October 2009

Am I Not Allowed to Weep?

Mary Kimani is a journalist.  She covered the Rwanda genocide trials at the UN court in Tanzania, as well as the peace processes in Burundi and the DRC for Internews and Reuters. She has been writing poetry from a young age.  One of her earliest pieces, Children of an Inferior God, was included in a British Council Anthology published in 1991.  Recently, she published a collection of poems under the title, He Didn't Die Easy: The Search for Hope Amidst Poverty, War and Genocide.

Who by Christ Would Guess?

Thu, 10/22/2009 - 6:55pm

For those of you who visit the Voices Education Project site on a regular basis you've seen a number of significant changes in the last few months and some new additions.  We are just now setting up a new "Book" under our Resources section.  It is Reflective Poems and Art.  The intent is to start accumulating poems and art on war and peace and all those gray areas that exist between: horror, brutality, sorrow, futility, ethics, witnessing.

Ngongo, Ware, Hamlin and Suzuki: Winners of the Right Livelihood Award



Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation. announced last week this year's winners at a news conference in Stockholm.  Swedish-German philanthropist von Uexkull founded the awards in 1980 to recognize the work he felt was being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.  The Right Livelihood Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Swedish Parliament on December 4, six days before the Nobel Prizes are handed out. 

Rediscover America

I was working today on the Voices curriculum, Voices of Resistance (click on Resources section on the main page--it is still in draft, but will be complete in a week) and found my emotions wavering with the topics and then I came to the poetry of Maya Angelou.  The two offerings below need to be read and heard periodically. They are inspiring and challenging. 

A New Beginning for a Hundred Years of Agony?

On October 9th, 2009 Turkey and Armenia signed an agreement  establishing diplomatic relations after nearly a century of animosity. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was present for the signing.  While the signing ceremony was slightly delayed because of Armenia's objection to a final statement intended to be given after the signing. Consequently, neither side spoke after the signing of the agreement. The document agrees to the opening of borders between the two countries after it is ratified by each country's parliament.  The border was closed in 1993.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Peace Poem by a Suffragette

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, African American lecturer, author, and suffragist, was the best known Black poet since Phillis Wheatley. Her antislavery verse, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854), sold thousands of copies and  “The Two Offers”(1859) was the first short story published by an African American. Touring Southern Freedmen’s communities, she lectured on education and morality as racial uplift, and denounced white racial violence. Her suffrage work was long-standing.

Ne Popipati Moj Beskućnik: Don't Touch My Homeland

Maria Deyana was born 1967, in Croatia.  She is a journalist and reporter for radio and television and previously worked in education.  Four of her poetic collections have been published: Girl's Treasury of Sorrow (1994), Good Water (1995), The Wounds (2005), Poetics of Spirit or People and Shadows (2007).  She currently lives and works in England.

Don't Touch My Homeland

Don't touch my homeland, the lake of my tears

not graves, not doorstep you spit on,

Now is the Time

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

104 Days: Maziar Bahari


Today Voices [Education Project] is sponsoring a workshop on Iran here in Seattle.  We are also officially unveiling Seda: Voices of Iran on our website.  The title is redundant since in Farsi, seda means “voice” and “sound.”  Our purpose for embarking on this work is to give “voice” to the history, culture and stories of Iran, past and present.  The more we find and bring to light the stories that come out of Iran, the more all of us might be able to change the story of Iran for the future.