By Devaa Haley Mitchell, co-founder of The Shift Network
I'm honored to be stepping into a new role as Chief Impact Officer at the Shift Network. As a company, we've identified three key areas where we’ll continue to invest our energy and resources: World Peace, Gender Equality, and Sacred Democracy.
Of these three areas, World Peace is the arena where we've invested the most energy to date — check out our digital World Peace Library; we think it's the largest that exists.
It's very clear to us that moving towards World Peace will require deep and thoughtful work on issues of diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence, among others. One need only look at the daily news to be confronted with the deep racial divides that are plaguing our society, in addition to discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, religion, and class.
Sadly, our planet still has a very long way to go. We at The Shift Network hope to be part of the solution.
We've started working internally at Shift to increase our own cultural competence. Just last month, we brought in facilitator Mutima Imani to provide diversity training at our annual staff retreat. It was a powerful and humbling experience that opened our eyes and our hearts about how much we still need to learn about this tender topic.
As a company, we realize that although we are at the very beginning of a long and rewarding journey, we have already begun to take steps towards positive change.
In the process, we are hoping to attract a more diverse group of staff, leaders, faculty, and hosts at Shift — in addition to showcasing a broader spectrum of talented speakers.
And so we are pleased to offer you this Catalyst issue on diversity, in which we can spotlight some of the many amazing resources that are helping to make this world a richer tapestry for us all to enjoy.
In this edition of Catalyst, we’re also excited to share Stephen’s heartfelt and inspiring State of the Shift 2018 speech in which he embraces his new role as President and lays out The Shift Network’s strategic goals for the next decade.
And we’d love to hear your answer to the question, What experience or realization truly opened your eyes to the necessity and value of diversity? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
P.S. I want to give a shout-out to Patti Digh and Victor Lee Lewis who host a powerful month-long online seminar program I took called Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism and Its Undoing. We hope to have a group of Shift Network staffers participate in their next session, which begins on May 22. If you’re inspired to join us, click here for more information.
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. — Maya Angelou
First of all, I just want to start by saying how blessed I feel to be in the role that I'm in. I really offer particular gratitude to my wife, Devaa, who's amazing; the family, the team here at Shift Network, so generous and hardworking. There's really quite an extraordinary group of people that have assembled to help to empower this larger shift on the planet. It's going to take all of us.
For all of you who are customers, allies, friends, or faculties, thank you for putting your trust in us to this point and for helping us to build this amazing network globally. So we are deeply grateful for your presence, your allyship, and for this opportunity to serve at a really critical moment in history. So despite the appearances from the relentless negative news cycles out there, the facts are that we are actually, in many ways, living in the best times we've ever hard and that we are truly on the edge of a shift to a new global culture, one that is based on peace, sustainability, and opportunity for all.
To watch Stephen’s 33-minute talk and to read the transcript, click here.
In this exclusive 80-minute video interview for Catalyst, Anneke Lucas, founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Liberation Prison Yoga, discusses such issues as the corrupt power paradigm, the perpetual cycle of sexual abuse, and healing from trauma.
I was raised in Belgium and, as a young girl, sold by my family. The network I was sold into, the pedophile network I was sold into, they were people of power. I knew they were powerful. I didn't know quite how powerful they were, but I found out later on as an adult. I found out that these people had very prominent places on the world stage. There were heads of countries that were at war that clearly were friends in this club. It was a worldwide network of liberal white men who abused me.
I was exposed to rituals there, I guess they were called satanic rituals, where humans, children were sacrificed. This was part of what these people who are at the top of the power paradigm, what they do, so raping children and partaking in rituals, committing extreme violence, where all sense of morality is lost.
Cracking the Codes, which asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity, features moving stories from racial justice leaders including Amer Ahmed, Michael Benitez, Barbie-Danielle DeCarlo, Joy DeGruy, Ericka Huggins, Humaira Jackson, Yuko Kodama, Peggy McIntosh, Rinku Sen, Tilman Smith and Tim Wise. YES! magazine says, “Cracking the Codes is the most dignified and evidenced response possible to the blithe assertion that we now live in a ‘post-racial’ America.” For more information, click here.
