Drawing on documentary and fiction, live action and animation, the Multi-Faith Centre's film series provides students with an opportunity to explore our inner and outer worlds, and, more specifically, to critically reflect on interconnections between spirituality and social justice.

The Spirituality and Social Justice Film Series is a monthly educational film series sponsored by the Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study and Practice, the Equity Studies Program at New College, and a rotating group of student organizations at the University of Toronto.


March 16, 2017 When Two Worlds Collide
February 9, 2017 In Jackson Heights
November 10, 2016 The Island President
October 6, 2016 The Trials of Muhammad Ali

When Two Worlds Collide

March 16, Doors open 5:45 p.m.

KP 113, 1st Floor, 569 Spadina Avenue

Dinner will be provided. 

To register, please email multi.faith@utoronto.ca.

Presented by the Multi-Faith Centre/Sponsored by Equity Studies at New College.

Film description:

2016 I 1 hour 43 minutes I Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel

This award-winning documentary showcases the efforts of Indigenous leader and Peruvian environmental activist Alberto Pizango in his opposition to the rapid clear-cutting, drilling and mining of the Amazon Rainforest, and the subsequent struggles – often in the context of state-enforced violence and death – that environmental activists faced because of political opposition. The film addresses subjects such as resistance, spiritual ecology, globalization and corporate greed.

Watch the trailer on YouTube 

Further resources:


Orta-Martinez, M., & Fkiner, M. (2010). Oil frontiers and indigenous resistance in the Peruvian Amazon. Ecological Economics, 70(2). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800910001655

Peruvian Police Accused of Massacring Protesters in Amazon Jungle. (2009, June 8). Democracy Now. https://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/8/peruvian_police_accused_of_massacring_indigenous

Indigenous group in Peru vows to block oil drilling on Amazon ancestral land. (2016, December 9). The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/peru-amazon-oil-indigenous-achuar-geopark-petroperu

Rénique, G. Blood at the Blockade: Peru’s Indigenous Uprising. NACLA. Retrieved from: http://nacla.org/news/blood-blockade-perus-indigenous-uprising



Amazon Watch


When 2 Worlds Collide movie graphic

In Jackson Heights

February 9, Doors open 5:45 pm

KP 113,1st Floor, 569 Spadina Avenue

Dinner will be provided. 

To register, please email multi.faith@utoronto.ca.

Presented by the Multi-Faith Centre/Sponsored by Equity Studies at New College

Film description:

2015 I 3 hours 10 minutes I Frederick Wiseman

This documentary film takes the audience into Jackson Heights, a thriving neighbourhood in located in the northwestern New York City borough, Queens. It provides a glimpse into everyday interactions among the communities inhabiting the neighbourhood, including through activist projects. The film addresses subjects such as community, conflict, displacement, gentrification, and resistance. 

Further resources: 


Adichie., C. N. (2016, December 2). Now is the time to talk about what we are actually talking about. The New Yorker. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/now-is-the-time-to-talk-about-what-we-are-actually-talking-about

Ahmad, S. T. (2015). Homage to dhaka city; jackson heights; muslimas on manhattan island. Wasafiri, 30(4), 67-68.

Driskell, D., Fox, C., & Kudva, N. (2008). Growing up in the new New York: youth space, citizenship, and community change in a hyperglobal city. Environment and Planning A, 40(12), 2831-2844.

Kaufman, A., Wolfe, A., Blackwell, A. (2015, November 20). A Look at Jackson Heights, Queens. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdDwqg8ujWY

Miyares, I. M. (2004). From exclusionary covenant to ethnic hyperdiversity in Jackson Heights, Queens. Geographical Review, 94(4), 462-483.

Newman, K., & Wyly, E. K. (2006). The right to stay put, revisited: gentrification and resistance to displacement in New York City. Urban Studies, 43(1), 23-57.

Razack, S. (2002). Race, Space and the Law: Un-Mapping White Settler Society. Toronto: Between the Lines

In Jackson Heights movie poster

The Island President

2011 I 1 hour 41 minutes I Directed by Jon Shenk

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. 

November 10, 2016

Media Commons Theatre
3rd Floor, Media Commons, Robarts Library 
130 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S1A5

All University of Toronto students are welcome. 

To register: Please email multi.faith@utoronto.ca 

Film Description: 

The Island President    The Island President film website

The Island President tells the story of Mohamed Nasheed. A climate justice activist and the first democratically elected President of the Maldives (2008-2012). The film documents his first year in office, and his efforts to save his homeland, the lowest-lying country in the world, from disappearing into the Indian Ocean. The film addresses subjects such as climate justice, democracy, governance, interdependence, power, resilience and rising sea levels. 

*On February 7, 2012, Mohamed Nasheed resigned as President in a coup d'état carried out by security forces loyal to the former dictator, Maumoon Gayoom. 

Further resources: 


Bigelow, B., & Swinehart, T. (2014). A Peoples Curriculum for the Earth. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools Limited. 

Goodman, A., & Moynihan, D. (2016). Land protectors and activists stand together for climate justice. Rabble. Retrieved from http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/10/land-protectors-and-activists-stand-together-climate-justice

Jetnil-Kijner, K. (2014). Statement. United Nations Climate Summate 2014. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc_IgE7TBSY.

Klein, N. (2015). "People and Planet First": On the Moral Authority of Climate Justice and a New Economy. Common Dreams. Retrieved from http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/07/01/people-and-planet-first-moral-authority-climate-justice-and-new-economy

Ramesh, R. (2009). Maldives ministers prepare for underwater cabinet meeting. The Guardian. Retrieved from, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/oct/07/maldives-underwater-cabinet-meeting

Russell, C. (2009). First wave: The presidents of two island nations draft escape plans, anticipating sea level rise. Science News, 24-29.

Organizations and Movements: 

Idle No More 

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 


United Nations Climate Change Conference Paris 2015 

poster for Island President film with man in suit standing in the water

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Thursday, October 6, 2016.

2013 I 1 hour 26 minutes I Directed by Bill Siegel

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. 

Media Commons Theatre
3rd Floor, Media Commons, Robarts Library 
130 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S1A5

Register: To register, please email multi.faith@utoronto.ca 

Film Description 

The Trials of Muhammad Ali explores the extraordinary life of the legendary athlete outside of the boxing ring--his conversion to Islam, his subsequent refusal to participate in the Vietnam War to protest global racism and US imperialism, and the social and political consequences of his decisions. The film address subjects such as Black liberation, Islam, conscientious objection, imperialism, colonialism and spiritual transformation.

Further resources 


Ali, M. (2015). The greatest. My own story. New York: Graymalkin Media. 

Ali, M. (2013). The soul of a butterfly. Reflections on life's journey. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Online resources

Bulman, M. (2016). Why the iconic boxers Hollywood star isn't on the Walk of Fame. The Independent, UK.

Chengu, G. (2016). Muhammad Ali: How the greatest Black athlete in history fought against racism and war. Counterpunch Magazine.

Tharoor, I. (2016). Why Muhammad Ali's anti-colonialism still matters. The Washington Post. 

Democracy Now (2016). Muhammad Ali. Democracy Now.

Zinn Education Project (2016). Teaching a peoples history: Muhammad Ali. The Zinn Education Project.

Zirin, D. (2016). I just wanted to be free: The radical reverberations of Muhammad Ali. The Nation. 

The Trials of Muhammad Ali poster