The One Love gala was inspired by Bob Marley’s song One Love!
Some five years ago, when diversity chaplaincy was under threat, thanks to a Minister who thought otherwise, I was sitting distraught and this song was playing. I thought to myself that we must have an event that both celebrates our work with those incarcerated and advocates for the continuation of this crucial service. The name suited it so much as interfaith leaders and people from all walks of life joined us for an evening of much love!
Those incarcerated gets a second chance in Canada. That is the very teachings of our Faiths. We live and let others live. Chaplains do not sit in the jury box. They are there with a compassionate heart and a listening ear, holding hands with the men and women who approach them for spiritual direction, throughout their journey.
Many such individuals have passed the boundaries of the prisons and have reintegrated into society successfully. Their stories inspire those who aspire to change. We must honor them in their journey. For many, these transformative years have renewed their faith and given them a chance to forgive.
Given that Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year (2017), we chose to add the 150 to the One Love and to make a theme that speaks to our mental crisis- we say: You Are Not Alone!
First Nations are a crucial foundation of Canada and world politics. We can only learn to love if we are prepared to forgive and to ask to be forgiven. We are letting the stories of diversity chaplains, successful inmates and Interfaith communities serenade us with Four Awards- the Malcolm X, Tayyibah Taylor, Ghulam Sajan and Lyla Ali awards that night
Dress Code: Formal Gala wear.
Color theme: Red, Black and White
After party theme: Let your love shine!
Hash tag: #YouAreNotAlone
“As I walked out of the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all of the
anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.”