rowanf: (Purple hair)
Wow, I see I haven't posted in ages. I did write a post back in April when I went to San Antonio to help my parents celebrate their 65th anniversary... I just never posted it (I keep my Lj in a flat text file so I know I wrote it ;) I had a great time and met most of the great-grand nieces and nephews.

Life goes on with quite a bit of pain from the hip. They took x-rays and suggested hip replacement. I admit that as a first plan of attack that seems overkill. OTOH, it is interfering with walking and sleeping and sex and life in general. I will see the orthopedic guys in July (yeah, long wait). But with WorldCon in August and the Parliament of the World's Religions in October I don't know when I'd have three months off for surgery in the near term anyway. Leo is helping with extra massage and Bowen treatments and I'm getting by. And I did manage to make a trip with Russell up to Yosemite in early May although I couldn't really walk at all. And it rained/snowed so the open air tram tour we had scheduled was in a closed bus. But we took the convertible and it was fun anyway.

In the meantime, I got on here to write about this weekend. Saturday, Russell and I finally got to the San Jose Greek Festival. I say I'll go every year but never do. Got to eat roast lamb, listen to Greek music and watch people dance... and spend too much money on amazing jewelry. There was an artist there who had made a pendant in bronze of Our Lady of the Beasts with a cat and an owl as her beasts. It is really amazing.

Sunday Russell drove us up to the City to see a play called Cable Car Nymphomaniac, which was really quite fun. I miss live theatre now that the Rep has gone so far downhill and I let my season tickets lapse. And driving up to Theatre Rhino in SF as I used to do is just too far. This production reminded me of something that Rhino would do.
rowanf: (Abi nature)
Okay, to break the theme of sad and downward spiraling things... I had a really interesting Equinox weekend. I had gotten an email some months ago about a tour of the Coyote Creek Watershed (my local, the biggest in Santa Clara County and the third largest in the Bay Area). I've heard a little bit about the water history of the area from an hydrologist at a conference almost a decade ago. Over the years I've done a lot of Coyote Creek clean-ups, including via canoe and I feel a pull to my local water spirits. But because of my disability I really haven't done a clean-up in a long time and this seemed like a great way to reconnect and learn some things. But I procrastinated because, well, it was equinox weekend and I wasn't sure if I wanted to forgo magical community events. But then the creek tour was full and I was, like, I WANT TO DO THIS! I got on the waiting list and made the cut for the tour. It *was* my idea of a magical way to spend equinox and it ties in with all the work I've done on water advocacy since the 2004 Barcelona Parliament when I made that commitment.

We started out at 8:30am at the local water district main office. Usually they tell me it is set amongst ponds that are open to the public and have fishing and all that. But being in the throes of a long drought the ponds are totally dry. As were various other pond areas we passed as our bus (and oh what a bus, sponsored by Facebook and from the company that drives the tech busses) down to Morgan Hill to start our tour at the Anderson Dam. This is an earthen dam built in the 1950s... right across the Calaveras Fault. A 7.2 earthquake within two miles would send a huge wall of water down upon Morgan Hill and up to 10-12 feet of water all the way to Gilroy. I had no idea! An engineer told us about the seismic retrofit set to start in the next couple of years. Because of the hydroelectric plant there there are many overlapping County, State & Federal jurisdictions that have to sign off on it.

Whilst at the dam we had a talk about the historical migration for steelhead trout along the creek by a fish biologist. The drought has been very hard on this population, which is a distinct genetic population compared with other Bay Area steelhead populations.

Then we headed down to the Ogier Ponds which are large reed-lined percolation ponds at the site of an old quarry. There we had a talk by a biologist from De Anza College about a study of wildlife (pdf) in the Coyote Valley. They then hiked around the ponds and had two other lectures but I headed back to the bus.

Around 12:30 we arrived at Hellyer Park, a 354-acre county park that the creek flows through. We had lunch and listened to an anthropologist from SJSU talk about the history of the Muwekma Ohlone, the indigenous people of this region. It was as rife with treachery and disenfranchisement as most Native tales seem to be. *sigh* I gave him my card and offered my volunteer services if they need a researcher with some anthro savvy. We shall see. We also heard from a local community group and were given an acorn from their heritage oak tree. Now I have to figure out how to sprout it and where to plant it.

We drove along the nearest streets by which the homeless encampment had been rousted from the Creek in December. The bus parked at the Tully Ballfields and folks headed off for a "long" walk down to see the creek and talk more about the homeless issue. I decided to stay with the bus. I was running out of steam. And several other people got to the slope down to the water and turned back too, so it was probably just as well I didn't try.

We had a variety of other talks along the way and I'm pretty inspired by the work of the Committee for Green Foothills, the main sponsor (with the Water District) of the tour. We arrived back at the Water District offices around 4:30 as planned. It was a long but satisfying day.

A couple river pix in my flickrstream https://www.flickr.com/photos/rowanf/
rowanf: (Danse Macabre)
Someone recently asked about how CoG could be energized. I'm not sure that I think that it can. In the 1970s when it started Paganfolk were few and far between and meeting each other was magical. Banding together for legal rights seemed like a good idea. And upon those magical meetings, some folks started putting on events and bring even more people into the open.

But along the way structures were built. Leaders emerged. So now, when a new person comes along, they either figure out how to fit themselves into the structures... or they go off and start then own thing of which they can be in charge. Witches, as a whole, are not folks who necessarily "play well with others". We are self-directed and strong willed - we cultivate following our Will, in fact.

So say I'm an emerging community leader and I have a vision. I want to put on an event and I want it to benefit my pet project -- maybe a benefit for a park, for an animal rescue, to start a Pagan community center, or maybe for buying land for my covenstead on which to hold events.

I am most likely *not* going to make it a CoG function. Too much oversight, too many other cooks adding things, flaking out, doing things "not my way". I'm going to start my own organization and gather my friends around and make it happen.

There is a place for CoG. We have a history, we are known in the interfaith movement and we offer credentials that are recognized by the US military chaplaincy. But in places where there are large communities of folks, I really don't think we have a chance to be particularly central. The benefits of aggregating are just not as great as doing your own thing.
rowanf: (Help I'm being englightened)
Yesterday I went to the African American Community Service Agency's 35th Annual Martin Luther King Luncheon, a celebratory program acknowledging the Life, Legend and Legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I went last year and was again able to go this year representing SiVIC. We had a table with JCRC, actually about a table and a half -- so pretty good representation of white religious leaders.

There are things -- all the "god" stuff and the militaristic presenting of "the colors" by the local ROTC that are so not my culture. But I did want to support the effort and I was excited to hear this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. That man is a serious over-achiever and a great speaker. He said that he decided to become an astronaut after seeing the Moon Landing. He went on to become the "First African American to Walk in Space". Not to mention all kinds of other things. He has a foundation now that helps disadvantaged youth get into the STEM fields and does health care venture capital.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about racism lately. It isn't a new thing for me to think about. Leaving aside my work in the 60s-70s. I went to a talk in 2010 by Michelle Alexander and read _The New Jim Crow_ when it came out. I have been writing letters and such in the wake of Trayvon Martin, of Ferguson and the senseless loss of Black lives at the hands of militarized police forces around the country. Last week I re-read _Black Like Me_ by John Howard Griffin. I had read it in the 60s but the edition I just read is a 2010 ebook edition that contains a lot of afterword about Griffin's life and other works which gave even greater depth to his book. If you are unfamiliar with this work there is an interesting Smithsonian article on whether it is still relevant.

And whilst I'm at it, this poem is amazing -- 19-year-old spoken-word poet Sarah O'Neal recites her poem "An Overreaction," where she speaks about Dr. King and her frustration at having to defend the protests.

And yet, I'm so white. I'm like 97% Northern European. My ancestors came to America between 1600 and 1732. So I have Alsatian, Swedish, French, German, Scots, Jersiaise, English and Irish ancestors. They came to America and made lives for themselves and yes, some of them kept slaves and some were abolitionists. They fought on both sides of the American Revolution and the Civil War. But I think everyone wass doing the best they could with what they had in the culture they lived in. I'm not ashamed of who I am... How can I best help? I try to be aware and above all kind. I hope that will be enough to help things change.
rowanf: (pink hair)
I didn't want to leave my down post as the most recent but, as usual, getting something written is being hard. I actually had a wonderful New Year's Eve party. Small but with some of my very best friends. And AMAZING food. My moussaka was wonderful as was the saffron seafood lasagna and the lamb roast. The whole holiday feast was amazing.

I had a good visit with my doctor, taking him much documentation. He is dealing with the insurance company. *fingers crossed*

My birthday came and went. I had two dinners out - one at Mayuri with Russell where I had lamb pasanda and cauliflower pakoras and one at Nemea with Kurt where I had calamari and a lamb shank with spinach. Both meals were fabulous and the company first rate as always.

I have been spending crazy amounts of time playing WoW trying to get the anniversary pet, Hatespark the Tiny. After an insane number of runs through Molten Core, I finally did get one. *flails* But I felt like a total nerd queuing and running repeatedly. I think Blizz was reminding us how very bad 40 person raids are. Srsly. I'm convinced!

There is a lot of interfaith stuff coming up. I'm doing a panel on Nonviolence in World Faiths next Saturday. Not looking forward to saying my piece amongst a bunch of scriptural types. But I do think it is important that Paganfolk be represented. Then World Interfaith Harmony Week is the week before PantheaCon. We're planning a special Compassion Games segment for the week. Not sure how much I'll work with that, P'Con after all! I laugh at the Valentines decorations in the stores already, but I am equally forward looking because... P'Con!
rowanf: (Bad fairy)
December has been a pretty good month. Lots of getting together with friends and eating amazing food. In a reasonable world I would be feeling all happy and full of holiday cheer. And, truthfully, there have been days when I've caught the spirit and been quite happy. Today though I'm feeling quite grumpy. Friends are off holiday making or being ill and I'm feeling rather alone. Not so much because I'm not with anyone but because the communication about who is doing what when has been spotty. And something I thought I was collaborating with another person on turns out to be in their mind "my thing". I just want to crawl into a hole and pull the opening in after me. Maybe I can tunnel all the way to a nice tropical beach.

The colder weather has been especially bad for my arthritic hands. I went to several events where I met new people... and people shake hands. I really hate shaking hands now because squeezing my knuckles hurts. And yet I can't bring myself to be one of those women with "dead fish" hands where you just rest it limply on the proffered hand. None of my palliatives are helping my knuckles this week though and I keep expecting my hands to get all gnarly looking but they look fine. Yet another "hidden disability". How crazy would it be to greet people by pressing my hands together as if in prayer as I do when greeting the buddhist monks (who aren't allowed to touch women)? We do that often in interfaith circles in place of shaking hands. I need it to spread to the wider culture.

And, yesterday, my stupid insurance company denied me a replacement wheelchair. Excuse me? I got the current one in 1985, do you really think I shouldn't have a bloody replacement? So I need to gird myself and appeal that. Their letter was dated 12/18 with a "respond within 10 days" clause but they didn't mail it until 12/22 and it arrived on 12/29. I left a voicemail on my claim adjuster's phone and that had better stop the clock. I may have to look into getting an attorney. Just what an unemployed person wants to contemplate.

So yeah, kinda filled with rage and despair and not exactly the holiday cheer one wants. I'm dreading New Year's Eve rather than anticipating it. *sigh* A few days ago I was really excited though and maybe I can recapture that. I'm baking moussaka to share. At least the house will smell of lamb and cinnamon and such yummy goodness. Thought experiment: *throws things* *pounds pillows* *screams really loudly* Nope, none of those things would likely help. (I have never thrown a thing in anger/angst in my life, but I am told it is therapeutic.) I think I will fire up WoW and go kill orcs.
rowanf: (Heart henna)
Russell and I had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend in the City. We didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving feast. I spent the day playing WoW with Song and Russell went to see Interstellar. Then I made nikomaki for dinner (think sliced beef wrapped around green onion stalks under the broiler). It was yummy. I'm kinda missing the whole turkey thing though.

it got long )
rowanf: (movie kiss)
Yesterday morning I was re-watching a documentary called "Soundtrack for a Revolution" from 2001 that showed on American Experience on PBS. It showcases songs and events from the civil rights movement with interviews and performances and period footage. Some of the songs were re-written union songs which got me listening to old Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, etc, albums finding the originals and then googling to try and find the civil rights words (sadly without success).