The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it's a "conversational third rail." But, she says, that's exactly why we need to start talking about it. In this engaging, persuasive talk, Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.
Mellody, the President of Ariel Investments, was formerly Chair of the Board of Directors for DreamWorks Animation. She's also married to George Lucas
For years, acclaimed author and speaker Tim Wise has been electrifying audiences on the college lecture circuit with his deeply personal take on whiteness and white privilege. In this spellbinding lecture, the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son offers a unique, inside-out view of race and racism in America. Expertly overcoming the defensiveness that often surrounds these issues, Wise provides a non-confrontational explanation of white privilege and the damage it does not only to people of color, but to white people as well.
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project, and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations on the first of each month. On May 1, we featured visionary artist and evolutionary teacher David Todd. Click here to listen to the free recording and to register to receive future free recordings.
So today I want to share my thoughts on racism, sacred activism and the responsibilities of those who choose to walk the priestess path. I’m also going to talk about white privilege and the role that white women must play in combating white supremacy.
BEFORE YOU START READING THIS THOUGH, I HAVE 10 THINGS THAT I NEED YOU TO KNOW:
3. I’m going to do this imperfectly. I’m not an expert on social justice. I am a spiritual mentor, teacher and healer who feels strongly about sacred activism. If I say something that is inaccurate, presumptuous or that shows my own privilege without acknowledging it, I want to apologise in advance. However, just because I’m going to do this imperfectly does not mean that I should not do it at all. This is a problem that I see many people struggle with Their fear of speaking out imperfectly or of being criticised stops them from saying anything at all. I’m not going to allow my fear to do that to me. So my words will be imperfect. But I pray that both the intention and impact of my words are of service.
Click here to watch Layla Saad in dialogue with Shift co-founder Devaa Haley Mitchell. This video session, titled "Spirituality, White Supremacy, and Channeling Our Anger," was featured in this year's Inspiring Women with Soul dialogues.
There are things happening in the world today that require our professional attention and expertise and our ability to be compassionate and clear-headed. Many of our young people — typically our black and brown students — are being viewed with bias and mistrust, and the police are seen by some as wrongdoers.
What is the story you tell yourself about yourself? More important, what secrets do you keep hidden away,... even from yourself?
Imagine letting go of theses secrets — and the fear, the shame, and the guilt that accompany them — and experiencing a sense of freedom you never imagined possible.
That is the promise and the power of a spiritual writing practice…
In this 10-minute video, Mark explains how a regular writing practice can be every bit as powerful as meditation, prayer, or yoga. In fact, writing can help free areas of yourself that most conventional spiritual practices never touch.
The world is now a very different place. In the last year, women all over the world marched, millions voiced, “me too!” and demanded accountability and change, and now, a record number of women are running for office and stepping into leadership roles.
The primary force sparking this massive cultural shift isn’t fear or a play for power… it’s the Trickster. Often depicted as male in folklore, myth, and popular culture, Trickster (which is in each of us) — is now taking center stage in in women’s lives and in the world.
In this 10-minute video, Caroline Casey, a “maestro” of all things Trickster, shares many key insights into Trickster.
As Gandhi noted, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin were “able to show the immediate effectiveness of violence… But the efforts of Buddha's nonviolent action persist and are likely to grow with age.” And he reassures us that despite appearances, nonviolence is actually the fastest way to bring about lasting changes that sometimes appear miraculous, but “All miracles are due to the silent and effective working of invisible force. Nonviolence is the most invisible and the most effective.”
It’s time, then, to step back and look at the big picture. For some decades now, we have been going through a “spiritual crisis,” as I arguedelsewhere, and that crisis can be seen as a struggle for the core narrative of our culture. The real “culture war” is between the “old story” that tells us we live in a random universe made of physical particles and an emerging story, being in part recovered from a long (and often forgotten) tradition of human wisdom that says, No! We live in a meaningful universe pervaded by consciousness. We are deeply interconnected with one another and the planet we live on.
My work has mostly been focused on celebrating diversity and healing the wounds of racism. Let us change the world (we can do it together), we can touch the sky (thank you for helping), you’re the chosen one (knowing that you are out there is a sign of the changing times).
Being alive right now, I feel the call and the need to be a voice of reason with fierce compassion and deep empathetic listening. I just finished a series of healing circles for the hate crimes on a University campus, where the students were divided into three separate groups.
Here are some of the powerful Ah-ha’s I’ve gained in the past six years of exploring racism and my racial identity as a white woman.
• That racism in the United States is much more than individual acts between people that are cruel or demeaning. It was designed as, and operates as, a system. This system penetrates our unconscious beliefs, which then influences our relationships with each other. It’s held in place through dynamics of power and economics.
• That I can be BOTH a good person AND have internalized racism — which is influencing my daily perceptions and behaviors. This is a radical notion, especially for “white liberals.”
This 6-month online program, which runs from May to October 2018, will guide you systematically through the theory, practice, and application of nonviolence. Course participants will build essential nonviolence skills, from communication and analytical thinking to negotiation and conflict transformation. They'll also progress towards planning real-world projects they can start in their communities. Click here for more information.
This course will help you:
Develop a deep knowledge of the history and theory of nonviolence
Bring nonviolence to all aspects of your daily life
Build essential nonviolence skills, from communication and analytical thinking to negotiation and conflict transformation
Connect with others around nonviolence, locally and globally
Take nonviolent action in your community
Strengthen your levels of resilience
Discover your role in the new paradigm of nonviolence and peace
The next session of Prism, Neighborhood Connections’ racial equity learning lab, begins in July. Prism is led by two of Cleveland’s most experienced and dynamic racial equity trainers: Erica Merritt and Adele DiMarco Kious. Prism participants explore the historic conflict that continues to shape the United States and determine the fate of all its people.
Erica Merritt, Facilitator
Racism is examined on four levels: internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. Tools to assess the state of one’s organization and community are introduced. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in caucus groups and bridge the chasm between community and institution throughout their Prism journey. Leaders leave the program with greater self awareness, an individualized plan for beginning to dismantle racism in their neighborhood or organization and greater capacity to do so. They also gain a group of fellow travelers to support them well beyond the structured program experience. Click here for more information.
Get a free ticket to the online Home Medicine Summit and watch from home as more than 40 leading experts set you free of drugstores, showing you how to be naturally healthy for pennies on the dollar. Your free ticket entitles you to 24/7 access to the full seven days of expert presentations. Instructions for attending, plus the speaker schedule will be sent to the email you provide. Click here for more information.
The Peace Science Digest is a publication to create awareness about the contributions peace research can make to prevent war and violence. We link the work of academics to peacebuilders, peace advocates, educators, the media, elected officials, and others who can benefit from the research. Our analyses can transform thinking, change narratives, strengthen peace work and advocacy, and improve policy-making. Presenting current peace research without academic jargon, with key talking points, practical Click here for more information.
Hosted by Shift faculty Grandmother Flordemayo and Master Mingtong Gu among others, the Gathering for Humanity is a powerful and timely 5-day retreat conference for unity and awakening at this pivotal moment on Earth.
A mandate of Spirit through universal healer Mayan Grandmother Flordemayo, the Gathering is an urgent calling to all of humanity committed to increasing the light and coherence on the planet. Join indigenous elders and other spiritual voices in guidance, blessings, sacred ceremony, and higher wisdom.
Hosts, honored guests, and musical guests will weave their gifts through the healing and activating energies of the land in a retreat environment to transform and realign body, mind, and spirit
Join Dharma Teacher Dawa Tarchin Phillips on a special 30-day pilgrimage around the world to the 7 chakras of our planet. Designed with care and intention, this is the first time in history a pilgrimage around the world and through the 7 chakras of our planet is offered to the public. The intention of this journey is to experience the sacredness of our planet beyond the usual divisions and separateness, and to awaken to the unifying consciousness that connects all life on Earth. Click here for all the details and to discover how you can be a part of this Incredible journey.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
California Vision 2020 (September 20-22, 2018)
Shift's most important event of the year brings together spiritual, social change, and cultural leaders to highlight how we can change the world, starting in California.
Way of the Trickster: Liberating Your Soul to Liberate Our World — With Renowned Visionary Activist Astrologer Caroline Casey. Connect with mythological magic, unpredictable wisdom, and the trustworthy intuition of your inner trickster as you activate your “beautiful dangerous (life) assignment.” New 7-week Live Video Training Starts Tuesday, May 8, 2018
• Donna Eden & David Feinstein 12-week course
• K.P. Khalsa 7-week course
• Enneagram Global Summit
• Terry Patten 7-week course
• Jean Haner 7-week course
• Kate Levinson 7-week course
• Yoga Day Summit
• Dawson Church 7-week course
• Barbara de Angelis 7-week course
• Sandra Ingerman & Evelyn Rysdyk 7-week course
• Shamanism Global Summit
• Andrew Harvey 12-week course
• Linda Backman 21-week course
• Dr. Sue Morter 7-week course
• Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo 7-week course
Through film and dialogue, World Trust ignites courage and expands capacity to create a world free from racism. We envision a world coming into wholeness where transformative love and wisdom heal the human family from racism and separation. World Trust Educational Services is a nonprofit social justice organization that provides deep learning, tools, and resources for people interested in tackling unconscious bias and systemic racial inequity in their workplace, in their community, and in their lives. Click here for more information. Click here to make a donation.
The UNtraining is a provocative and compassionate approach to help people discover how to work together in extraordinary ways to end our collusion with racism and all forms of oppression. The UNtraining provides insights and tools for all levels of experience and activism to white people and people of color. Click here for more information.
We bridge attitudes and values to reflect and honor differences through dialogue. We support communities to view diversity as a gift and a contribution. Together, in partnership, we create safe, authentic environments where trust is experienced and relationships are transformed. Click here for more information.
The Next 50 Years Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “prepare pioneers for what comes next.” Building on the progress achieved in the first 50 years of the civil rights movement, our goal is to bring forth what has not yet been done regarding the racial divide, social equity, and community engagement — especially in the area of police and community relations.
The Next 50 Years Project’s purpose is to develop, deliver, and offer specialized programs and training opportunities that teach “evolutionary” leadership skills. We are dedicated to providing unparalleled educational methodologies — for both adults and youth — and support those we serve to become “leader-pioneers” courageously focused on bettering our communities, our country, and our world! Click here for more information.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) is a multi-year, national, and community-based effort to engage communities, organizations, and individuals from multiple sectors across the United States in racial healing and addressing present-day inequities linked to historic and contemporary beliefs in a hierarchy of human value.. For more information on the TRHT, click here.
Over the last 13 years, Climbing PoeTree has infused our movements for justice with healing and imagination, inspiring thousands through their award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are cultural architects committed to reframing the story through multi-voice spoken word, hip hop, world music, and multimedia theater that translate deep research around the most pressing issues of our time into stunning artistry that catalyzes their audiences to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities.
Alixa and Naima have independently organized 30 national and international tours, taking their work from South Africa to Cuba, the UK to Mexico, and throughout the U.S. Climbing PoeTree has been experienced at diverse venues from the Brooklyn Academy of Music to the United Nations, Harvard University to Rikers Island Prison.
They have been featured alongside powerhouses such as Alice Walker, Danny Glover, Cornel West, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, Naomi Klein, and Angela Davis, who remarked, “Each time I have the pleasure of attending a performance by Climbing PoeTree, I feel enriched, renewed, and inspired. Alixa and Naima insist that poetry can change the world — and it is true that the urgency, power, and beauty of their words impel us to keep striving for the radical futures toward which they gesture.”