Over a year ago, I stumbled upon Nora on Instagram and my goodness!–she is one heck of a lady who is equal parts brilliant, witty, deep, vulnerable, and compassionate. I ended up scrolling all the way back to her very first post in efforts to piece together her joys (babies!) and heartaches (losing her husband to brain cancer). I was unclear how this person was still standing. Her vulnerability and openness about her personal losses really hit me. Upon learning she was publishing a book, I firmly decided I would order it as soon as it was released. WELL, it’s been exactly one full year since it was published: I’ve seen it at Barnes & Nobles, at public libraries, at various bookstores – and still, I have yet to place the order. Why? Grief.
SEARCHING FOR THE HOLY GRAIL OF CIRCLES
It’s one thing to believe that talking circles in schools is a good idea, and another to really experience the power of it.
You’ve probably heard people share glowing tales of circle magic in the classrooms where a gaggle of troublesome students transform into that holy grail of a community of learners.
by David Sanchez
For the past three years, staff from the Gandhi Institute have been collaborating with a group of Rochester City School District (RCSD) schools and staff in supporting the spread of an initiative of a social-emotional support space called the Help Zone (HZ). The Help Zone was created through the vision of NorthWest College Preparatory (NWCP) School principal, Barbara Zalazny who saw the need for a system that would address the need of many students walking the halls, searching for a classroom item when they didn’t have one, or dealing with a conflict that could easily be remedied with a short break or mentoring session. When these issues go unresolved, the agitation in students and staff grow quickly, when they’re addressed, students are often able to return to class, maximizing learning, while at the same time having their social emotional and material needs met.
Over the winter, Rich Gordon, Coordinator Teen Education and Israel Trips at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, reached out to the Gandhi Institute to potentially host Rochester J-Serve, an international day of service for Jewish teens.
The Cycle of Hatred: A Workshop with the Gandhi Institute
by Jeneé Skinner, first-term AmeriCorps member serving at MCC Upward Bound
On Sunday November 20th, the Gandhi Institute held a workshop called “Let’s Talk About Hate”. The discussion included what each individual who came wanted to get out of the meeting, how hatred is defined, and what medicines can be used against it. Most of us in attendance wanted to know how to treat the hatred we witness and experience in our individual communities. There were many one on one and small group chats where people’s thoughts and frustrations came out.
Who is Angela Davis?
Coveted by many and unknown to some, Angela Davis is an American activist, educator, scholar and politician known for combating all forms of oppression on a national and international stage. She rose to her public prominence as a result of her counterculture activism in the 1960s which involved her leadership in the Communist Party, her involvement with the Black Panther Party and her advocacy for prison rights that launched after her own trial and imprisonment.
By David Sanchez
I recently spent two and a half days at Eagle Rock School and their Professional Development Center (PDC) in Estes Park, Colorado. The school is an expeditionary learning school where students who’ve not thrived in traditional educational models live on campus and engage in classes that combine theory with hands on learning. The Eagle Rock Professional Development center hosts workshops on Restorative Justice, Project Based Learning, and other topics. The PDC also sends its staff train and support schools throughout the country.
On Tuesday night, the election happened for better or for worse. Many friends and strangers have reached out to the Institute this week. They’re fearful, they’re angry–and many of us feel the same way. Transitions are a time for processing and a time for realizations. We can either let our anxieties darken our souls or try to use that energy to help combat racism, poverty, sexism, and more. Here are some of our thoughts from this past week: