Developing Leaders: Women PeaceMakers & Birth 2012
I come from the school of thought that we need all of us to step into leadership for peace and justice to become a reality. It takes leadership to name injustice. It takes leadership to organize your family, your neighbors, your friends, your community to function together in peaceful ways. It takes leadership to build collectives, organizations, and movements that have the power to change things at the systemic level.
These two powerful projects came through my email this week, and were especially inspiring for the ways they focus on developing and strengthening leadership for peace and justice.
Women PeaceMakers Program
When you are on the frontlines of peace and conflict work, there’s too much to do and not enough time. It’s hard to slow down and record the experiences and insights gleaned from the work. This is especially true for women peacemakers, whose time may be stretched thin by family obligations, and who may have had little access to formal education that would help them record their stories. The Women PeaceMakers Program connects women leaders with storytellers so they can document, share and build upon their stories and lessons learned in the field.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program, the Women Peacemakers Program will host the BreakingBarriers conference in San Diego, September 26-28, 2012. Nearly 40 Women PeaceMakers from 33 countries will come together with other peacebuilders to strategize how to both resolve conflict and increase justice.
Have you been following the Shift Network’s Birth 2012 initiative? It’s a call by several spiritual leaders to create a shift in consciousness, one that is necessary to respond to impending global disasters like climate change, war and militarism, peak oil, and financial system collapse. The goal is the mobilize 100 million people to celebrate a global Birth Day on December 22, 2012, symbolizing our birth into a new era of humanity.
I’m interested in the ways Birth 2012 is developing on the ground leaders to organize Birth 2012 events locally in communities. In this movement, leaders are internally inspired to contribute to something much greater than they could create on their own.
The most energized and effective [leaders] are the ones who source their own vision for leadership. In other words, they connect deeply with their soul’s calling—and then follow this impulse, passionately. -
Here at Buddhist Peace Fellowship, we’re excited to continue our long history of offering a platform for political Buddhists to share their stories about peacemaking and justice work via Turning Wheel Media. And we’re super excited to start unveiling (soon! very soon!) a cool new project for 2013 which will offer a lot of opportunities for you to plug in as a leader and a learner in this field of socially engaged Buddhism. Whether you think of yourself as a leader, or whether you shy way from anything called leadership … there is a perfect place for you in this project! Stay tuned for more details!