Tada’s passion is helping social justice communities cultivate allyships founded in the principles of healthy relating: mutual nourishment, emotional self-responsibility, and wholehearted consent.

Their approach is founded on two core understandings:
1. The true face of oppression, from patriarchy to colonialism is energetic dis-ease that affects our embodied self-concept, which in turn express itself as a systemic issue. True healing of social trauma requires us to work on the level of the body. And, 2. Oppressive dynamics such as sexism and racism cause unnecessary suffering and violence by acting as amplifiers for repressed emotions from childhood and ancestral trauma.

Tada believes this is why truly transformative social justice work must be based in nurturance. Lucca and Rebecca explore what this looks like in their new course “Authentic Allyship Coaching”, and why Tada calls his body of work “The Selfish Activist.”

 

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Belva has worked with children the majority of her adult life. She was a private nanny for 12 years and is now entering into her 7th year as a preschool teacher. This fall has found her opening up her own outdoor early learning program in East Vancouver for children aged 2.5-6 yrs. Her passion for the outdoors is able to combine with her passion and belief in children with her new program and company, Muddy Boot Prints.

Lucca and Rebecca get their feet wet with Belva as they explore what drives Belva and what she’s seeking to create with and for the children she works with.

 

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Daniyah, DJ ANGLE (she/they) is a queer brown ladyperson living on unceded lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish),and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. She has been a member of the local nightlife and activist communities for many years, finding ways to connect their passions in music/events and social justice. Making her home here of 23 years, Daniyah brings a deep understanding of local issues and are always motivated to support the work of bringing positive change to every community they have the privilege of being welcomed into. Daniyah quickly became a DJ after spending much time at Lotus, Gorg-O-Mish, and Red Room. This experience let to opportunities such as being the DJ for the Official Lady Gaga Afterparty, hosting Open Dex @ Anza Club for several years, participating in the Lab Art Show and Vancouver Art Attack multiple years running, and playing at various queer events like Lipstick Jungle, Killjoy, and Babes on Babes. An avid fan of electronic music, there is no doubt that Daniyah has a great taste for music; expect a carefully curated set with catchy beats and deep moods that exemplify their dynamic personality. Currently, Daniyah represents the Vancouver Pride Society and builds training and leadership opportunities for aspiring performers and organizers through their work in the Diversity project.

Lucca and Rebecca explore Daniyah’s past and how it has brought her to the present, and discover the impact of her work as a DJ/orchestrator of activation!

 

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In Khenpo’s words, “… Life is only the love we share … the only enduring happiness is to truly know the job of making others happy … the meditation at every moment: … how to be ‘best’ useful, while cultivating skillful means to be ‘best’ useful.” He has spent four decades as a Wandering Artist, news media supplier, motion picture production artist, tennis player, teacher and executive producer with Fake Digital Entertainment (and more). Khenpo is happy to be sucking air somewhere, as we have to enjoy dancing to whatever crazy orchestra is playing and we never get to pick the songs!

Lucca and Rebecca dive into the fascinating background and fascinating stories that make up Khenpo’s life and experiences so far! We peruse a rare book with him, learn about the country of his heart: Bhutan, and discover what is up with Hummingbird Children’s TV!

 

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Since her women’s initiation in 2012, Elisa has been studying, training in, and leading rites of passage. She completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Education & Communication focusing on women’s rites of passage, did vision quest guide training with The School of Lost Borders, and helped lead youth rites of passage with Rites of Passage Journeys. Her own women’s ceremony brought such incredible, positive changes to her life that she created Fire & Flower, a girls rites of passage program, as her gratitude project to give back for all that she received.

Elisa has been a teacher and youth wilderness guide for well over a decade, and currently teaches at Fresh Air Learning forest school and facilitates the Self-Care Project. Her focus is on personal and gender empowerment through supportive relationships to self, others, and the natural world. She is a lifelong student of conscious communication and personal development, continually facing her own shadow and fears to bring more and more of her gifts into the world.

