Source of Strength

I was able to spend time with middle school students last week, supporting the school’s efforts to cultivate each individuals sense that they could be a source of strength for themselves and others. I was reminded of Mel Duncan’s quote that “We struggle with a shrunken notion of our own ability. We have the ability to bring substantial change and often we don’t own that. … Continue reading Source of Strength

Fiona Orr

Fiona Orr, fifteen-years-old, is home schooled in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she volunteers regularly at the Omni Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology where she has found positive adult mentors. Fiona draws and paints. From a very young age, she liked to put beautiful things on paper so that other people could see the same beauty she did. “Yes, you’re one very small person, but you can always make … Continue reading Fiona Orr

Civil Discourse

In Washington DC last week, A Peace of My Mind set up a studio at the Joint Counsel of Extension Professionals’ Public Issues Leadership Development Conference. The theme of the gathering was Cultivating Civil Discourse, and we asked participants, “How have you cultivated civil discourse in the past year?” Given the tone of our national debate, and tuning into media outlets, my mood can be … Continue reading Civil Discourse

Alex Lowe

Alex Lowe is a fifth grade student at Kurn Hattin Homes, a Vermont residential school designed to offer kids “a secure and supportive haven during a troubled period in their families’ lives.” Alex’s favorite animal is the great white shark and he plans to become a marine biologist. “When I think of peace, I think of people shaking hands on the street and picking them up when … Continue reading Alex Lowe

Jimmy Ta

Jimmy Ta moved from Vietnam to the United States with his mother and siblings when he was in elementary school, but his father was unable to join them for another year. Jimmy struggled with the language, the culture, and with a lack of self-confidence. When a teacher invited him to join a mentoring program called Youth Ambassadors, Jimmy learned that everyone has struggles of some … Continue reading Jimmy Ta

What makes us human?

Last month I spent time at The Miami Valley School in Dayton, Ohio. They hosted our American Stories exhibit, I led school assemblies, visited classrooms, and we set up a studio in their greenhouse to ask the student body to reflect on what makes us human. It’s a complicated question…but one that drew thoughtful replies with an interesting range of perspectives in their pre-k through … Continue reading What makes us human?

Young Voices

For the past four years I have worked with 5th graders at FAIR School in Crystal as artist in residence for their Perspectives Program. Each fall we install the exhibit, do a presentation for all 85 students and then over several days, I visit each classroom and work with students to explore their own thoughts about peace. They write their ideas in peace journals which … Continue reading Young Voices

I see you

It is a simple but powerful statement. It acknowledges somebody’s existence…their worth. I see you. How much conflict, social strife, or personal dysfunction is a result of people feeling like they are not seen…not heard? Last week I worked with 5th graders. We started the day with a general assembly to introduce A Peace of My Mind. The exhibit was installed and as the day … Continue reading I see you