Monday, October 8, 2018 is Indigenous People’s Day. In honor of this important day of remembrance, the focus of this month’s MN Peacebuilding Film on Tuesday, October 23 at the Birchwood Café is American Holocaust: When It’s All Over, I’ll Still Be Indian. This is a powerful, thought-provoking documentary film on the historical trauma of America’s Indigenous People. All of us need to learn this history, and particularly those of us who have benefited from the subjugation of Native American Indians and the bounty of this land that was stolen from their foremothers and forefathers. Knowing this history, we will be better able to follow the leadership of our Native American sisters and brothers with truth, mercy, justice, and peace.
At all of Peacebuilding’s films, trainings, and events, we seek not only to educate but also to instigate positive, productive, nonviolent social change with trauma-informed, resilience-oriented, and restorative justice philosophy, principles, and practices. Right now, one specific way you can make a positive difference in the lives of many is to check out the website dedicated to the Franklin Hiawatha Encampment in Minneapolis and donate in the spirit of reparations to the Indigenous organizations that are leading the way. Together, we are transforming our communities peace by peace.
Friday, September 21, 2018 is the International Day of Peace! The Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute is celebrating by collaborating with Twin Cities Nonviolent to conduct 10 Days Free From Violence, events and trainings across the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Metro Area, September 21-30. Think of it as a Peacebuilding Fringe Festival! During these 10 days full of nonviolent peacebuilding power, we’re excited to join forces with many great peacebuilding community groups’ events such as:
The Gathering of Nations for Peace and Unity Circle Dedication Bde Maka Ska – Thomas Beach, 3700 Thomas Avenue South, Mpls Saturday, September 22, 2018 9:00am – 11:00am
Spoken Word Poetry Slam & Artist Showcase, New Rules, 2015 Lowry Avenue North, Mpls Friday, September 21, 2018 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Safety Off: A Theatrical Discussion on Gun Violence in America, Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls Friday, September 21, 2018 7:30pm
Turning Points Towards Peace and Justice Workshop, Loft Peace and Justice Writer’s Group, East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St Paul Saturday, September 22, 2018 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Waging Peace: Building the Blocks in the Foundation for Peace – Paul K. Chappell. 3400 DuPont Avenue South, Mpls Thursday, September 27, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm
For our part, we’re hosting a couple of events during the 10 Days Free From Violence, including our monthly MN Peacebuilding Film Series, Tuesday, September25, 7-9pm. We’ll be screening "Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School", a film that offers a Native American perspective on Indian Boarding Schools.
Believe it or not, Minnesota is on the forefront of the Restorative Justice (RJ) movement in the USA. For those unfamiliar with Restorative Justice, it is an alternative to retributive justice that is the basis of our criminal legal system. While retributive justice’s central focus is on offenders ‘getting what they deserve’ based on a set of laws, restorative justice’s central focus is on empowering victims by authentically addressing and satisfying their needs that result from harm. Restorative justice also provides an opportunity for offenders who want to take responsibility for repairing harm to make things right with the person they have harmed. Additionally, the community of people who surround the victim, who many times have also been harmed by the offender, have an essential role to play in restorative justice so their needs are also met. Take a look at why Restorative Justice is so important as we seek to change unjust systems for the better.
Many communities from across Minnesota are working to embed restorative justice philosophy, principles, and practices into their criminal legal system. And RJ is playing an increasingly major role in our Minnesota schools and neighborhoods to address harm and crimes experienced by students, teachers, and neighbors.
Because of the strong RJ energy across the state, on August 9-11 the International Conference on Restorative Practices (ICRP) will be held in Saint Paul at Metropolitan State University. Check out the details at the ICRP link at the end of this newsletter.At ICRP, Crixell Shell and Donna Minter will be presenting about the STAR Training and our monthly Coming to the Table racial healing talking circles at the conference. Please stop by the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute’s information table to say hi to Claire, our Communications Coordinator, pick up some Peacebuilding swag, and register to win discounted tuition to upcoming trainings. Together we are making Minnesota the peacebuilding power state for all!
When terrible things happen to children, their peace is stolen from them. Even brief separations can impair the brain development of a young child or infant. Neuroscience reveals that separating children from their primary caregivers is traumatic and puts children at risk for long-term physical, mental, and learning difficulties as they age.
Traumatized individuals and communities are more easily controlled by leaders who do not have their best interests in mind. Healed, peacebuilding individuals and communities are better equipped to engage with active healthy nonviolent power. This is why we must come together as communities to authentically engage, care for one another, and build grassroots power. Joining together provides us with the safety and security to practice brain and body self-regulation strategies for healing that allows us to take leadership in our own lives. In the face of uncertainty and vulnerability, resilient healthy power is sustained, grows, and spreads to those around us. This allows us to make powerful nonviolent choices to be agents of constructive change within our own spheres of influence. When we face and stand up to inauthentic leaders we strengthen and build just peace within our lives. Together, we are transforming our communities peace by peace.
May 2018 marked a milestone for Peacebuilding: we completed our first contract STAR Training in collaboration with the Restorative Justice Unit at the Minnesota Department of Corrections. It was an inspiring week filled with thought-provoking questions and reflections on how we can work together to create change within our systems through grassroots leadership, spearheaded by folks with the wisdom, knowledge, and determination to make meaningful change happen. Our institutions often loom over us, faceless, and it’s easy to forget that there are individuals within them who understand the importance of truth, mercy, justice, and peace. Our week at STAR with this wonderful group from the Department of Corrections was a concrete reminder that change comes from the bottom up, from the individuals who want it, and who work together to make it a reality.
