Karen Williams has spent her life up until recently in Australia, creating and establishing a new breed of education for youth. She is now in Canada to change child care and education: to raise the standard as well as create more opportunities for children to thrive. She is also creating a company to educate parents how to empower their children and teens as well as teach them life skills that will have them know they are enough and lovable just the way they are. Karen’s background in child psychology and Applied Kinesiology specializes in unravelling the subconscious mind to reveal what is holding us back.

Lucca and Rebecca dive deep into Karen’s exploits in Australia, and her dreams for Canada.

Contact Karen via Lucca and Rebecca at info@essencetialconversations.com

Naava Smolash holds a PhD in English Literature from Simon Fraser University focused on nationalism and race theory. Her essay “The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture”  is used in counselling centres and university classrooms worldwide. Her writing appears in academic and popular publications including Studies in Canadian Literature, West Coast Line, Briarpatch, and the University of Toronto Quarterly’s special issue Discourses of Security, “Peacekeeping” Narratives and the Cultural Imagination in Canada. Current projects include a book on Nurturance Culture, and a speculative fiction novella entitled Cipher. She teaches in the English department at Douglas College, and lives halftime in Montreal.

We chat with Naava about the influencing factors in her life, what the essay represented and opened up for her, and what she’s creating now!

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Kat Wahamaa’s life work and volunteerism have spanned a passion for equality, music, dance, theatre, visual arts, social justice and more. She is an award winning international performing artist and song-writer, a facilitator and advocate for arts and social change. She has worked in many capacities from community artist to advocate at Canadian Mental Health Association, international touring musician to regional coordinator for BC Ministry of Women’s Equality, festival presenter to Provincial Emergency Program educator.

In 2013 she received the Abbotsford Arts Council Arty Award – Christine Caldwell Outstanding Arts Advocate. In 2015 she went to Paris with her partner Tony Rees among 10 artists chosen for the World Citizen Artist Peace Award. In She is a graduate student in the Master of Education – Art for Social Change program at SFU. She is currently ¾ of the way through her Artist in Residency for the City of Maple Ridge, ensconced in the historic Port Haney community.

Lucca and Kat go back many years, but it’s Rebecca’s first chance to get to know this societal mover and shaker! Kat’s legacy of social activism, art as a way of building community and communicating truths – it’s all explored here. We ran out of time!

 

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Sonali Fiske is a Leadership & Visibility Mentor amplifying the voices of marginalized & underrepresented women leaders. Through her signature program, Pick Your Platform & Raise Your Voice, she mentors women to strengthen & clarify their message & master their feminine authority in the societal spotlight. Sonali also hosts a weekly tele-class series entitled “Call to Sacred Activism,” for women leaders, activists & advocates.

In addition, Sonali is currently on the advisory council of the International Council of Interfaith & Indigenous Women & a partner of the newly formed Women & Girls Sector for The Charter for Compassion.

Lucca and Rebecca go deep with Sonali on influences in her life, where her passions spring from, and what comes next.

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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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