June 25, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

King’s University College is pleased to welcome the Inaugural Symposium on Jean Vanier’s Insights and Works, taking place at King’s June 25-27, 2019. It was organized by the new Jean Vanier Research Centre at King’s. It is sponsored by King's Disability Studies, Association Jean Vanier, Memory Bridge, and L'Arche London.

The symposium was initiated and made possible through the vision of Professor Pamela Cushing, founder and director of the Jean Vanier Research Centre and the Disability Studies program at King's. 

Dr. Sauro Camiletti, Interim Principal and Academic Dean, Isabelle Aumont, Director of the Jean Vanier Association and Trosly Community member, and Adrienne Co-Dyre, Director of Libraries at the G. Emmett Cardinal Carter Library, announced a Jean Vanier Research Guide created by the Cardinal Carter Library in support of the newly-established Jean Vanier Research Centre and Symposium. This guide, available for viewing by the public at http://kings.uwo.libguides.com/c.php?g=709978, includes references to many of the books, videos, news articles and brochures by and about the late Dr. Vanier.  By gathering this information together, the Guide supports further exploration of his work and ideas. It is organized to help researchers and the community more fully understand his vision of common humanity and service to others.

“Remember what you do is very important and touches the lives of many around the world,” Dr. Camiletti told those in attendance, including from India, the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. “At King’s, we take great pride in our teacher and scholars because we believe that the discovery and sharing of knowledge go hand in hand. We see the Jean Vanier Research Center as a vehicle for the discovery of knowledge and the Disability Studies program as a vehicle for the sharing of knowledge, working together to serve the needs of some of the more vulnerable members of our society.”

While many of the events taking place as part of the Symposium are private events, the public is invited to attend the Jean Vanier Symposium Film Night, taking place at the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre in the Darryl J. King Student Life Centre on June 26 from 6-9 p.m. The theatre is fully accessible, with ASL interpretation available. The evening will begin with the screening of the film “Love Is Listening: Dementia Without Loneliness” which features insights from the late Dr. Vanier and was an official selection at the 2019 Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. Tickets are available at the door. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/love-listening-and-presence-alongside-dementia-tickets-60613471525. Free parking is available on campus.

After the screening of the film, a panel discussion will be held, offering an interactive dialogue. Panelists will include:

  • Ron Robert, Disability Studies student at King’s and national advocate for the Alzheimer Society of Canada
  • Dr. Darcy Harris, Professor of Thanatology at King’s
  • Dr. John Swinton, Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health & Disability, University of Aberdeen
  • Carol Walters, CEO of the Alzheimer Society London & Middlesex
  • Michael Verde, Founder of Memory Bridge and one of the film’s producers
  • Sister Mary Anne Larocque of the Sisters of St. Joseph

There will be a reception in the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre to celebrate the launch of the Jean Vanier Research Centre to follow the panel discussion.

The Symposium on Jean Vanier’s Insights and Works brings together scholars and non-profit leaders from L’Arche and other organizations that draw inspiration from him. During the Symposium, participants will be invited to share ideas and create dialogues. Organizers from the Jean Vanier Research Centre at King’s hope that this group will form the initial basis from which the Centre will continue to build a more robust knowledge network of interested scholars, non-profits, self-advocates and care workers and leaders. 

As part of the Symposium, King’s Campus Ministry offered a Taizé prayer service at the Christ the King Chapel, located in Wemple Hall on June 25. The same day, L’Arche London offered arts and crafts activities in the Thames Market cafeteria in Wemple Hall. On June 26-27, there will be paper presentations and small group dialogues.

For more information on the Inaugural Symposium on Jean Vanier’s Insights and Works, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/research/research-centres/jean-vanier-research-centre-at-kings-1/symposium-2019/

For more information on the Jean Vanier Symposium Film Night, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/about-kings/visitor-info/calendar-of-events/jean-vanier-symposium-film-night/