Ashland has a reputation as a place where residents take their civic responsibilities seriously. If you think no one outside this area notices, think again.
Just take a look at the notable events happening in the space of just a few days right here in Ashland.
First, there is the visit of Rabbi Michael Lerner, who will receive the Marjorie Maybury Kellogg National Peacemaker Award from Peace House. Lerner is an internationally known author and teacher, and is recognized as America’s preeminent liberal Jewish intellectual. He is editor of Tikkun, a cultural Jewish magazine named for the Hebrew phrase meaning “to heal the world.”
Lerner will lead a workshop on breaking the communications deadlock over the Israel-Gaza crisis. He advocates empathy as a path to achieving Middle East peace.
No sooner than Lerner finishes conducting two workshops, two other prominent figures will begin a two-day workshop on nonviolent conflict resolution.
The presenters are Kitt Miller, director of the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Rochester, N.Y., and Dominic Barter, who has worked for 20 years with shantytown youth in Rio de Janeiro and developed the Restorative Circle process of conflict resolution.
The message of Miller and Barter is that nonviolence is not just a way to live a peaceful life but a mechanism for solving disputes in a mutually beneficial way.
If we know Ashland, all these sessions will be well-attended.