John Mihevc, a manager at KAIROS Canada and a tireless advocate for ecumenical, social and ecological justice, died from cancer on December 21.
Raised in a Catholic family in Toronto, Mihevc earned a doctorate in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College, and went on to serve Canadian churches for over 25 years. After his studies, he volunteered for and then worked as the Economic Justice Coordinator for the Inter-Church Coalition on Africa (ICCAF), becoming an expert on the impacts of structural adjustment programs, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa.
Throughout the 1990s, Mihevc coordinated a wide variety of economic justice projects, including the churches’ and NGO’s response to the Canadian foreign policy review and the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative. Mihevc wrote extensively on structural adjustment in Africa, including The Market Tells Them So: The World Bank and Economic Fundamentalism in Africa and Toward a Moral Economy: Responses to Poverty in the North and South.
“His whole life was preparation for, or expression of, this deep vocation to ecumenical justice,” said a statement issued by Jennifer Henry, KAIROS’s executive director. [The Anglican Church of Canada is a member of KAIROS, a Canadian ecumenical justice organization based in Toronto.]
Most recently, Mihevc managed the Sustainability Team at KAIROS, communicating and strengthening the organization’s commitment to ecological justice. He led the national Dirty Waters tour in 2007 in which his advocacy and diplomacy enabled six global partners to discuss the impacts of the extractive (mining, quarrying, oil and gas exploration) sector in the government roundtable on corporate responsibility.
“He never lost sight of our advocacy objective to ensure partners were central to the roundtable process,” said a statement by Rachel Warden, KAIROS’ Latin America Partnerships co-ordinator. “I heard that KAIROS was credited for getting the government to finally agree to allow partners and impacted communities to participate directly in the process.”
Mihevc is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and by their two daughters, Stella and Sophie.