Race In America: An Intimate Plunge

Executive Directors Message:

Dear Zen Peacemaker friends,

We know many of you are interested to attend our 2021 retreats, whether our Native American / Zen Peacemakers Plunge or our Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat. We can say definitively we will offer these events. For reasons we are all aware of, we cannot say with certainty yet if we will be able to meet in person or virtually.

I can say confidently that being in person in South Dakota and Poland is our sincere desire. Everyone’s health and safety are top of mind. I promise to keep you informed as we take in more information and make decisions.

Tentatively, we are holding the last week in July for the Native American Plunge and the first week in November for the Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncertain times.

With kind regards and deep bows,
Geoff ShĹŤun O’Keeffe
Executive Director
Zen Peacemakers International


We are very pleased to offer Race In America: An Intimate Plunge, Friday, February 26 through Sunday, February 28, 2021.

You are warmly invited to join us and to be a part of this plunge, sharing in the experience of listening to one another from the heart and engaging with our passionate speakers.

We will meet three hours each day, from Noon to 3:00 pm, US Eastern Standard Time, via Zoom video. Photographic slideshows will begin at 11:45 a.m. (US EST) each day to allow all participants to gather in silence and prepare to begin at noon.

Registration will be required and can be completed by filling out the registration form below.

The Plunge fee will be dana (donation) based, to be inclusive and to welcome everyone regardless of means, while also supporting Zen Peacemakers International. For those who are able, additional donations are encouraged and welcomed.

Sessions have been developed by Zen Peacemakers teachers, board members, and staff, and will include special guest presentations, silence, Council, interfaith ritual/religious services, archival materials, and testimonials.

Our Featured Guests Will Include:

Mark Eckhardt, CEO of Common and creator of One Million Truths, the ground-breaking web-based video-graphic record of individual Black Americans’ personal experiences of racism in America. Mark is ordained in the White Plum Zen lineage. (One Million Truths Website)

Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education. Dr. Shankar-Brown is among the most prominent educational scholars in social justice in the United States and internationally. She has published leading works, presented around the globe, and received numerous awards for her innovative leadership and ongoing community engagement projects. (Stetson University Faculty)

Larry Ward, Ph.D. (pronouns- he/him) is a senior teacher in Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition, the author of the book America’s Racial Karma, and co-author with his wife, Peggy, of Love’s Garden, A Guide To Mindful Relationships. Dr. Ward brings twenty-five years of international experience in organizational change and local community renewal to his work as director of the Lotus Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Buddhism and the neuroscience of meditation. (The Lotus Institute Website)

Peggy Rowe Ward, Ph.D. (pronouns- she/her) is also a senior teacher in the Plum Village tradition. Dr. Rowe Ward is the co-founder of the Lotus Institute and has her doctorate in Adult Education and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She serves on the faculty of a graduate program in Mindful Leadership at Atlantic University. She has also studied and practiced with many wise Native American elders. (The Lotus Institute Website-About)

Members of Volusia Remembers, based in Volusia County Florida, have been working to identify sites of racist murders by lynching and to certify those sites with Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. We will present from the site of the murder of Lee Snell as Volusia Remembers volunteers collect soil for remembrance. (Volusia Remembers Website)

Please plan to join your fellow Peacemakers for this intimate event.



Thank you for your interest in the Plunge. The registration is at full capacity and closed at this time. The keynote speakers will be recorded and may be made available to the ZPI members at a later date.