Virtual 10 Days – Detailed Schedule


Opening program recording available on Facebook

Saturday, September 19 @ 11 AMHow Individual Peace will Lead to Global Peace? by Arvind Naik

Peace begins with me! We need to be the change we want to see in the world. How can we transform ourselves into a Non-violent, peace radiating individual? Only then we can contribute to world peace in true sense. We will also meditate together.

Arvind Naik will lead us in to learning and practicing a simple meditation technique which will help us tremendously in our mission of non-violence. Arvind has been studying a practical form of meditation under a world-renowned spiritual teacher Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj since 2003. He has been conducting talks, classes and workshops on the topic of meditation, where he discusses how incorporating meditation into our daily routine could be life-changing.  He leads a local meditation center called, Science of Spirituality Minneapolis Meditation Center (www.sosmn.org) and Steering Committee member of TCNV.

Recording on Facebook available here:

Saturday, September 19 @ 2 PM: Child Abuse & Trauma During COVID by KARA’s Mike Tikkanen & Damon Kocina

Mike Tikkanen, Kids At Risk Action Executive Directorwww.invisiblechildren.org
Long time Hennepin County volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, founding board member of CASAMN, CASA CARES),and founder & President of Kids At Risk Action and author of newspaper, online articles& the book INVISIBLE CHILDRENhttps://www.invisiblechildren.org/our-book/ speaker(including United Nations & Professional conferences), Mike advocates for abused and neglected children making the rest of us see the profound impact the crisis of childhood trauma is having on our schools, public health, public safety and neighborhoods.
 Before COVID-19, California’s Surgeon General had declared ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences a public health problem and public school crisis.  Mike explains how poor public perception & misguided policies, lack of institutional transparency, awareness and accountability are compounding serious failures in our child protection systems are impacting millions of American children and each one of us every day. By generating conversation around the issue and exposing facts that have for too long been left unspoken, Tikkanen brings attention to how replacing our corrosive punishment model with a trauma informed healing model can be the solution that reverse trends of generational child abuse to make our communities safer and happier places.
·        Receive KARA’s free weekly updates here,  https://www.invisiblechildren.org/stand-up-for-children/   

DAMON KOCINA, Secretary/Treasurer: A business owner for 24 years, Damon is a father of three grown children and a grandfather to three adorable granddaughters. He and his two sons love the sport of lacrosse. He coached both of his boys through the youth levels, was president of his school’s lacrosse organization, past president of the MBSLA (Minnesota Boys Scholastic Lacrosse Association), and currently sits on the board of Homegrown Lacrosse. He remains active on the field as a lacrosse referee and you can find him most weekends at the nearest lacrosse tournament wearing his stripes. As a longtime friend of KARA’s founder, Damon became aware of the scope of the abused and neglected children issue and became an active support of KARA initiatives, joining KARA’s board in 2017.

Recording available here (Facebook link)

Saturday, September 19 @ 4:30 PM: Are Religions Helpful or Harmful? Do they promote violence; or nonviolence, respect, and love? by Fr. David Whitten Smith

Many assert that religion is more problem than solution, that religious convictions cause or intensify communal violence, and that the major danger today is “fundamentalist” religious nationalism, especially Islamist. Yet religious individuals and groups have played key positive roles promoting peace and justice. This presentation will show how to take advantage of these dynamics without denying the reality of contrary ones.

At the end of his teaching career, Fr. Smith expanded the duplicated notes he had been gradually developing for his students and, with Elizabeth Burr as co-author, published them commercially as Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace (2nd Ed: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015). The book studies the ways various world religions interact to support or interfere with justice and peace, with special attention to active nonviolence, and including Israel-Palestine as a case study. 

Rev. David Whitten Smith, S.T.D., S.S.L. Catholic priest, peace activist, and retired professor of theology, was founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. He designed a required course Theologies of Justice and Peace to consider which aspects of major world religions promoted peace and which threatened it. Having studied theology and sacred scripture in Washington D.C., Rome, and Jerusalem, he spent one Sabbatical examining the question in Latin America and another doing the same in South Asia and Africa. Then he introduced students together to Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Native American, and Marxist worldviews; religious social teaching, liberation theologies, active nonviolence, and just war theory. He set each student to a semester-long individual study of a particular worldview of their choice (for example, Amish, Wahhabi Islam, Tibetan Buddhism). At the end of the semester, students read each others’ papers in groups of eight.

Dr. Elizabeth  Geraldine Burr, Ph.D. taught the World of Islam at Metro State University in the Twin Cities for twelve years, and New Testament Studies at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul for ten years. She is also a trained Jungian analyst. She is in the process of co-editing a book on traditional Palestinian pottery, half of which is based on field research that her husband (now deceased) did in the 1970s with traditional Palestinian women potters in the West Bank. She lived a couple of years at the Albright Institute in East Jerusalem. Besides various trips to Palestine and Israel as recently as 2019, she has traveled in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco.

Recording available on Facebook

Saturday, September 19 @ 7 PM – Interfaith symposium on Nonviolence, Forgiveness and Compassion by Jain Center of Minnesota

Join us (online), as representatives of several major religions share what their faith teaches the importance of Nonviolence, Forgiveness, and Compassion in daily life.
In this interfaith event sponsored by JCM, experts of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native Americans, Sikhism, and Zoroastrian will share their insights from their scriptures and present practice about the topic which is very relevant to the current happenings around the world.

Harry J. Bury, Ph.D. is a retired Roman Catholic priest. He has dedicated his life to non-violence. He was a Professor Emeritus of Organizational Behavior and Administration at Baldwin Wallace University from 1980–2010 and consulted in the U.S. and numerous other countries. After earning his PhD at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he became a full professor at Baldwin Wallace University where he taught from 1979 until 2015. Dr. Bury taught as an Adjunct Professor of Systems Management at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio and taught in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions (1979 – present). More information about him can be found on http://www.harryjbury.com.

Roya Akhavan (BAHA’I): Dr. Roya Akhavan is a member of the Baha’i Faith. She currently serves as Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communications, St. Cloud State University. Dr. Akhavan is a frequent speaker on global issues at national and international forums and radio and television programs. She has lived and worked in four different cultures; Persian, American, Japanese, and Chinese. Her most recent work is a book entitled, Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach.

Godan Nambudiripad is a retired Mechanical Engineer from General Mills, a native of Kerala, India and longtime resident of Twin Cities. He is a longtime student of Hinduism, giving and leading tours at Hindu Temple in Maple Grove, Minnesota and a member of South Metro Interfaith Group. He gives talks about Hinduism and Indian Culture at schools, colleges and civic organizations. He is a past president of School of India for Languages and Culture (SILC), India Association of Minnesota (IAM), and Ragamala Dance. He is a cofounder of Indian Oral History Project(s) with Minnesota Historical Society. He is a member of Burnsville Historical Society and Minnesota Historical Society.

Dr. Shafi A. Khaled, Ph.D. In Business and Economics. He is a Labor & Development Economist, Zero Interest Financial System Economist, Essayist and Poet. He is an Executive Secretary of Muslim Community Outreach who has severed 19000 meals working with Loaves & Fishes. He is the Ex-Director (Development & Relief) of North American Bangladeshi Islamic Community. He is the Founder/President of Totally Personal Total Choice – Standing up to Addiction. He is known for his holistic, nondenominational, spiritual approach to addiction relief & prevention under ‘Totally Personal Total Choice’ program. You can find more inforamtion on this program on http://www.tptChoice.org.

