“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” –Gloria Steinem
Some people may be surprised by Steinem’s broader, more generous definition of feminism. It’s certainly not how most people think of feminism. We have all been fortunate to have a wonderful spokesperson in Gloria Steinem; we have all benefited from her voice, her work and her insights. She recently celebrated her 80th birthday. A few months ago, Gloria Steinem was also honored by President Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Steinem is a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality. She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights. Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.
Watch this short interview with Steinem after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Read this thoughtful essay by Carol Bragg, a local person who has worked for peace for many years in our little state. She focuses on MLK's ideas about making nonviolence a way of life for each of us. King felt that nonviolence was important for individuals as well as a medium for social change
You’ve GOT TO read this wonderful story about a wonderful woman in our midst — Sister Ann Keefe –a local hero! What an amazing life she’s led, and how many organizations she’s founded! We are blessed to have her among us. The story is by Edward Fitzpatrick in the Providence Journal. Here are a few excerpts from the article, and the link for the full piece is below.
“With an election year under way, Rhode Island politicians will soon be listening to their fundraisers and pollsters, to their advisers and campaign managers. But first, they should listen to Sister Ann C. Keefe.
“In September, Sister Keefe received one of the “Women of Achievement” awards from the YWCA Rhode Island. And in her acceptance speech, she reminded the “elected and selected” that “public service is just that — it’s service.”
“Politicians often start with good intentions, Sister Keefe said in an interview. ‘But they get mixed up in the shuffle of this or that piece of legislation, or someone wants to get this one a job, or they make promises that shouldn’t be promised,’ she said. Even if they don’t realize it, they can come to value public power over public service; they can develop a sense of entitlement, she said. ‘Power has to be used for good, and you can’t confuse it. Once it gets confused, it can take a long time to figure it out again.’…
“Let’s get to the heart of what we are really about — inviting people to love each other,” she said. “There is no other message, no other way. When you and I are gone, the way we will be remembered is how by much we loved others.”
By that measure, Sister Keefe will be long remembered as a woman of great achievement.
People write to us all the time to ask for directions to make Peace Flags. Requests come from school administrators and teachers, community organizers, religious groups. And sometimes individuals write to us for more detailed instructions. One such person is Gay who wrote awhile back to ask about making Peace Flags with friends and family to celebrate her 65th Birthday. That birthday is quite a milestone in a person’s life, and we were delighted to have Peace Flags be part of such an important occasion. Recently Gay sent us pictures of the Peace Flags flying in the breezes of her backyard. She even sent a picture of the Flags with snow on the ground. We wish Gay a Happy, Happy Birthday and many good years ahead. And we were glad to be part of her celebration.
Community Prep Schools Fall 2013 newsletter – Read about PFP, Month of Peace, and Holly Near Concert
“September was Rhode Island’s official Month of Peace, proclaimed by Governor Chafe and Mayor Taveras. Month of Peace organizer Ginny Fox, Executive Director of the Peace Flag Project and a long-time supporter of Community Prep, has worked with CP students making peace flags — some of which have made it as far as the Mt. Everest Base Camp.
“The finale for the MoP was a concert with legendary folk singer Holly Near. Ginny remembered the annual performance of MLK’s “I Have a Dream”speech at the school’s Beloved Community Night and invited our 7th Graders to recite it as Holly Near’s opening act. Beginning with the voices of just two students — “I have a dream” –the speech crescendos –“free at last!” — as a resounding chorus of all the young voices. “I loved the way everyone responded to the kids,” says Ginny. “It was a a great way to get the concert going, and Holly loved it.”
Please watch this lovely short video about a peace walker, Audri Scott Williams is a Global Trustee for the United Religions Initiative, and her pilgrimages around the world, along with interviews at the United Nations. The message: We can all do something to make the world more peaceful.
We can make the world more peaceful by how we behave towards each other and by the work we choose to do.
See this fabulous group perform this Saturday at Roots Cultural Center on Westminster Street in Providence.
WORLD ~ FOLK ~ FUSION
“The Gnomes play traditional music from all over the world, and though they’re acoustic, they play it loud, fast, and with soul. Their live shows are anarchic and energetic… The Gnomes can globetrot through a whole planet’s worth of folk and traditional music in the course of a set, sometimes in the course of a song.” (Rick Massimo, the Providence Journal)
The Gnomes play an eclectic blend of world folk fusion music — Celtic, Scandinavian, Russian, Eastern European, Caribbean, klezmer, Native American and originals. They combine their varied and extensive musical backgrounds into arrangements that have been described as “exotic, fresh, and unique.”
The band’s members include some of Rhode Island’s best known musicians: Phil Edmonds (Irish whistle and button accordion); Cathy Clasper-Torch (fiddle, keyboard, er-hu, vocals); Mike Fischman (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, vocals); Peter Breen (bass, vocals); and Ron Schmitt (percussion).
This year, International Women’s Day focused on ending violence against women — a gross human rights violation that affects up to 7 in 10 women and a top priority for UN Women. As commemorations are underway in all corners of the globe, “One Woman” reminds us that together, we can overcome violence and discrimination: “We Shall Shine!” Join us to help spread the word and enjoy this musical celebration of women worldwide.
“If we do not have peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
We tend to think that we belong to our family and our community, maybe our country. We need to think of ourselves as belonging to all humanity. If we all belong to each other, we would never harm anyone.