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Showing posts from 2017

Equity Work is Healing Work (Part 2)

 [In the previous (Nov. 12) blog post, I talked about the connection I see between justice work and healing work – acknowledging the reality that our society is built upon acts of brutality and actively maintains systems of domination. I promised to next offer practical steps for dismantling oppression and to create and sustain liberation for all.   I hope that you will take one or two of these to begin practicing within your movement or organization.   Please do share what you learn!]   EQUITY WORK IS HEALING WORK (PART 2) Important and critical practices for any group intending equity and justice falls under what I’ve named: Systematic Repair – Living Equity .   These are concrete steps that, through practice, cultivate a culture of truth – a repaired foundation upon which we can institutionalize equity and justice. Systematic Repair Practices 1.      Make sure that your team has as a part of its training (as early in its development as possible) a

Equity Work is Healing Work

I was talking to a friend and colleague last night.   He shared a bit about how his facilitation teams were beginning to run into conflict as they worked together.   Tensions were building, demanding attention. The issues that were rising to the surface were issues of power associated with race, class and gender.   His facilitation teams work as a part of a program designed to develop strong community leaders who are committed to building equity and justice.   It has run for over 10 years and has never seen this level of dissention.   His question was, how have we gone all of this time without ever making conversations about oppression and power a deliberate part of our work?   How have past leaders of this program managed to smooth all of this over?   Thinking about a recent Training for Trainers that I’d facilitated, I began to respond, “The stuff just hits the fan in this work.   I’ve yet to lead a training for facilitators where te

Wake Up....RUTS!

Avoiding the ruts of injustice within and without              A warning that I find myself offering with greater frequency these days is “watch out to avoid the deeply cut grooves.”   These are the depressions that have been worn into the road by a repeated pattern of travel. These are the familiar ways that establish and maintain systems of power.   Whether it be power with, power against, power under or over, individuals and organizations who have committed to be just, equitable and inclusive are committing to shifting power patterns. Equity and justice are about power.   We who claim a commitment to building justice and equity are in the business of shifting power, period!   It is for us to move beyond the deeply cut grooves, find our way out of the ruts. We tend to have very little practice in recognizing or naming power dynamics therefore, those who make a claim of creating equity and justice must submit to radical exploration and radical truth-telling.   Rigorous an

More wisdom from Sister Ruby

Dear ones, as promised I share another portion of my transcription of what I heard from Sister Ruby Sales during a radio interview with Dr. Wilmer Leon. (I'm excited to report that since I first posted a section of this interview, I have had the great honor of speaking with Sister Sales and she has agreed to lead a January Deeper Change Forum and follow-up workshop in the New Haven area on January 25 & 26, 2018! More info soon at  So grateful for this wisdom: --> "...any movement in the 21 st century that seeks to do systemic and core changes must be spiritual in nature.   I didn’t say religious.   I said “spiritual in nature” – that must deal with the inner and outer souls of white America – what they believe and think inside of themselves and how they live in the world.   It must be able to heal the chasm between what they think and how they live in life.    --> And so that, no social justice movem

Words of Ruby Sales lite/light me up!

Dear ones, I came right home and transcribed as much of this interview as I could. I'll share bits and pieces as I can: “We live in a world where we are being overwhelmed by the spiritual malformation of a people who place materialism as the highest good and who are addicted and possessed by an insatiable hunger for materialism and power that has not been able to be satisfied by invasions, by stealing land, by genocide by cultural appropriation by killing the earth and all of the natural resources in the earth.” Ruby Sales (Interview I heard on a radio program with Dr. Wilmer Leon)

Still stuck on "Illusion"

I know sometimes it seems (even to me) that I need to get off of the topic of "Seeing through Illusions."  In 2007 my lecture was published entitled, "Letting Go of Illusion, Engaging Truth: Healing!"  I've given a few speeches with "illusion" in the title.  I composed and led my singing group, Tribe 1,  to record my song, "I Can See Thru Illusion."  I wrote that song because in fact, I know that we can see through illusions.  In fact, we MUST see through illusion if we are to reach anything close to wellness - anything close to justice - anything close to right-relationship within our society. This essay below that I found today on the On Being site, written by Miguel Clark Mallet does a fabulous job of describing the impact of living under illusion.  If it had ended there (though describing "there" is quite a feat in its own right), I would not be sharing it.  It is the place that he gets to in his last paragraph.  It's w

IT’S HEARTWORK! ~ To the July, 2017 BD101 Circle

I continue to be ever so blessed to facilitate 5-day Intensives called Beyond Diversity 101 (BD101) .  This July's cohort came with its own flavor.  It is always that way.  If feels like a miracle of Creation - how each one of us, each group, each family or tribe has its own flavor, its own fragrance, its own vibration.  I wrote this piece following the particularities that I sensed from this precious and fierce group.  Grateful for the honor of working with you.  Ase IT’S HEARTWORK! So, you were the ones that showed this time In and out of flow, you kept your gaze turned inward In toward this group be-coming tribe, be-coming community How I would have loved for us to hold this gaze even longer To test the fabric of our holding…Stretching and stretching   to its furthest points ~ Breaking our hearts over and over again You were the ones who showed up this time, who showed time that it does not determine  the beloved communion’s unfolding .    If time were in

But Why Must We Have These Tears? (written Nov. 9, 2016 - day after the election)

But Why Must We Have These Tears? This morning, I’m noticing that “tear” and “tear” are spelled exactly the same.   I cried tears (salty liquid secreted from eye glands) in 2008 as I watched the Obama family enter the stage after victory.   This morning I cried tears (salty liquid secreted from these same eye glands) as I woke at 4:30 to face the reality that I had tried to smother with my pillow at midnight, ‘oh, just let me have a few hours of sleep’ – defeat.   In both momentous occasions, my tears carried emotions tied to possibility – joyful and fearful possibility. But why must we have these tears? And then, there is tear (to rip apart by force). Yes, this is what I feel this morning as I hold my stomach tight with crossed arms.   But, for months, I have been saying that these are times when the veils are being more than lifted, they are being torn away – from Sandra Bland to Brexit, from Kaepernick to the buffalo at Standing Rock.   But why must we have these