Dr. Mukesh Doshi is the Chairman of JAINA Interfaith Committee. He is a pediatrician by profession and past Education Secretary, and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of Jain Society of Chicago. He is one of the contributing editors of many of the JAINA Päthashälä books. He has been a teacher of Chicago Päthashälä for the past 22 years and conducts advance level workshops in Jain Education. A recipient of JAINA adult recognition award, he has been nominated as a JAINA Scholar and he has been invited to speak on many Jainism related topics at various inter-faith events and several schools and colleges.

Randeep “Ricky” Singh Arora is a practicing Sikh. The word Sikh means student who is learning for life and respects humanity. Arora has been a member of the Minnesota Sikh community for almost 25 years. Arora has served various leadership roles on the Board of the Sikh Society of Minnesota such as Secretary, Vice-President, Director of Outreach and other volunteer positions since 1996. His current focus is on communications and developing the co-curricular and multifaith activities of the Society. He also coaches and performs Punjabi folk dance “Bhangra” at various community events to teach about and strengthen inter-community relations. He is often an invited guest speaker on Sikhism at various local education and religious institutions. Arora holds a Master’s degree in Technology and is a professional Senior Technology Manager in St Paul.

Louisa Hext, MA, CPC: Louisa is a skilled and experienced mediator, coach, speaker, and consultant. She is the North American coordinator for The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness (a traveling story and photography exhibit curated by The Forgiveness Project a London, UK based non-profit). She is a member of The Charter for Compassion’s Global Team and manages the Restorative Justice sector. Louisa serves on the Board of Conflict Resolution, Minnesota and is a moderator for Braver Angels.

Ram Gada is a retired president of Gada & Associates,consulting engineers. Mr. Gada has nurtured and fostered several community organizations from their inception and now plays as a mentor and trusted lifetime advisor role in almost all of the foundational communities. He is a founding member and president of “Gujarati Samaj” (1977) and founding member and president of “Jain Center of Minnesota” (1979). He is Emeritus and Honorary Council Member at Minnesota Historical Society. He serves as Honorary Board at India Association of Minnesota, as LifeTrustee at Hindu Society of Minnesota, at TCNV Steering Committee and as JAINA Director.

Recording available on Facebook

Sunday, September 20 @ 11 AM – Relevance of Nonviolence to current events by Katie Sample

Katie Sample is a community elder who has resided in the Twin Cities since 1968.  She is the widow of George Sample; parent of three adult children and is the proud grand mother of five  boys and six girls  from ages 32 to 18. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree and post graduate studies in Religious Education and Social Work from American Baptist Missionary College in Chicago.  She did post graduate studies in Education at Rockford College, in Rockford, IL; and Social Work at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. From 1956 through 1968 she worked as Program director of Children’s Work at Brooks House Community Center in Hammond, Indiana and Booker T Washington Community Center in Rockford, Illinois. She moved to Minneapolis and worked In Minneapolis Public Schools as a School Social Worker from 1968 until retiring in 1993. In 1987 Katie took a sabbatical leave to research and study the origin of one of her grave concerns regarding the Minneapolis Pubic Schools disproportionate placement of African American males in Special Education Programs, especially the restrictive category of Emotional Behavior Disordered.   The results proved the disproportionality and thereby motivated her to take steps to rectify the problem through developing community educational programs. In 1988 she founded an African centered Educational Enrichment program entitled:  African-American Academy for Accelerated Learning (AAAL) which operated until 2009. This program conducted after school and summer programs as well as travel to Africa which enhanced the knowledge and appreciation of the  participants’ history, culture and values.   Outstanding national and local educators were hosted by AAAL in biennial education conferences (entitled Celebrating the Success in educating African American Children) to improve the cultural competency of teachers, administrators and parents.

The current role performed by Ms Sample is to support, mentor and encourage organizations and all endeavors that are designed to see the urgency to improve means to create a brighter educational  future for African American children and youth.

Mel Duncan is a co-founder and current Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), a world leader in unarmed civilian protection (UCP). NP’s nonviolent civilian protectors provide direct protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and work with local groups to prevent further violence in a variety of conflict areas including South Sudan, Iraq, the Philippines and Myanmar.  Mel has represented NP at the United Nations where the group has been granted Consultative Status. Recent UN global reviews as well as Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions have cited and recommended unarmed civilian protection. He is currently focusing on identifying and validating UCP good practices. The American Friends Service Committee nominated Nonviolent Peaceforce for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.  In 2018 Nonviolent Peaceforce received the Luxembourg Peace Prize.


Sunday, September 20 @ 2 PM: A Discussion: the Impact of Culture, Behavior, and Policy as they Relate to Anti-racism

All participants will need to Register in advance using a separate link for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

This discussion is based on the concepts described in the writings of Ibram X Kendi. Our challenge is to create a safe place for people to open up and talk about race.  This is not a debate.   Given the current emotional environment of anger, hurt, fear, and prejudice, Kendi’s definitions of anti-racism are presented with quotes and questions.  Participants are then broken into small Zoom groups to give each person a chance to talk. Participants are them brought back to the whole group to share and discuss. The hope is to allow individuals to develop an understanding of the difference between covert racism and anti-racism and how current policies promote specific behaviors.


Monday, September 21 @ 11 AM: Michael Dhani Bennett – Music (Cancelled) –

Playing International Peace Day Video instead.

Michael Dhani Bennett. I was born in Calcutta, India, adopted, and raised in the Minnesota area. I am the creator and owner of MCALENT Industries. I would like to represent the first group of Musicians I’ve created. We are called the, “Baby Tubas L’s of the L’s of MN. We will be contributing to the theme of performing non-violence music, and there will also be some history segments as well. We are so delighted to perform for all of you, and pleased that you are able to listen to us. Thank you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Bennettdirect@yahoo.com


Monday, September 21 @ Noon: A 100 Mile Walk for Hope by Larry Johnson

(FYI This is not part of the Virtual Conference but is part of the 10 Days) On International Peace Day, September 21, inside the TEN DAYS FREE FROM VIOLENCE, I will walk from my home in Golden Valley to the homeless encampment near the Lake Harriet Bandshell, then on to the Lake Harriet Peace Garden, for a noon meditation by the SPIRIT OF PEACE statue.  The meditation will focus on ALL, especially veterans, finding their own inner peace, but also for leaders to have the courage to negotiate much more international conflict without war.  We need no more homelessness among American veterans and civilians, as well as an end to the worldwide pandemic of homeless refugees from war torn countries. 

As a veteran who believes in peacemaking, I am doing the 100 MILE WALK FOR HOPE, called for by the National Commander of the American Legion.  My $30 registration supports the Legion’s “Veteran and Children’s Foundation” fund, and his suggestion is that veterans walk at least a mile a day, adding up to 100 by November 11.  Looks also like a call for regular exercise.  I walk every day anyway, so chose to include 4 days of 20-22 miles, representative of the tragic number of veterans who each day choose to take their own lives.  My story, as it appears on the Legion site, is at www.legiontown.org/node/6697.
The Peace Garden is at 4124 Roseway Road, right across from the Rose Garden.  Individuals are welcome to join at a distance by the statue on the hill, or can join “virtually” in this prayer from anywhere at noon September 21. Larry Johnson larryjvfp@gmail.com


Monday, September 21 @ 4:30 PM: Urban Ventures by John Turnipseed

John Turnipseed is a former gang leader, pimp and drug dealer, who spent his childhood battling demons brought on by a volatile, abusive father.

In a 20-year journey, John Turnipseed has transformed into a community leader, pastor, speaker, and serves as the Director of The Center for Fathering and Vice President of Urban Ventures, a 21-year-old non-profit set in the heart of the same Minneapolis gang territory that John and his family terrorized. John’s life-changing turnaround fueled his passion for rebuilding relationships between fathers and their families. John and the Center for Fathering team have now developed programs that reach over 600 men and 200 women a year.

