In This Issue:
- From the Director
- Truth School Trainer Gathering
- April Classes
- Truth School Covid-19 Policy
- What Participants are Saying
- BIPOC Poets and Organizers Retreat
- Negro Spirituals: What is Owed? Andrea Ayvazian article
- Andrea’s Daily Hampshire Gazette Column: Passing the activist torch
What to write to our precious Truth School “family” in the midst of the pain and violence of a world at war? What to write, in this perilous time, to a family of activists struggling to promote peace, dismantle racism, work for justice, protect our planet, save our children, fight oppression, and love our neighbor? What to say when our tender hearts are hurting and maybe even broken?
In response to these questions, I have written a Manifesto. My first Manifesto. I decided to write a Manifesto to state what we believe in, not what we oppose; what we envision, not what we fear; what we are working to create, not what exists today.
And so here it is, a Manifesto. I ask that you read this with open hearts, and sprinkle on these words your loving grace. It was written with love and with gratitude for your work, words, and witness. In the Manifesto, I am bold enough to say ‘WE,’ so I am wrapping you inside this proclamation that I have written. I trust that is all right.
We believe that although there is evil in this world, evil does not win.
We believe that the hearts of compassionate, brave, and justice-loving people are woven together with golden threads.
We believe that together we have strength and power that is unstoppable.
We believe that our love for humanity is glowing in our hearts.
We believe that fatigue, worry, and sorrow come in waves, yet deep renewal, dogged tenacity, and new growth come in even bigger waves.
We believe that although pain and suffering are rampant in this world, goodness and grace blanket the globe.
We believe that tenderness can be trampled but somehow never crushed.
We believe that broken hearts still beat, broken hearts can mend, and broken hearts grow stronger over time.
We believe that the world needs us, and that we are equal to the tasks that lie before us.
We believe that we are called to heal, repair, and restore this beautiful but broken world.
We believe that each person is born with a spark of divine energy within them, and that ember bursts into flame when we embrace love, work for justice, and seek peace.
We believe in unsung heroes, in do-ers, and in the extraordinary gifts bestowed on ordinary people who can and do change the world.
We believe in the virtue and powerful impact of work for the common good.
We believe in the astonishing strength found in community.
We believe in three great loves: Love of neighbor. Love of children. Love of creation.
We believe in a world transformed.
We believe. We still believe.
Our Truth School Trainer, Franny Choi, is sponsoring this event!
Announcing Applications for the Witches & Warriors Retreat
Applications open this Tuesday, March 15 for our inaugural Witches & Warriors Retreat: a space for BIPOC poets, organizers, and movement workers! Taking place this July in upstate NY, the retreat is an opportunity for BIPOC poets and activists to gather, rest, collaborate, and dream together about possible connections between poetry and movement-building. Activities will include workshops, discussions, writing sessions with faculty mentors, rest and play time, and a public event. This year, we are thrilled to welcome Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Cynthia Dewi Oka as faculty!
Who: 12 BIPOC poets, organizers, and activists who are interested in the intersection of poetry and movement building, with priority given to folks located in the Northeast.
When: July 21-24, 2022
Where: The Watershed Retreat center, upstate New York
Cost: Free to attend!
How to apply: Applications open on March 15, 2022, and are due on Saturday, April 30 at www.brewandforge.com/retreat.
What Is Owed?
by Andrea Ayvazian | Mar 14, 2022
Most houses of worship pay an annual licensing fee to sing hymns and contemporary music each week in worship services. But what about Spirituals sung in predominately white churches… READ MORE