But it was great prelude to going to see the film, Pride, with Russell last night. Pride tells the story of a gay and lesbian group in 1984 London who start to raise money for the striking miners that Margaret Thatcher is trying to break (sadly she succeeded). They make particular connection with the Union folks a Welsh mining town. It was a great story and had a lot of great actors. When I got home I googled for more about the story. I found a story in People about the real folks behind the story. I really recommend this movie very highly.
rowanf: (Marchetti Chalice)
I really meant to write up the concert I attended last weekend. Most of Owl Moon decided that for full moon instead of circling we'd head off to a Sharon Knight & Winter with S.J. Tucker concert at Air and Fire in Boulder Creek up in the Santa Cruz Mountains (or down for Linnea who lives even higher up). The shop isn't very big so the audience was 35 people, practically a house concert. Very up-close and personal. Sharon & Winter & Sooj were all really on and backed each other's sets so it was half a concert fronted by Sharon and half fronted by Sooj. Lots of really great music and lots of friends attending from all over the Bay Area. The Owl Moon folks met at Scarpazzi's, a classic Italian restaurant nearby. I had vension! It was really lovely. And it is nice to be able to write about something out and about and fun.

Naturally two days later I wrenched something in my inner thigh and have been practically unable to walk all week. That is finally improving but srsly, can this aches & pain thing just stop now?
rowanf: (cat - can you hear me?)
Toward the end of May, after Isla Vista (which felt very close to home since E&R live there and I've visited often) and in the depth of the #yesallwomen meme, I was really triggered and sat down (in the middle of the night) and wrote out a lot about my own sexual history (basically puberty to meeting Russell). I am a #yesallwomen statistic, a few times over.
cut for trigger warning )
I grew up before the craziness of modern rape culture, with date rape drugs and even more dehumanisation of women than we faced. Men thought we were lesser, were childlike compared to them (men & girls), but I do think most of them considered us the same species. Reading the comments and the What about the Menz!? comments on threads where women were discussing their pain or even in places I'd expect to be more neutral (like the Southern Poverty Law Center's article on Isla Vista) made me crazy.

And yet, sitting down and writing out my history was therapeutic. Yes, I have had some horrible experiences, but I also had some no-so-good ones, some good ones, and some great ones. And the older I've gotten the more wonderful and amazing my sex/love/relationship life has become. I am privileged to have the life I lead.

I admit I kinda keep getting re-triggered by things. Like the George Will column wherein he says women claim victimhood to gain "coveted status". (I do appreciate Dianne Feinstein and others writing to the WaPo) Or the fact that two of the women in my URI network was assaulted on a bus -- by the bus driver -- in India last week (they survived, one with two broken fingers). It seems that not a day goes by that sexual assault isn't a big topic in my world.

This is kind of rambling but it has been really up for me. Though I admit reading #survivorprivilege and #yesallwomen articles keeps it that way.
rowanf: (Hunter Rosz)
I pretty much had a terrible week. Tuesday night Russell and I had planned to go to the movie, which we actually did ("Finding Vivian Maier" and it was a good film) but I was having auras and suspected a migraine was on the way. It was. So I spent all of Wednesday in the throes of pain, blurred, double vision and nausea. Oh joy. Now it is Friday and I am still aftermathy. Bah. My sister was diagnosed with migraines in like 2004 and they hit me regularly starting in like 2006. So even though it feels like a new thing, I guess it is almost a decade. At least they don't seem to hit very often. And I did have a handful of migraines in my earlier life. But mostly I was one of those "I never get headaches" people. Wouldn't mind being able to say that again!!

Anyway, today I was super low energy and kinda mono-maniacal. In World of Warcraft there is an achievement called "Raiding with Leashes" where you get various pets from classic dungeons. The last one I needed was from the Viscidus boss in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. I can easily solo the first half dozen bosses in AQ, but not Viscidus and I get stuck at Twin Emperors because you really need someone to take each Emperor. Viscidus is hard because he is a slime boss that can only be killed by freezing and the two classes I mostly play - hunters and paladins - have no sufficiently frosty attacks (traps don't work on bosses). So after proving to myself that, yes, Viscidus still requires frost to kill... I went looking for a hunter pet with a frost attack. I have five max level hunters, four of whom now have Chimaera pets (two of them the rare purple Chimaera). I ran AQ on all four of them and FINALLY the stupid pet dropped. Otherwise I'd be learning a Chimaera on #5 and running them all again in four days when the lock-out expires. I know this is a crazy thing to be so over the moon about, but dammit I have been working on this achieve for MONTHS if not over a year. On to Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition which collects pets from BC dungeons (and I have 3 of 10).

