The On Earth Peace (OEP) fall board meeting was held October 3-5 at the Marian Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was a joy to welcome Myalisse, the newborn daughter of Co-chair Melisa Leiter-Grandison and her husband Ben. The board also welcomed Mary Scott-Boria, the newest member and co-chair of the Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
A group building exercise planned by the new Board Governance and Development Committee kicked off the meetings. Other aspects of the board’s new organizational structure were also evident, demonstrating a smooth transition to the new design. An important part of the meetings continues to be intentional reflection on dynamics of power and process; the board pauses its work on a regular basis to assess these dynamics in order to ensure that the group is working well together, with power and privilege equally shared.
A keynote speaker the first evening gave witness to the powerful transformation possible through the organizing principals of Kingian Nonviolence. Victoria Christgau shared her amazing journey which led to the establishment of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence. Her organization has won the trust of both schools and police, opening doors for each to receive nonviolence training.
An interesting OEP and Church of the Brethren connection to this work was highlighted. The CT Center for Nonviolence is one of a number of organizations using a curriculum co-authored by Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., a freedom rider and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and David Jehnsen, a member of the Church of the Brethren. Jehnsen also worked with King and was once jailed with him. On Earth Peace is the fiscal sponsor for the Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee which holds the rights to the curriculum. After a meaningful and deeply spiritual time of sharing, the board laid hands on Victoria Christgau and prayed for God’s blessings on her work.Read more