In these days of Covid, I stand in vigil several mornings a week in support of Black Lives Matter with a group of elders in Asheville, North Carolina.
There are usually just a handful of us, so with masks on we have found a way to bring our voices into the streets during Covid.
A few days ago I was holding my new sign which says, Vote Because Black and Brown Lives Matter. Two young men came by and I called out to them, have you registered to vote? One of them stopped and said, I already voted. I was surprised to hear that because in North Carolina we only have absentee voting going on. So I asked him, do you mean absentee vote? He replied, no, I registered at the DMV (the Department of Motor Vehicles).
I explained to him that he hadn’t voted at the DMV; he only had registered to vote. Neither he, age 19, nor his companion, age 24, had realized that. I went over the details of registering with them and encouraged them to be leaders with their friends and let them know what they now understood..
We spoke a while longer They are sons of Central American refugees and they made it clear (through jokes) that they will to vote to change the current course of our country. I have had similar conversations before with other young people In Asheville, in the state of North Carolina where it is said that the state may determine the elections.
When I have these conversations I feel the despair and helplessness lift from me and renewed energy to be out there, stand out there, speak out and connect. Perhaps this will inspire you in some way too.
Here is a link to some of the ways I am sharing Nonviolent Communication in the coming days and months:
NVC at the Intersection of Social Activism, Judaism and Buddhism
(Note next Conversation on Race is October 6, not 5!)
In peace, Roberta
About Roberta Wall:
Roberta Wall received a JD from the New York University School of Law, lay ordination from Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh and certification to train in Nonviolent Communication from the Center for Nonviolent Communication.
She is a member and active participant in several Jewish congregations and learning circles, and is the author of the forthcoming, Torah at the Intersection.
Roberta previously was a civil rights lawyer in NYC and leads trainings and retreats in Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication and Mindfulness on five continents. These days, on Zoom, she facilitates conversations and dialogues across many divides, and has been the recipient of numerous peace fellowships.
To join the next Zoom Conversation on Race, ( note corrected date is October 6!) co hosted by Roberta Wall and Rev. Dr. Rodney S. Sadler, click here: October 6 Zoom Conversation on Race and…
To join the next Zoom NVC training on Finding Your Voice in Difficult
Conversations, click here: Finding Your Voice in Difficult
Resource Sheet for Having Difficult Conversations
The Path to Redemption: Yom Kippur Conversation on White Supremacy with Rabbi Sharon Brouse and Bryan Stevenson
Link to October 25 Exploration of NVC and Judaism
Additional opportunities to practice NVC with Roberta:
NVC and Buddhism: Practicing in the Great Ocean of Compassion
November 22, 2:30 pm EST
This session is part of the 7th Annual NVCfest on November 20 – 22. I will be one of 33 certified trainers sharing our favorite topics! This global event features a diverse lineup of sessions, many presented in languages other than English. Register now and get $50 off with coupon code 2020RW50
In my session we will dive in and experience the integration of NVC and Buddhism to enhance clarity, compassion, and empowerment in our troubled world.
I’m also excited to be part of the 2nd NVC Global Rising online Festival October 16th-19th. The theme is NVC and social activism.
Within our families, workplaces and communities, between peoples of different cultures, faiths and beliefs, NVC can strengthen our advocacy and communication and help us transform blame, anger and hatred.
As we move toward and through the US elections, let us step forward into being the change we want to see in the world. A world where everyone’s needs are valued and celebrated.
“The space being held by the practice of NVC allows for the most astounding types of meeting between human beings.”
~Buddhist monk after attending NVC Intensive in the West Bank.
Calligraphic journey by Barbara Bash