Also this week I finally finished Beasts of Fable. So I may not have a job or a brain or whatever. But I am a mad pet battler in WoW. At least on the days I could actually stand the light of a computer. During the migraine light wasn't in my repertoire. *sigh*
rowanf: (Interfaith Today)
I went to a meeting today at the Jain Center in Milpitas. I had been there for at least one other event, but today my fellow SiVIC board member, Girish Shah, gave me a tour of their amazing temple. They had marble statues carved in India with their twenty-four known Tīrthaṅkars (leaders/prophets/role models who advanced Jainism) and various other beings who in Hinduism would be considered Gods and Goddesses but have the same name in Jainism but are considered ascended people. There is so much carved marble they had to reinforce their building to hold it. Their incense is very lovely and the temple room had a wonderful welcoming energy. This is the entryway, I didn't take any pictures of the temple itself (out of respect) but do check out the header on their web page for some statues. picture )
The program was "Religious Education in Middle Schools: Challenges & Opportunities". We opened with introductions to the topic by Samir Kalra, a Director and Senior Human Rights Fellow for the Hindu-American Foundation and by Garth Pickett, the interfaith relations director for the regional Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I had no idea that this was an issue, being kinda a "separation of church & state" kinda gal. But the California Education Code Section 60044(a) and Subsection (b) have the purpose "The standards enable all students to become aware and accepting of religious diversity while being allowed to remain secure in any religious beliefs they may already have." Evidently teaching *about* religions helps prevent bullying and has other positive effects. Garth talked about the World Religions curriculum in Modesto (described in this Stanford study ) and various other programs around the country where the anti-bullying effect was noted. There is a bill wending its way through the legislature (SB 1057) that wants to update the content standards on what must be taught. Guess that bill is something to which I will pay attention.

Anyway, it was very well attended and provoked lively discussion and I'm glad I went.
rowanf: (Abi nature)
I had a really cool evening tonight. Russell is in B'ham visiting family and, being home alone, I decided to go to a screening of _Dirt: The Movie_ at SPUR. It is narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis which was cool and featured lots of folks including Vandana Shiva, Wangari Maathai, Paul Stamets, Alice Waters and Fritjof Capra amongst many others talking about various aspects of soil. From the dustbowl and "mountain top removal" to organic farming and living roofs. SPUR now has a San Jose office (I think of it as a San Francisco based group) and I'm jazzed to know about it because they have some interesting programming. They have Wednesday lunchtime programs. If I didn't already have plans for next Wednesday I'd go to that one.

An extra bonus was my friend Stephanie turned up at the screening and I invited her home and we visited for about an hour and a half. She is also a long-term unemployed person (mechanical engineer/designer) and we commiserated and caught up on each other's lives. <3

Tomorrow I have an interfaith program at the Jain Center on _Religious Education in Middle Schools: Challenges and Opportunities_ to which I am quite looking forward. So this week, between volunteering at Abilities United, viewing Dirt and attending an interfaith forum -- I will be out and about a bit more than usual. I think I am opening to the energy of spring a bit and leaving my winter hibernation behind.
rowanf: (anime reader)
My week has been pretty good. Still no word on the possible job prospect. I had to skip my volunteer gig because I had to wait for a dishwasher repair guy. Who was supposed to arrive between 8-12 and got here at 1:30... at least I got 15% off the bill for his tardiness.

Most of the week, I beat the heat by sitting under a fan dual-boxing World of Warcraft. I can't say I accomplished anything beyond life maintenance and self-soothing. But hey, I got out of bed, didn't spend a lot of money I don't have and cooked yummy food like pot roast (local grass fed beef) in the crock pot (which puts out amazingly little ambient heat). We're back into the 70s instead of the 90s and the community Beltaine tomorrow may actually be chilly. Crazy weather.

