Changing a mind…

“Changing a mind is different than having an argument.
Persuasion takes patience, skill and insight, not force.” ~Seth Godin

October 18, 2018
Dear friends,
Recently the Missoulian featured a picture of a sign that read, “While everyone has a civility-cartoon-f-you(2)right to their opinions, politics and religion are not to be discussed in here due to the passionate emotions of some of us.” The message caught me eye and made me sad. The fact that many of us have passionate emotions about our country and its future is one of the bright spots, likely what will save our democracy. But the fact that we cannot and will not talk to each other is not such a bright spot.It suggest and nurtures fear and division. I decided I want to find ways of reaching out to listen and see if I can learn about some of that passionate emotion and share some of my own. I invite you to join me. We don’t have to start with the hardest conversations, but we do have to start…Betsy

 

Thursday, October 18, 2:30-6 pm, Playfair Park. Missoula Rises is planning an afternoon of community connection and protest. If you want to protest Trumps visit the event, the details are below. There was going to be a march on Higgins Ave. organized by Sierra McMurry and that group has decided to join Missoula Rises at this event. You can follow the updates and RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/248193679377589/. From 2:30 – 6:00  volunteers will be available to escort you to the polling stations at the fairgrounds to cast your ballots.

  • 2:30 – 4:30 pm We Create Community Connection. The Native community will open the event. We will then sing, educate ourselves on the ballot initiatives, candidates, we sign up to canvass and volunteer. We will participate in community art, sharing in food, making signs and t-shirt printing. There will be yoga, face-painting, activities for kiddos and time for us to meet, talk and connect in person. We will be together.
  • 4:30 – 5:30 pm We Rally. We won’t stand silent. We won’t turn our backs. We will share our passion, our rightful rage and our stories. We are community of interwoven stories. We have stood side by side and shared our stories, sadness, anger, hope. We have empowered each other, and ourselves, through our stories. We will make our voices heard when Trump comes to our community with his hateful rhetoric. We respond as a community with our unified voice.
  • 5:30 – 6:00 pm We March. We march from Playfair Park down South Avenue and wrap around the fairgrounds to Russell Street. We surround the sidewalks around the Missoula County Fairgrounds. We surround the polls. We protest AND we get out the vote. We do both.

Thursday, October 18, 6:30 pm, UM Law School Room 101. UM Professor, Tobin Shearer and several colleagues are holding a teach-in as an alternative to those seeking something positive to do on this day. It is open to all.

On Thursday both harmony and conflict will co-exist in our town

Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, October 16, 2018

Dear friends,
Many of you are figuring out what you want to do in light of the visit this week by President Trump. There are lots of ideas being discussed and many different approaches and desires of how to mark the day on Thursday. For some it is a tragic event they feel the need to protest and for others an opportunity to stand up and be part of a larger community. Last week, one of my friends sent me this quote –“Sometimes we seek to realize harmony through conflict. The challenge is when we get stuck on one or the other — harmony or conflict, rather than realizing they are just passing states, stepping stones.”  On Thursday both harmony and conflict will co-exist in our town. Wherever you find yourself, and whatever your heart leads you to do, I hope you see it as an opportunity to be the change you want for the world. And may that opportunity lead to many more. Believing in the basic principles of our country means agreeing to the responsibility to take part in it however messy that is. And that includes voting! Despite the darkness you may feel, peace parties on working for a better world!

There are several wonderful things happening in our community and several great ways you can do something positive. I want to pass these along to you as I know so far and also several other events this week. If you hear of other things to pass along, please let us know…Betsy

Wednesday, October 17, 7pm, Missoula Public Library’s large meeting room (or tune in for the live broadcast at MCAT.org – click on Live Stream).  An information meeting on LR-129 will provide an overview and perspective on LR129 for your informed vote on November 6 sponsored by The Missoula League of Women Voters who are opposing LR-129. There will be time for questions and answers with experts from our County Elections and County Attorney Offices who can provide information.