His story powerfully demonstrates how faith, hope, and forgiveness backed up by persevering mentors and role models are essential for real and relevant transformation. It also encourages us all to never give up on people. John’s “redemption” and work at The Center for Fathering are highlighted in a Fox News update by the same investigative reporter who once helped police capture him.

John’s story was selected as the first “Everyday Hero” segment by Twin City Television and was nominated by Amicus, a mentoring program for prisoners. John’s life is highlighted in the film Turnipseed (www.turnipseedfilm.com) which is used in classes at the American University through the Department of Justice.


Monday, September 21 @ 7 PM: A virtual screening of the Movie: We Are Many

  • 100 CITIES. ONE NIGHT FOR PEACE.
  • A VIRTUAL THEATRICAL SCREENING EVENT
  • SEPTEMBER 21ST – 7 PM CDT
  • ON U.N. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
  • Join us on the same Zoom link
We Are Many – Trailer

Monday, September 21 @ 2 PM: Minnesota Peace Team at the Republican National Convention, 2008

The Minnesota Peace Team responds to community requests for a non-partisan, nonviolent presence in potentially volatile situations in order to prevent people from hurting one another and to protect the civil rights of everyone involved. “Everybody Heard, Nobody Hurt”. https://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaPeaceTeam

Initially, the team was formed in 2008 to maintain peace at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN. It has responded to smaller events since that time. Participants in this presentation will reflect on lessons learned and how they might be helpful in the current situation.

Like the three other participants who follow, Jim Lovestar is a charter member of the Minnesota Peace Team (MnPT) and was active during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. A long-time member of Veterans for Peace, he has been “active with the Foreclosure Prevention Team for three years in North Minneapolis. He started a community garden in his neighborhood in 2007, has accepted a leadership role in Northside Fresh (motto: COMMUNITY. FOOD. POWER) with the goal of North Minneapolis residents learning how to plant, prepare, and preserve their own food and has been one of the guides with the Winds of Change Racial Justice Action Group.” In 2011, he was honored with a Ron Hering Award (https://mankindproject.org/jim-lovestar/ ).” Through teaching and touching I empower every man to know his purpose, his place, and his playmates. ”

David Moseman, MD, MPH is a board member of the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association in Minneapolis and a self-employed consultant writer, passionately working with others to advance their social agendas by providing coaching, research and content writing for their projects, accompanying them through disability into a Joy filled Abundance beyond. For more about Dr. Dave, see http://www.bsmk-med.com/meet-coach-dr-dave/ . He also works with Move to Amend, MN on their Pledge to Amend Campaign, formulating their Press Releases and other materials.

Demi Miller is co-chair of the DFL Progressive Caucus. “The DFL Progressive Caucus is a grassroots organization that is committed to advancing issues of justice and equality, as well as working with the Party through strong outreach and issue advocacy. It recognizes that democracy functions best with an informed and engaged citizenry that partners with other organizations with similar views to educate and engage the public. Among its nine policy goals, the caucus has recently been most active in achieving fair elections through a successful campaign for instant-runoff voting in Minneapolis, encouraging peace policies and supporting candidates, and actively participating in the current health-care debate by advocating for universal, single-payer health care for Minnesota.” (https://www.dfl.org/localunit/progressive-caucus/.)

Katherine Wojtan is Executive Director of Mary’s Pence — a Catholic organization committed to social justice and the belief that each of us, even in a small way, is called to make a difference in the world. They are rooted in Catholic social teaching and build relationships where all are welcome at the table. They have been providing small grants to women for over 20 years, funding projects throughout the Americas with over 1.5 million dollars. The majority of their funds come from individual donors. https://www.maryspence.org/

David Whitten Smith, S.T.D., S.S.L. is a priest of the Archdiocese emeritus professor of theology and Sacred Scripture at the University of St. Thomas, and founding director of the university’s program in justice and peace studies. He joined the Minnesota Peace Team shortly before the convention, having recently returned from serving three months on the West Bank of Palestine with a Michigan Peace Team. Unfortunately, he was out of town during the convention, but took part in its preparations and served with MnPT on several events afterward.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020 @ 11 am: Forgiveness as a Tool for Wellbeing: Healing from Trauma – Breaking the Cycle by Louisa Hext, Madeleine Black and Liz Stone

This workshop will demonstrate the power of story-telling and its capacity to connect, heal and transform lives. Forgiveness will be introduced as a tool for wellbeing and and non violence. Madeleine and Liz uses their powerful stories to use their voice and stand in their power. They have discovered their path to recover from adversity.  As Madeleine eloquently says: “We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up.” This is an interactive workshop. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. Please note: Some content will include topics around sexual and gender and violence and domestic abuse may find triggering and/or traumatizing.

Louisa Hext, MA, CPC: Louisa is a skilled and experienced mediator, coach, speaker, and consultant. She is the North American coordinator for The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness (a traveling story and photography exhibit curated by The Forgiveness Project a London, UK based non-profit). She is a member of The Charter for Compassion’s Global Team and manages the Restorative Justice sector. Louisa serves on the Board of Conflict Resolution, Minnesota and is a moderator for Braver Angels.

Madeleine Black: Madeleine Black has an unusual personal story which she uses to inspire and motivate others. She chose to forgive the two men who gang raped her at thirteen years old and she shares her story for many reasons. She wants to end the shame, stigma and silence surrounding sexual violence enabling others to find their voice, whatever their story is. She wants people to know that it’s not what happens to us that is important but what we do with it. Her memoir, Unbroken, was published in April 04, 2017. Madeleine works as a psychotherapist in Glasgow, UK.

Liz Stone: Liz Stone is a mentor, speaker, and passionate advocate to liberate the captive.  Having been held captive twice in her own life; once at the hands of another in an abusive relationship, and years later by the unresolved fear, pain and shame, she now empowers others to create a life of Freedom, Dignity, and Purpose.  Liz is the founder and Executive Director of Empowering the One, a nonprofit that works in the prevention and aftercare of human trafficking youth aging out of the orphanage in Haiti. Liz lives with her family in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020 @ 2 PM: Community: the Missing Dimension in Criminal Justice

This session will explore the powerful and mostly untapped role that community must play to improve outcomes for system-involved people and to prompt shifts in the prevailing paradigm that too often equates punishment with justice.  The deepened involvement of community in lives of system-involved people not only supports restoration and reintegration, it can actually help to challenge the systemic racism that results in profound racial disparities in criminal justice.

Paul Schnell – Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Corrections: Mr. Schnell became commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) on January 7, 2019. He was appointed commissioner by Governor Tim Walz. Commissioner Schnell brings more than 30 years of public safety and corrections experience to his new position with the DOC. His wealth of knowledge in these fields is a great asset to the DOC.

While completing his Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of St. Thomas, Schnell began an internship supervising adult male offenders in a St. Paul halfway house. This internship led to a 10-year stretch of work in a variety of community-based correctional programs. In 1993, Schnell moved from his position working with youth offenders with Carver County Court Services to deputy sheriff for the Carver County Sheriff’s Office. In 1999, Schnell joined the Saint Paul Police Department where he served in a variety of assignments, including four years as the department’s spokesman. Over the past eight years, Schnell has served as Chief of Police for the cities of Hastings and Maplewood and was the Chief of Police for the City of Inver Grove Heights at the time of his appointment to the commissioner.

