Ron Faust, a former Disciples of Christ minister, wrote this poem May 31 on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police May 25. Faust’s poem begins: It was so visible, so wrong/In contrast to the death snarl/Of an invisible pandemic attack When an officer pressed the wind pipe/Of George Floyd to his death Even after he pleaded, “I can’t breathe”/Which took the whole world’s breath away
Peace activists gathered April 27 for a panel discussion and workshops on the theme “Race Issues ARE Peace Issues.” Sponsored by PeaceWorks-KC and moderated by Lucky Garcia, the event was designed to foster networking among local peace activists to more effectively address racism and violence in greater Kansas City.
PeaceWorks is sponsoring “Race Issues ARE Peace Issues,” a panel discussion and workshops, on April 27, Sat., 3-6pm, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut, KC, MO. This event aims to recognize and discuss violent injustices people of color face in the US and in KC, and to invite white activists to join in the fight for racial justice.
The irony that the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh became the scene of multiple shooting deaths on a peaceful Sabbath morning is a senseless contradiction, difficult to take in. We at PeaceWorks, Kansas City, join the nation in grief for the victims of the Oct. 27 massacre and their loved ones.
“This summer has witnessed a reckoning for U.S. political and social life, a rending tension of fear and exclusion for humans who have immigrated more recently, without legal documentation, to this culture. While the policies of immigration law have, throughout the national history, always sought to exclude, there is an especially violent escalation in the current moment of federal orders and actions. Offering welcome, refuge, and mercy all become the work of peace,” says Joseph Wun.
"We have to stand and fight this, because if we don’t at the end of the day, it’s not about them, it’s about us." This was a statement by Kansas City Missouri's Mayor Sly James at the "Rally to protest family separation at U.S. borders" June 24, 2018.
Debora Demeter had a bright idea: a reunion among herself and some others who helped integrate KC MO Catholic schools after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The resultant KCPT story (An Exchange of a Lifetime) quotes Demeter and others concerning their integration efforts.
PeaceWorks Board member Joseph Wun was caught in a crowd by police for looking suspicious—for being a person of color, being young, and having a backpack. He still feels embarrassed at not being prepared for the incident. He also offers advice.
This piece demonstrates how long the damages of combat trauma last and how poverty and being a person of color in this country can be very traumatizing in itself. “I think there is much work to be done here at home when we can easily draw a parallel between an actual combat war zone and cities or neighborhoods in the United States,” reflects C. Garcia. (Her poem contains strong language.)
Initiate or deepen your own discovery of this city—its panoply of people from many nations and of many tongues—with a robust recognition of belonging at the level of the everyday, personal, and particular: food. I hope it can be an entrance into systemic questions of who plants, grows, harvests, and prepares food, of who owns, and how. Ask the vendors. Begin again with daily bread.