Wednesday, April 22, 2015

“Kids And Kops:” Coffee House Conversation IV On Race Relations


We’ve not yet even digested and assimilated last weekend’s two, not one but two, Coffee House Conversations and we are all excited to tell you about the next one.

Here it is…..




Our Topic: Kids and Kops

Coalition Building Event IV

Frederick County, Maryland

Saturday, May 16

Dublin Roasters Coffee
1780 N. Market Street

3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

A small “zone of peace can be anywhere!

Why not begin building yours in your own backyard?

       New Horizons is here to help you develop the                                          “know how. 

Stories and details on the way!

Reservations and information,

Contact: Blair Thomas

Cell: 717.451.0669
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com

Friday, April 17, 2015

“Trash Talk” Expert Honors Coffee House Conversations On Race Relations With A Beautiful Testimonial

I have been wanting to share the following letter that was sent to Sue deVeer, my Small “Zones of Peace” Project collaborator, and myself since we received it, right after our last Coffee House Conversation On Race Relations event, March 21.
Kathryn Ruud,
StopPolarizingTalk.org

The missive that follows was written by Kathryn Ruud, a woman both Sue and I hold in the highest esteem. Kathryn is a noted scholar of linguistics,the study of language, and a peace and social justice activist of great repute. Her passion is exposing the damage to our society and politics of what she calls “Trash Talk.”
You can hear Kathryn’s very powerful message, Stop Polarizing Talk, on the subject on YouTube at this link.
Sue and I are very proud to have been honored with Kathryn’s participation as a member of our first panel for the Coffee House Conversations On Race Relations project. And, at our last event – as an ordinary, willing and touchingly vulnerable participant, especially in our small group conversations.
Kathryn’s letter to us is as follows, dated March 22, 2015.
We hope it will inspire you to want to know more about the power of what we are creating – and – possibly to even join our endeavors.
A letter from Kathryn Ruud
Hi Anastasia & Sue -

I was really impressed with the event yesterday, and I could tell how much work and thought had gone into the planning behind it. One thing I get over & over again in my talks on polarization is the sense people are looking for a way out of it. I am so encouraged by the DEPTH of understanding and practice you both are bringing to this effort. And I wanted to share this cut & paste of a Facebook post I made this a.m. (in which I including a link to your New Horizons web page, Anastasia):
"On one local conservative talk radio program last week, there was mention of organized community efforts to be pro-active in addressing racism in our community. Both the host and callers (likely all white) trashed these efforts, saying "if there is no problem, what is there to talk about?"

Quote from a local (Frederick News-Post) article on these efforts:

"It can be very uncomfortable," Capt. Jason Keckler, deputy chief of the Frederick Police Department, said of the conversations undertaken Saturday. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be had, he said. "We've made a lot of strides over the last several years, but we have a way to go. Things like this are a good part of that."

I was glad to see Capt. Keckler again yesterday, at the 2nd session of this ongoing conversation.

About 10% of the population of our main town in our community, located in Central Maryland, is African American. We also have a growing Hispanic population and a small Muslim population. Increasingly, locals hear Spanish (and other languages other than English) spoken. Needless to say, given that this area has been mostly homogeneous (white) since the founding of the country, this new blend of faces, languages and faiths is a challenge to traditional ideals of "community".

Yesterday I participated, again, in one of these local community efforts to bridge divides and to open conversations on differences. At least 3 uniformed officers (including one officer who was African American) and one former police official participated, and of the additional 25 or so persons there, perhaps a third considered themselves to be a part of a minority community of some sort.

We spent four hours together, first listening to a few speakers, then breaking up into small groups, where we were encouraged to tell our own stories: about our early experiences, whether ~ as children ~ we had encountered or understood the existence of racism, why we enjoyed living in this particular part of Maryland, and also our experiences in our town with differences across race, religion, etc.

So to the question, "What is there to talk about?," I'd say: plenty. And storytelling (about our own lives, our own experiences) does break down assumptions and stereotypes. The face-to-face aspect of these conversations is vitally important, as you are not just reading that story, but hearing it first-hand, and taking in the full experience of that person's expression of it: his/her gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc.

As the organizer of the event said, "An enemy is someone whose story you have not heard." 

With polarization in our society encouraged, inflamed and sold as part of a particular talk radio business model (and that includes programs broadcast by the station I mention above), it was refreshing to see people simply being together, enjoying each other's company, chatting across the divides. 

At the end of these smaller group sessions, I observed how people seemed reluctant to leave those groups, and to go back into an assembled audience. We had just made new and interesting connections with others. This program left me hopeful that at least some are tiring of the promotion of polarization, are hoping for a different way of communicating, and are actively committed to getting back to what is best about living in a democracy: being together and enjoying at atmosphere of mutual respect.

It is no accident to me that the organizer of these events, Anastasia Rosen-Jones, has training in therapy for addictive personalities. I personally see political, racial, religious polarization as a kind of addiction that needs some kind of intervention to be interrupted and diminished.

There have been several stories written in local papers about this community effort by Anastasia and her New Horizons Project. There is a bit about Anastasia's background here, as well as links to her radio program, should you be interested in learning more about this project."

I was thrilled, Anastasia, to hear you say you are committed to this effort for the long run.

