December 2018 Newsletter
Oakland poetess Regina Davis at our first-ever Giving(BACK)Tuesday to celebrate the peace-making work here in Oakland and affirm our collective commitment to achieving it.
In this Issue
- from the OPC team
- Ritual: A Live House Music Labyrinth Walk & Ceremonial Tea Dance
- We Need Us: Intentional Acts of Peace
- Partner News
More than ever, we need us and the peace we have the power to create. #WeNeedUs is far more than a hashtag—it’s a way of being, lived out through…
- our individual and collective peace-making…
- the life-giving, path-creating, community-building work of our partners…
- the commitment to peace and anti-displacement expressed through art…
- the every-day, intentional acts of peace each of us has the capacity to offer.
And that is why the work of the Oakland Peace Center matters. The OPC brings together the very best of our hopes and our intentions and connects them to folks and organizations on the ground where peace is needed, where it is being cultivated, where it changes lives and communities. We and Us.
Take the work of our staff, in their own words:
Sandhya Jha, Executive Director
“It feels like there is so much hate in the world right now, and I think Gandhi said that the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s actually fear. Every day I connect with OPC partners I am witness to both courage and love, but the fear around us can feel insurmountable. That’s why we need each other: together our light shines brighter and we provide warmth and support to each other and to a community inundated with fear. You want hope, look at the OPC partners.”
Alexandra Candia, incoming Operations Manager
“I die, but will return tomorrow as thousand thousands.”
– Tupac Katari, the indigenous Aymara leader of the Great Rebellion in Upper Peru (now known as Bolivia), upon his execution
Our movements, our liberations, our victories, small and large have been the result our power in numbers, and the coaction of the strongest, brightest and most incredible people, who are around us every day. This is why I am blessed to begin a new journey of collaboration with some of the most inspiring and progressive minds and organizations at the Oakland Peace Center, who are working on the front lines to effect peace in our communities.
Clidell Jackson III, Facilities Manager
Some change needs to become a learned behavior.
Kristy Higares, outgoing Operations Manager
This work is groundbreaking. We are living peace as work, as mission, as our ethos. It matters because we matter.
Marvin K. White, Artivist in Residence
This work matters because art and storytelling empowers communities to overwrite with love, the narrative of hate that dominate culture is perpetuating.
Todd Atkins-Whitley, Peace & Partnerships Communicator
Together, we are creating something new, modeling a new way of being in relationship with each other and proposing, collaboratively, an alternative way of being in the world.
But we can do so much more collectively than we can on our own. That’s where you come in! You sustain us every single day this collective is in operation. You volunteer. You share. You give.
Many of you are aware we just launched a campaign to collect [at least] 1,000 intentional acts of peace being performed or committed to in the upcoming year and already folks are inspiring us. (And for each act, a generous donor is giving us $1, up to $1,000!) Here are just a few of the responses we’ve received:
- “I speak up for reason and kindness on our local Nextdoor site, whenever tempers start to flare.”
- “I believe in following my heart, and that commitment will bring peace in all aspects, even a smile can bring peace.”
- “I am working to create a model of community safety not dependent on calling the police.”
- “My partner and I try our best to be mindful of the issues that we’re all facing as individuals, seeking opportunities to brighten someone’s day by simple acts of kindness.”
- “Volunteering with Eco System Restoration Camps to restore degraded land and create community.”
- “I helped mediate a rift in my family that was bringing hate, fear, and depression into the relationships beyond them.”
- “I commit to making more of a hands-on effort by volunteering at a local community center.”
- “My goal is to treat everyone I meet with kindness and receive them with heart.”
- “I pledge to commit my time, talent and treasure to help foster deeper knowledge about the world we live in.”
And many of you are supporting the OPC financially. This past #GivingTuesday, you gave almost $3,000–most of that through individual fundraisers conducted for the OPC. And as our recent Annual Report shows, a relatively small but mighty group of donors fund the majority of our work! Considering the expansion of our staff and the rapid increase in programming, we need your help more than ever. (We will be saying more about this later this month.)
Indeed, a more peaceful Oakland is possible because of the work of the Oakland Peace Center and the many folks who are a part of that work. We and Us.
Thank you for being a part of both.
The OPC Team
Sunday, December 9 | 4p–8p | OPC
Ritual: A Live House Music Labyrinth Walk & Ceremonial Tea Dance with DJ Oluwafemi
Featuring the classic rhythms, soul, and funk with world fusions of DJ OluwaFemi, the House Music Labyrinth, a new ancient Knucklean Cosmology, locates the Universe’s song as House Music. A House Music Labyrinth walk and dance moves in the directionlessness of the Universe, which is comprised of infinite vinyl, endless and beginning-less, grooving towards the center of itself, where eventually the natural forces of its descendants and progeny dancing, lures us into a continuous stream of love out of nothing from nowhere into everyone.
The House Music Tea Dance Ceremony, also called “The Way of Jack”, is a House Music cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of house music, in all its states of matter: solids, liquids, gases, plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates, post-coital bliss, rebirth, and love. In House Music culture, it is called “The Carry On” or “Levaniathan”, while the manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is called “Tea Dance”. Come to the dance floor, the thresh, leave your burdens and get your life.
Come walk the labyrinth to house music. Come be poured into by the house music of the tea dance.
Check out more information and RSVP here.
How are you creating peace here in Oakland?
To what do you commit to bring about peace?
Visit our web site and let us know and we get a buck for each act of peace contributed, up to $1000!
Visit the complete listing of OPC partners here.
December 6 | 11a | St. Mary’s Center
Annual Homeless Memorial
St. Mary’s Center invites you to attend our Annual Homeless Memorial on Thursday, December 6 at 11:00 a.m. Please join us and do send in names of family and friends who have lived and died on our streets to be placed on our altar.
The Mustard Seed Immigration Law Project is one of the ministries sponsored by OPC partner Tapestry Ministries. Peggy Bristol is an immigration attorney who, on behalf of Mustard Seed, represents men, women and children who are fleeing violence in their own countries. Peggy represents many of them, including unaccompanied minors, in their asylum cases at no charge. They are seeking donations to support their heavy immigration case-loads representing folks desperately seeking peace in their lives. Contribute here.
Book of Poetry Benefits Pen-Pal Campaign
LaDasha ‘Diamond’ Berry of OPC partner New Beginnings Sister Circle is one of the authors of An Intimate Conversation with America’s Forgotten Souls: Pen Pals Speak Out Vol 1. This book is an anthology of poetry, manifestos and other creative writings produced by prisoners, ex offenders, activists and those who love and support them. It is an intimate look inside the heart’s and minds of America’s forgotten community members.
LaDasha is the co facilitator of the New Beginnings sister circle and Founder of Artists 4 Social Change. As an Artist and Activist LaDasha works with various non-profit organizations including United Roots and the Urban Peace movement in order to inspire uplift and empower marginalized and disenfranchised community members by infusing Arts with Social Justice. To support the Artists 4 Social Change: Pen Pal Campaign you can purchase a poetry book online here or send a donation via paypal with subject: pen pal fundraiser to email@example.com.
February 8–9, 2019 | Oakland
Dynamic Mindfulness Training
Dynamic Mindfulness has been field-tested with thousands of educators, mental health professionals and others and has been shown to positively impact hundreds of thousands of students. It is one of four mindfulness programs from around the world that meets the stringent research criteria for evidence-based practice set by the national Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
In this two-day* immersive training by OPC partner Niroga Institute, you will have the opportunity to experience Niroga’s Transformative Life Skills Curriculum – our scientifically validated, 440-page curriculum comprised of 48 scripted 15-minute Dynamic Mindfulness lessons that can be facilitated in diverse settings, with individuals or groups. Learn how to introduce dynamic mindfulness as a tool that will increase self-awareness, improve emotional regulation, promote healthy relationships and boost stress resilience.
For more information, click here.