Russell and I decided not to get up early and go to the Baylands for Morris Dancing this year. It is kinda weird not to have gone but we did have a lovely Walpurgasnacht date and were feeling the energy. *grin*

So last year a group I'm in did Trickster Beltaine pledges and I was just looking at mine to see how it manifested in my year... or not. I'm still unemployed but I do think I've been pretty centered. I think I will keep my Manifesto going for the coming year too.

Trickster Beltaine pledge - Manifesto of Dedicated Devotion
I, Rowan/Rosmairta/Rosz, am dedicated to compost past patterns and live in the most open and flexible way. I am open to the possibility of passionate vocation. I acknowledge that I have capabilities, qualities, and skills that can carry me through all my successes, disappointments, delights and traumas with aplomb and a dedication to openness, kindness and harmony.
rowanf: (Rose tatt)
I did another run down to Santa Barbara last week to work on the tattoo. Today it is in the one week later totally itching stage. It is going to be amazing, but we surely didn't get as far as I hoped this time. The session was almost five hours though, so the longest I've ever done!

I went to a the Lumen Obscura dance festival a couple weekends ago to see my former troupe dance. There were a lot of great dance acts and I enjoyed seeing House of Inanna's Tara Devotional. The interesting thing about this festival is that it obviously has its roots in bellydance but has evolved by incorporating other dance elements and a wide variety of music. A few pix in my flickrstream at about https://www.flickr.com/photos/rowanf/13810410503/ (And yes, I do still hate the new Flickr.)

There are a few nibbles on the job front. Both part-time, from home. May these things manifest!
rowanf: (fox woman anime)
It has been a pretty good week or so. I'm not sure why my mood is better but it mostly has been. I started a daily practice of stretching and singing along with music for at least five minutes (2-3 songs) a day. Gah, I really need more exercise in my life. But its a start. Our circle last night was for bringing Jupiter's bounty out of the dreaming of Pluto, jumping on the energy of the blossoming year. It was really lovely. I still can't believe I did something to my other elbow at Ostara. Having tricksy tendons is a bummer.

I continue to apply for jobs that don't ever contact me. I wonder if I'll ever feel employable again. I'm really enjoying my one day a week volunteer stint though. And since this week's jobs are mostly in San Francisco I admit to being conflicted about whether I *want* them to call me.

And I'm watching a tv show called Fringe on Netflix streaming that I'm really enjoying. I had never heard of it but Netflix recommended it and I'm at like season 4 and still totally hooked.

In just a few days I'm off to Santa Barbara for my second tattoo session with Pat Fish. I'm madly excited about it. We'll do the flowing tails of the owl phoenix this time.

Pagansing on Tuesday night before I go. My singing voice just isn't reliable since the thyroid surgery. I'm grateful that my friends still want to sing with me even in my current voice. I really value the singing and community it brings.
rowanf: (Rose tatt)
A friend pointed out I hadn't posted to Lj since November. I have written a couple of unposted entries for my own ranting purposes but decided not to share them. I admit it is partly facebook. I feel like the bar for a FB post is much lower than an Lj post so it is easier to pop off a sentence or two rather than making a thoughtful post. Another part is being unemployed and often feeling disabled. There isn't a lot to report.... and I don't want to whine.

I have been doing some interesting things. Since December I've been volunteering at Abilities United in Palo Alto one day a week. I'm helping organize their 30K+ photo collection using Lightroom. I'm not madly crazy about Lightroom but that was their choice and someone else had done a lot of work adding things to it before my tenure. It is nice to have one "professional" thing going beyond Adocentyn.

I'm working with Pat Fish on the phoenix tattoo on my back that I have dreamed of for 15 years. It is coming along. Another session in a couple of weeks. Probably 4 sessions to finish it. It turned out to be an owl-based phoenix which makes me wildly happy whilst also making it harder to envision how to proceed with the design. The face is a great horned owl but the body/tail is more firebird-like.

I'm back in Second Life a bit. Went to a few library things and got introduced to KittyCats breedable cats. I don't know how long I'll have SL kitties, but I'm enjoying it. Flickr is still madly broken and won't share to Lj. I hate their new look and their diminished functionality. But there are kitty pictures there.
rowanf: (Interfaith Today)
We got this press release at SiVIC and I agreed to head over to the event.


