April 2022 Newsletter

In This Issue:

From the Director

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.


We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. --Native American Proverb

Make every day Earth Day

Truth School Trainers Join Us! Thursday, April 28, 2022 from 6 PM to 8 PM EST Please join us for a community-building and collective learning gathering, the first of many, we hope! During our time together we will have the opportunity to: • Learn more about other trainers and why they teach • Begin to discuss best practices for teaching and collaborating around movement-building • Share what is working well for you teaching for the TS and what changes you can suggest • Help the TS staff learn how to best support our trainers and deepen community and collective learning together Please let us know if you can join us and a Zoom link will be sent your way! Our best to you, The Truth School Leadership Team


For complete information on all of our class offerings, and to register for a class, visit Truth School or click on the links for specific classes below. All classes are Eastern Standard Time.

If you register for a class but can’t make it, please let us know. Accurate information about class size is important for trainers to know for preparation and planning purposes. Thank you for this courtesy.


Microaggressions: Death by a Thousand Cuts
with Amihan Matias, Sunday, April 3, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Funding Our Movements for Social Change
with Leti Bueno, Thursday, April 7, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Music of the Civil Rights Movement 1940s-1960s
with Dr. Kathy Bullock, Saturday, April 9, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Slowing Down the Conversation:
One Step Toward Cross-Racial Coalition Building

with Imani Chapman and Franny Silverman, Sunday, April 10, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Ancestor Wisdom: Wounds, Gifts and Legacies
with Ebony LaBrew and Julie Rosier, Tuesday, April 12, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Connection to the Land: How to have reciprocal relationships of respect and healing where the voices of the ancestors speak to our bodies, minds, and spirit
with Irene Strong Oak Lefebvre. Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Compassionate Listening and Speaking:
Changing the World from the Inside Out

with Yael Petretti and Kattye Soares, Sunday, April 24, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Connecting Us
with Sauda Garrett, Tuesday, April 26, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Ladder 2 Leadership
with Nikai Fondon, Wednesday, April 27, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Resting To Rise: A Daring To Rest Community Nap
with Benita Jackson, Saturday, April 30, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM


Truth School Spring 2022 Covid-19 Safety Protocols

The Truth School will be transitioning to some in-person classes in April and May 2022. We are committed to protecting your health and safety while you attend Truth School classes so we ask you all to comply with the following COVID-19 safety Protocols.Masks – We require that all participants and trainers wear masks at all times during the class.

Covid Vaccines/Testing – COVID vaccination or recent (within 3 days) negative COVID test results are required. We will ask you to show documentation at the class.

Physical Distancing – We will arrange seating so that there is adequate spacing in between participants, and between trainer and participants. We will limit the number of participants in each in-person class to ensure that we can safely space people.

Ventilation – We will provide ventilation in training rooms by opening windows. If a training site does not have windows that will open, we will provide an air purifier, and will notify participants ahead of time.

Illness – If you have any signs of a cough, cold, fever or are not feeling well, please stay home.

Sanitizing We will provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes at each class.

I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change... I'm changing the things I cannot accept. --Angela Davis

What Participants Are Saying…

"Excellent. I wasn't sure what to expect. Kathy Bullock covered several centuries skillfully and clearly created a thread, a story, lifting up many individuals in a collective moment carried over time. I felt the drive, the lift, the genius, the brilliance and strength of all those women she talked about. I loved the singing, and in context, some familiar songs gained more significance and meaning. I feel uplifted and enriched. I wrote every name down. Say their names. Know their stories. I know enough to see what more I want to learn - and share!" Participant, Black Women Suffragists: Singing our Story

"Fantastic! Deepened my understanding of the importance and value of the arts to community organizing, education and movement building. Leti is a skillful educator, was well-organized, knowledgeable about a wide range of artistic genres and delivered the material in a visually inviting way. Loved it!" Participant, Movement Building and the Arts

BIPOC poets + organizers! want to dream about the future of art + activism together? APPLY FOR THE WITCHES & WARRIORS RETREAT July 21-24, 2002 in upstate NY w/ faculty Alexis Pauline Gumbs & Cynthia Dewi Oka APPLICATIONS DUE APRIL 30 www.brewandforge.com/retreat

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.

Stay close to everything that makes you feel glad you are alive. --Hafiz

Negro Spirituals

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

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columnist Andrea Ayvazian: Passing the activist torch

Recently, I have been thinking a great deal about movements for social change, movement leaders and elders. As a 70-year-old woman who was radicalized while at college during the Vietnam War and has remained active in social change struggles for decades, I am very aware of aging, and of passing the torch to younger leader-activists… READ MORE

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