Originally posted on Wholeness 4 Love:

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Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova makes herself heard before a hearing in Moscow on August 8. Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GettyImages

On August 17th the punk band Pussy Riot will receive their verdict for the case against them. The members of this band have been in jail since March for protestfying against Russian political conditions in a Moscow’s largest Orthodox Church. According to Slate:

“The trial for three members of Pussy Riot, a Russian punk band that got in a lot of trouble for a prank/protest event where they crashed the altar of Moscow’s largest Orthodox Church to play a single anti-Putin song, concluded this week. The members gave closing statements, which they used to reassert their objections to the authoritarian state and the way that religious faith is being hijacked to garner support for government oppression. Business Insider ran a video and a translation of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s closing statement, where she…

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Onleilove:

When art goes wrong…

Originally posted on Wholeness 4 Love:

A few months ago a grave spectacle of so-called art took place in Sweden where a cake of an African-American woman’s body (created by a biracial man) was cut by the Swedish minister of “culture”, while those in the room cheered and laughed. What is shocking about this is that the cake was created to look like a black face caricature of a Black woman and the cake was cut where the reproductive organs would be.  This cake is known as the “Venus Hottentot Cake”. Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman a slave became known as “Venus Hottentot” and was taken to Europe to have her body exhibited,  she was sometimes kept as an animal in a zoo and the cake looked like a caricature of her likeness. This  was not art but a barbaric reenactment of female genital mutilation and yet another example of how the Black woman’s womb is under…

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Onleilove:

There is a divine connection between the womb, compassion and justice. Read about it in this post.

Originally posted on Wholeness 4 Love:

In Hebrew and Arabic the word for compassion comes from the word for “womb” (The Return of the Black Madonna: A Sign of Our Times or How the Black Madonna Is Shaking Us Up for the Twenty-First Century by Rev. Matthew Fox, Ph.D). I find the connection between the womb and compassion extremely interesting. “Meister Eckhart knew and taught: Compassion means justice.” If compassion comes from the word for womb and compassion means justice then the womb does not only have the capacity to create life but justice. Dr. Cornel West states that “justice is compassion in the public square” which to me means that as women our womb wellness will directly impact our ability to give compassion and practice justice in our society. If we look around our communities and see a lack of compassion and grave injustices we need to examine how we are treating our wombs-spiritually…

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Onleilove:

The Black Madonna a symbol of justice, faith and divine beauty.

Originally posted on Wholeness 4 Love:

The Black Madonna can be found thoughout the world especially in Europe, but also in India, America and of course Africa. The Black Madonna represents motherhood, Mother Earth, Life, Death and Lady Wisdom(referred to in the Biblical book of Proverbs). The Black Madonna’s lap represents nurturing which is why many of her depictions show Jesus on her lap. Furthermore, she is a mother to the oppressed, marginalized and the poor which is best shown in the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Sadly many of these Black Momas were buried, hidden in the basements of churches and cathedrals or even “whitened”- ironically when they were whitened many European Christians would demand that she be painted black again. Some say Black Madonnas were blackened by candles burning nearby but some religious scholars attribute this theory to racism. There is proof that many Black Madonnas were created to be Black, but as…

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Onleilove:

This is a reflective poem I wrote at The Children’s Defense Fund National Conference on the New Jim Crow.

Originally posted on Wholeness 4 Love:

Today is the last day of my 30 Day Poetry Challenge! I can’t believe I am done. Today I am in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Children’s Defense Fund National Conference
which is convening thousands of child advocates, faith leaders, Social Workers, community organizers and activist to build a movement to protect children in our country. This morning at 6:00am young leaders convened outside the convention center for a time of silent reflection on African-Americans, especially young men in the prison system. What many may not know is that the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world and it is overwhelming inhabited Black men. Author Michelle Alexander calls this phenomena the New Jim  because many of these men were led to prison due to economic and racial circumstances. After getting out of prison most ex-offenders lose voting rights and can’t get jobs which means they are basically a separate…

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Hosanna!People’s Seminary Women’s Circle for Burnout & Secondary Trauma

 

Feel free to register and keep your Lenten commitment to growth going past Easter!In partnership with Hosanna! People’s Seminary I will be leading our Eastertide women’s burnout prevention and secondary trauma healing and prayer circle running on 
Wednesdays 8-9PM

EST (4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9). This is a program of our Mary Magdalene Finishing School and we will be gathering via video conference. I will be drawing from the tradition of women’s healing and prayer circles and leading us in scriptural reflection, prayer, sharing, intention setting, and more. Join us as we find our voices through healing! This program is free & online so you don’t need to travel to participate. To register visit:Here is a link to the application:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VKYHHJ

Chaplaincy & the Movement to End Poverty

This blog first appeared on the Poverty Initiative Union in Dialogue Blog: A New & Unsettling Force.

Below are two pieces by Poverty Initiative leaders discussing the different contexts in which they have served as chaplains and how this work is connected to the broader movement to end Poverty.  The first is a reflection by Jennifer Wilder about her work with the Union protest chaplains who have been serving in Zuccotti (Liberty) Park for the past several weeks of Occupy Wall Street.   Jenn’s reflection is followed by an excerpt from a reflection that Union alum and Poverty Initiative leader Onleilove Alston wrote about being a chaplain over the years with the Poverty Initiative, “on the field of battle for justice.”

CHAPLAINCY IN ZUCCOTTI PARK FOR ‘OCCUPY WALL STREET’

As I focused on our prayer, I could hear the Occupation Wall Street People’s Mic start not two yards away from us.  Between my eyes half-closed, I could see a camera flash, irreverent yet commonplace at Occupation Wall Street, taking a picture of the two of us.  The lady, (lets call her Glory) who now clasped hands with me in prayer in the middle of roudy Zuccotti Park, had participated that morning in her first-ever protest, which was in Harlem opposing the stop-and-frisk protest policy.  Glory told me her own humiliating experiences of being stopped, frisked, and accused of prostitution.  Glory was pregnant with twins, and she looked forward to telling them what she had done while expecting them to prepare the way for them to have better conditions.

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