Lucca and Rebecca dive into the influences that have shaped Elisa, and learn more about the rituals she is now creating for young women!

 

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Tara Leduc is creating the world we all want to see. Yes, World Peace is her final aim, she’s starting by helping you to create peace right where you are. You see, as we find peace within ourselves, we begin to emit Peace to those closest to us – our family, our friends and our community. We begin to be like cell towers emanating a signal of peace, and we are going toward global coverage. Can you hear me now?

She is the host and producer of the Inner Peace Summit 2.0 – THE place to keep your head on, your heart open, and your BLEEP together.

This is Tara’s second time on Essencetial Conversations, and Lucca and Rebecca are thrilled to check in with her to see how her peace projects are growing! The joy is contagious!

 

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Mercedes is a psychotherapist and a theatre artist. She worked in the performing arts for 25 years as a writer, director, producer, teacher, actor and performance poet. Mercedes develops and leads experiential groups that incorporate elements of theatre practice and the creative process with her clinical training where creative expression becomes a forum for self-expression, personal exploration, healing, and strengthening connection. Through the use of breath work, body awareness, movement, voice, writing and drama exercises, she encourages folks to deepen their understanding of their life experiences and use creativity to envision change and elicit insight.

Her areas of practice include: body image; trauma; grief and loss; living with a life altering/life threatening illness, disordered eating; depression; anxiety; low self-esteem; relationships; communication; identity; sexuality, and issues related to race and culture.

She believes that the embodied experience is central to deepening self-awareness, healing and insight. She views our minds/bodies/spirits as an interconnected whole and encourages fully embodied living. She has found that her training in the performing arts and her professional work as a writer, director, producer, teacher, actor and performance poet has strongly influenced her approach to psychotherapy and her understanding of the healing process.

Lucca and Rebecca explore with Mercedes how she first connected with her healing work, how theatre weaves through it all, and what she is at work creating right now!

 

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For the past 6 years Emily has been working as the Community Building Coordinator at Kinbrace Community Society. Kinbrace is a vibrant non-profit in East Vancouver that began offering housing and support to refugee claimants in 1998 and continues with this work today.

At Kinbrace, she organize events that provide safe and welcoming spaces for residents to build friendships with each other, staff, volunteers, and other community members. She is constantly reminded of the ways that relationships help sustain all of us through stressful and overwhelming situations (like the very fast-paced, complicated Canadian Refugee Claim process!)
She joined the Kinbrace team after completing a degree in International Relations, Latin American Studies and Spanish at Simon Fraser University.

She lives just a few blocks away from Kinbrace, with her husband Thomas (who we also interviewed on Essencetial Conversations – listen to that here). When she is not at Kinbrace you may find her working in her garden, playing with her chickens, brewing Kombucha and Ginger beer, playing music at her church, reading in her hammock or spending time with family.

Lucca and Rebecca speak with Emily about her origins in community building, and the vision of Kinbrace’s new development.

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Authentic Living, Authentic Dying, Authentic Conversations.

Cat is a priestess who walks between the lands of living and the dead. She is an advocate creating cultural change in dealing with death as well as radical healing transformations after extreme loss and life changing illness. She provides grief counseling and creative healing pathways to living a more peaceful and authentic life.

Join Lucca and Rebecca as they delve into what the ancient term “psychopomp” means, and how Cat seeks to change the way we engage with death and dying.

Thomas has called the Grandview Woodlands neighbourhood home for my entire life. Participating in the rhythms, seasons, programs, and pursuits of the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church has been a significant part of his life. The church’s engagement in the neighbourhood and pursuit of justice both here and throughout the world, has helped cultivate within him a commitment to these as well. Another shaping influence on his life has been the experience of growing up in community houses, living with more than 40 different people over the course of my life. Many really good initiatives have developed out of a non profit organization birthed out of Grandview Calvary, named Salsbury Community Society. After being closely connected to this organization for many years, In 2014 Thomas joined the Salsbury Board, spending the last year and a half as chair. Their focus is currently on providing affordable housing and encouraging, supporting and facilitating community in their neighbourhood.