A "summer of peace"
As Euphrates' Global Outreach and Communications Director, I have the privilege of serving as the main point of contact for our Chapters around the world. In their local communities, ranging from Kinshasa, DRC to Seattle, Washington, they are actively engaged in turning 'Others' into brothers through education, dialogue, reconciliation and community building. Their work is bold, courageous, inspiring and transformative, and it is shifting the global narrative from division to connection and from despair to hope. We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter to learn more about what our community of visionaries is doing!
Ou Chapter Leader in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, is experienced in reconciling disparate groups of people through dialogue. He has hosted face-to-face gatherings between Christians and Muslims and between Albinos and non-Albinos with the intention of humanizing both groups, addressing various misconceptions and cultivating relationships. Recently he hosted a three day event for the hearing and deaf, during which the hearing were taught sign language as a way to dignify the deaf. In Elesse's words:
"We hosted this event to turn the non-hearing into brothers. And according to us, the best expression of love for non-hearing is to learn the language of sign in order to communicate with them."
Watch this video to get a window into the gathering. It is very inspiring!
Victor Garpulee, our Chapter Leader in Monrovia, Liberia, is using the Golden Rule as a means of fostering community transformation. At his Chapter's recent event, which had an attendance of over 130 people, including 100 students, they explored the opportunity they have to create a community that is just, peaceful and respectful of human rights. In Victor's own words: "We realized that a peaceful society is based upon inter-personal networking relationships that are driven by citizens from the social, economic, political, cultural and academic communities, their followers, leaders and people of faith and goodwill to a place where peace and diversity will be discussed and explored in the context of understanding and cooperation."In Burundi, our Chapter Leader, Oscar Ndayisenga, organized an event to address electoral violence and turn political enemies into friends. The participants shared personal experiences about the negative impacts political crises have had in Burundi. By the end of the event participants walked away with a different view of the other. As Oscar puts it: "At the end of the facilitation participants [decided] to become peace messengers in their community and accepted to work until they can get their political friends to understand that the other - those who do not have same political opinion - is not enemy but is a brother."
In August, our Founder, Janessa Gans Wilder, participated as a speaker in the Shift Network's 2018 Summer of Peace, Finding Common Ground Summit. This inspirational event brought together change makers from around the world who are working on critical issues, such as human rights, economic justice and the environment, to share the peace practices they are using to contribute to global transformation. Click on the image to the left to watch a video of the session Janessa led at the summit!
(This interview was part of the 2018 Summer of Peace, Finding Common Ground Summit, a free online event featuring how to build bridges for personal and collective transformation. For more information, please visit www.summerofpeacesummit.com. This recording is a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reserved.)Our community recently had the pleasure to talk with Jessica Morse who is currently running for Congress in her home district in California and is also our newest Global Advisory Council member. Jessica spent nearly ten years in National Security working for the Defense Department, State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Her assignments included a year and a half in Iraq, as well as India, Burma and the US Pacific Command. Hearing personally from Jessica on our recent call was refreshing and inspirational, especially in the midst of such a deeply divided political scene. Click on her image to watch a recording of the call and hear more about Jessica's experience and her outlook on the world!
We hope you can join us for our next community call on Friday September 7th at 8am Pacific. Here are the Zoom call-in details:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/276456906 Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16465588656,,276456906# or +16699006833,,276456906# Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833Meeting ID: 276 456 906International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/dALTUBheo