Category: Inclusion

IPA Corner: June 2023

IPA stands for IBPOC Plus ALLIES while IBPOC stands for Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. Welcome to IPA Corner, a new regular feature in UCV’s monthly E-Bulletin with updates about our events and the work we are doing at UCV. 

Read on for updates on recent and upcoming events at UCV by your IPA team fostering cultural connections, leading to greater understanding of IBPOC experiences and promotion of healthy relations. 

May was Asian Heritage Month and IPA team members participated in several events held in the city as well as lead a service on May 21st!


  • IPA-led service on Sunday, May 21 the IPA (IBPOC Plus Allies) lead the May 21 Sunday service. The service was a celebration of what we’ve achieved and learned in our first year of existence. The service was very interactive and participatory, in keeping with the IPA’s mandate of cultural connections and creativity. The service featured several videos created by Tamiko Suzuki in honour of our first anniversary as well as IPA members sharing what their involvement in the group has meant to them over the past year. Thank you so much to all who attended and who were willing to do things a bit differently, as well as for your active and enthusiastic participation in the singing and dancing! It was wonderful to use the beautiful sanctuary space in a new way and thank you to all who helped move chairs to make it happen!
  • Film Event – DOXA Documentary Festival – May 9th, 2023   – Several UCV members watched the movie Big Fight in Little Chinatown together as part of the DOXA film festival, then gathered afterwards over coffee to discuss the film. This documentary is a story of community resistance and resilience. Set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and an unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses and community organizers whose neighbourhoods are facing active erasure. For those who couldn’t catch it at the DOXA festival,  Big Fight in Little Chinatown can now be screened for free at
  • White Noise, written by Taran Kootenhayoo (Various Dates)– IPA members attended the play White Noise, a comedy about two families who have dinner together for the first time during Truth and Reconciliation week. White Noise explores what it means to live in Canada from two different paradigms and asks us to consider: How do we deal with internalized racism? Do we keep pushing it away and pretend to live safely in our day-to-day lives?

IPA Members Catherine Hembling, Mei Jia Lam and Catherine Strickland at the screening of White Noise.

Passage to Freedom: Film Screening and Discussion May 13, 2023Several IPA members took part in a screening of the Hearts of Freedom exhibition’s accompanying film, Passage to Freedom. The film is a moving documentary that features oral histories of Southeast Asian refugees that made the dangerous journeys from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam to Canada after escaping horrendous conditions imposed by repressive regimes from 1975 to 1985.

A panel discussion after the documentary touched upon global migration trends, Canada’s role and policies, etc. We were fortunate to have Elder Larry Grant from the Musqueam Nation participate in the screening as well and give the land acknowledgment. The group interacted with the exhibit with its creator, former Laotion Refugee. Dr. Stephanie Phetsamay Stobbe, a former Laotian refugee. Before the show, a group visited  Outside the Palace of Me, a major exhibition of new work by Canadian visual artist and performer Shary Boylem followed by a lunch discussion after with Gerta Moray at Vancouver Art Gallery. 

For more info on the Hearts of Freedom exhibit visit: 

For more info read this website post by IPA member Hisako Masaki. History and Resources for Asian Heritage Month

Dr. Stephanie Phetsamay Stobbe, the project’s  principal curator, here at the mobile exhibit she created.


Two girls of Laotian origin outside UBC Robson Square.

UCV/IPA members at the Hearts of Freedom film exhibit and panel discussion at UBC Robson Square, Saturday, May 13.


IPA members take in Shary Boyle Outside the Palace of Me exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery followed by a lunch discussion on May 13.


IPA Corner: May Connections and Happenings Springing Forth at UCV

IPA stands for IBPOC Plus ALLIES while IBPOC stands for Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. Welcome to IPA Corner, a new regular feature in UCV’s monthly E-Bulletin with updates about our events and the work we are doing at UCV. 

Read on for updates on recent and upcoming events at UCV by your IPA team fostering cultural connections, leading to greater understanding of IBPOC experiences and promotion of healthy relations. 


SECOND Annual Cherry Blossom Picnic – April 2 & 9, 2023

The IPA demonstrated that sometimes in life, we receive curveballs, but we are resilient and know how to pivot!

