Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art to End the Violence; an S.O.S. Community Event

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday, May 26th 2011, for the culminating event of the Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights Multimedia Contest. The contest engaged talented youth and adult artists to create public service announcements, video and radio shorts, and posters for the S.O.S. public education campaign that convey the message that shooting and killing are not acceptable in Crown Heights.

At the event, winners of the contest will be announced and awarded their prizes. Additionally, S.O.S. will be awarded the coveted Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of the oldest and most storied civil rights organizations.

Light refreshments will be served and entertainment will feature 2011 Leadership Training Institute member DJ M Dot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mandala of Compassion in Crown Heights

Last week at Launchpad on Franklin Ave, the venerable Lama Tenzin Yigyen constructed a Mandala of Compassion. Mandalas, sand paintings that are designed to represent wholeness, are an ancient Tibetan tradition. In a viewing on Thursday, Lama Tenzin explained that each symbol and color in the mandala is linked to compassion, which he considers the key element of a happy, fulfilled life. He compared external activities—such as going out or buying new things—to the junk food we eat, something which may give us pleasure in the moment but which will ultimately not make us happy or healthy. But compassion he compared to water, without which there would be no life. CHCMC Americorps volunteer Lizzie DeWan visited on Thursday and said, “Although the mandala was visually stunning, and the Lama’s attention to detail inspiring, the true value in visiting this exhibit was hearing Lama Tenzin’s message of love and compassion. I could not help but think of my colleagues at the Mediation Center and S.O.S., who live compassion every day by supporting the community and working to end violence in Crown Heights. This work does truly seem to bring them happiness, even though that is not their motivation.”

On Friday, Lama Tenzin dismantled the mandala and offered the sand back to the earth. Let us reflect on this impermanence of beauty and remember that the mandala itself is only a reminder of the true beauty found in love and compassion.

Thanks to Urban River Arts and Launchpad for putting on this great event.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Write-Up of Anti-Gun Violence Mural Project

Today we received a wonderful suprise at the office. Greg Todd, local real estate broker, gardener at Imani Gardens, and friend of the Mediation Center featured our anti-gun violence mural next to Brower Park on the cover of his newsletter Upside. Look for a copy around the neighborhood, or you can just read the story and see the pictures below.

To learn more about local agriculture and permaculture at Imani Gardens, come out to their next work day on Sunday, May 8th 2011 at 12:00pm at 87 Schenectady between Dean and Pacific.

Monday, May 2, 2011

S.O.S. Wins MLK Jr. Peace Award

We are proud to announce that the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of the oldest and most storied civil rights organizations, has awarded the Save Our Streets Crown Heights Team the Martin Luther King Jr. peace award for 2011. The award honors those who make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of nonviolence. Stay tuned for information about the awards ceremony.