Long interested in effective intervention and prevention practices, Schnell became an adjunct faculty member at the University of Saint Thomas and Metropolitan State University, teaching courses in criminal justice diversity, criminal justice ethics, restorative justice, and victimology. In addition to a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of St. Thomas, Schnell holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 @ 4:30 PM: PRAYER TO FORGIVE AND FOR INNER HEALING

Nonviolent work requires activists to have empathy for everybody on all sides even while deploring some of their actions. I will describe and lead participants through a prayer process to draw on God’s energy working forgiveness in our hearts toward people who have harmed us or others we love, or who seem poised to do so. As time allows, I will add two other exercises in the healing of painful memories and weaknesses passed down through the family: prayer for healing of our experience from conception
to birth, and prayer for “healing the family tree” (weaknesses, curses, vulnerabilities (such as a tendency to alcoholism) and experiences of abuse.

Rev. David Whitten Smith, S.T.D., S.S.L. Catholic priest, peace activist, and retired professor of theology, was founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. He has been active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since about 1970. Currently he is a covenant member of the Servant Branch (Twin Cities) of the People of Praise community. He has both experienced and practiced prayer healing, having lived in Jerusalem for two years with Fr. Francis Martin, been prayed over briefly by Kathryn Kullman, Francis MacNutt, and George Kosicki, among others. He himself has seen God work healing when he has prayed, most notably a very young girl, blind from cancer, considered on the edge of death who today, although still blind, is a graduate of St. Olaf College; an elderly man cured of fourth state tongue cancer spread throughout his body; and two St. Thomas students with severe head trauma after being struck by a car. He has also read extensively in the area of prayer healing, notably Agnes Sanford, Francis MacNutt, and Kenneth McAll.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020 @ 7 PM: Nonviolent Peacekeeping in Minnesota

Violence in the Streets?
Peace in the Streets?

The next few months are loaded with possible trigger points for escalating violence in the Twin Cities:
White Supremacists? Provocateurs?
Continued Police Brutality?
Adverse Court Rulings?
Voter Suppression?
Coup de Etat?

Local gun shops report that they can’t keep up with the demand and expect sales to boom through the elections.

There is another way!  Nonviolent Peaceforce have forged field tested methods that have prevented violence and protected civilians in some of the most violent places on the planet.

Explore how these methods can be applied on the streets of the Twin Cites. Nonviolent Peaceforce Veterans Rosemary Kabaki (Georgia, the Philippines and Myanmar ) and Jessica Skelly will join NP co-founder Mel Duncan to discuss how you can use these methods in the next few months.

This course builds on the Listen, Learn, Act:  Nonviolence for Community Safety workshop offered last Friday and Saturday.  One does not have to have completed that training to attend.

Mel Duncan is a co-founder and current Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), a world leader in unarmed civilian protection (UCP). NP’s nonviolent civilian protectors provide direct protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and work with local groups to prevent further violence in a variety of conflict areas including South Sudan, Iraq, the Philippines and Myanmar.  Mel has represented NP at the United Nations where the group has been granted Consultative Status. Recent UN global reviews as well as Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions have cited and recommended unarmed civilian protection. He is currently focusing on identifying and validating UCP good practices. The American Friends Service Committee nominated Nonviolent Peaceforce for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.  In 2018 Nonviolent Peaceforce received the Luxembourg Peace Prize.

 Dr. Rosemary Kabaki:  Born and raised in Kenya, Rosemary first worked for eighteen years in her home country teaching in a medical college about public health and environmental psychology Since that time she has been at the forefront of advancing unarmed civilian protection in Georgia, the Philippines and Myanmar.. In Myanmar, Rosemary assisted Nonviolent Peaceforce and local partners in establishing 14 community-based ceasefire-monitoring networks across the country, including 34% women. Many of these women have become leaders in their communities and inspired others to start working for social change.  

She has brought emerging women leaders from various ceasefire networks together, across ethnic fault lines, to strengthen their leadership skills and formulate their own advocacy strategies. She is currently part of an NP team that is assessing how these nonviolent peacekeeping methods can be applied to Minneapolis and other places in the United States.  Rosemary was chosen as one of three runners up from Africa for the 2020 Woman of Distinction Award for the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  

Jessica Skelly is part of the NP US Assessment team based in Minneapolis, MN.  She has previously served as Safety and Security Advisor for the NP South Sudan Mission and as Security and Operations Manager for the NP Iraq Mission. She is a dedicated humanitarian and joined Nonviolent Peaceforce with a wide range of experience in safety and security and conflict resolution.  Jessica holds a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from Columbia University and Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University. 


Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 11 am: Stories from military veterans who have continued to serve our country over the past three decades through non-violent work, advocacy, and protest in the cause of peace and justice.

Contact: Michael Orange, orange_michael@msn.com, 952-905-1448

Michael McDonald (Moderator)
Michael McDonald served in the Army Reserve from 1971-76, but was never called up for active duty. He joined Veterans For Peace in 2015 and was elected as Vice President for local Chapter 27 in 2018 and President the following year. Throughout his 35-year career as an elementary school teacher (mostly 5th graders), Mr. McDonald emphasized peace and justice issues through cooperative learning.
Mr. McDonald describes local Chapter 27 as “an amazing group of activists who work on issues that include banning nuclear weapons, stopping the privatization of the VA medical system, banning assault weapons, and truth in recruiting in our schools. This is in addition to the numerous non-violent, peaceful protests and actions our members participate in each year in collaboration with the extremely active peace and justice community in the Twin Cities. Many of our editorials continue to be featured in local papers. I am proud to be part of such a dedicated group.”

David Logsdon
David Logsdon served in combat with the US Navy from !966 to 1970. He was deployed on a destroyer off the coast of North Vietnam where they engaged enemy shore batteries. The immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq spurred him to become an active member of Veterans for Peace including serving as local Chapter 27 President for five years. He also served on the Board of Directors for the National Veterans for Peace and is currently the organization’s Vice-President.

Steve McKeown
Conscripted into the Army in 1965, Steve McKeown served as a radio operator with the 4th Infantry Division in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1966 to 67. He is one of the founding members of Chapter 27 Veterans for Peace, through which he has organized actions in resistance to war for thirty-five years. He has protested aid to the Contras, the first and second Gulf War massacres, closing the School of the Americas, Junior ROTC and military recruitment in our schools and communities, and nuclear disarmament. Promoting Armistice Day and the Kellogg Briand Pact, he has addressed hundreds of classes, churches, and other community venues and has organized and attended countless vigils and demonstrations. His non-violent, peaceful protests have landed him in jail 18 times.

Barry Riesch
Barry Riesch served in the US Army from 1968-70 including a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969-70 as a mortarman. A peaceful, antiwar protest in 1971 resulted in his first arrest. Like many other veterans, the US invasion of Iraq in 1991 stirred him to join Veterans for Peace. Ever since he joined, he has been one of the most active members in local Chapter 27, serving as the chair of several subcommittees, Vice President, and President. He was also elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Veterans for Peace for six years and its President for one term.

Robert (Bob) Mokos
Bob Mokos joined the United States Air Force in 1971. After graduating from Loyola University and completing of Officer Training School and pilot training, he served as an instructor pilot at two Air Force bases and separated six years later with the rank of Captain. He became a commercial airline pilot and flew for Braniff, Northwest, and Delta airlines before retiring in 2010.  In July 1986, Mr. Mokos’s sister was murdered with a handgun; a tragedy that awakened him to the growing gun problem in our country. After 9/11, he was authorized as a Federal Flight Deck Officer to be an armed pilot. For the past six years, Mr. Mokos has been a national speaker on gun violence prevention. He is a Senior Fellow for Everytown For Gun Safety and works closely with Moms Demand Action and the Gifford’s Group as an advocate for common sense gun laws. He has recently formed Minnesota Gun Owners For Safety sponsored by the Gifford’s Group. He has been an active member of Veterans For Peace over the past year promoting the organization’s message of peace while speaking on gun violence. 

