Tracy, Social Justice Research

New Paradigm: Indigenous Canadians leading the way

In Change, inspiration on February 22, 2016 at 11:50 pm

Haida Gwaii On the EdgeFrom the memorable first glimpse of the Haida Gwaii archipelago, to the hopeful, familiar and heart-warming last scenes of our neighbours to the North, the beautiful BC Northwest is lovingly revealed in the stunning documentary: Haida Gwai: On the Edge of the World. Gently revealing the heart of the Haida Gwaiian people, whose culture thrived for 10,000 years until its people were decimated through disease, rampant commercial logging and industrial over-fishing, this film explores how, with humility and determination, the Haida Nation is recovering, and teaching others, like ourselves, essential lessons in community building and collaboration.

Award-winning director Charles Wilkinson (Oil Sands Karaoke, Peace Out), Haida hereditary Chief Allan Wilson, renowned activist Guujaaw and activists work alongside scientists, organic farmers, artists and quirky islanders to create a new vision of sustainable development. Yet, like the beautiful Cowichan Valley and the pristine coasts of our island, Haida Gwaii sits squarely in the path of the proposed Tar Sands seaway to Asia. The overwhelming and fierce desire to protect land and sea will inform and inspire the similarly challenged residents of the Cowichan Valley.

Duncan United Church Social Justice presents:
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (film screening)
Thursday, March 17th, 7pm
admission free or by donation

trailer: Haida Gwaii: film trailer



The Purpose of Sensitivity

In Communication, Uncategorized on December 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

Sensitive trailer


Did you know that there is a group of people whose genetic variations cause them to function with much greater sensitivity than the rest?  20% of all humans, and 99 other species, show a genetic trait of High Sensitivity where environmental information actually processes differently, alerting the individual to shifts that the rest of the group does not sense.

Four areas of sensitivity occur in individuals with this trait.  These people (and other species) process information at a greater depth, are more easily overstimulated by sensory information, have a higher emotional reactivity, and are cued to pick up on more subtleties than the general population.  The trait actually assists group survival by allowing a percentage of the population to be much more aware of subtle environmental changes and retaining the knowledge more readily should change in action be required.  Think of it as natural insurance for a group.  If two in ten people sense danger that the rest of the group doesn’t, and lead the group to safety, the entire population thrives.

How does a  highly sensitive person’s brain differ? The insula is activated to process more subtle, and greater volumes of information, while retaining this information readily in memory. However, with such intense activity comes overstimulation.  A HS individual processes more information at a deeper level but is also more easily overstimulated in a shorter amount of time.
Another difference is in mirror neurons. In the brain of the highly sensitive, mirror neurons are more active, allowing the individual to experience greater empathy with others and other life-forms. The greater stimulation of mirror neurons assists the HS to know others’ intentions and feelings in non-verbal ways, again potentially leading to overstimulation, but also allowing the individual to sense hostility or friendliness, thereby cueing the rest of the group.*
 Finally, HS individuals access and process more subtle information, using it to strategize and assist in life’s various tasks. They may have sharper senses (acute hearing, sense of smell) or not, but the HS consistently process the information in a more conscious manner, creating a richer bank of experience to draw upon.
If we are not highly sensitive, then we probably know someone who is.  This is the child who is slow to warm up to new situations, is easily overwhelmed by noise or bright lights, observes more, and ‘picks up’ on subtle changes in the emotional environment.  The adults with high sensitivity are similar, but, with more years living, are, perhaps, better at adapting to the environment.  Close connection with these people reveals their highly sensitive natures, however.
Whether you are highly sensitive, know or work with someone who is, or have a family member who seems ‘sensitive,’ the fact is 20% of human population experiences the world differently to the other 80%.  Join us at Duncan United Church, Thursday, January 21st to watch the landmark documentary about this fascinating genetic trait, and explore our experiences with the highly sensitive.
Jan 21, 7 pm
Duncan United Church
Admission free or by donation
*Some may think that emotions cause illogical thought-processes. But this is not true: recent research has placed emotion at the centre of wisdom. Without an emotional connection to an experience, a lesson is likely to be forgotten, however with an emotional response, it is more deeply embedded and available to inform us in future scenarios.

Tired of the false and unsatisfying? Join me in the work of Social Justice.

In inspiration on October 3, 2015 at 12:33 am

Why do humans war, fight, and resist one another?  A simple understanding is that we have forgotten that we have a choice, and then we descend, unknowingly, into the darkness of unconscious behavior.

In our moment of forgetting, we become convinced of our separation from other life forms in creation.  There naturally arises a fear, blocking our former sense of safety. When this occurs, we become lost to one another.  Disconnected from others, and disconnected from nature, the separated and fearful human attempts to dull the pain through distracted activity, suppression of inner impulses, or aggressive attempts to limit the ’cause’ of the pain.  All of this activity relieves no pain, but allows for the continuation of it, while masking or distorting the origins. We see this fact represented in the current levels of hostility against humanity, other life forms,  and the planet itself.

Social Justice arises in response to the human condition; it is the provision of resources neutralizing the effects of unconscious behaviors and a provocation to individual and collective change. In acknowledging the human condition of negativity, the Social Justice response offers a compassionate refuge; it recognizes that the world progresses when humanity grows dissatisfied with itself.  Thus, we rise not because we have curbed our passions, but because we have cultivated our virtues.  Our impulse towards Social Justice is a natural response to the false and unsatisfying world.

I am committed to work in Social Justice and will soon offer new opportunities.  Meanwhile, please continue to forward your great ideas and comments to me at

The wheel of change moves on, and those who were down go up and those who were up go down. ~Jawaharlal Nehru