By Marcus Adéshima Penn
Continuing to adhere to our state-mandated COVID-19 physical distancing protocols, the Peaceful World Foundation (PWF) held its second virtual Breakfast Conversation on May 28th via Zoom. Navigating these times of increased virtual communication have been interesting for us as an organization, and we’ve been charged with exploring what community now means. So with our intimate group of attendees, as our Icebreaker we invited each person to put on a piece of paper a representation of what community means to them.
What people ended up showing to the screen were written definitions, drawings, artwork, pictures, postcards and quotes all representing wonderful depictions of community. This exercise provided a great transition into the next phase of our conversation looking at
How can we begin to re imagine community during these times?
Two special guests to our Breakfast Conversation who represented the Aqus Cafe in Petaluma, CA have taken it upon themselves to cultivate community through conversation. Pre-COVID, John and Lou held evening conversations at their Cafe on numerous social topics and recently held conversations at the local library. Heidi, our Executive Director, attending a few of their hosted conversations.
Naturally, we saw affinity in what they’re doing and what we’re doing here at PWF; engaging in enriching dialogue to cultivate deeper community. Both Lou and John added much wisdom to our conversation as they reach further and deeper into local communities to bridge the social and political divide.
We were fortunate again to have our late founder Sami Sunchild’s granddaughter, Tamara, join us in our virtual Peaceful World Conversation. As a nurse, she shared how the re-imagining of her work community and community of patients have shifted particularly during COVID-19. She shared how much of an impact it can be to hold space for these specialized communities. However sustaining her through this process has been her own family community.
Since the convening of our May 28th Breakfast Conversation and the writing of this blog, there have been growing communities of unrest and protest around the world in response to the death of George Floyd and many other unarmed African Americans at the hand of law enforcement.
Solidarity recognizing that Black Lives Matter is happening now.
Embracing cultural humility and releasing cultural appropriation is happening now. The world is in a very active and dynamic process of re imagining community right now. We at the Peaceful World Foundation are continuously doing our part to add diversity of perspectives to the evolution of community and support what it can best look like in the future.