“Intelligent people who are making a good living, who are politically aware… and they just have no idea.” – Speciesism
If you haven’t yet seen this must-see, deeply philosophical, thought-provoker, here’s your chance. A Screening of Speciesism with filmmaker Mark Devries will be hosted by the Golden West College Peace Studies Program, Thursday, April 20, 6:30pm – 9:30pm.RSVP.
This screening is the pre-conference kick-off event, in advance of the Friday, April 28, 8:30am – 5:00pm11th Annual Golden West College Peace Conference:“A Sustainable Peace: Equity, Equality, and Environmental Interdependence in the 21st Century”. This year’s intersectional theme is well represented in the broad variety of speakers, a line-up that won’t disappoint. The $25 pre-registration includes vegan breakfast and lunch, plus the full day conference.As in past year, the event is zero waste. PRE-REGISTER.
The day before the GWC conference, we will be out at Cal State Fullerton for the Thursday, April 27, 6:30p – 8:30pmSocially Accepted Practices and Traumatic Impact on Adolescents’ Development.We will have a very interesting conversation that night with special guest Gene Baur, plus Dr. Nicole Jafari, and Fullerton residents, Bruno Barba, Dulce Barba and Audrey Waight, (all featured in our yet to be released documentary, ‘So Give Me An F’). Admission is free. RSVP.
The day after the GWC conference we will be in Irvine for the Saturday, April 29, 9:00am – 4:00pmCrises in the Ocean: How Compassionate Action Benefits Us All, Featuring Gene Baur, Jonathan Balcombe and Kate Mackey, plus a vegan cooking demo by Joni Marie Newman and compost demo by John Craig. This free event includes lunch, so after you see how Joni made the yummy tacos, you will get to eat them. And Gene and Jonathan will be signing books that day. After the morning and mid-day program, People’s Climate March – Orange Countywill commence at 2p. RSVP.
Four April events on critically important topics being presented in very interesting ways — hope to see you often between now and the end of the month.
8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim, Martin Richard, holding the sign he made when his school organized a ‘Peace Walk’ in May 2012.
Monday’s frightening and tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon exemplify the kind of mass violence we would wish would never occur. Yet, in some odd way, it also feels like it came ‘too soon’.
Incidences of mass violence are happening way too often, leaving an inadequate amount of time to fully process the last one before there is another one to contend with. We are left with the shock, the outrage, the numbness, the fear, the heartbreak, the resolve to bring change… and then… the next one…
Monday was a prime example of this. How could it be that runners from Newtown seeking to commemorate 26 Sandy Hook shooting victims by running the 26 miles of marathon didn’t even get through the race without being in the midst of yet another national, mass, violent tragedy?
Did you hear about 8-year-old Martin Richard waiting at the finish line for his Dad?
A year ago he participated in a peace walk with his school. He made a sign that said, “No more hurting people. Peace.”
Martin didn’t survive the explosion, but his message did.
This might be the best any of us can aspire to accomplish in this life:
No more hurting people.
This Friday, April 19th, Golden West College will be holding its 7th Annual Peace Conference. The theme for this year is Sustainable Peace. Come say ‘hi’ to us at our Living Ubuntu booth.
Bands & Bellies VIII, a benefit concert for Living Ubuntu in honor of World Peace Day is this Sunday, Sept 25th in Huntington Beach, CA.
In contrast to the fun and celebratory tone of Sunday’s concert, it is hard to miss the ironies of today’s headlines, i.e. on “Peace Day”. Iran has finally released the innocent hikers, President Obama proclaimed at the U.N. that “peace is hard work”, murder charges have been filed against Fullerton police for killing Kelly Thomas, and this evening, Troy Davis, deemed by many to be an innocent man, is scheduled for execution.
If Troy Davis is indeed put to death this evening, a part of our shared humanity will die with him.
We need to eliminate the death penalty, not human beings.
May we all be willing to do the soul-searching, and “hard work” required to bring peace.