On April 2nd our planned picnic under the cherry blossoms was moved indoors due to heavy rain, and at times hail! That’s Spring in Vancouver for you. 

Instead we had an enjoyable indoor celebration, sharing memories of the blossoms, singing songs and even learning about and composing haikus to celebrate the season. 

We also celebrated together the IPA 1st Birthday, viewing three videos skillfully crafted by Tamiko Suzuki, tracing our efforts and sharings with UCV and beyond, that brought us this far. 

The walk to view the blossoms was postponed to Sunday, April 9th, but again nature had other plans! 

We plan to continue on with this as a yearly tradition, rain or shine. 

We took the opportunity on April 9th to present a card with our heartfelt thanks to the hard working UCV staff for all of their efforts, support and help to the IPA team in the past year.

Image: Some of the haikus written during our cherry blossom event!

Image: IPA member Megumi Anderson explaining how to write a haiku. 

IPA-led service on Sunday, May 21

The IPA (IBPOC Plus Allies) will be putting on the May 21 Sunday service. We want to celebrate what we’ve achieved and learned in our first year of existence. The service will be different from what you normally see, and will be interactive and participatory, in keeping with the IPA’s mandate of cultural connections and creativity. The service will also feature several videos created by Tamiko Suzuki in honour of our first anniversary as well as IPA members sharing what their involvement in the group has meant to them over the past year. We hope you can attend! 


Reminder: An Invitation to Circle Work on the Process and Content of the 8th Principle May 6 and 20, 1 – 5 pm in the Fireside Room/Hewett Hall

You are invited to two circle sessions, to be held in the Fireside Room of the Hewett Center, Unitarian Church of Vancouver, on Saturday May 6 and Saturday May 20. The sessions will start at 1pm and be finished by 5pm and include a break for refreshments and treats provided by an Indigenous caterer. PLEASE REGISTER HERE. Detailed information on these sessions can be found here.



May is Asian Heritage Month! 

Asian Heritage Month is a time to reflect on and recognize the many contributions that Canadians of Asian heritage have made and continue to make to Canada.

Below are some Asian Heritage month events being held in the city so be sure to check them out!

If you are interested in getting a group together to attend and discuss after, please contact 


Celebrate Asian Heritage Month: Uplift Asian Sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library 

A series of programs to celebrate Asian cultures and perspectives, and push back against discrimination in our communities. Discover authors and artists, and hear discussions with Asian thinkers who represent a diversity of experiences across Asian communities in Vancouver.


Film Event – DOXA Documentary Festival – May 9th, 2023

You are warmly invited to join together with other interested UCV members to watch the movie:  Big Fight in Little Chinatown on May 9th at 5:15 at the Vancity Theatre.  We will go for a coffee afterward at the nearby Perfecto Cafe to discuss the film. 

The film is part of the Doxa film festival and there is also a second show that same evening, titled Twice Colonized at 8:00 pm for those able to stay for a second film (or join in for the second film if you can’t make the first one).  It also looks like an excellent film!

Looking forward to being together in community to watch and discuss good films.

You can buy your ticket online (see links below) or at the door but please email Debra Sutherland at if you are coming. 


LIVE performances of Firehorse and Shadow, May 4-6 at Left of Main, a location in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown that has deep significance.

Situated in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown, Firehorse and Shadow is an autobiography charted in gesture, storytelling, ink painting and shadow puppetry that tells the tale of the lives and choices of four generations of Chinese Canadian women. 

Buy tickets here


Two Upcoming Workshops associated with Firehorse and Shadow

Storytelling & Dance Workshop with Sarah Chase

May 19 from 10:00am – 4:00pm

Chinatown Storytelling Centre, Vancouver

Sarah Chase will offer a workshop focusing on how to draw upon story, narrative and memory from our own lives to create gestures and movement patterns in new and unexpected ways. 


Shadow Workshop with Annie Katsura Rollins

May 5 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Left of Main, Vancouver

Join us for a shadow workshop with artist Annie Katsura Rollins. Participants will be invited to dwell on “this place”, Vancouver’s storied Chinatown, and how particular places and spaces have shaped us and continue to create a sense of identity, even if those places have undergone a visible transformation.

