So, possibly like you, I’ve been agast at the nasty tone of “our” Presidential election conversation – agast at police who shoot the unarmed, agast at outlandish racist representation of minorities, agast at the inhumane treatment of people the globe over toward men, women and children. Why can’t we all just get along? Well, some are hungry, homeless, bombed out! And we carry a lot of guilt for that as we’ve done it unto others.
Still, many of us just don’t know better, it seems. So – SOLUTION! Teach Tolerance and Critical Thinking to the next generation and – hard to do – tolerate as much awful conversation (not illegal acts) as you can without hitting back – from those who are too blinded by hate and fear to behave with kindness.
All these powerful feelings, wanting the balance of power and respect between men and women to become fair, the right-on banners at the recent North American Permaculture Convergence, FAIR SHARE, PEOPLE CARE, EARTH CARE – signs of relief knowing these groups are working toward a kinder, more sane world:
– Southern Poverty Law Center
– Peace Alliance
– Pachamama Alliance
– Spirit Rock Meditation Center
– Permaculture Convergence/Transition Movement
(many more of course!)
So what, exactly, does Southern Poverty Law Center do? They make public hate crimes, hate groups under categories of Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance, Seeking Justice, Civil Rights Memorial. SPLC follows hate groups and exposes them to the public. They publish Teaching Tolerance magazine, a great read and uplifting! For nearly 45 years, SPLC has stood up for the underpriviledged nudging us toward a healthier culture overall. Our children desperately need to know there are alternatives to the hate mongering and fear thrown out everywhere in media and on the streets so they can choose peace.
Peace Alliance has thousands of members and wants a million! They are founded by sweet, smart people who also teach critical thinking in schools to help the next generation think before pounding each other, forging an alliance.
The Peace Alliance empowers civic engagement toward a culture of peace.
Who (they) Are:
We are an alliance of organizers and advocates throughout the United States taking the work of peacebuilding from the margins of society into the centers of national discourse and policy priorities. Our network includes volunteer grassroots teams in cities, towns, colleges and high school campuses across the nation.
The Peace Alliance is a 501(c)4 nonprofit. The Peace Alliance Educational Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that may accept tax deductible donations.
What We Do:
A great need exists in our country and world for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to preventing and resolving violent conflict. From the growing rate of domestic incarceration to increasing problems of international conflict, the United States faces great challenges around the issue of violence in our homes, communities and world. We do our part in the following ways:
Our Primary focus is on these Five Peacebuilding Cornerstones:
Empowering Community Peacebuilding,
Teaching Peace in Schools,
Humanizing Justice Systems,
Fostering International Peace,
Cultivating Personal Peace.
Pachamama Alliance: “Weaving indigenous wisdom and modern knowledge for a thriving, just, and sustainable world,” Pachamama Alliance members have saved huge swaths of rainforest from development, providing us with the air we breathe, they “protect the lungs of the earth” while engaging thousands of people in the Amazon rainforest area.
Spirit Rock: While so many of our friends have encountered Spirit Rock (nearby in Woodacre), I like the definition by Amy Tan in her Saving Fish from Drowning book: “Mindfulness meditation was created to help people in Marin County learn to be quiet” or some such words. A visitor these last 24 years, I’d say Spirit Rock eases the pains of modern life while instilling a committment to helping others through stories and opportunities to support good works here and in other countries.
Permaculture Convergence: Linked to Transition movement here, in England and elsewhere, the “permie” world encompasses people of all ages who support not just organic foods and their care but care for each other – reverence comes along with resilience and, hopefully, regeneration. In this most current iteration of the Convergence at Hopland’s Solar Living Institute, there was a strong emphasis on equality of opportunity with long conversations on how Native Americans are faring. The Convergence is full of joy, song, workshops and a chance to work together toward more honest media, healthier communities in so many categories I can’t include them all if I could recall them! Will definitely be going again next time!
Among those running along side on these issues are American Civil Liberties Union, Union of Concerned Scientists, just a visit or ten to Spirit Rock to learn mindfulness, kindness, resilient internal peace to deal with fear and hatred.
Hope is you’ll chose to check in on one of more of these – well worth your time when hope for a better world comes with your donation of time or money.