Michael Orange
Michael Orange served in the US Marine Corps including a year-long, tour of duty in Vietnam (1969-70) where he experienced combat in numerous search-and-destroy missions and patrols. In 2001, he published a memoir of his experiences, Fire in the Hole: A Mortarman in Vietnam. He is currently finishing work on his second book, Embracing the Ghosts: PTSD and the Vietnam Quagmire. As with many other veterans, the US invasion of Iraq in 1991 impelled him to join Veterans for Peace. For several years, Mr. Orange helped manage Chapter 27’s “Truth in Recruiting” program and he spoke to hundreds of high school and college classes about the horrors of war and moral injury. Currently, he leads the chapter’s effort to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines in Minnesota.


Wednesday, September 23 @ 2 pm: Challenging Islamaphobia by Jaylani Hussein

Jaylani Hussein is currently the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). Hussein worked as the Community Liaison Officer at Metro State University and as a Planner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. In 2013, he created Zeila Consultants to develop and offer cross-cultural training workshops on East African cultures. Hussein has presented on the Somali Culture to diverse public and private organizations across the US. He specializes in the areas of urban planning, community development, youth development (with over 8 years experience working in juvenile treatment centers for court adjudicated youth), legal and civil rights.

Hussein has been active with various community organizations in Minnesota, including the Islamic Cultural Center of Minnesota Board of Directors, Wilder Foundation Advisory Board, Muslim Youth of Minnesota Advisory Board, Islamic Resource Group Speakers Bureau, and ARAHA Board of Directors. He has traveled to the Horn of Africa twice on behalf of ARAHA, to open a regional field office and oversee large-scale humanitarian projects during the Somali Famine of 2011. Hussein received the 2015 the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) annual “Visionary Leader” Award.  Hussein appears regularly on Minnesota’s local television and radio stations. He has also appeared on national and international outlets including ABC News, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, NPR, BBC among other outlets. 

Hussein’s family emigrated from Somalia to Minnesota in 1993 and he is trilingual (English, Somali, Arabic). Hussein holds degrees in Community Development and City Planning from St. Cloud State University and Political Science from North Dakota State University.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 4:30 pm: Promoting reconciliation and friendship between Iraqis and Americans

Iraqi American Reconciliation Project through art, drama, music, literature, humanitarian aid, and people to people contacts. The Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP) creates bridges of communication, understanding and support between Americans and Iraqis in response to decades of sanctions, war, and occupation. We are Iraqis and Americans, veterans and refugees, peace activists and artists, students and professionals united by a common goal: growing reconciliation and friendship between our communities and building a more peaceful world.

This presentation will tell how we got started, what we have done, what we still hope to do, and how our experiences may help other communities at odds to understand and respect one another, and so live nonviolently in peace. https://reconciliationproject.org/

Salam Murtada – Chair, has been a board member with IARP since 2011, and involved in various projects to promote peace and understanding between Iraqi and American cultures. Born and raised in Amman, Jordan, he developed great respect for neighboring Iraq and its immense contributions to our world in the areas of literature, Islamic studies, law, medicine, science, architecture, arts, music and history.  He is a professional civil and environmental engineer, currently working for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  His work involves conducting hydrologic/hydraulic modeling for watersheds, floodplains and geomorphic studies. Salam earned an M.S. in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, both from West Virginia University. He earned a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and B.S. in Structural Engineering both from the University of Texas at Austin.  In addition to engineering, Salam is a concert pianist and composer who loves to perform at various community venues. His music-related projects involve finding and promoting Arabic classical music. A recent Iraqi Voices documentary included his performance of “Hamuraby,” composed by Beatrice Ohanessian, a prominent Iraqi pianist and composer.

Dr. Azar Maluki MD, was born in Najaf, Iraq.  He is a board-certified dermatologist, and was a consultant physician and professor at the University of Kufa, Iraq.  He is married to Shaymaa Jakjook (M.Sc., Geography) and has two sons and one daughter. Azar first visited Minneapolis in 2011 and 2013 with a delegation of Iraqi health professionals as part of the exchange visits between Najaf and Minneapolis organized by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project. He arrived in Minneapolis with his family in 2015 and joined the Dermatology Imaging Center in the Department of Dermatology at the UMN-Twin Cities Campus as a Research Fellow. Dr. Maluki has directed one short documentary film as part of the Iraqi Voices project.

Kathy McKay has been the initiator and primary directive force behind IARP. Her ingenuity and imagination dreamed up a kaleidoscope of activities, contacted the right people and groups to make it happen, and managed all the necessary paperwork. See the website https://reconciliationproject.org for extensive reports on its work. For most of its existence, she was its executive director, and she continues to work with and advise the board of directors. She is the one on the right in this picture.

Rev. David Smith, Catholic priest, peace activist, and retired professor of theology, was founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. A 1958 summa cum laude graduate of the University (then College) of St. Thomas with a degree in mathematics, he has studied theology and sacred scripture in Washington D.C., Rome, and Jerusalem.  He has traveled extensively worldwide to study poverty, justice, and peace, including travel to Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. In 2003 he joined other U.S. faculty to visit Iraq both before and after the U.S.-Iraq War and in 2012 he re-visited Iraq as a board member of the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project.  He is co-author of the book Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace (2nd Ed: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) which studies the ways various world religions interact to support or interfere with justice and peace, with Israel-Palestine as a case study.  He is an active member of the Christian “People of Praise—Servant Branch” ecumenical charismatic covenant community.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 7 pm: An Evolutionary Strategy for the Racial Justice Movement with David Gershon

In this workshop you will learn:

  • How to increase the effectiveness and impact of the racial justice movement by learning second order change strategies based on empowerment, behavior change, and vision.
  • How to facilitate healing and transformation across racial divides using the Peace on Earth Game.
  • How a well conceived second order change strategy can enable a social justice movement to scale.
  • What is the most important personal transformation required of a social justice leader to sustain their commitment over time?

The workshop will include an interview of David by nationally recognized racial justice leader Rev. Dr. Kris Watson. The conversation will address the social change and personal transformation growing edges of the racial justice movement.

David Gershon, founder and CEO of Empowerment Institute has been called the number one expert on social change. He has dedicated his life to empowering humanity to believe we can create the world of our dreams and designing the strategies and tools to help us make this a reality.  Based on his decades of empowerment and transformative social change experience he has architected a bold plan to change the world called Reinventing the Planet. His Peace on Earth by 2030 game plays a central role in this grand strategy and builds upon his experience organizing the 1986 First Earth Run in which 25 million people and 45 heads of state in 62 countries participated in passing a torch of peace around the world. Wherever the torch went, wars stopped and the world as united as one. This global unitive event was witnessed by a billion people through the media.

David is author of twelve books, including the award-winning Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World and the best-selling Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It. He directs Empowerment Institute’s Center for Reinventing the Planet.


Thursday, September 24 @ 11 AM – Jim Ten Bensel presents Trombone Magic: Joy and Beauty of Music with sing-a-long

Jim ten Bensel is a musician and educator. He has a long and varied career as a trombonist, conductor, and vocalist. The Minneapolis Trombone Choir, which Jim directs, has been presenting concerts for 46 years. A smaller outreach ensemble called “Trombone Magic” was organized last year to promote music as a way to live peacefully.


Thursday, September 24 @ 2 PM: Growing Up Peace Literate by Julie Penshorn

Julie Penshorn, Co-Founder and Director Growing Communities for Peace, a non-profit organization and its project Smart Tools for Life — creating children’s books and music. President, Sunborn Stables Masters of Business Communications (MBC) St. Thomas University, Minnesota, BA Metro State, Writer, Musician, Potter, Horsewoman, Mother.