Thursday, October 18, 2:30-6 pm, Playfair Park. Missoula Rises is planning an afternoon of community connection and protest. If you want to protest Trumps visit the event, the details are below. There was going to ba a march on Higgins Ave. organized by Sierra McMurry and that group has decided to join Missoula Rises at this event. You can follow the updates and RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/248193679377589/. From 2:30 – 6:00  volunteers will be available to escort you to the polling stations at the fairgrounds to cast your ballots.

  • 2:30 – 4:30 pm We Create Community Connection. The Native community will open the event. We will then sing, educate ourselves on the ballot initiatives, candidates, we sign up to canvass and volunteer. We will participate in community art, sharing in food, making signs and t-shirt printing. There will be yoga, face-painting, activities for kiddos and time for us to meet, talk and connect in person. We will be together.
  • 4:30 – 5:30 pm We Rally. We won’t stand silent. We won’t turn our backs. We will share our passion, our rightful rage and our stories. We are community of interwoven stories. We have stood side by side and shared our stories, sadness, anger, hope. We have empowered each other, and ourselves, through our stories. We will make our voices heard when Trump comes to our community with his hateful rhetoric. We respond as a community with our unified voice.
  • 5:30 – 6:00 pm We March. We march from Playfair Park down South Avenue and wrap around the fairgrounds to Russell Street. We surround the sidewalks around the Missoula County Fairgrounds. We surround the polls. We protest AND we get out the vote. We do both.

Thursday, October 18, 6:30 pm, UM Law School Room 101. UM Professor, Tobin Shearer and several colleagues are holding a teach-in as an alternative to those seeking something positive to do on this day. It is open to all.

Thursday, October 18, 6:30 pm (doors open at 3:30), Minuteman Aviation. Some people want to register for tickets to President Trump’s rally. Tickets are available at his website for those who wish to go. https://www.donaldjtrump.com/rallies/mt-oct-2018/?utm_medium=web&utm_source=djt_web&utm_content=rally_list&fbclid=IwAR0M2PzU43OlS5pEEB7ju7KbQ4irOM0eTMslOd8BF2zhF8G8fgXTGIFbBO0

Thursday-Friday, October 18-19, UM School of Music. UM is hosting the 2018 All-State Music Festival with 400 of the top high school musicians rehearsing all day in Band, Choir and Orchestra groups, and the Montana Music Educators Association with 900 band, choir, orchestra and general music teachers. If you think about it perk your ears for the sound of music enriching our spaces.

Saturday, October 20, 11 am-3 pm, Caras Park Pavilion. Join Climate Smart Missoula and partners for *Missoula’s Clean Energy Expo! Free and open to the public. Local clean energy + green businesses and non-profit organizations are co-sponsors/exhibitors.

  • Noon: *Solar-ease* workshop + meet solar installers
  • 1pm:  Release of 100% Clean Electricity for Missoula draft *Options Report* and Panel discussion
  • 2pm: *Virtual tour* of Missoula’s cool green buildings and homes
  • Meet green businesses and non-profits + learn how to go zero waste and save energy
  • Family-friendly activities – including pumpkins!
  • Take the 0-50-100 pledge 

Friday, October 19, 5:30-7:30 pm, UM law school atriumMontana Innocence Project open house awhere the public is invited to come in and learn about the Montana Innocence Project and recognize some of MTIP’s outstanding volunteers. This year’s open house will be held Volunteer award winners (Miriam Morgan-Spencer Veysey Volunteer of the Year and Brett Feese-Champion of Justice) will be recognized, there will be talk about MTIP’s work, and a chance to eat, drink, and be merry. You’ll even have the opportunity to have your photo taken to support the Montana Innocence Project. This year, MTIP is particularly excited about their open house keynote speaker, Dr. Greg Hampikian, one of the foremost forensic DNA experts in the country. Greg is the director of the Idaho Innocence Project and has helped out in a number of MTIP cases. Most recently, he testified in the Lawrence and Jenkins cases, which ultimately  resulted in Fred and Paul’s exonerations. Greg will be speaking on “Fixing Forensic Errors with DNA” at the open house.

