Phew….. After a long and fulfilling trip, I’m finally on my way home
And as I think about being able to sleep in my own bed tomorrow night, I am also pondering the idea of “home.
Right now, I am on my way back from San Diego, where I just had dinner with my friend and Peace Warrior Jeremiah. Jeremiah was one of our inside trainers at Soledad State Prison, where we just recently surpassed 500 men who have gone through our workshops.
After helping us lead many of those workshops in the tail end of his 20 years of incarceration, Jeremiah came home in January!!! I’ve been talking to him on the phone regularly since his release, but this was the first time I’ve gotten to see him and give him a hug. And it felt awesome.
Jeremiah talked to me about how important it is to have positive programs inside the system. Programs like Barrios Unidos, Kingian Nonviolence and other opportunities that allow men to go deep and transform out of a culture of violence.
It’s been amazing keeping in touch with Jeremiah, hearing the joy in his voice, and now seeing the joy on his face as we sat down over some barbeque. Hearing about what he has been able to do now that he’s home – spend time with his family, enjoy the sun and the ocean, share his inspiring story to “at-risk” youth in the San Diego area – was so inspiring and a great way to end my trip.
We are looking forward to him coming up to Oakland to help facilitate our two-day Kingian Nonviolence workshop in July!!!
After an amazing two-day workshop with new (and one old) friends in Oxnard, I also got to visit some friends in Los Angeles. Paul Engler, co-author of the new book, “This Is an Uprising,” (highly recommended reading for everyone) and I talked about the need to build nonviolent movements. Lori, Kingian trainer who not only trains but spreads nonviolence through her incredible music, played me some of her new songs which are about to be released. And Vishnu, who I met through nonviolent communication work, and I had great conversations about diversity, conflict and more.
I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible peacemakers, each contributing to Beloved Community in their own ways. And I feel blessed that each of you are part of that community!!!
We are still running our three-week fundraising campaign, and I will continue to send short updates as our work continues. I will be back in San Quentin tomorrow, our work in the county jails continues this week, and I am excited to speak at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center for the first time after another two-day workshop in Soledad prison.
Please consider supporting our fundraising campaign by donating $10, $15 or $25. Your contribution will go towards supporting all of our programs, on the inside working with men like Jeremiah, and on the outside supporting communities like the one I was just at in Oxnard, with new activists learning how to build powerful movements.
Thank you all for everything that you do in the name of peace!!!
Until next time,