Author Archives: Sandhya
Creating spaces of Peace: Here in the Bay it can feel like there are no real spaces of peace. But every one of us has the ability to create peace in our communities and in our everyday lives. Whether it be through silent meditation or by attending a rally to stand with marginalized peoples. And when you do a little something to create a space of peace, it can start a chain reaction!
OPC’s Creating Spaces of Peace is a project that highlights our collective stories of peace and allows us to acknowledge the actions we make toward creating peace everyday.
During winter 2018 people will have the opportunity to share their stories of peacemaking and reflect on how that action affected themselves and the broader community. Thanks to generous donors, for every person who reports how they made a space of peace, we get $1…all the way to $1,000 if 1,000 people participate! This is a way you can help the community with your actions and the OPC also benefits financially!
So we are asking you to go to the OPC’s Action Network site between now and the end of the year and report something you did to create a space of peace! For every 100 submissions we get, we’ll share them (anonymously) with the community through social media to get people inspired! We hope this will make for a more peaceful Oakland this year.
Since the term peace is so broad, it can be confusing to know whether we’re actually doing stuff that results in peace. It turns out, though, that creating peace is a lot more than meditating silently in the Himalayas. It can be pretty everyday stuff! Also, doing social justice stuff creates peace. (Check out this list of nontraditional ways to make peace thanks to our friends at American Friends Service Committee!)
We have constructed 10 Creating Spaces of Peace Categories and examples to help get you thinking. Each category is based on a section of the Satyagrahga Foundation’s Wheel of Integral Nonviolence (to learn more about “integral nonviolence” from someone who works with OPC partner East Point Peace Academy, click here!):
Creating Spaces of Peace Categories –
- Forging connections: Connecting with people across all lines of difference
- Fruits of Our Labor: Being less reliant on things found in stores
- Spiritual Practice & Fellowship: Engaging in spiritual practices and community
- Action, Engagement, Resistance: Taking matters of resistance into our own hands (??)
- Accompaniment: Walking with the oppressed in mutual empowerment and service
- Building Community: Creating interdependence (hosting a meal of spaghetti or beans and rice when you were just going to eat by yourself)
- Honoring Creation: Being present to the earth (planting or caring for a tree where there isn’t enough green, volunteering at a community garden or advocating to create a community garden, getting into nature instead of absorbing a violent tv show or movie)
- Self-care and Wholeness: Being present to the needs of yourself and your body (turning to meditation and mindfulness practices instead of anger or violence)
- Power to the People: Taking our money away from institutions that create injustice and lead to war (moving your credit card balance from a big bank that took away people’s homes during the foreclosure crisis and putting it with a credit union)
- Passing the Torch: Using your knowledge and sharing the lessons (sharing stories of peace and justice with a child, mentoring a youth so they can get better opportunities down the road)
Hey, friends! We’ve been given a great opportunity to double our donations on Giving Tuesday via Facebook (plus no fees charged on any donations given that way that day). We really need your help, and we need it as early in the morning as possible. (We learned last year that east coast nonprofits got most of the money because you can start raising money at 8am eastern…which is 5am pacific…and the matching funds from the Gates Foundation ran out at around 11 am.)
If you’re willing, set up a Facebook fundraiser for us on Monday night 11/26 or Tuesday morning 11/27, and let people know why peace matters to you, why nonprofit anti-displacement matters to you, or why cultivating greater partnership between nonprofits matters to you and encourage people to donate to our work, a testimony to love and compassion and inclusion that builds a foundation for a different community and country than the one our national leadership seeks to establish, a legacy of love for our children to inherit. You’re welcome to include the link to our video if it helps.
90% of people give to charity when family asks, and 65% when friends ask, but only 9% when the organization asks. So we always needed you in order to build Beloved Community, but we really need you on Giving Tuesday!
Here’s how to set up that fundraiser on facebook:
- Click Fundraisers in the left menu of your News Feed (towards the bottom of that left column)
- Click Raise Money
- Select Nonprofit/Charity.
- Select Oakland Peace Center, choose a cover photo (feel free to steal the one OPC intern Tia designed at the top of this blog post) and fill in the fundraiser details.
- Click Create.
If you have ANY questions, don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com. And let Tia know if you can do this so they can send a helpful reminder and also support you that day.
Thanks again for being a phenomenal peacemaker.
co-sponsored by East Bay Housing Organizations’ Interfaith Communities United, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy’s Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy and Oakland Peace Center!
November 3-4, 2017
This training is for people of faith and spiritually motivated social change agents.
The training will deepen your understanding of the theory and skills of how to be an effective organizer in the world. It will help you tap into your own deep values, motivations and vision. It will help you more fully integrate the gifts of your own faith into your social justice work. It will connect you to a rich organizing model and ethos that grows out of the civil rights movement, liberation struggles in other countries and worker justice struggles in the US.
This training has proven transformative to the veteran and novice social justice advocate alike. It is an effective way to energize yourself and others in your congregation or network and help build a common framework and ethos among colleagues.
Faith rooted organizing invites us to move beyond winning campaigns and calls us closer to our goal of building what Dr. King called the Beloved Community, whose time is urgently needed.
Register at the link above, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some folks really enjoyed the Color Run that about a dozen OPC supporters ran in back in May. But not all of us enjoy running! Here’s another marathon you can join in on to support the Oakland Peace Center, and give your brain and heart some exercise in the process!
Inspired by the Reading Is Resistance readathon that Bay Area activists Sarah and Carol Lee organized for Asian Pacific Heritage Month this past May, we asked if we could borrow the model and they said yes! Grateful for your support, Carol and Sarah!
All you have to do to participate is choose a book about peace and justice, and get your friends to support your reading of it during the month of September. You might have done something like this in school, but this time you only have to make it through one book, or maybe two! We’ll suggest a few that have really made a difference in the way we at the Oakland Peace Center see our work taking shape, and you might have ones to suggest as well!
For more information, check out the page HERE! Happy reading!