As some of the founding members and a council in service to the Ways of Council network,
A people supporting, offering, and bearing witness to council and circle ways in many places and cultures,
As people committed to ensuring all voices be heard and all life be respected,
As part of this prayer and action unfolding currently on Turtle Island, United States of North America, as well as many places world-wide …
We give our attention and support specifically at this time to the global Black Lives Matter Movement as it necessarily grows. As our international network is relatively new and open, originating predominantly with white people in California, we will continue to widen our circles, listen, and look to bear witness to Black-led initiatives and ways to honor the roots of council in African ancestry, and in all cultures. This must and can happen, connected to and not forgetting our needed attention, our councils, prayers and action with so many justice movements in Tibet, Rojava, in Palestine, Israel, Hong Kong, in South Africa, Brazil and many more places around the world.
The field and the issues are as complex as any parts of our shared human history. And, even so, our hearts and minds are intent on ending white supremacy, police militarization, brutality, oppression, and incarceration of Black people. And, as a network, we continue with and ask to increase our attention on justice for all indigenous peoples, marginalized peoples, all beings, and especially racialized people (POC: people of color and culture).
Many of us on this continent named Turtle Island, North America, if not world-wide, are late, fearful or in denial and have failed to sufficiently witness our horrific history of colonization, genocide, slavery, segregation, forced conversion and oppression, leaving much unexamined for too long. We ask all of us to continue living in the spirit and offering the practice of council, talking circles and many circle ways… to continue learning from the wisdom of the circle , to know the histories of our lands, practices, rituals, and positions in society….. to continue essential education, prayers and action around white supremacy, as part of the pathway to healing and a new story.
This is ours to do, all of ours, to respond in some way — to understand the deep roots of systemic oppression and racism in ourselves, our cultures and governing systems.
May we make needed changes in ourselves, in our communities and in the world; may we hospice systems of domination and ways that need to change or die while carrying forth the best of the old stories and opening to the new.
We ask again for all to listen to, and hopefully walk with, the Black people leading right now. Please join in any and all the ways you can — with young people, with people of color and culture around the world, in standing up for justice, reparations, truth, and love.
As carriers of council ways, we commit to honor and support those who have gone before, as well as those here now, and work to cultivate safe(r) and brave spaces for any and all. We each must be responsible for honoring our teachers, to research and know the roots of circle ways in our own ancestry and those of indigenous peoples worldwide, the nature of council in our very bones.
As an open network, we are not here to screen or judge who shows up in the circle…we are here to inspire, to listen, to call in and support the healing ways of circles, to move with our differences and discomfort, our beauty and joy, to grow and deepen in service to our communities, replacing militarized police forces with care forces. We are here to look into the mirror, to discern, call out, bear witness to and take a stand against violence, racism, sexism, all injustices embedded within systems, organizations and communities.
We are here to learn from and defend the sacred circles of life.
May these be more than words.
May our actions and prayers reflect the care in our hearts.
May our offerings and participation contribute to healing and the co-creation of safety, well-being, beauty and life for all beings.
Gigi Coyle with Siri Gunnarson, Han Delissen, Win Phelps, Itaf Awad, Jack Zimmerman, Leon Berg, Shay Sloan, Alan Mobley, Eran Halevi, Kelly Kagan Law and …….
Pdf version: Ways of Council BLM statement_June2020