Commentaries

 

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Debbie & Kenny Robison

Debbie Robison who has served as Assistant Treasurer and Accountant for Initiatives of Change for 18 years writes, "When I heard about Initiatives of Change for the first time I was intrigued to encounter a group of people whose founding principles were very much in line with those that I was striving to live by in my daily life."

Friday, August 21, 2015
Dr. Margaret Smith

"In times of rapid social and political change, we are even more aware than in times of stasis that written history and living memory are the containers for wounds of the past, for political outlooks and national identity, for our understanding of others and for our understanding of ourselves. History and social narratives cannot be separated from politics and power structures. They also help us make meaning of events in our personal lives." A Caux Lecture given on July 18 by Dr. Margaret Smith of American University.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
José Carlos Vargas

"In Mexico there is a common belief that we are a society where economic disparities and classism exist, but we do not acknowledge the presence of racism in our culture. Yet in every advertisement, in every TV program, and in the majority of universities, companies and government entities, middle or top officials featured are white, or have a fair skin tone," writes Jose Carlos Vargas (CSP 2005) whose work focuses on social inclusion in Mexico.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Dr. Carl Stauffer

"On the heels of the tragic AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the subject of forgiveness has once again been thrust into the public domain of race relations in the United States. And once again, a rigorous debate has been launched around the merits and demerits of forgiveness with those who praise this pubic display of mercy and those calling it a shameful miscarriage of justice," writes Dr. Carl Stauffer, Academic Director of the Caux Scholars Program.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Duron Chavis

Duron Chavis, one of the 2015 class of the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship, is an activist, urban gardener and promoter of a green movement to bring healthy living to African American communities. He writes here about his experience: "The most important learning experience I took from the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship was the emphasis on the difference between facilitation and teaching. So many times we see a top-down model of community activism and engagement."

Monday, June 22, 2015
Charlotte Freeman

Charlotte Freeman writes her reflections after working with Initiatives of Change (IofC) for the past three years, "I am struck by the clear personal and professional growth that I have experienced myself and witnessed others experience. The priority set on IofC’s core values of absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love allows relationships to be explicitly guided by these values. I have learned that, while upholding these values may force us to confront difficult conversations, when faced together, these challenges can be the most rewarding and sustainable paths to relationships of trust."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The timing of the recent Healing History conference in Richmond was by no means accidental. It was designed to explore how to realize the promise of equality never fully realized when the Civil War ended 150 years ago. We were looking for some way to straighten out the tangled legacy of slavery, civil war and race in our country – and similar issues elsewhere in the world.

Friday, April 17, 2015

"It is raining outside my hotel room. I am in Richmond, Virginia, in the US, attending a conference to 'learn about how to heal history, understand the legacies that keep us apart and generate energy for building healthy inclusive societies.' Many of us are from slave descendant communities," writes Reverend Michael Weeder, Dean of the Anglican Cathedral of St George the Martyr, Cape Town, South Africa.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Iman Shabazz

"Three cases involving white police officers and black male victims where the evidence under public scrutiny held that the deaths of these black males were not only unwarranted but pointed to a more poignant problem that has persisted in the relationship between law enforcement and culturally diverse communities." A reflection from Iman Shabazz.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Mike McQuillan

Mike McQuillan, a founding member of the Hope in the Cities National Network, teaches history at the Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Studies. He coordinated the Crown Heights Coalition’s two-year healing program after the August 1991 racial conflict. On returning from the Healing history conference he writes: "I wondered whether the conference theme of racial healing and reconciliation can scale the walls of institutions within which diversity rarely rises past mid-management."

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