On Monday, November 25, 2013 at 12:00pm in front of the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statute on the San Jose State Campus, the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP will be joined by the California/Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP, the National Office the NAACP, San Jose State University Leadership, bay area community leaders and civil rights activists in a press conference condemning the actions of the three San Jose State Students accused of racial harassing and terrorizing a black student.

The NAACP will be calling for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office to increase the misdemeanor charges against the three adult accused San Jose State Students to felony charges, and to also include the charges of false imprisonment to the charges which the students currently face.

Reverend Jethroe Moore II, President of the SJ/SV NAACP said, " The community will not stand idly by and allow for any student of color to be terrorized simply due to the color of his skin. This is not simple hazing or bullying, this is obviously racially based terrorism targeted at their African American roommate. The behavior of these three students warrants nothing less than felony charges."

The NAACP will also be calling on San Jose State University Administration to conduct an thorough investigation into University Housing to determine how this situation continued for so long, and why no immediate action to rectify the situation was taken.



About two hundred people showed up to the event. Two NAACP representatives made speeches calling for the University to raise the misdemeanor charges to felony charges. The president of the University, Mohammad Qayoumi, spoke about wanting to make the campus a safe place for all students. While he was speaking students carrying signs picketed behind him demanding a chance to speak.

One of the NAACP representatives made them turn the mic back on an a student from Los Angeles shared that this recent event is part of a long history and they feel President Qayoumi has swept their concerns under the rug (and additionally has been trying to do away with the African-American Studies program).

I hope that the people who attended the rally carry on and agitate for justice for the young man who was terrorized in his own dorm room.

I spoke with several ministers who were there and with a woman from First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church <http://www.firstamezionsj.org/> who wanted to know if we had African-American board members in SiVIC and said they have a history exhibit going and we should visit. Their website says nothing about that but I have a call in to the pastor asking for more information.

NAACP_rally11-13_03.jpg
rowanf: (Interfaith Today)
This morning I went to Mayor Chuck Reed's Faith Appreciation Breakfast, an annual event that brings together leaders of the San Jose Faith communities and offers a chance to recognize City/Faith community partnerships.

The Mayor had some opening remarks, commenting on how the City can try to address material needs but the faith communities address spiritual needs. The Notre Dame San Jose Chorus sang "Seasons of Love" from Rent. An Invocation was offered by Imam Tahir Anwar of the South Bay Islamic Association and Councilmember Sam Liccardo offered a reading from Matthew (about doing for the least of these you do for me).

The three projects that were highlighted were

(1) The Parent Project, a family engagement and empowerment program represented by District Attorney, Jeff Rosen. This is a project that has about a dozen parent groups (in English & Spanish with a Vietnamese language group starting after the first of the year) that work on how to help parent high risk youth. The local contact is <parentproject@da.sccgov.org>. More info on the national program can be seen at <http://www.parentproject.com/>.

(2) Housing 1000, a campaign to house homeless men and women in Santa Clara County by 2013. They would like to partner with congregations to "adopt" a homeless person and provide a support system. They also accept donations at <http://www.housing1000sv.org/> and ask for donations of used furniture and kitchen and cleaning supplies to help get the newly sheltered up to speed.

(3) Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force Faith Initiative. They are working to achieve zero gang related homicides in San Jose. Faith communities are providing community space in times of crisis and pastoral counseling to those caught in gang violence. They current have nine Chaplains have been providing "compassion, aftercare, and services to gang impacted families/ individuals and assisting residents in times of crisis and trauma". They are talking about initiating "Night Walks" such as used by Operation Ceasefire in Oakland to get people out on the street at night. <http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/mayor/i/ceasefire/index.htm>

There were closing remarks and schmoozing. I think it was very worthwhile to attend. I believe this is the first year a Wiccan has been at the breakfast.

MayorReed&ImamTahirAnwar.jpg

More pix at Flickr which is being totally awful these days.
rowanf: (Interfaith Today)
Just to keep these somewhere - not necessarily of interest to anyone else. :)

interfaith reports )

May 2015

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