About One Love Gala
The Gala was founded in 2012, in response when Chaplaincy in Canada was under serious threat from the Canadian Federal government to cut funds for diversity chaplains. I was sitting, distraught when I heard Bob Marley's One Love playing. In that moment the idea crystallized of an event to both celebrate our work with those incarcerated and advocate for the continuation of this crucial service.
The Chaplaincy community embraced the idea and the One Love Gala was born!
The One Love Gala serves as a keystone for the Chaplaincy community to collaborate and go beyond simply advocating for the continuation of the crucial services in Canadian Prisons to one that celebrates Chaplaincy and it's ability to rehabilitate incarcerated individuals.
In Canada, the criminally convicted and jailed individuals must get a second chance. This is reflective of the teachings of our Faiths. Chaplains do not sit in the jury box nor are we in the business of judging even the convicted. We are there with a compassionate heart, a listening ear, holding hands with the men and women who approach us for spiritual guidance as they navigate their life's journey.
We have witnessed many inmates who were once behind-bars successfully reintegrate into society. Their stories inspire us all. For many, these transformation years have renewed their faith and given them a chance to forgive and be forgiven. We should honor them for their courage to change the path their on.
We can only learn to love if we are prepared to forgive and be forgiven.
The One Love Gala is a time to hear the stories of the diversity chaplains, of successfully reintegrated former inmates, and of the Interfaith communities. It is a time to recognize exemplar members of our community with the Malcolm X, Tayyibah Taylor, Ghulam Sajan, Lyla Ali, and Carl Jadgunadan Awards. And, most of all, it is a time to celebrate our achievements over the year. So, come and celebrate with us!
Habeeb Alli, Chaplain