Virtues in Action
There is a real opportunity in Baltimore for a multi-faceted approach to addressing social transformation structurally. Organizations such as Equity Matters and WombWork Productions, which both use The Virtues Project as a framework, along with diverse religious and community organizations, youth groups, and city government are collaborating and using courageous and innovative approaches to healing racism. Funding has become available in Baltimore to support these efforts. Students and staff from Baltimore Initiative High School have held healing circles in the community; these students, who have just had their first graduating class, are Warriors for Justice. Arts organizations such as WombWork Productions are addressing change, justice and healing through storytelling, dance and the practices of The Virtues Project. These practices support healing and recovery. The Virtues allow us to open our hearts to seeing others as human beings. People have been able to heal their individual trauma with the virtues, claiming balance and speaking their honest truth. Equity Matters believes in Radical Inclusiveness, which means having everyone represented at the table, not just a select group of organizations and leaders, has broad diversity as its objective. Baltimore is at a critical moment, possibly a tipping point, with the opportunity to create change in institutions, and it has started to shift the focus on the root causes of inequities, with the elimination of racism as the goal.
Geri says, "We are 'soul' people, 'heart' people. These qualities allow us to connect with the best of us. People with conflicting beliefs aren't going to listen to facts until their hearts are touched. Only love can help people change. The Virtues allow people to transform their behavior."
Thank you, Geri Lynn Peak, for your courageous truth-telling, sense of justice and work toward healing and unity in Baltimore and the world.
For more information about Baltimore Youth Initiative High School at www.byihs.org
WombWork Productions at www.wombwork.com, Equity Matters at www.equity-matters.org