Julie seeks to enhance young children’s social and emotional “smarts” through memorable story and music, thus creating a more harmonious world. Young children learn to love books because their hearts are filled and their spirits are inspired. Julie’s stories reach for their natural humanity, so children can begin to create and sustain a culture of peace. Stories with characters expressing and seeking compassion nurture children’s natural instincts to be kind and generous. These stories also build social and emotional skills, and can become important resources for schools, families, and communities on their journey toward a more peaceful setting.

  • Books by Julie Penshorn “appropriate for ages 3-8” 
  • A guide for teaching conflict resolution with a peace table
  • The Compassionate Rebel:
  • The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace and the music
  • I Can See Peace.

Thursday, September 24 @ 4:30 PM: Nonviolence and Religions: Sources and Practice – Success and Failure

Speakers for Minnesota Multifaith Network’s session ofthe Twin Cities Nonviolent program.

Roya Akhavan (BAHA’I): Dr. Roya Akhavan is a member of the Baha’i Faith. She currently serves as Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communications, St. Cloud State University. Dr. Akhavan is a frequent speaker on global issues at national and international forums and radio and television programs. She has lived and worked in four different cultures; Persian, American, Japanese, and Chinese. Her most recent work is a book entitled, Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach.

Bussho Lahn (BUDDHIST): Bussho Lahn is a Certified Spiritual Director and a fully ordained Soto Zen Buddhist priest. He’s been a teacher and retreat leader at the Episcopal House of Prayer, the Minnesota Zen Center, and Asian Institute for many years. He’s grounded in contemplative spirituality, 12-Step work, interfaith dialogue, retreat facilitation and the marriage of spirituality and both Western and Buddhist psychology.

Grant Abbott (CHRISTIAN): The Rev. Grant H. Abbott was born in Seattle, Washington and graduated from the University of Washington. He has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and is an ordained Episcopal priest. Grant served as senior pastor of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, for 23 years. Grant was executive director of the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches 2003-2011 and after that served as one of the leaders in the Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) until its closing to assist in the birth of the Minnesota Multifaith Network. Today, he serves as a volunteer with Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul, convening the Religious Leaders Connection. He also convenes The Real American History Book Group.

John Matthews (CHRISTIAN) Rev. John Matthews is the senior Pastor emeritus of Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley and currently an adjunct instructor of religion at Augsburg University; John serves as a police/fire chaplain for the city of Burnsville. He has been involved in Interfaith Activity for four decades, especially with Jewish-Christian & Christian-Muslim dialogue. John has focused specifically on ‘The Holocaust & the Churches,’ and written two books on the life and legacy of the German theologian/conspirator Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Pastor Matthews received the Islamic Resource Group (Minnesota) ‘Interfaith Award’ in 2015, for his contribution to community interfaith activity and education.

Sandra Devi Kimal (HINDU): Sandra Devi Kimal is but a thirsty soul in quest of Spiritual knowledge and a seeker.Born in  Guyana, South America, she completed education at the Line Path Secondary High School, Guyana in 1983 and was successful at the London GCEO Levels, completing Pitman’s commercial certificates. She migrated to New York in 1987 and has been in Minnesota for the past 23 years. From a tender and youthful age, she has been an ardent disciple of the Hindu religion, a participant at many Mandirs including Science of Spirituality and social gatherings propagating Hinduism.  She has managed to encounter a different lifestyle in comparison to our homeland and fostered a career in the trading Industry as a consultant, while devoting herself and opening their home Shivoham Ashram to conduct meditation,yoga, studying of the Bhagwad Gita and other scriptural texts.   

Ram Gada (JAIN) Mr. Ram Gada is a retired president of Gada &Associates, consulting engineers. Mr. Gada has nurtured and fostered several community organizations from their inception and now plays as a mentor and trusted lifetime advisor role in almost all of the foundational communities. He is a founding member and president of “Gujarati Samaj” (1977) and founding member and president of “Jain Center of Minnesota” (1979). He is Emeritus and Honorary Council Member at Minnesota Historical Society. He serves as Honorary Board at India Association of Minnesota, as Lifetime Trustee at Hindu Society of Minnesota, at TCNV Steering Committee and as JAINA Director.

Holly Brod Farber (JEWISH) Holly was born and raised in a Jewish family in St.Paul, MN.  After graduating from Highland Park High School and the St. Paul Talmud Torah in 1985, she studied history and political science at the University of Massachusetts. She lived on a kibbutz in Israel before returning to attend the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 1993. Holly has made her home in Minnesota ever since. She and her husband Jon live in St.Paul, where they raised their three children, now in their 20s. Holly was on the team that founded the Jewish Community Relation Council’s speakers’ bureau program in September of 2002, and has been a director ever since.  She has spoken to thousands of people over the years. The program has been widely recognized for its excellence. For the past five years, Holly has been working with Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul as a mentor for their Youth Leadership Program, in which all 3 of her children were involved. 

Tamim Saidi (MUSLIM)  Tamim Saidi [Pronounced: Ta-meem Sa-ee-dee] was born in Afghanistan. As a teenager, he was forced to leave his family behind and flee to Pakistan as a refugee. He came to the US in 1990 and has called MN home ever since. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from U of MN and currently works as a Consultant Pharmacist. In 2018, he was selected as one of 24 Bush Fellows and has completed a 2-year Multi-Religious Fellowship Program with the Collegeville Institute. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Islamic Studies and Leadership form Bayan-Claremont School of Theology. He has served in many community activities leadership of Northwest Islamic Community Center (Masjid Al Kareem), Islamic Resource Group, Islamic Center of MN, Muslim Youth of MN, CAIR-MN and Al-Amal School. He has been a participant & presenter in many interfaith dialogues and activities, and has spoken and presented to thousands of Minnesotans about Islam and Muslims’ culture and way of life. He is married with 3 children and lives in Maple Grove.

Ricky Singh Arora (SIKH) Randeep “Ricky” Singh Arora is a practicing Sikh.The word Sikh means student who is learning for life and respects humanity. Mr. Arora has been a member of the Minnesota Sikh community for almost 25 years.Mr. Arora has served various leadership roles on the Board of the Sikh Society of Minnesota such as Secretary, Vice-President, Director of Outreach and other volunteer positions since 1996. His current focus is on communications and developing the co-curricular and multifaith activities of the Society. He also coache sand performs Punjabi folk dance “Bhangra” at various community events to teach about and strengthen inter-community relations. He is often an invited guest speaker on Sikhism at various local education and religious institutions.Mr. Arora holds a master’s degree in technology and is a professional Senior Technology Manager in St Paul.

Tom Duke (MODERATOR) Rev.Tom Duke, Ph.D., is currently a volunteer with the Minnesota Multifaith Network (MnMN). He formerly was coordinator of programs for the Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN). Tom is an ordained Lutheran pastor (retired) and served for 15 years as Executive Director of the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches. Earlier he was Fellow at the Wesley Center, Hamline University; Director of Community Care Resources, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation; a parish pastor and taught pastoral theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He has been a consultant for work related to dialogue on divisive issues in interfaith and intercultural relations.


Thursday, September 24 @ 7 pm: Racial Justice by Will Wallace

Will Wallace is Manager of North 4 and Special Projects. He is a 20+ year veteran of youth and community work in North Minneapolis. He was part of the creation of the 2008 City of Minneapolis Blueprint for Action to Prevent Youth Violence. He has been a voice for engagement between police and community during times of crisis, such as the police shooting of Mr. Jamar Clark. Will has also consulted with the Minneapolis Public Schools for many years working with K-8 students promoting healing from the traumas of poverty, racism, and community violence.

His unique expertise in working with youth who have been raised in the situation of violence and trauma and then become involved with gangs and/or the justice system was foundational to the development and launch of the EMERGE’s North 4 Program in 2010 and to its successful operation over several years.  Two years ago, Will left EMERGE to focus on community work, and we are proud to announce his return to lead the North 4 program in 2018.  Will Wallace holds a Global Career Development Facilitator certification , and has both participated in and led multiple trainings on youth violence prevention, mediation, healing from racial trauma, community engagement, trauma informed care, and related topics.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 @ 11:00 AM: Introduction to Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience for Cultural Competence, Racial Healing and Equity

Donna MinterPhD, Founder and Executive Director of Peacebuilding, is a European American cisgender woman. She is a licensed psychologist who has practiced pediatric neuropsychology for over 25 years in outpatient and inpatient clinics and educational settings. For 18 years she has conducted court-ordered mental health evaluations and provided expert court testimony for the State of Wisconsin. She is a Certified STAR Trainer and she administers, implements, and conducts trainings and talking circles in Minnesota, throughout the USA, and internationally. 

When terrible things happen, like racism, police brutality, and COVID-19, our peace has been stolen from us. Intro to STAR teaches how to be trauma-informed, resilience-oriented, and restorative justice-focused to build culturally competent peace for racial healing and equity into our lives and communities with justice for all.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 @ 2:00 PM: ISAIAH:  Building a multi-racial, multi-faith Minnesota where everyone can thrive through racial and economic justice

Sarah Gleason and Mary Jo Malecha are both parishioners at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community in South Minneapolis which has been a congregational member of ISAIAH for ~20 years. Sarah and Mary Jo are co-chairs of the ISAIAH Core Team at Joan of Arc. 

Sarah is one of the founding members of ISAIAH at Joan of Arc, a long-time ISAIAH Leader, and has served on the Board at both ISAIAH and its sister organization Faith in Minnesota. 

Mary Jo joined Joan of Arc’s ISAIAH Core Team in 2012 during ISAIAH’s efforts to defeat the Voter ID Amendment in Minnesota.  Both she and Sarah have been highly involved in municipal, county, and state-wide campaigns to bring about racial and economic justice and make Minnesota a place where everyone can thrive.

In this talk, Sarah and Mary Jo will introduce you to ISAIAH’s history, purpose, values, and approach to organizing and building individual leadership and collective power to make real change.  We will introduce you to our Faith Agenda which is the basis for our Organizing.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 @ 4:30 PM: DAVID SMITH AND HARRY BURY ON PALESTINIAN NONVIOLENCE

Over 100 Years of Palestinian Nonviolent Actions in Pursuit of Justice and Peace: Special Attention to Gaza and the West Bank. Many people ask why the Palestinians haven’t tried Gandhian type nonviolence rather than terrorist attacks and rockets. They have—for over 100 years—but world media have rarely covered it. American media have emphasized Palestinian violence and excused Israeli violence in what is a situation of colonial dispossession. A closer look shows the State of Israel has used much more violence than Palestinians, who have been very ingenious in their nonviolent struggle to resist dispossession. The presenters have experienced this dynamic first-hand and will discuss its—ongoing–effectiveness.

Fr. David Whitten Smith, S.T.D., S.S.L., Catholic priest, peace activist, and retired professor of theology, was founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. He has studied theology and sacred scripture in Washington D.C., Rome, and Jerusalem, and has traveled extensively worldwide to study poverty, justice, and peace. His first trip to Israel-Palestine, with fellow doctoral students in Rome, was in 1968 – just one year after the “six day war.” The students admired Israel’s success, but were surprised to find their Jesuit tour guide, who lived in Jerusalem, decidedly less enthusiastic. He returned to Jerusalem in 1974 for two years of advanced study in Sacred Scripture at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, one year after the Yom Kippur/Ramadan war. The mood was quite different. Back in 1990 with a group of Peace Studies professors at the height of the first Intifada; again in  2004 for a meeting of Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian liberation theology group, and finally as a member of Michigan Peace Teams in Gaza in July 2005 (with Fr. Harry Bury) and in the West Bank from October through December 2007. Scarf is (inadequate) protection from tear gas. Lemon also helps.

Fr. Harry Bury, Ph.D, Catholic priest,  peace activist, and retired professor of  Organizational Behavior and Administration at Baldwin Wallace University, also teaching Systems Management at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. An early opponent of the U.S. war in Vietnam, Fr. Harry early practiced active nonviolence: attempting to celebrate Mass in the Pentagon for the souls of fallen Vietnamese and American soldiers, chaining himself to the US Embassy Gate in Saigon at the Vietnamese’ request to protest the war, and flying with a group of peacemakers into Hanoi under the protection of US bombardment, to bring out three captured US pilots.

Fr. Harry was a good friend of Mother Teresa of Calcutta whom he helped introduce to the US, and in 2004, he was invited to con-celebrate Mass with Pope John Paul II at her beatification in Rome. A year later, in 2005, the Patriarch of Jerusalem invited the Michigan Peace Team to come to Gaza to stand as human shields between the Israeli settlers and the Palestinians so they would not kill each other. Fr Harry went with Fr. David. While in Gaza, he gave a lecture to Palestinian students on his systems management expertise. He was also abducted by some shadowy group and held for three hours. That news got on the TV, leading the governor and common Gazans to reassure us that they appreciated our presence.


Friday, September 25 @ 7 PM: Seeking Safety and an End to Homelessness for Minnesotans: what role you play by Monica Nilsson

Haven Housing Executive Director and longtime Minnesota advocate for those experiencing homelessness Monica Nilsson will lead a community discussion on the violence encountered by children, youth and adults without stable housing and the ongoing work to secure safety and stability. Invitees to join Monica will be those who are formerly homeless and those who advocate for their protection from what could bring harm.

Monica Nilsson has worked in direct service, advocacy and public education with adults and youth experiencing homelessness since 1993.  She served as Shelter Director at Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis, opening a shelter for women in 1999, followed by work with runaway or homeless youth at The Bridge for Youth.  Monica partnered with long-term homeless programs on the Iron Range and northern MN reservations in her work at Hearth Connection.  She moved on to developing the St. Stephen’s Street Outreach Team in Hennepin County and later a Community Engagement Program that included a theater troupe and education program called A Day in the Life. She now serves as Executive Director of Haven Housing in north Minneapolis.
Monica is past President of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, a statewide collaborative of 150 organizations serving those in poverty. Having worked primarily with those who are sleeping outside or in shelter, Monica knows that the sharing of stories to the legislature, voters and in the media is necessary to lasting systems change. 


Saturday, September 26 @ 11 AMMeditation on Nonviolence as the Highest Human Virtue by Arvind Naik

Spiritual reflection the on the highest human virtue of nonviolence and some meditation.

Arvind Naik will lead us in to learning and practicing a simple meditation technique which will help us tremendously in our mission of non-violence. Arvind has been studying a practical form of meditation under a world-renowned spiritual teacher Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj since 2003. He has been conducting talks, classes and workshops on the topic of meditation, where he discusses how incorporating meditation into our daily routine could be life-changing.  He leads a local meditation center called, Science of Spirituality Minneapolis Meditation Center (www.sosmn.org) and Steering Committee member of TCNV.


