Moving Forward

An Invitation to: Gathering Strength in Times of Climate Change
A Directed Reflection Workshop
Multi-Faith Centre, University of Toronto, 569 Spadina Ave
November 14, 2010 (1–4pm)

The grave existential threat of our times is the impending collapse of sustainable support for complex life forms, including humans. In the face of this reality, we address the questions: how can we possibly respond? How do we want to live? What can be our present and future roles in response to this emergency? Knowing the dangers are human-created makes for despair — and potential for change. The intention of this workshop is to help participants experience emotional dimensions of environmental awareness and transform pain for the world into resilience and empowerment. Workshops such as this are especially important for individual citizens now as climate change is one of the most intractable issues we have faced ever and there is no public or private governance momentum towards any comprehensive program of mitigation and adaptation.

Based on The Work that Reconnects group processes developed by Joanna Macy and colleagues, this workshop creates a context of acceptance and safety where our personal and collective pain can be acknowledged and plumbed, often with surprising results — as emerging emotions such as foreboding, disappointment, confusion, grief, rage, and despair are honored and transformed to unleash creativity, commitment, and action for social and environmental justice. Participants will be encouraged to deepen their understanding and feel the reality of our embedded existence in the larger life of Earth. Finally, we will reflect upon alternative futures and how we might claim the power to reconnect with our communities and the landscapes in which we live.

The process of this workshop is planned as a context for us to regain confidence in our thoughts and deeds and strengthen our commitment to work towards a sustainable Earth. Participants can expect to gain knowledge associated with local and global environmental and social sustainability, applicable in many aspects of community and individual life. In these workshops, participants have reported increased desire, resources, and capacity for constructive work on personal and professional levels. The experience can enhance understanding of the essential role of engaged citizenship and activism for sustainability and justice in our current planet time. Participants can also find rejuvenation, connection with community, and greater appreciation of their own needs and responsibilities as leaders for future generations. This workshop is being planned as a pilot for future sessions.

Adults: $20.00 Students: $5.00
If you require financial assistance please email
**Please register early, as space is limited to 60 participants.

Facilitated by:
Laurie Hollis-Walker, M.A., Ph.D. candidate, Clinical Psychology, York University
Sally A. Ludwig, M.A., Sessional Instructor, University of Guelph, Couple & Family Therapy Program
Beginning 2008, Laurie and Sally have both received intensive training from Joanna Macy in the Work That Reconnects.

Organized by:
Laurie Hollis-Walker, M.A., Ph.D. candidate, Clinical Psychology, York University
Rev. Vicki Obedkoff, Trinity St. Pauls United Church and Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts
George McKibbon, McKibbon Wakefield Inc.
Peter Timmerman, Professor, Environmental Studies, York University