Many of you have been hearing about the Center for Social and Spiritual Innovation (SASI) during the Year of Conversation gatherings. The SASI Steering Committee plans to provide more regular communication on SASI, and this web post is the first of the series. You’ll remember that SASI has three main components that are being developed:
  1. An interfaith and justice-oriented community hub.
  2. Spaces for spiritual practice of various kinds.
  3. The Transformational Leadership Initiative (TLI) – for emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds.


Here’s the Latest SASI News…

SASI has received a $25,000 grant from the United Church of Canada. This is our third grant, and, along with gifts from private donors, has pushed our income from outside St. Andrew’s over $60,000.

At the heart of the expansion of SASI and the main reason for the generosity of donors is the success of the TLI (the Transformational Leadership Initiative). The TLI brings together changemakers from Nova Scotia communities that have been separated from each other by race, religion, gender identity, and so on. Co-led Buddhist, Metis, and African Nova Scotian leaders, along with Russ Daye, it has proven to be a powerful an amazing matrix of friendship, resilience, networking, and healing. Here are a couple testimonies from participants:

… And transformational it was, in so many ways. The term itself, ‘leadership’, was transformed, right in front of everybody’s eyes. And so were we, the participants. I have never seen such a diverse group of people intersecting over so many different grounds -ready to share their souls with strangers. Never seen it, but saw it there, and, more importantly, I joined

Who would have thought that it would all amount to one of the most powerful conferences I have been a part of in my entire life. The relevant activities spoke to our minds, to our hearts, and to our calls to action. The content of the weekend was perfect considering the stage we were in, in terms of diversity in so many areas, religion, culture, heritage and so on. Thank you for your commitment towards true Diversity and going beyond the buzz of it all!


About SASI…

The SASI Steering Committee has 10 members: Russ Daye, Robbie Shaw, Ian Sutherland, John Gunn and Donna Morykot from St. Andrew’s; Diane Obed (who also attends St. Andrew’s) and Aaron Prosper are Indigenous representatives; Jim Drescher is a Buddhist/Windhorse Farm representative; Hassan Rashed is a Muslim representative; and Krystle Henry is an African Canadian representative (who also attends St. Andrew’s).

SASI kicked off the 2019-2020 year with two strategic planning sessions facilitated by Lorne Ferguson on July 29 and September 10.
During these sessions, SASI reviewed the following:

  • Key elements of SASI
  • Where we are?
  • Strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats
  • Near term priorities
  • Next Steps
As a result of this planning exercise, SASI will be focusing on the following priorities for the 2019-2020 year:
  1. Defining leadership
  2. Build a web of relationships to help build SASI
  3. Increase funding for SASI
  4. Establish SASI as a new entity (separate from St. Andrew’s)
Stay tuned for more SASI updates in the coming weeks.