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New Haven to Charlottesville: Why We All Need to Tell a New Story
By Delma Thomas-Jackson
I’m sitting at home just outside Flint, Michigan, watching the violence unfold in Charlottesville, Virginia, while thinking about the work Center for Whole Communities conducted in New Haven, Connecticut less than a week ago. I’m trying to write and track the latest news at the same time.
I JUST watched footage of someone plow through a group of protestors and then drive away. One has been confirmed dead. I just watched the POTUS respond by practically refusing to respond. His brief statement was flaccid—rendered hollow by his obvious reticence to condemn his base—an ode to neutrality. In not choosing he yet again affirmed his previous choices.
Center for Whole Communities hosted our annual Whole Thinking in Practice retreat in northern California last year. Though currently based between Western Mass and NYC, Dr. Kofi-Charu Nat Turner – one of last year’s retreat participants – grew up in Southern California and went to school in the Bay Area. So as Kofi reminisced about his days in California, he shared stories about crossing cultural boundaries growing up in LA, and campus organizing around issues of social justice and a more expansive curriculum at Berkeley.
Kofi brought a joyful and buoyant energy to the retreat. He shared his yoga practice with us one morning, the inspiring story of his grandmother (Caffie Greene) a pioneering community organizer and public health educator and activist in LA, and – in the most modest and caring of ways – Kofi shared generously of his wisdom and strength. Here are Kofi’s reflections on his experience of Whole Thinking in Practice last year: