Day Three of Ten Days of Peace: Two events–creating a community of connection and addressing Alan Blueford’s murder by police
6:30 PM Gift Circle organized by the Connection Action Project (Shelton Hall): The gift circle workshop is for people experiencing transition on the personal, social or economic level, and who are interested in exploring alternative models of interaction and transaction. We will practice new ways to give to and receive from one another with the intention to have a felt experience of healing and communication that can map onto all our relationships, our work and our finances. Bring a material offering, a passion, or a talent to share, and/or a situation where you are blocked and could use support.
7:00 PM Oakland’s Faith Community Responds to Alan Blueford’s Murder by Police (Fellowship Hall): Alan Blueford, high school senior about to graduate from Skyline High School in Oakland, was gunned down fatally by police on May 6. Come to this meeting with the Blueford family to pray, act, and strategize to make sure that what happened to Alan will not happen to anyone else. In partnership with the Interfaith Tent at Oakland.
These events initially may seem unrelated. However, the Oakland Peace Center’s core purpose is bringing together people and organizations dedicated to creating access, opportunity and dignity for all people in Oakland and the Bay Area. Not only are both of Day Three’s activities directly connected to that purpose, they are also enmeshed with one another in ways that are not immediately obvious but that run deep.
The very reason that Alan Blueford is no longer with us is because we have become a community of people who do not truly know one another, who are not truly in relationship with each other, do not recognize our interdependence with one another. In fellowship hall, people will gather to hear Alan’s parents share the story of his shooting and why the Oakland Police Department has not brought anyone to justice. People of faith will be invited to take a lead role in calling for a justice system in Oakland that is truly just and honors the lives and dignity of all Oakland citizens. A floor up, in Shelton Hall, people will gather to name the gifts that they bring to share with one another and to name their needs. They will create a temporary community where people know one another and give of themselves to help meet others’ needs as well as being vulnerable enough to name what their own needs are. They will participate in the radical act of creating a community where no one is expendable and where people share the best of themselves and receive the best in one another. While one room dedicates itself to dignity of one sort, making sure that the cry of “Never again” rings true this time, one room will dedicate itself to dignity of another sort, “from each according to their gifts and to each according to their needs.”
What a gift that both of these critical acts of diginity creation are happening in the Bay Area, on this night and hopefully for many nights to come.