“We get to add some capacity,” director Mike Hogeterp said, “and we get to learn from—and support—young adults in their understanding of the political world and the Christian calling to seek justice.”
This philosophy came into play when the center hosted Miranda Williams, an intern from the Laurentian Leadership Centre, a program of Trinity Western University in Ottawa. The program places young interns in the heart of Ottawa and offers experience working in politics and with non-governmental agencies.
This collaboration has had significant results. Projects such as Education Together and Journey with Me, working in First Nations communities and among refugees, respectively, would not have been possible without the work of interns, and the opportunity to invest in students to build capacity for justice in the church is an ongoing blessing for the Centre.
Williams, a third-year international studies student, dove headfirst into a (COVID-restricted) five-week internship, designing lesson plans for the Education Together campaign to be used by independent schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. The lesson plans focus on building awareness of the current inequalities in First Nation schools in Canada and how honoring the image of God in all people can lead Christian students to seek justice alongside their Indigenous peers.
“Through this experience, I got a glimpse into what it looks like to promote a positive voice of Christian faith in Canadian public life,” Williams said. “I learned the important role that listening to our brothers and sisters plays in seeking justice, hope, and reconciliation.”
“Having Miranda join us was a breath of fresh air,” said Cindy Stover, a justice mobilizer who supported the internship. “As a student herself, she brought the perspective of a learner, and that meant her ideas for the curriculum were relevant and engaging.”
The Centre for Public Dialogue could not have provided this resource to schools without Williams’ support. Teachers are eager to engage with the resource and use it in their classrooms to equip young Christians in their biblical call to justice and reconciliation.