Kathryn

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coffee House Conversation III On Race Relations


Our topic: "Making Violence Obsolete: The Action Pathway"

Coalition Building Event III

Frederick County, Maryland

Saturday, April 18

Dublin Roasters Coffee
1780 N. Market Street

3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

A small “zone of peace can be anywhere!

Why not begin building yours in your own backyard?

New Horizons is here to help you develop the “know how.


Conversation is our style.

That’s the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” way.

Conflict and diversity tensions need not be a way of life!


Friday, April 10, 2015

FYI: Just Wanted You To Know

This event, at which I (Anastasia) am the obvious key note speaker is not open to the public but we are so thrilled with both the back stories in motion and the pending program why would we keep it to ourselves when the world around us is in such turmoil?

This event, on the other hand, promises to be a small oasis in the storms that surround us.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How To Talk About Race Relations

Coffee House Conversations On Race Relations takes to the airways!

Our special guest for this week’s Possible Society In Motion Radio Show, Herman King, will join Jack and myself as we introduce a new track for our radio show programs. Our new format, anticipated to be a regular or semi-regular addition, will help bring the embryonic success of the NewHorizons' Coffee House Conversations On Race Relations in Frederick County, Maryland to our online radio show.
Herman and Anastasia
at
Coffee House Conversations II 

Our intention is to create a nationwide audience with participation of as many who “dare” to join us for this essential conversation!

We hope you will be among those who will participate. (Details for when, where and how are below.)

Come on folks don’t just slink into the dark and dusty corners of protected oblivion because Starbucks isn’t pushing the issue right now. Don’t you be the one who is allowing the sounds of your voice to be muffled.

We know you have opinions, some of which are even on the side of volatile. We want to hear them as long as you play by our ground rules of civility. You can do it!

Herman King, my favorite foot soldier of the day, is a role model for the courageous way to go, by an African American male, determined to get his voice heard and do it within the system. Herman means business but his civility is his great strength!

Herman is a gorgeous role model to follow. But only one among many that our new format will welcome. Our updated program arrangements will feature guests who are already actively involved participants and supporters of the Coffee House Conversations on Race Relations series in Frederick, Maryland.  Many who have been actively involved in a wide-ranging variety of other program on these issues on a county-wide level that New Horizons is just now bringing to the table,

You too can be involved without even leaving your living room (details below).

On our up-to-the-minute program format we are going to be taking the local conversation beyond that geographical confine with the hope that the renewed vitality of our local community’s involvement and its developing unity among people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds can spread to other communities.

Special programs will feature guests who will weave their personal and, sometimes, professional perspectives and experiences with that of Jack and myself to inspire us all to move beyond polarization, anywhere, all the time. Our greatest strength is, not only our commitment, but that we are actually now moving full force ahead within a community, Frederick County, Maryland, that is beginning to shift out of stagnation and into "motion."

We won’t be deterred!

We are intent on healing the wounds of past stereotyping, racism and police brutality.

We’ve already begun. It’s only a start but we are on our way.

So please join Jack and myself as we set this new track in motion with special guest, Herman King. 

You’re gonna just love Herman (I do!) so much you might want him to be our new guest co-host. So check us out!

To introduce this new format, Jack, Herman and myself will discuss the "how" and "how not" of conversations on race relations.

On our last show, we asked the question, should people be talking about race relations?  

The answer was a resounding “Yes.”

But the where, when and how turned out to not be quite so clear as the well-intentioned mission of Starbucks so disappointingly revealed.

Now Jack and I take up the latter question with Herman, on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show this week.

Please do join us!

Listen in as we explore the issues for thirty minutes, broadcast. And, then for as long as we want on our “Coffee House Conversation” Conference Call (details below) .




Thursday, April 9, 2015


6:30 p.m.


Listen in to our lively on-air broadcast at 6:30 p.m. by dialing 347.237.5351
or clicking on the above link from your computer.

Then join us for our Coffee House-like informal discussion forum following the on-air broadcast. And be sure to have your cup of coffee near at hand.

You do not need to even leave your living room or computer to join in this discussion!

Let's truly make dialogue a community effort with the serious intent of a better world our objective.


Join Anastasia and Jack – and – Herman King as they discuss the situation live on the air and its implications.

Then join Anastasia, Jack and Herman for the informal discussion forum following the on-air broadcast at: Conference Call in: 712.432.0600, access code 640883.

Also available on podcast. Hear all our back programs on 
podcast at this link.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Making Even Subtle Violence Obsolete

Coffee House Conversations III On Race Relations

"Making Even Subtle Violence Obsolete: Moving Beyond Conflict"

Is your group, organization or community polarized?

You know it doesn’t have to be this way, right?

Do you wish you could do something about it?


Conflict, racial tensions and polarization need not be a way of life!

Mahatma Gandhi suggested –

“We do best to begin by carving out territories or zones of peace in our personal relations where violence and deceit won’t be used.”

Conversation is our style.

That’s the New Horizons “Zones of Peace” way.

Join the expanding effort to make Frederick County a true “Zone of Peace.”



Explore New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” blog site for an array of Coffee House Conversations articles and information.

For Details and Reservations, Contact: Blair Thomas
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 717.451.0669