Friday, June 16, 2017

Doug Boufford Pictures from 1968 and 2006

Doug Boufford posted a couple of links to photos and slide shows from 1968 and from 2006. His note to the CIASP FACEBOOK PAGE .  The note is reposted here in case you do not do Facebook.

Doug Boufford shared a link.
The above is a link to my photo web site and has 2 galleries - (1) photos I have scanned from my time in La Arena, Pisaflores in 1968 (1st shift) and (2) photos from our CIASP reunion in Toronto in 2006. For each gallery, you can click on the arrow on the right above the large photo & get a full-screen slideshow. These are the same photos that are posted on my web site & have been for many years. This posting is for those that find the CIASP Facebook page & want to see some pics
Hasta luego!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

R.I.P. John Dillon.


I’m very sad to report the death of John Dillon on June 5.

I had lunch with him in mid April, and he told me that he was hoping to wind down his important work at KAIROS and then spend more time archiving his many files and records related to social justice projects that go back to the 1960’s. 

John was a CIASP volunteer going back to 1968 and 1969, and he later wrote an important report about CIASP contributions to Mexico and to Canadian volunteerism.  John spent his entire life committed to social justice in a quiet and scholarly way that always generated positive results. His work and his mentoring of younger generations of social justice volunteers that will continue to generate positive communities for many years to come. He left us far too soon, and will be sadly missed.

The news of his sudden passing has shocked us all, and his passing leaves a great void.  He lived an admirable life filled with compassionate service and dedication to justice. RIP John.


Phil Little posted the following message about John on his Facebook Page, and I am reposting it here.

"We go back a long ways to the days of CIASP and the summer of 1969 in the mountains of Hidalgo near the little village of PIsaflores. John was the team captain of our group, this was his second trip to Mexico. After that John became involved in GattFly and KAIROS, with a life dedicated to working for justice and solidarity. John was a quiet man, one of the good guys whose life did make a difference to many.

