Images and highlights from the Baha’i Studies conference

October 22, 2019
Images and highlights from the Baha’i Studies conference

Universal House of Justice member Stephen Birkland shares personal thoughts on contributing to the intellectual life of the Baha’i community. Photo by Tom Mennillo

Exploring the theme “Beyond Critique: Laying the Groundwork for Social Transformation,” participants in the 2019 conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies–North America in Ottawa, Ontario, shared perspectives from their experiences in academia, professions and neighborhoods.

Workshops, breakouts, working group sessions for various disciplines, or hallways and dinner tables — spaces for those conversations were anywhere you could find attendees.

After he took part in many of the weekend’s sessions and chatted with other participants, Stephen Birkland, member of the Universal House of Justice, global governing council for the Baha’i Faith, addressed the assemblage.

“I think one of the things that’s so wonderful about this space, and the other workshops and seminars organized by ABS, is that we’re with people who are joy-giving and uplifting,” he observed.

“There’s a joy that we experience when there’s that kind of nobility and honor in our interaction.” 

Please enjoy a collection of images from the conference, Aug. 8–11.


Angelita Reyes, educator and author on social justice issues, offers a breakout session on "'I Don't See Color': Undoing Blackface for Social Transformation in Global Diasporas" during the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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"Accompanying Youth to Live Coherent Lives: Reflections from Ontario and Quebec" was the topic of a panel discussion at the 2019 Association for Baha'i Studies. Presenting were (from left) Hoda Farahmandpour, Ilya Shodjaee-Zrudlo and Eric Farr. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Group discussion is an integral part of a workshop on contributing to academic and professional discourses at the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Louis Brunet
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Smaller-group discussion was incorporated into virtually every workshop and breakout session at the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Joel in Real Life makes its debut in the final plenary of the 2019 Association for Baha'i Studies conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Rosanna Lea brings her bluegrass and folk stylings from England to the 2019 Association for Baha'i Studies conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Shadi Toloui-Wallace, an Australian-Canadian musician, shares insights and draws out ideas on writing songs for junior youth, during a breakout session at the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Victoria Talwar and Hoda Ghadirian offer points for discussion during a breakout session on "Socialization of Children: Integrating Perspectives of Psychological Science and the Bahá’í Faith" at the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Louis Brunet
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Young artists start digging into a cooperative activity during a children's session at the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Louis Brunet
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Kids are grouped together to work on an art project in a children's session during the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Louis Brunet
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Junior youths offer a presentation at an age-specific session during the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Spaces in between formal sessions were an ideal time to exchange ideas or just catch up with friends at the 2019 ABS conference. Photo by Monib Sabet
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With all the options for learning, workshopping and conversations at the 2019 ABS conference, somebody will always have a preference on where to go next. Photo by Monib Sabet
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Fireworks erupt behind the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, during the 2019 Association for Baha'i Studies conference in Ottawa, Ontario. The display was the first of five during August featuring fireworks technologies from around the world. Photo by Tom Mennillo
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