Category Archives: Uncategorized

Naropa graduation

Sherry at Naropa Commencement 2010.

Congratulations to Sherry and all the graduates!

Check out more photo’s from Naropa Commencement 2010 here and here.

You can find the Commencement 2010 Address “Our Place in the World” by  The Hon. Melanne Verveer here: Ambassador_MV.mp3.

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Diane’s Master paper presentation

My Master paper presentation was last Friday. My topic was Intuition in Psychotherapy. It went very well and I felt very proud of what I was able to offer. It was amazing to see my fellow classmates present their topics and see how much everybody has grown through this process. It was definitively a delight! After the presentation, we have a small gathering with the MACP faculty. Some student’s friends and family came to the presentation and the celebration afterwords. I am feeling the ending closely approaching. It is a bitter sweet experience.

–Diane

Sherry’s video

Sherry’s video is live! Check it out.

http://www.naropa.edu/video/sherry.cfm

Part of my thesis

Hello Everyone!

I have just gotten permission to share part of my thesis with all you from one of the women I interviewed. Her name is Pastor Heidi McGuinness.   As I had mentioned in an earlier entry I want to continue to advocate for the rights of the South Sudanese people who are enslaved.

Five years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that was signed by the Sudan’s North and South, there are tens of thousands of children, women and men who are still enslaved.   Slavery is a crime according to International Law.   Article Four of the United Universal Declaration of Human Rights denounces slavery and the Genocide Convention of the United Nations condemns forceful removal of children from their parents.  Yet,  it is still happening…. Slavery exists in Sudan.

On page 20 of my thesis Pastor Heidi is speaking about her life and what she had experienced as a young girl in Germany and Sudan.  This is a quote from my interview.

Everything I observed, experienced and learned about the injustices against humanity made me an advocate for human rights.  It all formulated who I became and who I am and who I encourage others to be, on behalf of the human family but also on behalf of creation.  The raping of the earth and the seas and the land and the sky.

By the time Rwanda occurred it was over in two months.  Eight hundred thousand people were hacked to death. When I heard about the South Sudanese genocide I decided that I had to do something and invite others to do something too.

The first time I went to Sudan I realized that slavery was a part of it and I became an abolitionist.  What was so shocking to me in documenting the stories of men, women, and children was the bestial savagery that was inflicted upon them in captivity: intentional burnings, blinding, branding, intentionally inflicted wounds, amputations, mutilations…on men, women, and children.  I saw horrific evidence of torture.  I am committed to being a modern day abolitionist both in advocacy and action because of what I had seen done to such beautiful people, siblings of mine.

A lot of good people were silent in Germany.  Fear and hate are cousins.  Fear makes people become silent.  Martin Luther King Jr. said, “An in justice somewhere is an injustice everywhere.”  Another quote that is so salient, “in the end it isn’t the voice of our enemy that we’ll remember but the silence of our friends.”

Too many of us are silent and too many of us are not doing enough to be a voice for the voiceless ones, or to bring the voiceless ones to us so that their voices can be heard.  To have all these egregious assaults on the human family and for us to not have put an end to the genocide in South Sudan that raged for twenty three years, that included slavery.   Still the genocide has raged in Darfur since 2003.  Yet I have heard insensitive people say “well, the numbers are down in Darfur.”  Can you imagine speaking about a human being in terms of numbers being down?

I hope you all had a chance to watch her YouTube video.

Be Well,
Sherry

Pastor Heidi McGuinness

Hello everyone! I am nearing the completion of my thesis.  One of the things I have been struggling with is sharing my story of why it is that social justice work is so vital to my everyday life.

Pastor Heidi McGuinness is a modern day abolitionist in the South Sudan… the first time I met with her I immediately felt a connection to her and one of the first things she did was look deeply into my eyes and say, “You know I think that you have something to share about your life and the trauma you have experienced…. your story needs to be heard too.”

Since then her words have been in my mind and now three weeks before my thesis is due I have to include my story as well. The hardest thing is to look into the past and be brave enough to reopen old wounds to share with the world the pain and struggle of an immigrant and also to admit that I am a survivor of child abuse. My hope in sharing this reality is that a young person who may be living with this kind of abuse will read my thesis and feel a sense of connection and feel a sense of hope that despite the negative verbal/physical assaults there is light at the end of the tunnel. They will feel that one day they too will go to university and make something of themselves. It is through the shared suffering that we can heal and it is also the triumphs as well that humanity can connect. Simply said it is all for love that I do the work that I do. It may seem cheesy but for me it is how I survived years of trauma and abuse. Love is how I was able to forgive….

I feel incredibly blessed to have met such a beautiful person such as Pastor Heidi. We still speak and she gives me so much love and support. She is a very busy women but she gives and gives, it is so amazing. Please check out this story on youtube. It is her work in the South Sudan. I feel a great responsibility to the South Sudanese people to get their stories out as well.

Bows and blessings,

–Sherry

Bead for Life

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I went M.I.A for a while. At the moment my thesis is at a stand still. My doctor has put me on strict bed rest for the next week. I have some weird stomach flu and it is not very fun. Writing to all of you is about all I can do right now. What I can say about my research on women in social justice is the common thread the women all seem to have. It was in the formative years that they began to realize the importance for the elevating the voice of the voiceless ones. Each and every one of the women understand the interconnection of all issues. Race, class, and gender, it’s all interconnected. They can not be separated.

I do not know how many folks out there are aware of an organization called “Bead for Life”. Their mission statement:

“Bead For Life creates sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone.”

I volunteer at BFL once a week. I also interviewed Torkin Wakefield, she is one of the founders. She has been involved in social activism since her college years! Please go the website www.beadforlife.org.  There are some wonderful stories about the Ugandan women involved in the BFL family. You can also read about how YOU can get be involved. I hope you enjoy the stories. The stories will pull at you heart strings so be ready! Hope to be vertical soon! Til then take care!

–Sherry

AGPA Conference

I went to the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) conference in February and it was great! A lot of Naropa students and faculty from the Contemplative Psychotherapy program attend every year. This year, was in San Diego which made it much more fun! In this conference, you not only had the opportunity to see experienced therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists working on demo groups, but you also had the chance to notice how much contemplative education makes you a very insightful, and courageous professional. I saw how being in a program that focus in community and group work has trained me to be a skillful group psychotherapist! The conference boosted my confidence. I could see clearly how valuable contemplative education is.

I am also in the process of working on my resume and looking for jobs. Being a bilingual therapists is very valuable so I strongly recommend future student to learn Spanish and to people from other Spanish speaking countries to please come to Naropa. We need more contemplative Spanish speaking therapist!

–Diane