“The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.” – Amnesty International
Here is the video of her talk. (The quote below starts at 4:57)
Staying Human In the Face Of Inhumanity
by Barbara English
… It is really just human beings that perpetrate inhumanities. And I think that one of the mistakes that we get caught up in is in losing sight of that… Because the moment that we demonize anybody, we’ve lost part of our own humanity. And that may be one of the toughest challenges we have…
It seems to me that too often when we talk about one-ness and the interconnectedness of humanity, there is always a ‘but’.
“We’re all one, except for people that do these [horrible] things.”
“We’re interconnected, except we don’t want to acknowledge those that we see as ‘other’, those we don’t like, or those that we don’t approve of.”
And I think this is where we need to evolve as a species, is the sense of really embracing our interconnectedness, for all of humanity. And recognizing that those that perpetrate horrors are not just ‘bad seeds’, they are not innately evil and somehow different.
Part of what can be the hardest challenge to embrace is to recognize the potential within us, under the right circumstances, to commit any of the atrocities that we would seek to stand against. And yet unless we do that, we will continue to ‘otherize’ and not be able to accomplish the peace that we seek.
Barbara English is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Certified Bioenergetic Therapist with over 20 years of experience. She is the Executive Director of Living Ubuntu, a non‐profit organization founded in response to her concern about the effects of mass trauma on populations around the globe. Much of her training has centered on Early Development, Infant Mental Health, and how to recover after abuse or trauma. She is a 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellow with Genocide Intervention Network.
“There are now almost daily reports of aerial military assaults by Khartoum (which alone among the combatants in Darfur has air assets) on civilian targets, especially in the Jebel Marra region. Every such flight is a violation of Resolution 1591, and yet the Security Council does nothing ….
China must not be allowed to manhandle evidence and intimidate the Security Council and its representatives on Darfur. The Council should vote immediately to publish the findings of its own Panel of Experts on Darfur, and if China vetoes the move, then it is the obligation of other members of the Council to make the document public—and much more importantly, to act forcefully. “
– Eric Reeves, Arming Khartoum: China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide (link)
Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price. Workshop by Barbara English on Saturday, Oct 30 2010.
We are huge fans of Eric Reeves. He and many others have been staunch advocates for the Sudanese who’ve suffered terribly for many years now. Time and time again there have been numerous prescriptions for Sudan. Omar Bashir needs to be held accountable. China needs to stop supporting the genocidal government of Sudan. The United States must do more to aid those who suffer. We know what needs to happen to get to peace. Yet, rarely do we hear how to go about doing this. The path seems cloudy and riddled with doubt and skepticism. Pure intellectual prescriptions are not enough. At the heart of every successful human endeavor lies a relationship that is based on mutual respect and trust. Do we have that at the international level? Does China really trust the United States? Have our actions and behavior allowed for such trust to develop?
It’s times like these we need to grieve. Grieving brings us back into the reality of this moment. The challenges we face are immense, yet our leaders seem extremely ill equipped to deal with them. We rarely address the root causes of problems. It’s been 7+ years since the Bashir government launched their genocidal campaign against the people of Darfur. Yes, they signed a peace deal with the South in 2005. For a while there was less violence and chaos. But did this sow the seeds for lasting peace? Has the Bashir government genuinely changed their ways? Will they allow the Southern Sudanese to secede? Is the south capable of standing on its own?
To better answer these questions, we are in the midst of planning a discussion with our Sudanese friends from San Diego. We’ll be holding it at St. Mark Presbyterian in Newport Beach on Saturday, Nov 13th. Save the date! More details coming shortly.
One of our goals in Living Ubuntu has been to explore and address the root causes of conflict and war engulfing our world today. We need to start by acknowledging that there are significant wounds on both sides of any issue. Superficial remedies, prescriptions, peace deals on paper do nothing to address these deeply buried wounds and will not help bring about lasting peace and reconciliation. We hope you will join us next Saturday, October 30th in San Diego for — Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price.Early discounted registration ($40) for this workshop ends this Saturday. Please make our lives easier and register online. All details are on the website.
“The willingness to stop and be present leads to seeing and relating to circumstances and events with more clarity and directness. Out of this directness seems to emerge deeper understanding or insight into the life unfolding within and before us. Such insight allows us the possibility of choosing responses most called for by the situation rather than those reactively driven by fear, habit, or long-standing training.”