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

Many thanks to those who joined us in taking this plunge, sharing in the experience of listening to one another from the heart and engaging with our passionate speakers.

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

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

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

RIA 2021
Our Featured Guests Included:

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)