On Ferguson and the Need for Raised Awareness and Dialogue on Social Justice

The recent non-indictments in Ferguson, Missouri, of police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown or in New York City of police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner have been triggering old and deep pain around social justice and holding the crucial and excruciating difference of justice for people of color in particular.

I invite you to listen to the recording of an open call  “Giraffe Eyes: Observing World Events through the Lens of NVC” held by NVC Academy and hosted by a team of CNVC certified trainers skilled and dedicated to work on diversity. Dian Killian, one of the trainers, recounts her experience and highlights of the call here.

Miki Kashtan, co-founder of BayNVC also wrote two recent pieces on her blog on these issues (“Responding to Violence with Love for All” and “Engaging with Privilege“) that I recommend reading.

I particularly learned much from her over the last couple of years on how to be more aware of one’s own power and privileges (even if/when not wanting or being comfortable to own it/them as given by social, historical, racial, economical culture) in order to gain more consciousness on how to support power-sharing, healing, reconciliation, social change and mattering for all. And how ‘love’, ‘courage’ and ‘truth’ need to go together to hold it all.

I could write so much about this all myself – and don’t want to take the space to have my own voice overtaking the dialogue so I invite you to join me and my colleague Tarek Farouk Maassarani at Empathy Salon in Dupont Circle this Friday December 12th 7-10pm to discuss openly and with curiosity for all feelings and needs around the deep social and societal topics of racial justice, “justice” in itself and the system used to hold it and how ‘nonviolence’ or ‘compassion’ can play an active role in issues that often seem to be needing pressure, urgency and radical change.

And join Tarek Maassarani and Ryan McAllister Sunday December 14th, 6-9pm at Maitri House in Takoma Park, MD for a screening of “Beyond Conviction, a restorative justice documentary showcasing three cases involving restorative approaches and resolution on serious crimes.