Violence, Community-Building, Friends

Honestly Harvard has a hellava lot going on, and I’ve only experienced the tip of an iceberg.  Being on campus for classes and homework (mostly in the basement computer lab) exposes me to many opportunities – some which I will look to take advantage of more when and if we are in Boston next year.  Before I highlight 3 amazing events for this April 8-10 weekend, I want to comment about New Mission High in Roxbury where I taught last fall.

Fellow PRSE student Alison Blaine who is doing an extra assignment at New Mission told me today that one of my students’ brother was murdered last weekend.  It has made me sad, reflective and reminds me of a significant experiential learning last fall – about the presence of violence that coats everything and everyone in this particular neighborhood and school.  I plan to reach out to my former student with a letter this week (sent c/o my mentor teacher).  Alison mentioned how Brother Mohammad, one of the Student Services folks, in sub-teaching, facilitated a discussion about violence with the 12th grade students and delved into deeply religious language, concepts and belief systems.  The students reacted positively, still reeling from the news.  It is in this community that I find paralell to my experiences in Portland OR, although on a lesser level (less POC and less violence, not that they are inter-related mind you).  I am interviewing to do my hospital chaplaincy at Boston Medical Center at the geographic point where Roxbury meets Dorchester and South Boston.

This weekend there are 3 terrific events friends and colleagues from Harvard are organizing.

1) 2005 Conference – Women in War: Law and Gender in Situations of Conflict
http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlg/general/conference.php which focuses on work that Aimee has extraordinary experience and knowledge about.

2) Let Justice Roll – April 8
http://www.hds.harvard.edu/alumni/letjusticeroll.html being led by my good friend and classmate Dwight Ford, soon to be Rev, an American Baptist and POC collaborator, president of Harambee the African descent student organization.  I’m sorry to miss the return of Rev Mark Jennings who is LA 10 Point Coalition Executive Director now!  We all participated in a special study group last Spring (plus Michelle Robinson) with Rev Dr Jim Fraser of Northeastern.

3) Young People and Social Justice – April 9
http://www.stjames-cambridge.org/node/824 being organized in part by HUUMS member Elizabeth Gish and includes a workshop from the UUA Anti-Racism Trainer-Organizer Program for Youth & Young Adults.

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