Saturday, October 20, 10 am,  Alexnader Blewett III School of Law. The Montana Innocence Project is holding its first-ever fundraiser run/walk with the race course traversing the beautiful University of Montana campus. Look for informational signs focusing on wrongful convictions along the route.  Registration gets you a super cool MTIP T-shirt. Registration is available through our MTIP Website https://www.mtinnocenceproject.org/run_for_justice or you can register on-site on Oct. 20, starting at 9:00 a.m..

Saturday, October 20,  7 pm, UC Theatre. EmpowerMT welcomes all to the staged reading of The Laramie Project, presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York to commemorate the 2oth anniversary of Matthew Shephard’s murder. Tickets for the community will be available for $10.00 at the door (student ticket price is $5.00). Also a Community discussion and youth panel Coming Out West will be on Friday October 19 at 1:00-2:30pm in the University Center.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 6-8 pm, Imagine Nation Brewing. Enjoy craft beer and vibrant poetry with POETS VOICE for Change — EmPOWER CommUNITY! with poetry that matters–in these times! There are still several open spots if you want to perform your poetry. Text Rita aka “Radska”, host at 406.544.9026. Mark your calendat for Poetry every 3rd Sunday —  Nov 18th and Dec 16th .

Inspiring Lives

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Dear friends,community
Last week I attended the memorial service of one of our long-time members Janet McGahan. I also published a link to Greg Burham’s obituary which notes him as an “outspoken pacifist”. Both Janet and Greg knew suffering and found their way out. They also both led the way for many others. Janet gave the world many beautiful pieces of art, some of which hangs at JRPC and a couple of pieces will be in our silent auction.

At the memorial, I heard many stories of the love she shared with so many and felt lucky to have known her. I did not know Greg except for a few articles in our JRPC scrapbooks. I read about his 1974 walk from Alaska to Mexico to restore his faith in humanity after returning from Vietnam and his healing connections in 1989 with Veterans from the Soviet Union. One of our Peacemakers, Butch Turk, sent me several stories about Greg because he said,

“this 6’6″ former SEAL was one of the most sensitive, gentle souls I’ve known, was an unflagging advocate for vets, and was a consistent ally of peace people. I know that he inspired me.”

One of those stories was the words of another Peacemaker, Dan Gallagher.

“Burham is, to those who have worked with him, something of a “gentle giant.” From him I learned the healing power of a hug…Through him, I and many others received validation for our various efforts during times of self-doubt. As with so many he cared for, Burham’s wartime experience caused him to bear wounds that show no scars. While calmly counseling those affected by war, he argued passionately against the policies that sent America’s sons and daughters to war to kill other people’s sons and daughters. Even those taking issue with his opinions respected the innate sense of decency that shone out from the man.”

Our community has two great holes in it from these losses. Let us work to fill them by continuing the example of love and healing that Janet and Greg showed us. We would love to hear more stories of the people that inspire you and need to be honored as a Peacemaker. And please join us this Sunday to celebrate the community we live and work in…Betsy

Preaching Peace!

“Preach the gospel…and if necessary, use words.” ~Saint Francis of Assisi

Dear friends,
You are on our newsletter list because you are called to preach the gospel of peace, Peace Party 2018-banner2some in big ways and others in small ways – all equally valuable and necessary. Each day we work to build peace – not with bricks or even words, but with actions and everyday choices to share, to grow,to believe others, to forgive, and to be Continue reading

International Day of Peace

“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race.” ~Secretary-General António Guterres

Dear friends,
Friday September 21 is the UN International Day of Peace with the theme this year of IDOPThe Right to Peace, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.This document is a milestone in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948 as a common standard of aspiration and achievement for all peoples and all nations. It builds the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. I will be celebrating this day by joining hands across the border with our neighbors in Canada and the First Nation celebrating the goodwill between our nations. Continue reading