Restorative Justice Coordinator, Alicia Nichols, LSW, was instrumental in bringing the 5 day STAR Training to her colleagues at the MN Dept. of Corrections in May 2018. Alicia’s reasons for bringing STAR to the DOC is deeply rooted in her belief that when we equip the Restorative Justice Unit staff with:
Congratulations to all of our STAR DOC Graduates! We look forward to sharing STAR with more DOC staff and other state agencies in the future.
Written in collaboration with:
Alicia Nichols, LSW
Restorative Justice Coordinator | Victim Assistance and Restorative Justice Program
We have many people to thank for making LUNAFEST a grand success! Not only were the nine short films by, for, about women wildly entertaining, they were powerful, thought provoking, and peacebuilding. As a nonprofit organization committed to equity, these films are an important part of achieving our vision of making Minnesota the peacebuilding power state for all. The over $22,000 raised from LUNAFEST: Minneapolis supports our programs and provides scholarship assistance that makes our trainings accessible to all by offsetting the cost of tuition.
Thank you to Patty Wetterling for being our Honorary LUNAFEST Chairwoman, and for being a champion for peacebuilding. Most Minnesotans know Patty from the nightly news because of her tireless work to speak boldly about ending child abduction and exploitation. Patty and her family have been a major force toward building peace in Minnesota and across America when terrible things happen. Patty, thank you for your deep encouragement and bold peacebuilding leadership that has taught all of us how to tenaciously pursue light in the darkness, heal in the face of pain, and engage the power of peacebuilding in our communities.
Thank you also to Sunrise Banks for being our lead sponsor this year, and in particular to President Nichol Beckstrand for sharing about the bank’s compassion-driven mission to do good in the community. If you’re looking for a bank who is committed to peacebuilding, Sunrise Banks is it!
And thank you to all of our LUNAFEST attendees for making this year’s event our most successful yet. We’re honored by your support. Please save Wednesday April 24, 2019 for next year’s LUNAFEST: Minneapolis. When we come together for fun, connection, and inspiration, we feel better, we are better, and we build a stronger community – this is Peacebuilding power.
Gender equity has been on the forefront of the push for social change in the last year, thanks in part to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that sprung out of the film industry. Though the film industry has been dominated by men abusing their power since its beginnings, these forces of oppression are beginning to weaken, thanks to those who have boldly come forward to tell their truth and demand change.
While these movements demanding equity in film are gaining momentum, we’re taking a moment to appreciate one film production company that’s been advocating for women in film since 2005. Chicken and Egg Pictures supports women making non-fiction films to create social change. Through grants and creative mentorship, Chicken and Egg pictures helps women around the world produce, direct, and act in films as a means of disrupting the status quo in an industry that’s been defined by the male gaze. With their mission of supporting women to realize their artistic goals, build sustainable careers, and achieve parity in all areas of the film industry, Chicken and Egg Pictures is a worthy cause that receives part of the proceeds from LUNAFEST.
For the fifth year in a row, the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute is sponsoring LUNAFEST: Minneapolis. On Wednesday April 25, 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Riverview Theater, we’ll screen nine internationally curated short films by, for, about women. Since 2000, LUNAFEST has showcased the work of talented women directors from all over the world. This year’s lineup of films include a film about a 10 year-old girl training to become a professional boxer, a film tribute to the highest-paid silent film director at Universal Studios in 1916 who happens to be a woman, and a film about a Pakistani woman who graduated from MIT and now works in Silicon Valley as a game designer and provides summer camps for middle school girls to learn how to design video games.
In a historic moment where we’re reckoning with the film industry’s history of discrimination, it’s more important than ever that films – like those shown at LUNAFEST – that highlight the stories of women and people of color are made and shown widely. Thanks to #MeToo and #TimesUp, there’s a push for equity in film that echoes our need for equity in all aspects of our lives.
As a nonprofit organization committed to equity, these films are an important part of achieving our vision to Make Minnesota the Peacebuilding Power State For All. The funds raised from LUNAFEST: Minneapolis go toward Peacebuilding’s programs and scholarships that help make our trainings accessible to all by offsetting the cost of tuition. We hope you join us for LUNAFEST on Wednesday April 25 for an evening of fun, inspiring, and thought-provoking Peacebuilding in our community.
For the fifth year in a row, the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute is sponsoring LUNAFEST: Minneapolis. On Wednesday April 25, 2018 at the Riverview Theater, we’ll screen nine internationally curated short films by, for, about women. Since 2000, LUNAFEST has showcased the work of talented women directors from all over the world. This year’s lineup of films include a film about a 10 year-old girl training to become a professional boxer, a film tribute to the highest-paid silent film director at Universal Studios in 1916, and a film about a Pakistani woman who helps middle school girls in Silicon Valley learn to design video games.
In a historic moment where we’re reckoning with the film industry’s history of discrimination, it’s more important than ever that films like these that hold up the stories of women and people of color are made and shown widely. Thanks to #MeToo and #TimesUp, there’s a push for equity in film that echoes our need for equity in all aspects of our lives.
As a nonprofit organization committed to equity, these films are an important part of achieving our vision to Make Minnesota the Peacebuilding Power State For All. The funds raised from LUNAFEST: Minneapolis go toward Peacebuilding’s scholarships that help make our trainings accessible to all by offsetting the cost of tuition. We hope you join us for an evening of Peacebuilding in our community.
In March, we’re featuring an influential woman every day in honor of Women’s History Month.
Today we’re celebrating:
Journalist (1867 – 1922)
In March, we’re featuring an influential woman every day in honor of Women’s History Month.
Today we’re celebrating:
Businesswoman and U.S. Treasurer (1925 – 2018)