Run and Tell That – In Memory of Robinswing

December 09, 2014 By: seeta Category: Sistahspeak, Spirituality

Dear Esteemed CMP Readers:

We are heartbroken to inform you that Robinswing, the Editor and Writer of the renowned and powerful Sistahspeak series, passed away yesterday. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

To many of us, Robinswing was a powerful and inspirational voice for social justice, a good friend, a teacher, and an unabashed pure heart. Robinswing, a warrior for peace, justice, and kindness, graced us with some of her prophetic pieces here.

Tonight we pay tribute to Robinswing by re-posting a link to some of her resonant — and more relevant than ever — articles. Below is one of Robinswing’s most powerful and moving pieces. Her eternal light will continue to shine on and inspire us. May she Rest in Eternal Power.

Robinswing, thank you for sharing your gift and your powerful presence with us. We will miss you more than words can express.

Seeta, on behalf of CMP


Revelations: For Peace

July 13, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Education, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Nobel Symphony

Performed by Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Chorus with the Minnesota Boychoir and Gustavus Adolphus College Symphony Orchestra. Charles Lazarus, solo trumpet.

Graphics credits: Creative Directors Piotr Szyhalski and Jan Jancourt with students of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with support from MCAD Design works (c) 2004

(c) 2001 Steve Heitzeg / Stone Circle Music
All rights reserved.

stone circle

Revelations: Ohio

May 04, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Gun Culture, Imperialism, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex

The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University

Kent State Revisited

The Killings at Kent State

Revelations: Imagine

December 08, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Education, Intersectionality, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
         ― John Lennon ( October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

The Death and Life of John Lennon, by Pete Hamill

New York Magazine, December 20, 1980

“The news arrived like fragment of some forgotten ritual. First a flash on television, interrupting the tail end of a football game. Then the telephones ringing, back and forth across the city, and then another bulletin, with more details, and then more phone calls from around the country, from friends, from kids with stunned voices, and then the dials being flipped from channel to channel while WINS played on the radio. And yes: It was true. Yes: Somebody had murdered John Lennon.

And because it was John Lennon, and because it was a man with a gun, we fell back into the ritual. If you were there for the sixties, the ritual was part of your life. You went through it for John F. Kennedy and for Martin Luther King, for Malcolm X and for Robert Kennedy. The earth shook, and then grief was slowly handled by plunging into newspapers and television shows. We knew there would be days of cliché-ridden expressions of shock from the politicians; tearful shots of mourning crowds; obscene invasions of the privacy of The Widow; calls for gun control; apocalyptic declarations about the sickness of America; and then, finally, the orgy over, everybody would go on with their lives.

Except . . . this time there was a difference. Somebody murdered John Lennon. Not a politician. Not a man whose abstract ideas could send people to wars, or bring them home; not someone who could marshal millions of human beings in the name of justice; not some actor on the stage of history. This time, someone had crawled out of a dark place, lifted a gun, and killed an artist. This was something new. The ritual was the same, the liturgy as stale as ever, but the object of attack was a man who had made art. This time the ruined body belonged to someone who had made us laugh, who had taught young people how to feel, who had helped change and shape an entire generation, from inside out. This time someone had murdered a song. “

black line Capture

Revelations: World Piece #53 – Egypt

July 07, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Education, International Law, Intersectionality, Spirituality

black line Capture

Dedicated to pianist Teresa McCollough, and launched on United Nations Day, October 24, 2010, this work by Steve Heitzeg is a tribute in part to the spirit of that organization, founded in 1945 to maintain peace and foster international communication among all peoples of the world.

black line Capture

Revelations: Mother’s Day Proclamation

May 12, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Spirituality

be susan

Mother’s Day Proclamation

by Julia Ward Howe*, 1870

The First Mother’s Day proclaimed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe
was a passionate demand for disarmament and peace.

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!”

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail & commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesars but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

be susan

*Biography of Julia Ward Howe

US feminist, reformer, and writer Julia Ward Howe was born May 27, 1819 in New York City. She married Samuel Gridley Howe of Boston, a physician and social reformer. After the Civil War, she campaigned for women rights, anti-slavery, equality, and for world peace. She published several volumes of poetry, travel books, and a play. She became the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1908. She was an ardent antislavery activist who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic in 1862, sung to the tune of John Brown’s Body. She wrote a biography in 1883 of Margaret Fuller, who was a prominent literary figure and a member of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendentalists. She died in 1910.

Black Friday: Threnody

April 19, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Intersectionality, Spirituality

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Krzysztof Penderecki, “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima”


A Struggling Bronx Synagogue Finds Free Housing—in a Mosque

December 11, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Spirituality

A heartening story from

Near the corner of Westchester Avenue and Pugsley Street in Parkchester, just off the elevated tracks of the No. 6 train, Yaakov Wayne Baumann stood outside a graffiti-covered storefront on a chilly Saturday morning. Suited up in a black overcoat with a matching wide-brimmed black fedora, the thickly bearded 42-year-old chatted with elderly congregants as they entered the building for Shabbat service.

The only unusual detail: This synagogue is a mosque.

Or rather, it’s housed inside a mosque. That’s right: Members of the Chabad of East Bronx, an ultra-Orthodox synagogue, worship in the Islamic Cultural Center of North America, which is home to the Al-Iman mosque.

“We’re not as divided as the media portrays us to be,” Drammeh said. “Almost 90 percent of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian teachings are the same.”

His latest project involves introducing fifth-grade Jewish and Islamic school students to each other’s religious traditions. Other participants of the program, now in its sixth year, include the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, the Al Ihsan Academy of Queens, and the Kinneret Day School of Riverdale. At the end of the program, students organize an exhibit that shows family artifacts of their respective cultures and religion. The principal of the Islamic school, who is also Sheik Drammeh’s wife, said that even after the program ended, the participants became “fast friends” and would visit each other’s homes.

“They would have birthday parties together,” Shireena Drammeh said. “When someone invites you to their house, I mean, that says it all right there and then.”

Note: CMP is officially in holiday mode until the New Year. We will continue to post on an ad hoc basis over the next couple of weeks. But we want to wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season as we celebrate the fruits of this year’s labor and as we share memories with family and friends.