Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK on the Washington D.C. Mall

I was in Washington D.C. last year and passed by the location of the MLK Memorial under construction, though I did not see it finished. I was - and am - excited to see that they were giving MLK a "place" on The Mall next to other significant memorials!


March_on_washington_1963

It is a historic issue that MLK stands permanently on The Mall when one considers that MLK (with others!!) challenged the powers of D.C. And now he is "enshrined" or "memorialized" there.

I think it is fantastic that next to memorials built for Presidents - this Pastor has a place - no doubt because of his pervasive and powerful prophetic voice for Peace!

That is fantastic.

And yet - I am convinced Martin Luther King, Jr. would rather we extend his social, political, and economic advocacy - birthed from his religious discernment of justice and righteousness - than that we memorialize his "image."

I am convinced that if we set MLK Jr. "in stone" - as he now stands, hands crossed, on The Mall - and we let that become MLK's "concrete" image - we will have missed so much. (And we will place "his image" as the image of the March for Jobs and Freedom - instead of the many persons and young people who were also part of the movement - for it was the people's movement!)

Every time I have been to D.C. (five times in my lifetime) - I have stood where MLK stood to deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech. Personally, I genuinely believe MLK Jr. would prefer the simple stone carving on the stairs of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial - compared to the new monument some 30 feet tall.

Mlk_stone_outside_abraham_linc

I genuinely beleve MLK would rather each one of us can step into the space of the place where he delivered "I Have a Dream" - so that we can, standing there, in the same place, become partners with MLK in the movement he was part of.

While MLK was hugely important in various social advocacy movements - he was but a Drum Major - not the whole Marching Band. As important as his role was (and is) - I genuinely believe MLK would prefer we stand with him in the space of his words and vision - than at the foot of a monolith of stone. As we stand with him in that space, we take on with him - the vision of a dream for a better future and a better world.

I am excited that sometime in the future I believe I will go see the new monument in D.C. I look forward to that. But for me, standing in the place of the space where the Dream was proclaimed will always be more important.

That place, is for me, a place of Encounter with the best hopes for our extended future in our world.

With MLK - and many others gathered that day - I still gather in the belief that "we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!""

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

MLK Jr. - more than "civil" rights

Mlk

MLK Jr. was a person who inspired others, as much as he was inspired by others. 

Though he was a charismatic, gifted, and intelligent speaker - his total ability came not from "him" - but from "them" - all of the many persons in many cities for whom MLK served as a mouth-piece for their common voice and their common struggle.

In many ways, MLK's ability to lead emerged not so from who he was - but how he connected others.  The ability to connect and partner persons in a common cause - and one of non-violent integrity - is the mark of leadership strength.

King constantly pointed out to those in the freedom movement that their refusal to respond in kind to the violence and terrorism of their opponents was increasing their own strength and unity. He reminded them and the world that their goal was not only the right to sit at the front of the bus or to vote, but to give birth to a new society based on more human values. In so doing, he not only empowered those on the front lines, but in the process developed a strategy for transforming a struggle for rights into a struggle that advances the humanity of everyone in the society and thereby brings the beloved community closer to realization. This is what true revolutions are about.

Grace Lee Boggs, from her article “The Beloved Community of Martin Luther King” commemorating the 75th anniversary of his birth.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Paris in March 1966. (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Cited from the On Being Blog - at this link.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guantanamo Prison - Time Magazine Statistics

Time_magazine_2012_stats_guant

Much controversy hovers around the prison - not least of which for the deplorable torture reported in numerous contexts dating back to 2004, here cited in this single reference.

The series of graphs in this image copied from the print version of Time Magazine - highlights some of the urgent continued problems of the prison, in terms of punishing a few (old, young, and without due process or evidence (!)).

This unique place of incarceration reflects the worst precedent for the hope of extending the good for the all.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Expanding Your Empathy

A great article on how the human brain is keyed to emotion - with these great lines:

Our challenge is to enhance, fine-tune, and act upon our capacity for empathy. It's especially important to include people with whom we seem to share more differences than commonalities. I'm referring here to the level of empathy spoken about by religious leaders and prophets throughout history ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.") If we can live up to this challenge of extending our empathy beyond our immediate circumstances and self-interest we have a chance of achieving the so far elusive goal of creating an "Empathic Civilization".

Link to the Article:  'Empathic Civilization': Our Brains Were Built For Feeling Each Other's Pain

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is the Eupan Global Initiative?

In answer to the question, "What is the Eupan Global Initiative?"

  • We are an SA Group.
  • We Share Awareness
  • We Support Advocacy
  • We engage Solidarity in Action.
  • We research the best Scholarship to be Alert

The Eupan Global Initiative is not a "membership" based group.  We don't have members - only interested, shared partners.  We do not have a mailing list - though we do have an email distribution list we have used, only on a few occasions.

We do have persons who are more invested and involved than others - involving engagement with our events, or with other events where we partner in advocacy.  And, no doubt we have had shared partners over the years who have invested their efforts elsewhere, while we also get new invested partners that show up throughout each new year.

We are not (at least currently) a 501(c)3 - not-for-profit charitable organization.  We have explored all the legal options toward this - but have not pursued it at this time.

We are not (at least currently) a 501(c)4 - not-for-profit which allows for active lobby in politics.  Obviously we have explored this and not pursued it, either.

We are not an organization based out of any school or specific religion or creed.  Several of the early partners were (or are) connected with the Church of the Nazarene and I, Marty Michelson, am an ordained Elder in the church and a professor at a Nazarene University - but our partnerships are as broad and deep as various partners are connected and "networked" in various agencies or other groups.

  • Primarily we are an SA partnership.  (I don't think the SA term is popular - it is simply helping me to identify where I see the Eupan Global Initiative.)


By SA I mean that we are a Shared Awareness partnership - and - a Shared Advocacy partnership - and - a Solidarity in Action partnership –and – a Scholarly Alert partnership.

  • What does that mean - these SA Terms?


By using these terms I am trying to highlight that we are not a lobby based or faith based or non-profit "group" or business.  Rather, we partner in shared ways to help contribute to and raise awareness (education) and participation with (advocacy - literally - add-voice - adding our voice) in solidarity with deliberate actions.   We educate (make people aware).  We advocate.  We act.  We are alert.

Not all persons in the Eupan Global Initiative will choose to act in the same ways or advocate in the same ways.  But, we are attempting to help be a conscious, deliberate, and attentive voice - particularly in the heart of Oklahoma and the OKC Metro to raise awareness about many issues.  That does not mean that all of our events or awareness takes place in Oklahoma!  Certainly we want to give focus here in Oklahoma - and highlight causes in Oklahoma - but it also means we broaden persons horizons to become informed about issues around the world.

One of our challenges - since our "good for the all" effort is so broad - would be that we might be "too diverse" or even "too diffuse" (and not effective) in the issues that we share in awareness, advocacy and action.  This is true.  We could be too diffuse. 


But, for now - our broad based awareness, advocacy and action is appropriate as we do all that we can, for any we can, in advancing the good for the all. 

In answer to the question, "What is the Eupan Global Initiative?"

  • We are an SA Group.
  • We Share Awareness
  • We Support Advocacy
  • We engage Solidarity in Action.
  • We research the best Scholarship to be Alert

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative