Brandon here. I've just returned home as you read this, am back at my desk, looking out my window over the the San Francisco Bay Area. I know that my children and I are very likely to eat and read together tonight, and go to bed in safety. While I sift my "Developed World" challenges for solutions, sometimes it seems that Those People Over There are the ones to change how conflict works, if anybody can, because they are in the thick of violence. Sometimes I forget that they are supremely vulnerable and just trying to survive.
The amazing participants in Training Across Borders have just completed an event which has nothing comparable to follow it. They are amazing, inspirational, beautiful people, who engaged Peace Practices with their hearts, minds, and an eye to the future. I am thankful for being able to share their time on earth. Several are considering long term involvement with Peace Practices.
Even if just for them, I wish each attempt to gather people to actually practice peace didn't feel like beginning from scratch. Momentum builds over decades as people suffer needlessly and die today. Perhaps this is as the world has always been. I am certain that it doesn't have to be this way any more, if we insist.
The work of making actual peace happen, by practicing Conflict Done Well™ with as many people as possible, is in our hands---those of us who aren't in harm's way and have the capacity to train for and insist on peace with as much commitment as those who train for war. That is why nonviolence is a martial art. That is why peace is something we must practice so that we may be models for our children and insist on results from the politicians we elect. That is why Peace Practices is the most important project you will ever support.
Please help us build infrastructure that will last. Donate, please, but also help us connect with foundations and individuals who fund far reaching, sustainable solutions. You may not think you know somebody like that, but you do, or are separated by one mutual friend. Advocate for us, and those dedicated to building a better world will come to you. If you are ready to truly make a difference, but don't know what next step to take, please contact us now and hear a few suggestions. We need you and, more importantly, so do the children being born into war zones as you read this.
We need your help because this journey stretches an already bare-bones budget to the breaking point. We could not pass up an opportunity like this, but we still need your help to cover the cost of Brandon's travel to the conference to meet these leaders. If every person who liked us on Facebook put $10 towards really getting traction for peace at this conference, we would meet our goal of $2,000, but we are hoping to raise $3,000 so that we cover expenses and can further support the scholarships that were extended to those coming from conflict zones. Please give wildly, from the heart, and let us bring this work into the international light and to those who need it most.
We invite you to share the love and join us in thanking Aiki Extensions and all community leaders for practicing peace. Follow the event and the messages via:
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The tenth anniversary Training Across Borders seminar is about to take place from October 7-11 in Greece. The seminar will once again bring aikido practitioners from conflict regions around the world to practice together and replace barriers built by years of fear, hatred, and distrust with foundations for peace, trust, and friendship.
I have been invited to bring our internationally funded Peace Practices™ curriculum to TAB 2015, so that these martial artists can not only share their love for the philosophy and physical techniques of aikido, but may also extend their dedication to the mission of the Art of Peace into the verbal and social justice realms.
Our Peace Practices budget is devoted to working with the schools, students, and families we serve here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and to the national opportunities we are cultivating, such as the new affiliation we have in the Detroit area. I need your help to get Peace Practices to this essential meeting in Greece and create the relationships and partnerships which will lead to our international growth.
The ask is small. We only need $2000 to put Peace Practices in front of these leaders from conflict zones. We're setting our sights on $3000 because any amount given beyond the expenses associated with attendance will go directly to Aiki Extensions to bring to the conference even more of those who want these tools in their hands. Peace Practices needs one more champion each day. Today you are that champion. Please help with your donation today.
Watch what Philip Emminger, ABC Board Member, and Project Manager of the 2005 Training Across Borders has to say about the event, and the potential of practicioners of peace meeting from around the world.
An epidemic of bullying and sexual assault afflicts our schools. Governments still deploy mass incarceration and international warfare as policy tools. How is this possible, when so many people around the world are working for peace? It doesn't have to be this way, but a more humane world requires daily practice on the part of every individual who wants peace to be a reality. People yearning for peace deeply desire to shift from talk into action, which is especially difficult in groups and under pressure. Peace Practices integrates language with the physical techniques of aikido, the martial "Art of Peace", to root the practice of peace in the body, and in behavior that can only be learned, over time, through repetition, just like a martial art.
Last week UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a strong message on the International Day of Peace urging us to "invest in young peacebuilders" to build a culture of peace worldwide. Today, we need your help to extend this work from our children at home to those in conflict zones.
Last week we returned to the children and adults we have been teaching for the past year on the campuses of Pacific Rim International School, and this month we begin a new program at King Middle School in Berkeley. In Oakland and Berkeley ongoing public classes continue with children and adults who are reframing conflict and practicing peace like a martial art. In addition to all we had planned for this Fall, our founder, Brandon Williamscraig, has been invited to teach Peace Practices this coming week to aikido practitioners brought directly from conflict zones to the Aiki Extensions internationalTraining Across Borders event in Greece. A new door to the world has just opened, and we need your help to step through it.
Brandon must cultivate this opportunity and we need your help to sow these seeds. Your donation is a vote for peace worldwide, starting with these leaders in conflict zones. Whatever we receive in the next two weeks will help to pay for this journey. Anything beyond expenses will go directly to scholarships to bring even more leaders from conflict zones to this groundbreaking event.
They need you. We need you. Please invest in the actual practice and let's lift up thoughtful, committed citizens that will make it so! Peace Practices needs one more champion each day. Today that champion is you.