Margaret Moncrieff and David Melhorn-Boe are singer-songwriters from Kingston, Ontario, who draw attention through their performances to issues of environmental sustainability, and social and global equity. In October 2019, Margaret and David hosted a house concert to introduce Inter Pares to their friends and family, and to raise funds for Inter Pares’ women’s rights work. The evening was a wonderful experience of building community and sharing music of hope and transformation.
We recently had a conversation with Margaret and David about their approach to activism and their engagement with social justice. Here is what they shared:
Do you consider yourselves activists? If so, what does being an activist mean to you?
Instead of considering ourselves as “activists” in the traditional sense of the word, we think of ourselves as global citizens who strive to live our lives authentically, offering our talents and energies in solidarity with groups and organizations that support the development of healthy communities.
How does music fuel your commitment to social justice?
For us, music is a means of expression that can communicate ideas in new ways that can stir the heart and mind to act for the betterment of the environment and humanity. We are increasingly drawn to explore this potential through music.
The two of you often engage with social justice as a couple – and as a family. Why is it important to you that supporting social justice be a shared family value?
Social justice is important to both of us, and our ability to work together toward a common goal enhances our ability to cultivate awareness and understanding of important issues in our world. Growth begins from small seeds. Our families nurture such growth in us and we trust that this can widen the circle to include others.
Last year, your family went on a pilgrimage to El Salvador as part of your social justice journey. Can you share why this experience was so meaningful to you?
Our pilgrimage to El Salvador last March was a profound and transformative experience. The United Church of Canada has sponsored numerous journeys like this for youth and adults and it was meaningful for us that Margaret’s teenaged son was able to be part of this experience. It was an honour to be received so warmly by our hosts, and to learn from them about their history, their pain, and their celebration of life. We were deeply inspired by their resilience, their peace-building initiatives, and their commitment to continue working for a just and equitable society.
What motivates and inspires you? What gives you hope for the future?
Behind every news story, as well as the lives and struggles we don’t hear about, there are signs that dedicated individuals and groups of people are working for the fulfillment of the hopes, dreams and visions we sometimes view as far-off, but which may be as close as our own heartbeats, our own breathing, and the songs of our souls.