Jun. 6th, 2017

Remembering John Dillon

KAIROS is shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague John Dillon.
John served the Canadian churches in ecumenical social justice for 44 years. He was a researcher, writer, analyst, but most importantly a persistent and faithful advocate for marginalized peoples everywhere. It was to the needs and concerns of women, Indigenous peoples, poor communities, and the cries of the earth that he held himself to account.
“It is almost impossible to imagine the ecumenical coalitions, and now KAIROS, without him. John so vitally shaped our identity and commitments,”says KAIROS’ Executive Director, Jennifer Henry, who began working with John in the early 1990s.
John never sought recognition for his work.  And yet his research and policy analysis was the cornerstone of so many successful ecumenical advocacy and education campaigns for social change.  As Amnesty International’s Kathy Price said, “John did the quiet, demanding, behind-the-scenes work of strategizing and coalition-building via partnerships of equals to help us get past the spin and build progressive movements for hope and change.”
John joined GATT-Fly, one of the earliest ecumenical coalitions, in 1973. GATT-Fly later became the Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice, which became part of KAIROS in 2001.  Working in a former closet in the Anglican Church House, John and his GATT-Fly colleagues tackled cutting edge social justice issues that challenged the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, focusing on global food security and the rights of sugar workers. John walked in solidarity with the workers and produced invaluable research that included keen analysis of what was then called the New International Economic Order.   “We were helping to launch a new, activist ecumenical movement that was to have a huge impact,” reflects Dennis Howlett, John’s early GATT-Fly co-worker.
Throughout his career, John continued his focus on the global economic system and its impacts on the marginalized, as well as the increasing demands of ecological crisis. His first KAIROS job title was Global Economic Issues Researcher/Policy Advocate. His final: Ecological Economy Program Coordinator.  He was passionate about ecological integrity and deeply integrated that commitment with global economic justice and human rights, particularly Indigenous rights. He retired just days ago, on June 1, 2017.
Just prior to the creation of KAIROS in 2001, his research on global debt was instrumental in the successes of the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative, including its 640,000 signatures on a Canadian petition calling for debt cancellation.  At that time, John was regularly consulted by the Ministry of Finance on issues related to Canada’s eventual bilateral debt cancellation.
John’s research was also vital in the fight against the Canada/US Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).  He was a founder of Common Frontiers Canada. His analysis and critique of these agreements helped civil society partners forge deeper relations with Mexican and other Latin American allies, and led to the integration of energy and environment in critiques of the integrationist corporate agenda.
“One side of John’s contribution was the process: nursing, cajoling, guilting, challenging, encouraging international thought, consensus building and political action,” writes Dr. John Foster, a long time colleague.   As Foster said, “The other side was the substance and content, building a critique of the ‘free trade’ agenda that had depth and had to be taken seriously.  This multi-year effort was no small contribution to the forces that brought down the ALCA/FTAA project.”  His later analysis of international financial architecture was a vital contribution to many international networks, including those of Jubilee South and the World Council of Churches.
Whatever the issue, John was faithful to the concerns of affected communities.  As Rachel Warden, KAIROS’ Women of Courage & Latin America Partnerships Coordinator said, “John took painstaking efforts to ensure that his research was informed by the voices and experiences of partners who were impacted by the policies he was writing about.  He refused to water down their messages to make them more palatable to a Canadian audience. This faithfulness to partners separated his policies papers on debt, climate change, food security, trade and a myriad of issues from others.”
John leaves a rich legacy in his books, policy papers and impacts on colleagues and civil society allies. His books include Power to Choose: Canada’s Energy Options, Turning the Tide: Confronting the Money Traders, and Recolonization or Liberation, as well as huge contributions to Reweaving Canada’s Social Programs: From Shredded Safety Net to Social Solidarity and many other ecumenical publications.
Over eleven years in KAIROS, John produced 49 Policy Briefing Papers. His last one, dated April 2017, is: Fossil Fuel Projects at Odds with Actions on Climate and Indigenous Rights. His op-eds and letters to the editor have appeared in numerous Canadian newspapers.
Those who were fortunate to work with John note the multiple facets that made his work unique and powerful, including a dogged attention to detail, ability to distill complex data into clear digestible responses, coupled with humility and deep ecumenical understanding and spirituality.
“There have been and are very few people in the Canadian ecumenical justice community who are able to connect the biblical imperative to do economic justice with the complex reality of trade agreements, world regulatory bodies, and the so-called lenders like the World Bank and the IMF,” writes Dale Hildebrand, who served as KAIROS’ Global Partnership Manager from 2001 to 2009.“John Dillon was without doubt not only one of those, but probably the best. His contributions will be felt for years to come.”
John studied philosophy and theology at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario.  John spoke Spanish well, and his frequent travels to Latin America also shaped his education, forging relationships that had a lasting impression on his work and life.
John was an intensely private person, quiet yet determined.  His ethics were beyond reproach. He was also very kind, and could offer a gentle teasing or share a laugh when he knew you well.  He deeply loved his family.
John passed away suddenly of complications related to cancer on June 5, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.  He was 68.  He is survived by his wife, Marianne and two children, Timothy and Norah.  John will be deeply missed by his colleagues at KAIROS, civil society allies, and partners in movements around the world who will carry his commitments forward.
John Dillon, Presente.

Letters of condolence to his family can be sent care of: KAIROS, 200-310 Dupont Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R1V9
Please mark “Remembering John Dillon” on the outside of the envelope 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Phil Little (CIASP 1969) - 3 Videos .

These message has been posted on behalf of Phil Little by JC

A long time ago, almost half  a century if that is not a bit scary, some very naive but good natured Canadian youth, full of good will, traveled to Mexico as part of an internaitonal student group called CIASP, the Conference on Inter-American Student Projects. 

Some of us went into the state of Hidalgo, in a corner of the state that closely bordered Queretero and San Luis Potosi.  After a long walk down from the highway, we crossed the river Moctezuma in a dug out canoe. We stayed at the "curato", the compound of the local RC church where two priests were based, Miguel and Francisco. 

A few of the core team remained in Pisaflores but most of us went up into the mountains to live in the "ranchos", small villages connected by narrow pathways. The walking was always up or down, most often along side milpas - the fields of corn and squash and sometimes a bit of coffee - that belonged to poor farmers living a subsistence living.  Some of the milpas belonged to a richer family, the Sanchez, and those fields were tended by villagers who were even poorer.
I had a very crude 8 mm camera given to me with only 3 films, and obviously I had no idea of how to use it correctly, or any idea about lighting or projection.  After 48 years these films have been updated by my son and uploaded to youtube, and the videos may make little sense to anyone other than those who shared this experience. 

But there we were 48 years ago and without a doubt that experience affected us for the rest of our lives.
Enjoy! These are on youtube so obviously they can be shared!!  Pass them along to any CIASP contacts you have..

Phil Little
British Columbia

CIASP part 1
CIASP part 2
CIASP part 3