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This week we started our annual Rosa Parks Peace Camp—a tradition now for sixteen years. For three weeks, every day, we try to provide a teaching environment of respect, peace and nonviolence through dance, music, fine art and conflict mediation classes. Usually there are 65 participants plus teachers. Frequently we invite the mothers and grandmothers to be present for the first half hour of the camp session which is singing.
The other day, a dear colleague of mine was told at his new job that they didn’t need him. The “chef”, very young and recently transferred from one of the company’s other restaurants said to this highly talented chef that he didn’t feel my friend could keep up with the amount of business this summer. I was shocked that a young pup like this “chef” had the nerve and poor HR skills, or lack of, to actually say this. If he had done his homework, he would’ve seen that this newly let go employee’s background embraced speed and volume with attention to detail and excelled at it.
Recently, I was visiting with a guest, “Dennis,” who told me how a little girl changed his whole mood. He was sitting in a lobby waiting for someone and was feeling depressed when a little girl, about six years old, came dancing in with her mom. Her mom sat down and the little girl kept dancing around enjoying the space.
Recently, a “game” called 30 SECONDS has become common among some of Detroit’s youth. Two children are circled or cornered and then told they have to fight each other for 30 seconds. If someone refuses, the consequences are being called a wimp or worse on Facebook.