Saturday, September 26 @ 2 PM: Michael Dhani Bennett – Music

Michael Dhani Bennett. I was born in Calcutta, India, adopted, and raised in the Minnesota area. I am the creator and owner of MCALENT Industries. I would like to represent the first group of Musicians I’ve created. We are called the, “Baby Tubas L’s of the L’s of MN. We will be contributing to the theme of performing non-violence music, and there will also be some history segments as well. We are so delighted to perform for all of you, and pleased that you are able to listen to us. Thank you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Bennettdirect@yahoo.com


Saturday, September 26 @ 4:30 PM: BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, AND SANCTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE PALESTINIAN CALL: SOME LOCAL EXAMPLES

Two Jewish women responded to the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS after hearing a speech by Omar Barghouti. We will share as a case study the on-going saga of the organization they founded. Israel first ignored BDS, then mocked it. Recently they have called it an existential threat. The activists may be close to winning. Sylvia Schwarz was a plaintiff with several others, including the West Bank village of Bil’in, in a lawsuit against the State Board of Investments, as was her husband who is a Palestinian refugee. Join our presentation to find out what happened next, and what is still happening. You can also see her article at https://consortiumnews.com/2012/03/31/minnesota-battle-over-israeli-bonds/ .

Fr. David Whitten Smith, S.T.D., S.S.L., Catholic priest, peace activist, and retired professor of theology, was founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. Having He joined the Minnesota Break the Bonds core team shortly after his 2007 return from the West Bank of Israel-Palestine, where he served on a Michigan Peace Team from October through December. When he developed the required course Theologies of Justice and Peace for the St. Thomas program, he included chapters on Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Marxist worldviews, followed by a chapter on the Israel-Palestine situation as a case study of how those four worldviews could live together in common respect, and why they aren’t. He also included a chapter on liberation theologies (including Palestinian liberation theology) and active nonviolence as a hopeful approach to a just peace. For a short documentary on the Bethlehem checkpoint where workers wait 3 hours or so each morning, search on YouTube for “Bethlehem Checkpoint 4 am” and watch Fr. David entertain the line with his violin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1FaWE1SIZk – In picture – Fr. David Whitten Smith sharing his violin with Palestinian workers waiting at the Bethlehem checkpoint

Sylvia Schwarz, MS with a 1991 Masters degree from the University of Minnesota, is a professional civil engineer, now retired from the State of Minnesota where she worked on the design, construction, and operation of water and wastewater facilities. A Jew, she first visited Israel-Palestine in 2008. In 2010, she attempted to enter Gaza as a part of a freedom march, but was denied entry. From almost its beginnings, she has been a prime organizer for the nonprofit educational organization Minnesota Break the Bonds. In that capacity, she has testified before the Minnesota State Board of Investments urging it to divest from Israel Bonds until Israel complies with international law and human rights consensus with regard to Palestinians.


Saturday, September 26 @ 7 PM: Gandhi’s life and legacy of non violence for the current times by Ram Gada

A2FP81 Rare studio photograph of Mahatma Gandhi taken in London England UK at the request of Lord Irwin 1931

Ram Gada (JAIN) Mr. Ram Gada is a retired president of Gada &Associates, consulting engineers. Mr. Gada has nurtured and fostered several community organizations from their inception and now plays as a mentor and trusted lifetime adviser role in almost all of the foundational communities. He is a founding member and president of “Gujarati Samaj” (1977) and founding member and president of “Jain Center of Minnesota” (1979). He is Emeritus and Honorary Council Member at Minnesota Historical Society. He serves as Honorary Board at India Association of Minnesota, as Lifetime Trustee at Hindu Society of Minnesota, at TCNV Steering Committee and as JAINA Director.


Sunday, September 27 @ 11 AM: Meditation: How to Awaken Your Inner Love, Peace, and Joy

Description: Meditation results in an easier, more productive, more enjoyable, and more fulfilling life. This class will contain a guided meditation, talk on the benefits of meditation, and resources to help you start a daily 5-minutes meditation practice. This workshop is not affiliated with any religious tradition and is suitable for new, intermediate, and advanced meditators. 

Boundless Love Project Mindfulness Teacher Freeman Wicklund will lead the presentation. He has taught personal development issues at dozens of schools, universities, community groups, and religious centers, throughout the U.S. He has 14 years of meditation experience and has completed over 100 days of intensive meditation retreats.

The Boundless Love Project is a nonsectarian nonprofit that nonviolently creates a global beloved community where all people, animals, and ecosystems thrive. Through the inner work of compassionate mindful meditation, and the outer work of loving nonviolent advocacy, we overcome falsehood with truth, apathy with compassion, greed with peace, and prejudice with love. Learn more about our free, nonsectarian mindfulness trainings and group meditations at BoundlessLoveProject.org


Sunday, September 27 @ 2 PM: 10 Days Closing Program by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Sister Helen Prejean as Keynote Speakers

Nancy will facilitate

Nancy Nelson: Born Nancy Ann Nelson in Minneapolis, MN, to father Willie Nelson, a self-employed food distributor, and Florence Picott Nelson, an office manager, Nancy was an only child, raised in the home in which her father was born.

Nancy began performing on the amateur stage at the age of 8. She was on the professional stage one week after graduating from high school. During her senior year in high school she hosted a daily live television program in Minneapolis, Minnesota – rather like a local American Bandstand. While a student at the University of Minnesota, Nancy was named Miss Minnesota and went on to place as second runner-up to Miss United States. She was recognized in Washington DC as one of America’s Outstanding Young Women, and named Miss Minnesota a second time in the Miss International Beauty Pageant. More at http://www.nancynelson.com/nancy.asp

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, M.Div. is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where he majored in Political Science.  He did his theological training at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where he received a Master of Divinity degree. He is the author of numerous articles and books on faith, hunger, the arms race and U.S. foreign policy.  His books include Hunger for Justice:  the Politics of Food and Faith (Orbis Books, 1980),  Water More Precious Than Oil (Augsburg Publishing House, 1982),  The Politics of Compassion (Orbis Books, 1986),  War Against The Poor:  Low Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith (Orbis Books, 1989),  Brave New World Order:  Must We Pledge Allegiance (Orbis Books, 1992),  Families Valued:  Parenting and Politics for the Good of All Children (Friendship Press, 1996),  School of Assassins (Orbis Books, 1997),  his first novel, Harvest of Cain (EPICA, 2001),  Jesus Against Christianity:  Reclaiming the Missing Jesus (Trinity Press International, 2001), and School of Assassins:  Guns, Greed and Globalization (Orbis Books, 2001).  Nelson-Pallmeyer served as National Program Coordinator of the Politics of Food Program with Clergy & Laity, and directed the Minnesota-based Hunger and Justice Project for the American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church in America. He is Assistant Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.  He was a candidate for US Senate in 2008.

A Catholic nun’s fight against the US federal executions: A Catholic nun who has dedicated her life to abolishing the death penalty has described the resumption of federal executions in the United States as an injustice. The Supreme Court’s decision to resume federal executions highlights the intrinsic injustice in the system, Sister Helen Prejean a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph in New Orleans, told Vatican News. It reveals the “deep weakness” in the application of the death penalty because it rests on a prosecutor, she said. American people realize the death penalty serves no purpose and that it has also come to be understood it is not even helpful for the healing process of the victims’ families, she said.

~ Tonight’s Fresh Air broadcast at 8:00 p.m. on Minnesota Public Radio (KNOW, 91.1 FM) available online

Timothy Frantzich [fran-zik] has been writing songs and singing for more that three decades. He is primarily interested in harmony. Song shared between peoples, between cultures, between philosophies.
Brother Timothy released his first solo CD Our Lost and Wild Daughter in 2012 and promptly took a right turn and began teaching grade school. He taught 4 years at City of Lakes Waldorf School. He was blessed by that good run and those children. Now Timothy is back to full time music.
Timothy believes many more of us CAN sing than DO sing… and he has learned people who do not consider themselves singers can sing beautifully together.
Timothy has lead community singing in China for 7 weeks during 2018.
Timothy divides his time between Stillwater, Minnesota and Los Angeles, California. He will be presenting music during the closing program of 10 Days.