Bunmi Emenanjo shared a story of personal growth, as a child born in the United States, moving back to Nigeria with her parents and older brother at age 2. Returning with her brother to the United States to go to college at age 16, she had to figure things out on her own, from her first job at McDonald’s to getting her first car, finishing undergraduate and then going to Law School. She just wrapped up a six-month assignment at the White House, working in the office of Science and Technology — a true dream come true, from dreams that began with a core group of friends at that first McDonald’s. Her company, Atlas Book Clubs provides books delivered to children that educate about different countries and cultures, believing ’that kids exposed to different cultures develop global awareness and a perspective that can increase their empathy, compassion, acceptance and celebration of cultures unlike their own.’ Her own personal story focused on finding joy, and the joy that she has experienced all along the way of her journey. The inquiry was to ponder joy, and explore how each of us brings joy to our interactions in our lives. Check the calendar of Events at www.peacealliance.org - join us at our next Hope Story Circle and share your emerging stories!
Christine Elliot, a long-time friend and supporter of the Peace Alliance, shared a story about her personal journey of waking up to her whiteness. Growing up in Canada where everyone was white, she was taught to be color-blind, to live by the golden rule and treat others as she would like to be treated. Moving to the United States and meeting her husband, who had been an activist focused on social justice and world events, she began a learning journey. Campaigning for Obama in 2008, they went to five states to go door to door, and met a beautiful black woman who, seeing their Obama t-shirts and buttons, came out of her home to hug Christine, saying ‘if he wins, we won’t have to be separated anymore.’ This was the beginning of a deeper path led by the minister at her church in San Diego first with black congregants, and then with white ones of which Christine was one, of education about the truth about racism in America. The Anti-Racism Institute that was born out of that exploration, and Christine is fully engaged as a member of the Board, sharing this education with others who want to understand, and who want to help make the changes needed. How can we begin to be comfortable being uncomfortable, as we learn and grow together? Check the calendar of Events at www.peacealliance.org - join us at our next Hope Story Circle and share your emerging stories!
Patricia Tallman has been a professional actor since she was 15, and became a stunt woman in her 30’s. In her 50’s, after doing everything she could think of to make a life for herself and her son, she finally had to admit that she was lost. In the recovery from a breakdown, she learned to listen to her own inner guidance system and now, in addition to her experience as a performer, she leads other people on the adventures of their dreams. She shared a story about a particularly frightening stunt, how she learned to often block off fear in order to do her work, and how she paid for that later in life. In her breakdown also known as breakthrough, she realized that everything she had done before had led her to this place, and she became completely teachable and open, in order to rebuild. What do we all have to let go of in order to become teachable? How can we learn, even from frightening experiences, so that we might rebuild? Check the calendar of Events at www.peacealliance.org - join us at our next Hope Story Circle and share your emerging stories!