February 2023 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Delighted and grateful!  Excited and energized!  That is how the Truth School Leadership Team is feeling because we have just hired two new remarkable people to join our TS staff!  ivy tillman (ze/zir/zirs) has been a part of the Truth School family since our very earliest days six years ago as a class participant, trainer, and donor.  ivy lives in Madison, Alabama, and will be working remotely, joining MJ Adams as the Co-coordinator of our Host Program.  This is a big, important, and hard job–full of outreach, scheduling, details, and sometimes swift changes and adjustments.  We owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Chris Mohn who has held this position, with MJ, for the past four years.  Chris has been a fabulous shepherd for the Host Program and has worked faithfully, tirelessly, and cheerfully, managing the details, the ups and downs of hosting, and the challenges of making sure every single Truth School class has at least one Host support person to handle the logistics and the administrative side of running the class.  Chris, how can we ever thank you for all you have given and done?  Don’t stray too far from the School; we consider you part of the family and want to keep you close.  And MJ, thank you for hanging in and hanging on.  You will have a wonderful time working with ivy, who is detail-oriented, tech-savvy, responsive, and hilarious!  Welcome ivy!

We also welcome Max Fallon-Goodwin (they/them) as our new Social Media Consultant.  They will be developing and implementing social media strategies to expand our social media presence and reach locally, regionally, and nationally. Max will also focus on efforts that will increase the participation of youth and young adults.   Working closely with our beloved Ella Zimbalist, Social Media/Communications Coordinator, and with Amihan Matias, Truth School Associate Director, Max will rethink, revamp, and rework the School’s presence on numerous social media platforms.  Max lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and is already hard at work listening, investigating, consulting, designing, and proposing changes and new initiatives that are overdue.  Welcome Max, we are so happy you are part of the team!  We need your expertise. And I personally promise to be a good follower and cheer you on. (I am so tech-challenged!)
When Max and ivy were offered these positions in January and both said yes, the TS Leadership Team had a hard time containing our enthusiasm and excitement.  With relief, delight, and appreciation, we almost hopped around while on the Zoom screen during a Staff Meeting when we heard they had both accepted our job offers.  You will be hearing from Max and ivy in the months ahead.  Stay tuned!  And HOORAY for the Truth School!  What a remarkable team we have become!
With hope, appreciation, and in solidarity,
Ivy Tillman
Max Fallon-Goodwin


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February - Black History Month

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation. --Coretta Scott King


Calling all Truth School participants! You are invited to a virtual learning session. Share your experiences to help us improve. The Truth School has been going strong for five years! What worked and what needs improvement? Tom Chang is a Truth School board member and trainer. Please join him for an informal online listening session in February. Register today. Choose one session to attend! Tue. Feb. 7th 11:30AM - 1:00 PM Wed. Feb. 15th 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM To register: bit.ly/TruthListening For more information: tchang@collaborative.org

Dear Truth Schoolers,
You showed up! If you have participated in one training or many, we would like to hear from you.
Since 2017, the Truth School has hosted over 400 classes serving 4000 participants, including you.


With your help, we can make the next five years even better. Please join us at one of these listening sessions to let us know what we did well, what could have been better, and any other ideas you have for the school.

Choose one session to attend!

Tuesday, February 7th, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Wednesday, February 15th, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

To register go to : bit.ly/TruthListening





Below is a list of  February classes.  Click on the links below for more information and to register for classes. All classes for our spring semester will be on Zoom.  All class times are Eastern Standard Time.

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


Dream a New Dream: Live a New Story
Amber Chand
This class is a series. Participants are expected to attend both sessions.
Saturday, February 4, 2023, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM and
Saturday, February 11, 2023, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PMBeing the Change You Wish to See
Sarah Hickman and Tiffany McGee-Hickman
This class is a series. Participants are expected to attend both sessions.
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM and
Thursday, March 9, 2023, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Walk The Talk: A Workshop for Men
Natalia Muñoz
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Race, Class, and Gender: A Cross-Generational, Frank, and
Free-Wheeling Discussion!

Olivia Ilano Davis, Thulani Davis, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, and Safiyah Bey
Saturday, February 25, 2023, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Repercussions of Revolution
Keamo Mokone
Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM



"Strong Oak created a really lovely space to reflect, connect, and honor the solstice. The workshop felt authentic, honest, and energizing. --Participant, Circle Practice to Mark the Winter Solstice "A powerful idea I took away is that singing in the African American tradition is part of everyday life. If you don't sing "you don't really exist." I vow to sing more often as part of my daily life. --Participant, Singing in the Spirit: African and American Music Connections

We now have a social media and communications team–Ella Zimbalist and Max Fallon-Goodwin! They will work to increase our visibility and presence on our social media platforms. Please make sure to friend, follow, and like us, and give us your social media handles so we are connected.


James Arana



James Arana is a social worker, facilitator, mediator, and community organizer with 35 years experience working with people of all ages and diverse cultural background. James inspires and challenges individuals, youth programs, community organizations, and international NGO’s to strengthen their work in transforming masculinity, domestic violence prevention, gender equality, organizational visioning and program development, and cultural competence.

As a MERGE Senior Trainer, James supports the development of men’s initiatives to reduce gender-based violence and promote a healthy, compassionate, and responsible model of masculinity. James facilitates a consciousness-raising process, using a popular education methodology, to assess and analyze the privileges and challenges of traditional masculinity with communities all around the world. James served as the Co-Founder and Associate Director of the former Men’s Resources International (MRI), where he worked with organizations such as CARE International, the International Rescue Committee, the YMCA, and the Women’s Peacemakers Program in Zambia, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire and Niger.

James will be teaching a Truth School class titled, Creative Youth Development: Youth Voice, Community-Building, Social Justice, and the Arts this spring semester along with Julie Lichtenberg.

"The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it. --Amanda Gorman

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columnist Andrea Ayvazian: Hope and the human connection

I was recently interviewed on a local radio program about my reflections on the state of the peace and justice movement in the Valley and around the country. At the end of the show, the host asked: “So Andrea, what keeps you going? What gives you hope?”


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