Young Peacemakers

“…young people are in the forefront of the political process—working, listening, talking, participating…”
Mike Mansfield, 1970.

Dear friends,
In 2001, Fr. Jim Hogan challenged the community to look to young people to find peacemakersexpressions of peace in our world. He believed that our children and young adults could offer us an inspiring perspective. 2018 saw proof all over this country that he was right. Young people raised their voices and took to the streets to speak up about the issues that are important to them, including gun rights, racism and more. This past couple of years, we have witnessed proof that our young Continue reading

A Tree Without Roots

“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture
is like a tree without roots.” ~Marcus Garvey

Dear friends,
Our un-conference last June, “Seeing the Elephant” brought together many differentworkshop folks from our community to participate in conversation, debate and reflection around the question “Does my world look different from yours? One of the most engaging conversations was Dr. Udo Fluck session around “cultural identity” and it has continued to interest many in the months since. At their request, Dr. Udo Fluck and I are teaming up to offer a follow-up event that would have “cultural identity” as its central topic for presentations, Continue reading

One Voice

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” ~Malala Yousafzai

Dear friends,
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, who we will honor this next Monday talked often about MLKbuilding beloved community, where everyone matters and truly cares about and works for the welfare of all. Thanks to the courage of many indigenous women, we are learning about an epidemic that must be addressed in our communities so we can move the needle a little closer to “beloved”. Native American women and girls around the country are disappearing and being murdered at an alarming rate — 5,712 reports in 2016, which begs the question — “how many remain un-reported?” Even more Continue reading

We Rise By Lifting Others

“We rise by lifting others.”– Robert Ingersoll

Dear friends,
Many of you may know that I once planned to go to Africa with the Peace Corps so thatBatwa I could make a difference in the world. Now I didn’t end up going (which is another story) and that is OK, because I learned that I could make a difference in my own community without going halfway around the world. However, Africa and her people continue to have a place in my heart. I was filled with hope to read of the work of one group — Initiative For Equality, a network of activists around the world working to empower people in some of the poorest regions to work together for greater social, Continue reading

Peace does not arrive as a gift

“Peace does not arrive as a gift, and it’s not up to anyone but yourself to make it happen.”  ~Thomas Moore

Dear friends,
A new year is the perfect time to take stock of where we are and where we are going, flowershence our propensity to make resolutions. We want to be somewhere we are not. All the businesses that promise to make us thinner, stronger, happier, more organized bombard us with advertising in the hopes of hitting our needy spots. Seldom are we sent the message that who and where we are is enough. But I have learned from experience that until I accept where I am, I cannot find the courage and will to make necessary change. My discomfort with where I am — once it is great enough — becomes the Continue reading