Bearing Witness to Racism in America

Bearing Witness to
Racism in America
Selma and Montgomery
April 20 - 25, 2023

It has long been our desire to create a bearing witness retreat around America’s racial history – as seen through the eyes of African Americans. The intention has always been to engage without becoming a tourist; to seek unity without ‘othering’ those with whom we Bear Witness.

This year we plan on walking the grounds of a deep history in the expansion of slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights movement – Selma and Montgomery.

We intend our Plunge in Alabama to be personal and transformative, with attendees coming away with an emotional and heart connection with the people, places, and events we witness.

We hope you can join us.

Registration is now closed

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All aspects of the retreat are founded on the Zen Peacemakers’ Three Tenets:

letting go of fixed ideas about yourself, others, and the universe.

to the joy and suffering of the world.

that arises from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness.

These are and will be our anchor to which we will return every day of the retreat.
They are a powerful way to live one’s life and respond to the needs of the world.
Please refer to this webpage about the Three Tenets to learn more.

Bearing Witness to Racism in America
Retreat Info
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When registering, please fill out the 2023 Bearing Witness to Racism in America Participation Form.
To Register – Click Here

Destination & Departure

Please plan to arrive on Thursday, April 20th at the Saint James Hotel by 6:00 PM in time for a welcome dinner and orientation: 

We suggest that you book flights for Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) and arrange your  transportation to Selma. Greyhound has 2-3 buses each day for $19 USD/Ticket. It is under the operation of the historical Western Alabama Public Transportation (WAPT).

For your return airline ticketing, transportation to Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) for departure home is not covered by the  retreat fee and will be the responsibility of each participant to secure it to arrive at the airport in  time for your flight home. Spending one or more nights in Montgomery after the retreat is encouraged to relax and integrate the events of the intensive week of the retreat. The group rate,  however, will not be applicable for the extra night’s stay. 

We encourage you to purchase refundable tickets, travel insurance policy, or both due to  any ongoing pandemic situation.  If you are traveling from abroad, please be sure that your passport  is valid for 3 full months after your return travel date. Please also check the visa requirements for  your country and apply for visas as early as possible, as well as the Covid regulations.

Through the years the Zen Peacemakers have hosted countless nationalities, faiths and ethnicities on the retreat. Donations can be extended towards those from diverse backgrounds to contribute to the multifaceted experience of the retreat. Donation will also ensure the attendance of those challenged financially to gather the cost of tuition. 

Donations can be made at the time of registration or  online on our Donation Page.

Zen Peacemakers, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization for your tax purposes.

Covid Information

We intend to safeguard the health and safety of all participants as well as the communities at our destinations. To this end, we are requiring all participants to email a copy of the vaccination card by April 1st, 2023. Please email the photocopy of the proof of vaccination (card or certificate) to

As we support our attendees’ concern for security and safety, we require all participants to provide a photo image of their Covid vaccination card. We will follow the Covid regulations in place at the time of the retreat on site. If you are entering the U.S. from abroad, you are responsible for staying informed of any changes in regulations and types of certificates needed for entry/exit/re-entry at the time of your travel. Note that the Covid testing fees are not included in the retreat fees.

Please keep abreast of the travel restrictions due to Covid-19 and make your travel arrangements wisely. If you are flying, please consider purchasing either a fully refundable ticket, a travel insurance policy, or both.

Questions regarding retreat program, registration and payment:

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