Register for both workshops by emailing


The Firehall Arts Centre and Savage Society present White Noise, written by Taran Kootenhayoo.

A comedy about two families who have dinner together for the first time during Truth and Reconciliation week, White Noise explores what it means to live in Canada from two different paradigms and asks us to consider: How do we deal with internalized racism? Do we keep pushing it away and pretend to live safely in our day-to-day lives? 


Hearts of Freedom in BC – Stories of Southeast Asian Refugees

Learn more here: 


May 23rd is Komagata Maru Remembrance Day

On May 23rd, 1914, Komagata Maru, a ship from Hong Kong carrying 376 passengers arrived in Vancouver. However, these migrants, originally from Punjab, mostly Sikh British military veterans, were denied landing. After two months of discussions between the governments, immigration officers, activists and lawyers, all passengers, except twenty-two who had previously lived in Canada, were denied entry and were forced to return to India. Upon their return, 19 passengers were tragically shot and killed. Many others were injured or jailed as they were labelled political agitators. Learn more here: 


The UUA is doing what to the Principles and Sources?

Changing them up completely, that’s what! They’re envisioning 6 core values centered around Love as “the enduring force that holds us together.” Pluralism, Interdependence, Equity, Generosity, Justice, and Evolution. Each value has a brief statement and an explicit Covenant of actions associated with it. They are in a circle rather than numbered or hierarchical. The sources are changed to a statement that “we draw upon, and are inspired by, the full depth and breadth of sacred understandings, as experienced by humanity. Grateful for the religious lineages we inherit and the pluralism which enriches our faith, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.” Full draft proposal (linked here) 

The Article 2 Study Commission of the UUA was charged in the fall of 2020 to review Article II: Principles and Purposes of the UUA Bylaws which is where our Principles and Sources come from. It is the foundation for all the work of the UUA and its member congregations and covenanted communities. The UUA includes 15 of Canada’s 43 CUC congregations who kept their UUA membership in 2002. The current Principles and Sources of the UUA were last revised in 1987 and the CUC adopted them by resolution in 2002 after consultation with our member congregations upon withdrawing from UUA membership. Last year, of course, the CUC added an 8th Principle, along with 222 other UU congregations and associations across North America. 

This commission was formed in response to many discussions, proposals, and resolutions that have come from the UUA Board, from other commissions, and grassroots groups periodically since 2009. The Commission has engaged active participation of UUs across all demographics, identities, and theological/philosophical beliefs. The Commission itself consists of people from a broad demographic, including two full voting youth members. They were encouraged to review all parts of article II and given freedom to revise, replace, or restructure them as needed to meet the objectives of their charge. As stated in the Charge to the Commission ”There is nothing sacred about the number of principles or sources, nor their specific wordings, nor in the way Article II is laid out. We encourage creativity. The Board would like to see an Article II that is inspirational, memorable and poetic. 

The inspirational draft proposal (linked here) is now open for feedback via live forums, anyone can register to attend a draft feedback session—registration is freely open and not dependent on UUA congregation membership. There is a special forum for youth and young adults on November 9th. The forum registration links can be found here: 

Does this affect Canadian Unitarian/Universalists or the CUC? 

The CUC Board has undertaken the beginnings of a by-law review, some points of which will come to the AGM in May. We are also waiting on recommendations from the Decision-Making Exploration Team which may impact our considerations around consensus-based decision making, Robert’s Rules, and how the CUC conducts business.  As a part of that, we will also be exploring a process by which to amend, revise, or re-write our Principles and Sources that we migrated over from the UUA in 2002. We did not include them in our by-laws or in our statement of purposes. They live as adopted by simple resolution at an AGM and the current process by which to change them is the same resolution process we use for any other decision. We have heard from many sources that it is time to review our Principles as a whole and rewrite them for a new age.  

I encourage Canadians to be part of the conversation with the Article 2 Commission.  If their proposal is voted in at next June’s GA and ratified the following year it will inevitably have implications for us in Canada. All of our professional associations are continental, Ministers, Religious Educators, Music professionals, Administrators, Membership professionals. Credentialing of religious educators and fellowshipping of ministers is through the UUA. Our theological seminaries are in the U.S. The CUC does not have the capacity to independently create substantial religious education resources, or to be involved with credentialing of professional leadership or ministerial transitions.  

