/ New Zealand. The discussion was about the Aotearoa Action Plan for implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Canada’s legislation.

In November Jennifer visited Geneva for a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) workshop on the Enhanced Participation of Indigenous peoples at the HRC. It was a pleasure to work with long-time partners with a focus on how States can recognize Indigenous peoples in the international arena without treating them as nongovernmental organizations.

New Year’s Day had Jennifer flying west for a week on stunning Haida Gwaii. This was part of the research project that CFSC has done in partnership with many Coalition members, the University of British Columbia, and other academic institutions. We are talking with Indigenous communities about how they are using the Declaration and what tools might be useful to them.