Northern CA Peace Alliance/ Department of Peacebuilding leaders gathered on 1/28/17 for our 10th annual planning retreat, “Our 2017 Story: Seeing/ Being with Our Hearts.” We were also joined in Mill Valley by two Southern CA peacebuilders this year – making this a meeting of folks as geographically distant as 400+ miles. While we work together during the year, often virtually, this retreat is a time to appreciate our beloved community in person.
Many of these leads have worked with the Peace Alliance since 2004/ 2005 to create a Department of Peacebuilding, to work for restorative justice/ restorative practices and to promote cornerstones of peacebuilding embodied in that legislation such as personal peacebuilding, teaching peace in schools, community peacebuilding, humanizing the justice system and international peacebuilding. (This group has logged 141+ Peace Alliance years and many times that in peace activism years …)
During our 2014 retreat, we called the group “Council of Sages (In Training)” after reading these words from Thich Nhat Hahn: “America is suffering greatly. The destiny of a nation is too great to leave to politicians alone. We need people who can listen with their whole heart, who can listen as a human being and not just as a politician … I propose that the people of the United States form a Council of Sages who can listen deeply to people who feel they are victims of discrimination, exploitation, and social injustice. The Council of Sages could be made up of non-political people who have lived closely with suffering and understand suffering. They should also have experience in the practice of reconciliation and peacemaking.”
Thank you to the dedicated group of peacebuilders who attended the 2017 retreat: Willard Davis (Oakland), Annie Kelley (Santa Cruz), Maggi Koren (Windsor), Marty Lewis (Carmel), Lily Marie (attended in spirit from Nevada City), Nancy Merritt (El Cerrito), Kendra Mon (Petaluma), Lorrie Norby (Mill Valley), Mary Alice O’Connor (Walnut Creek), Nuri Ronaghy (Ojai), Josh Roebuck (Oakland), Jeanna Ruppel (Windsor), Elisabeth Scharbaum (Oakland), Alan Shorb (Ojai), and Stephanie Thomas (Berkeley).
Thank you also to others who have worked with the Peace Alliance in CA over the years, many of who are shown in the Northern CA retreat photos from 2017, 2014, 2011 and 2009.