It is important that we have the CUC as a national body and voice and it is very true that Canada is an independent country, not a 51st state. However, Canadian Unitarians/Unitarian Universalists are not a fully independent national denomination and we never have been.  Therefore, it would be meaningful to engage in the conversation. About 1/3 of Canadian Unitarian/Universalist congregations retained their membership in the UUA, 15 out of 43. Even if we do end up diverging further in how our principles and sources are stated, we should identify our commonalities and connective through line.  

–Kiersten Moore, CUC Board rep for the BC region 


Celebrating Latin American Heritage Month – recommended books and films to get started

Latin American Heritage Month runs from Oct. 14th to November 2nd.

Latincouver is hosting a number of events in Vancouver to mark the occasion. To learn more about the organization, or for the official website of all the events, visit

Thanks to Gabriella, a new friend and attendee of UCV, for putting together the following list of recommended books and films.




Open veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay)

Since it was published, in 1971, this brilliant text, written by the Uruguayan journalist and writer Eduardo Galeano, has set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. “Rather than chronology, geography, or political successions, Eduardo Galeano has organized the various facets of Latin American history according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation. Thus, he is concerned with gold and silver, cacao and cotton, rubber and coffee, fruit, hides and wool, petroleum, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, aluminum ore, nitrates, and tin. These are the veins which he traces through the body of the entire continent, up to the Rio Grande and throughout the Caribbean, and all the way to their open ends where they empty into coffers of wealth in the United States and Europe”. This an essential reading to understand the major consequences of colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism on Latin America and its people. (Image:


The posthumous memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis (Brazil)

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, known as Machado de Assis or Bruxo do Cosme Velho (Cosme Velho’s Wizard), was a Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer and is regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature. Among his masterpieces, there is the 1881 novel The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas. The novel is considered the first romance of the realist movement in Brazil and is narrated by a ghost of a decadent aristocrat that decides to write his story from the end, noting his political ambitions and failed romances. The fact of being already deceased allows Brás Cubas to sharply criticize the Brazilian society and reflect on his own disillusionment, with no sign of remorse or fear of retaliation. The novel has been compared to the work of everyone from Cervantes to Joyce to Nabokov to Borges to Calvino and has influenced generations of writers around the world. (Image:


One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)

Gabriel García Márquez, fondly known as Gabo, is considered one of the most relevant authors of the 20th century and a Latin American gem. The Colombian journalist, novelist, screenwriter and short-story writer is responsible for popularizing a literary style known as “magic realism”, in which realistic situations are combined with magical elements. And it is this combination that makes some of his novels so special, being One Hundred Years of Solitude one of them. The novel presents to the readers the story of Macondo, a fictional village that is the hometown of the Buendía family, with a realistic setting and fantastic episodes. Through rich and shrewd prose, Gabo makes the readers confront conflicts such as the desire for solitude through the lens of Greek myths. (Image:



City of God (Brazil)

Released in 2002, City of God is one of the most famous and celebrated Brazilian movies. The film portrays the story of two young men, Rocket and Lil Ze, who live in the favela called City of God, in Rio de Janeiro, over three decades and shows the different directions that both take in their lives. Rocket becomes a budding photographer who documents the increasing drug-related violence in his neighborhood whereas Lil Ze turns into an ambitious drug dealer who uses Rocket and his photos to increase his fame as a turf war erupts with his rival. Something that called peoples’ attention is that most of the actors in the movie were, in fact, residents of favelas. The film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2004: Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Writing. (Image:


The secret in their eyes (Argentina)

The 2009 Argentinian crime drama was based on the novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The question in the eyes) by Eduardo Sacheri. The film depicts the retired Argentinian federal justice agent Benjamín Espósito, who decides to write a novel using an old closed case as the source material. The case is the brutal rape and murder of Lilian Coloto. With the help of a former colleague, judge Irene Menéndez Hastings, Benjamín attempts to make sense of the past. The journey through his memories sets Benjamín on a thrilling emotional path that leads to a shocking realization. The film received important awards, notably the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82th Academy Awards, making Argentina, with 1985’s The Official Story, the first country in Latin America to win it twice. In 2015, the American film industry made a remake of the movie, but it is important to highlight that the Argentinian version is the original one. (Image:


Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)

One of the most acclaimed movies of the Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is the 2006 Pan’s Labyrinth. The movie takes into focus Ofelia, a child who believes in fairy tales. Following the Spanish Civil war, during the Francoist period, the little girl enters a world of cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather. One night, a fairy leads her to a mysterious faun creature who informs her that she is a princess and needs to complete three tasks to establish her royal heritage. The Spanish-Mexican movie is considered one of the best fantasy films ever made and received widespread critical acclaim, with many praising the visual effects, direction, cinematography and performances. Pan’s Labyrinth also won numerous international awards, including three Academy Awards and three BAFTA Awards, including Best Film Not in the English Language. (Image:

June is Pride Month

For June the UCV Genders and Sexualities Alliance will have an information table in the courtyard every Sunday after the service including information of the many Pride flags. We will also be recording videos for using in the services highlighting some of the flags.

Members of the Genders and Sexualities Alliance will be present to answer any questions you may have.

For more info, search the website for GSA or Welcoming congregation.

Curious? Read more here:

Practising the Art of Inclusion – President’s Message February 2022

from Mary Bennett, UCV Board of Trustees President

“How can we get young people involved?” is where the conversation started at our board retreat. We decided to set up a task force!

After toying with names like “Beyond Boomers” or “Generational Transformation” the board settled on the simple term “Generational Inclusion” and charged the task force with exploring what practices are required to ensure that all generations feel invited to actively engage with the important religious and spiritual work of our community. Vice-President, Bruce McIvor and I are just getting started on this work and I hope members from all 7 “living generations” will engage in this conversation.

Currently the Canadian Unitarian Council are creating video recorded interviews and hosting forum discussions to help us welcome people from diverse relationships and families, people of all dis/abilities and people of all classes. I’ve watched the first series and they’re very enlightening. I encourage you to register.

The focus on anti-racism over the past years has resulted in our own very active IBPOC affinity group as well as “IPA” – IBPOC Plus Allies team – to plan initiatives that bring to our awareness the lived experiences, heritage and culture of people of colour within our congregation. 

With the leadership of board members, Diane Brown, Bruce McIvor and Jenny Malcolm the board is beginning a journey of “decolonizing our board.”  

In 1995 we were one of the first congregations in Canada to complete the Welcoming Congregation Program which focuses on welcoming to LGBTQ plus persons. 

It’s inspirational and moving to hear the stories of people who have different lives than our own, whether because of age, race, class, abilities, gender or sexual identity and there are, as well, some simple practices we can all use in practising the art of inclusion.  

Make space; take space is now the phrase used to remind us to notice who is in the room–whether literally or on our zoom screen–and find ways to include those who for whatever reason are not being heard. 

There are well-developed methods for encouraging all voices to be heard such as dynamic governance/sociocracy and convergent facilitation. There are also everyday opportunities to simply notice frequently how much space each of us is taking and then learning a few lines to even things out when they’re out of balance.  A study I read many years ago said people who spoke a lot in a group underestimated the amount of time they talked and those who talked relatively little overestimated the time they spoke.

Back to the generational inclusion focus, did you know that Gen Z (those between age 11 and 26) is “the most diverse group – in terms of not just race, but also gender. .. It’s the most likely group to have individuals who identify as nonbinary. They expect diversity to be a top priority. That means things like gender-neutral bathrooms, equal pay for equal work, and support for racial inclusion movements. ” (Deloitte study)

Seen on instagram recently: If you’re over 45 and don’t have an under-30 mentor (not mentee) then you’re going to miss fundamental shifts in thinking that are happening. 

If you are willing to experiment with some ways to get to know the “others” in our congregation, I’d love to hear your stories about making space and taking space. If you’re under 30 and willing to be a mentor to one of us who’s over 45, I’d especially love to hear from you. 

Send me a note to and share with me how we at UCV can continue to develop our skills in the art of inclusion. Meet all the board members at and review our Covenant of Healthy Relations here


Here’s a summary of the 7 living generations and an analysis of UCV’s data about generational distribution at UCV. It may not be what you think!

Thanks to Keith Wilkinson for preparing this document.

Generations Table 2022-01-24