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Lindsay's Year in Review: A Reflection on the Justice Fellowship Program

Apr 23, 2020

I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic ending this year. I’m not graduating yet, but I just finished the third year of my degree and the closer I come to the end of my time at King’s the more I tend to reflect on the time I’ve spent here. While this year is ending on a bit of a strange note, it’s been an incredible year. Being able to participate in the Justice Fellowship Program has definitely been the highlight of my year, so it seems fitting to share what my classes in the program were like with you.

Theology 374: Micah’s Challenge
This class was taught by Jonathan Nicolai-DeKoning. Every class we set up the room in a circle for discussions. At first it felt awkward to me, but after a few classes I discovered that I much prefer this style of learning. It was great to be able to share my thoughts and opinions and to listen to everyone else’s in an open space. Every week on our Wednesday night class we would hear from a speaker. I remember really enjoying listening to a lady that worked for Catholic Social Services with new immigrants and refugees. She shared insight to her experiences but what I remember the most was her encouraging words for us as people who want to do work in justice. I remember leaving that class feeling inspired and encouraged.

Social Science 314: Social, Political, and Environmental Justice Issues
This class was taught primarily by Dr. Long, but we also learned from Dr. Haluza Delay. The centre of the course was an experiential weekend stay at the Mustard Seed where we learned from a variety of different people. Throughout the weekend we got the chance to sit down and eat with the community members every night. The people were so welcoming and willing to share their stories with us. That weekend challenged all of my preconceived views of people experiencing homelessness and helped me to develop a new sense of love and empathy for the community.

Social Science 330: Quest Mexico
Quest Mexico is a class where you actually get to go to Mexico. It was led by Jonathan as well, but taught by many people that we met in Mexico. It was an absolutely amazing trip, an experience that has impacted me since. I feel a lot more aware of the effects that I have as a global citizen because of it. I could tell you so much about this course but it won’t level up to what the experience is truly like. I will never forget something our leader Gerardo said to us: “the more complicated you make your life the more you learn”. This class definitely made things more complicated for me and definitely taught me a lot.

History 399: Treaties and Truth
This class was directed by Dr. Van Arragon and Jonathan, but we learned about topics from a variety of guest speakers. As a settler Canadian, its easy to feel uncomfortable talking about reconciliation and to simply avoid the topic, but this class really forced me to challenge my thoughts and ideas surrounding the discussion of reconciliation. While I wouldn’t say I have all the answers from the class, it has opened up so much for me to continue to explore and learn. If there’s one thing that I value the most from this class it’s that we need to listen to each other more, to respect and communicate with one other.

History 499: History of Feminism in Canada
This was a directed study that I took with Dr. Caroline Lieffers. I was unsure of what it would be like in terms of managing time for this class, but I loved it and being able to direct so many aspects of it! I learned so much about the unique perspectives of feminism in Canadian history that seem to be often overlooked. It was such a unique experience, to be able to choose exactly what I wanted to study and to glean some of Dr. Lieffers knowledge during our discussions. I always left our discussions feeling so encouraged in my capacity as a researcher. If you are even considering doing a directed study throughout your program, I would 100% recommend it!

The Justice Fellowship has been an incredible experience for me this year. It has challenged me in what I think I know and has helped me develop more of an idea of how I want to pursue justice. I would say my favourite part of it has been getting the opportunity to learn from so many different people and participating in group discussions. It’s been a unique style of learning in comparison to the typical class you would take at King’s. If you’re still around in two years, I would definitely recommend you participate in the Justice Fellowship Program.

I wish you all a great summer, see you in the fall!

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