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Photo by Zach Lezniewicz on Unsplash

The following speakers will be participating in our virtual panel discussion on Love, Justice, and Family Violence, on November 25th from 1 to 3 PM

Rabbi Gila Caine is the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Ora, Edmonton, a rape crisis centre volunteer and one of the founders of the rabbinic women’s group “B’not Dinah” which created female and feminist rabbinic traditions for healing after sexual trauma.

Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse is Cree and Mohawk from Michel First Nation. She holds a BA from the Faculty of Native Studies and is completing an MSc with the Faculty of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta, is a founder/co-owner of a film production company and producer/broadcaster of an award-winning Indigenous radio program. 

Pandit Pankaj Dixit is the spiritual leader of the Bharitya Cultural Society of Alberta (Hindu).

Salima Versi (she/her) is a is a psychotherapist and a Canadian Certified Counsellor with a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. She has her own practice, Rahma Counselling & Consulting, where she specializes in working with Muslim women, women of colour, and queer folx. In addition, Salima is a PhD Candidate & Instructor in the University of Alberta’s Religious Studies Program, where she focuses on contemporary Islam and Ismailism. Within the Ismaili Muslim community, she is an Alwaeza, which is a scholar, preacher, and spiritual care giver. Added to these professional qualifications is a commitment social justice and community service. She has been a board member for several interfaith, Muslim, and feminist organizations and speaks on and participates in a variety of projects and discussions related to Islam, religion, feminism, social justice, and mental health. She is also the co-founder of the Muslim Feminist Collective of Edmonton and a mom of two very active kids.

Jeff Wilks is the Client Safety Consultant for A Safe Place Women’s Shelter in Sherwood Park.   He was with the Edmonton Police Service from 1981-2006, his tenure included such areas as Crime Prevention Unit, Criminal Investigation Section, Spousal Violence Section, General Patrol, and the School Resource Officer Unit.  Jeff was a member of the Strategic Advisory Committee for the Alberta Roundtable on Family Violence and Bullying in 2004. Following his retirement from EPS, Jeff worked for the RCMP as the Victim Safety Specialist with Project ARTAMI (Alberta Relationship Threat Assessment and Management Initiative, now known as I-TRAC) for 15 months.  He was been with A Safe Place since September 2008, where he continues to assist victims of domestic violence with safety plans and strategies and advocacy.

For full details of this event, please see the main event post.

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Please join us on Wednesday, November 25 (United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) from 1 to 3 p.m. as we explore this pressing issue.

Family/Gender-Based/Domestic Violence is a problem affecting people from all traditions. Often, faith leaders are among the first to hear about it as their congregants seek assistance. Justification for violence can come from misunderstanding or misinterpreting religious texts. Is abuse of the innocent ever allowed?  What messages in religious doctrine might be used to excuse it? How do faith leaders deal with that in helping their communities understand and avoid gender-based violence? What specific actions can they advise to help reduce it?

This will be a virtual panel discussion, the speakers are almost all confirmed. Please notify us of your interest at, we have a limit of 100 participants, the Zoom link will be sent a few days before the event.

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We are going ahead with our annual celebration of UN International Day of Peace on Monday, Sept. 21 at noon on the grounds of Government House (the old Provincial Museum, 12845 – 102 Avenue). The city has a lot of restrictions on outdoor events, more than are needed for a simple gathering like ours. Please join us, meet our new board president Guy Blood, our MC Rev. Audrey Brooks will share words of wisdom, the Raging Grannies will encourage us to action and the grounds are beautiful, especially the Korean Pavilion which could shelter us if needed, but the forecast is for a lovely day. Two years ago we stood in heavy snow with Mayor Iveson worrying about the PA shorting out, this will be much more pleasant. We hope to see you at our first COVID live event and with winter coming who knows when the next one might be? Remember the buildings will be closed, NO facilities available. There will be 2021 Multifaith Calendars for sale, $16 each, payable with a cheque to Edmonton Interfaith Centre and I’ll have some toonies to make change. Can’t wait to see you, shalom Netta

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We are pleased to announce that we are donating $5000 each to the Edmonton Food Bank and to Women In Need (WIN) House. This is from our casino account, the proceeds came from the citizens of Edmonton and we are honoured to be able to give back in these difficult times. As well, the Edmonton Community Foundation is helping out local charities as well. We have two funds with them, so are part of this wonderful initiative too.

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Please find attached the statement, “Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity: A Message to Canadians from Religious Leaders in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which was signed by over 80 religious leaders, including many Participants in and friends of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation.

You will also find attached a media release that summarizes the document and links to the document posted on the CIC website.

The main statement can also be viewed on the Conversation website in English and in French.

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A multifaith and multicultural concert with music and poetry from across the globe.

Featuring U of A Prof. of Ethnomusicology Michael Frishkopf and members of the Middle Eastern & North African Music Ensemble.

Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 2 p.m. Unitarian Church of Edmonton 10804 – 119 Street

Silent Auction & Refreshments

Entrance fee: $10, children free