April 23 OWL Global Wisdom Circle

April 23 OWL Global Wisdom Circle:
Trish Sewe

A monthly video-circle for sharing wisdom, experience and support among global citizens everywhere.

Empowering Youth & Saving Wildlife in Kenya

In an environment that has been plagued by corruption, tribalism, insecurity, and unemployment, what does it take to inspire young people to dedicate themselves to building a positive future for themselves and their country? And in response to the relentless human slaughter of wildlife, what does it take to build a positive future for endangered animals?

Trish Sewe, who lives in Nairobi, Kenya, is passionate about two things: Kenya’s youth, and Kenya’s wild animals. In 2015 she founded MimiNiChange, which aims to inspire and unite Kenyan youth and young adults — regardless of age, class, education, gender, political affiliation, race, religion, status or tribe — to shun tribalism, speak with one voice, and take charge of their own destinies as empowered leaders.

Trish works as a Communications Manager at WildlifeDirect, a non-profit focused on justice for wildlife, which runs legal, community, education & outreach projects, and a TV program, that aim to change hearts, minds and laws. WildlifeDirect holds a unique role in Kenya’s wildlife conservation efforts, having been widely recognized for its singular successes in engaging the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants.

Trish holds an M.A. in International Studies, and a B.A. in Communication & Sociology, from the University of Nairobi.

More about Trish at her Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Trish Sewe: Empowering Youth & Saving Wildlife in Kenya

Part 3 — Trish: Question for reflection

Part 4 — Circle of reflection: Libby Traubman, Bonita Banducci, Wendy Berk, Sue Henken-Haas, Annne Veh, James Offuh, Len Traubman, Bradley Stoll, Steve Karlin, Aryae

Part 5 — Trish: Closing reflections

Part 6 — Closing check-ins

Feb. 26 OWL Circle

February 26 OWL Circle: Colleen Choi

A combined gathering of
OWL Global Wisdom Circle and
Being American Now

On the Front Lines at Standing Rock
Artist and social activist Colleen Choi spent two months with the indigenous peoples who were defending their water, and their way of life, at Standing Rock. What can we learn from her story about resisting ignorance, fear, greed, and hatred — with light, courage, selfless service, and love — and about American values — at this moment in history?

My time at Standing Rock will be something I remember in my heart for the rest of my life.

…The pattern of violence will continue for greed and power … until we, the people, unite and take a stand. We cannot fight fire with fire. We stand in peace. We stand in love. We stand in prayer. We stand as One.

Someone told me my first day at Standing Rock, “You’ll be surprised at how your body adapts.”

This is true. I’ve been at camp for almost 3 weeks now and I can’t remember the last shower I had, or the last time I brushed my teeth, or washed my hands, or taken off my thermals. I forget the days, the hours, the seconds.

What I remember are the hearts… I remember how abundant I feel because of all of the generous donations of love that are supporting our camp. Almost everything I’m wearing now is because someone gifted it to me….

Our world can be based on love and respect. Our world can be about inclusion instead of exclusion. Our world can run on heart-fuel. I have so much gratitude for the opportunity to be here right now. I thank the [indigenous peoples] for showing us the way.

Part 1 — Colleen Choi: Gandhi Ashram to Standing Rock

Part 2 — Bringing the lessons back into daily life

Part 3 — Additional reflections

Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Jan. 8

Interfaith Spiritual Travelers — Jan. 8

Spiritual travelers
from all backgrounds and traditions,
sharing experience — seeking wisdom.

Debra Roberts: The Sacred Path of Bees

First Speaker:
When you first meet Debra Roberts there are two words you’re likely to hear right away: bees, and Appalachia. Debra is a natural beekeeper and international honeybee educator, speaker, mentor, advocate, artist, and writer. She stewards her bee sanctuary in the Appalachian Mountains, where she and her husband Joe live outside Asheville, North Carolina.

She travels around the world to speak and teach on subjects like:

  • Natural Compassionate Beekeeping
  • The Sacred Path of Bee: Beekeeping as a Sacred Practice
  • Love as the Ultimate Activism
  • Women and Beekeeping: Women’s Ways in the Apiary and How They are Changing Modern Apiculture

I am a honeybee educator, speaker, and advocate. I teach and travel around the world, and I am totally bee-sotted. I am not commercial and rarely harvest any honey. My bee sanctuary is right next to our house in the mountains of Western North Carolina. It is a place that is holy to me. I spend time there every day that I am in town. My path is to explore sacred relationship with the bees, to learn from them, and to inspire and support others in doing the same, and it is also to provide a safe place for bees to flourish in the world….

We depend on honeybees for over a third of the food we eat… It is my belief that many of the challenges in this world stem from our disconnect with nature — both within us and outside of us. When we steward bees in a bee-centric rather than business-centric way, there is an opportunity to learn about the interconnectedness we share with all life.

From an interview on With Five Questions.

Update: the original book title quoted in this article, The Song of Increase, Returning to Our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees, has been updated to Song of Increase: Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World.

More at About Debra Roberts.

Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Debra Roberts: The Sacred Path of Bees

Part 3 — Seed Question

Part 4 — Circle of Reflection: Libby Traubman, Len Traubman, Polly Lazaron, Kamyar Houbakht, Seda Seyrek, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Wendy Berk, Rabbi Eli Cohen, Offuh James Offuh, Sonja Werner, Derya Albayrak, Akindele Bankole, Mary McHugh, Aryae

Part 5 — Debra: Further reflections

Part 6 — Closing check-ins

Nov. 13 OWL Global Wisdom Circle

November 13 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Mary Gentile

A monthly video-circle for sharing wisdom, experience and support among global citizens everywhere.

Giving Voice to Values
Can you recall a time at work or in community, where the leadership or community wanted to act in a way that ran contrary to your values? What did you do, and how did that make a difference?

Mary Gentile, Ph.D. has dedicated her career supporting leaders in creating workplaces and communities where each person can act openly and authentically based on their own values. Mary is the Creator/Director of Giving Voice to Values, a pioneering business curriculum for values-driven leadership launched by the Aspen Institute and Yale School of Management, and now hosted at the Univ of Virginia Darden School of Business, where she is Professor of Practice. She’s also author of the book Giving Voice to Values, published by Yale University Press.

The program curriculum, for free to educators, has been featured in Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, McKinsey Quarterly, BizEd, etc. and piloted in more than 830 business schools, companies, and organizations globally.

“Our work is not about persuading people to be more ethical,” Mary says. “Rather it starts from the premise that most of us already want to act on our values, but that we also want to feel that we have a reasonable chance of doing so effectively and successfully. [Our approach is] about raising those odds.”

More about Mary Gentile at Awakin.org.


Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Mary Gentile: Giving Voice to Values

Part 3 — Circle of reflection: Mary’s question, Len Traubman, Debbie Shapiro, James Offuh, Wendy Berk, Jyoti Bachani, Hlamyo Nahing, Aryae

Part 4 — Further thoughts and reflections: Mary, Debbie, Len, Jyoti, Aryae, Jyoti, Wendy, Hlamyo, Offuh

Part 5 — Closing thoughts: Len

Sept. 25 OWL Global Wisdom Circle

September 25 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Sonya Shah

A monthly video-circle for sharing wisdom, experience and support among global citizens everywhere.

Justice that Heals
How can we each, in our own communities, help bring healing to the one that Gandhi called “the last girl in the village?”

Sonya Shah, social justice facilitator, professor, teacher, and community healer, has decades of experience teaching and facilitating restorative justice practices in schools, prison settings, communities, and in her own family. She is immersed in seeding restorative justice and trauma healing modalities locally and nationally, and ending the charity-based model of working in “marginalized” communities. Her experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse are critical to her analysis and approach to this work.

In 2015 Sonya founded Project Ahimsa, aimed at ending sexual abuse of children.

To end child sexual abuse, we must generate strategies for prevention, healing and cessation of child sexual abuse from the perspectives of directly impacted people—those who have committed child sexual abuse and those who have experienced child sexual abuse—and the emergent dialogue between them.

Sonya is an Associate Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She earned a BA from Brown University and an MA in Film & Video from the Art Institute of Chicago, was awarded the prestigious Fulbright fellowship and Jacob Javitz fellowship. In conjunction with her work in the restorative/criminal justice field, she’s spoken on various radio programs including NPR, BBC, KPFA, and KQED.

In describing her work, Sonya says:

Gandhiji had a saying—that we should be creating policy for the last girl in the last village and then we’ll have equity. I feel like that’s the nexus of where I work/live— in the U.S.A the last girl is sometimes the man sitting in solitary, sometimes the small child being abused by her mother … and sometimes that family dangerously crossing the U.S./Mexico border with nothing in their pockets… I don’t think I have the right to talk about anyone else’s suffering, what I can talk about is my experience of witnessing suffering and transcendence in the most extreme places and what it teaches us about the human condition, in particular why we harm each other. And I can talk about what it teaches me about myself.

More about Sonya Shah at Awakin.org.


Sonya: Working with men in prison


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