In 2019, the Fr. Joseph Quinn, CSB Social Justice Series was relaunched. This series is named in honour of the late Fr. Joseph Quinn, CSB (1933-2019) who served as Interim President of Assumption University and dedicated his priestly ministry to social justice causes. In the past, this event has historically brought students together to learn about a social justice issue, such as the Holocaust, human trafficking, and the Underground Railroad. In 2020, the topic was the environment with a theme of “the power of one.” The event was formally relaunched on April 22, 2021 with environmentalist Simon Jackson of the Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story as the keynote speaker. The event attracted over 1,600 students and teachers from across Windsor and Essex County. The 2021 event marked a record-level number of students for the series. Assumption University has started to begin preparations for the next series to be held in the Spring of 2022.
Power of One
April 22 – Earth Day!
OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER: SIMON JACKSON
At the age of 13, Simon worked to save the habitat of the kermode bear, also known as the Spirit Bear. He has since founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coaliation. He will share his story with us which reminds us that we each have the chance to make a dynamic impact on this Earth.
LOCAL PANELIST: BRANDI BECHARD
Brandi Bechard is the woman behind Ground Culture, a regenerative and edible landscape consulting firm based in Windsor and Essex County. Ground Culture specializes in designing rural and urban landscapes that produce food, sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, and restore ecological function. Most importantly of all, through her work, Brandi aims to foster a connection between people and the planet. She has an academic background in Ecosystem Management and Natural Resource Sciences, and has worked across Canada honing her skills and understanding of the natural world. In 2018, she moved back to her hometown of Windsor to start her dream business from the ground up. The social media accounts (instagram and facebook) are @ground.culture.gardens for those interested in following along in our journey.
LOCAL PANELIST: LEO SILVESTRI
Leo has lived in Windsor since 1970 and a retired commercial/residential painter, married to Teresa Silvestri and part of the charitable organization, In Honour of The Ones We Love which raises money for patients with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in our community. He is presently working to restore monarch butterfly habitats and encouraging our neighbours to plant milkweed in Windsor and Essex county. Since creating our webpage: www.savethemonarchbutterfly.ca and local Facebook, our group has grown to over 900 members, all working together towards helping the monarch butterfly population. Our purpose is to bring the monarch back to our neighbourhood for future generations to enjoy its beauty!
LOCAL PANELIST: TJ BONDY
TJ Bondy was born and raised in the fields of Essex County, and is one half of the husband/wife duo, the Border City Hippies. A decade of working in the food industry caused him to ask questions about how the food we eat gets to our table. Learning the ups and downs of our modern food production, he became interested in regenerative farming systems and obtained his certificate in permaculture design. TJ is an avid supporter of local businesses and an advocate for the protection of the city’s greenspaces.
LOCAL PANELIST: SHAYENNA NOLAN
Shayenna Nolan is a Biology student at the University of Windsor. She is also a member of the Indigenous Allyship Program in the Healthy Headwaters Lab, whose mission is to restore freshwater ecosystems to full health and vitality for future generations. Shayenna grew up living in different parts of the Great Lakes Basin while studying Science and Art, and along with her Anishinaabe heritage she hopes to bring a unique perspective to the program in her role as Lab Storyteller. She believes in leveraging the power of media to increase community awareness and engagement in freshwater restoration activities.
This event was made possible by generous donations from the following institution and individuals:
Basilian Fathers of Sandwich
Dr. John Cappucci
Dr. Rajen Chetty
Norbert Hartmann (In Memory of Father Ray Paramo, CSB.)
Dr. Norman King
Mary Clare Koopman
Dr. Bruce Tucker