Eric Van Giessen is passionate about the intersections of faith, social justice and creativity/art. As the son of a Christian Reformed Church planter he’s lived in a variety of places in Canada and studied Philosophical Aesthetics & Music at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After university, he spent 5 weeks hiking the Appalachian Trail and then began work as a Community Cafe Host and later as the Strategic Analyst at a non-profit called the Working Centre in downtown Kitchener, ON. While living in intentional community and working at The Working Centre for the next 4 years, Eric developed a passion for social & economic justice as well as grassroots community development work.
In 2015, Eric began his Master of Arts degree in Social Justice & Community Engagement at Laurier Brantford. During this program, he co-founded the Pomegranate Mural Collective, and led the Laurier Brantford student body in an critical exploration of toxic masculinity and gender-based violence. His major research project was a community autoethnography that used poetry to explore LGBTQ+ experiences within Christian faith communities. The project culminated in a major research paper entitled, Queerly Faithful: A Queer-Poet Community Autoethnography On Identity And Belonging in Christian Faith Communities, as well as a poetry collection in the form of a zine which can be found in digital form here.
Eric identifies as queer and has been coming out since he was 20. He’s thrilled to be working as Generous Space’s Operations Manager where he’s able to put his problem solving skills and eye for detail to good use. Eric’s role involves communications, promotional design & implementation, fundraising, resource development, general operations, event planning, and much more.
To reach Eric by phone, please call 1-(855)-542-8724 ext. 702