Category Archives: Uncategorized

Refugee Advocacy Event 2019

Learn about the current crisis and how you can help. A panel discussion led by experts from: CASA de Maryland, International Refugee Committee, Lutheran Social Services, Refugees International and United Mission for Relief and Development. Art & music by refugees. Refreshments served.

Friday, June 7, 2019 from 7 – 9 pm

Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

For more info: contact or

Youth Peace Conference 2019

The 4th Annual Youth Peace Conference will be held at Blake High School in Montgomery County, MD on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9 – 3 pm.  Sponsored by the Peace Committee of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting (Quakers), this youth organized event honors the legacy of Quaker peace activists Bayard Rustin and Lee Stern.  The theme is “Student Activism: Past and Present.” Youth from 8 – 12 grades can register at


YPC 2018 held at Sandy Spring Friends School, Sandy Spring, Maryland

World Refugee Day June 20, 2018

Let’s  join others around the world on this day to commemorate the strengths, courage and resilience of those displaced from their homes.  

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says, “World Refugee Day is an expression of solidarity with people who have been uprooted from their homes by war or persecution.  The latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, show that at least 65.6 million people — 1 of every 113 members of the human family — have been forcibly displaced within their own countries or across borders.”

Meet the artists of the exhibit “Uprooted: The Art of Refugees” and hear their stories.  

Speakers from: IRC International Rescue Committee ,CASA de Maryland , TPS/Temporary Protection Status, LSS Lutheran Social Services, CAIR Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition and others.

Music and refreshments. All ages welcome. 

For more information: or

Wednesday, June 20th from 6:30 – 9 pm at Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860



Maryland’s 7th Restorative Justice Conference
NOVEMBER 8 & 9, 2018

Featured Speakers:
Alonzo T. Washington, Maryland House of Delegates
Carl Stauffer, Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice
Stephanie Briggs, Community College of Baltimore County
David Yusem, Oakland Unified School District

Pre-Conference Institute: Implementing Restorative Practices
in Schools District-Wide
Thursday Morning, November 8, 2018

Registration Opens March 2018
New Location: University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)!
Proudly presented by the Circle of Restorative Initiatives (CRI), a statewide network promoting restorative principles, practices and initiatives throughout Maryland.

Love over Hate Rally 8/20/17

Love over Hate – Statements and prayers made by speakers at a Rally in Montgomery Co, MD on Sunday, August 20th at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church

We declare inclusivity and say no to all systems of white supremacy!
We call on all public officials to call out any white supremacists that continue to give it credibility.
We put aside any petty differences and buy into a larger agenda of love over hate.
We stand against hateful speech and actions now and forever.
May the power of love descend on our broken hearts.
Only love can conquer hate!
We declare no darkness will come to this place of Light and Life.
We will confront hatred wherever it emerges.
We need to risk our comfort and privilege and wander into the wilderness together.
White America – you can no longer stand on the side and enjoy your white privilege.
We all need to challenge those closest to us – our family and friends and neighbors.
It’s important to show up! We need to outnumber the far right 1000 to one.
We have a sacred obligation to fight racism.
(Charlottesville was a symptom of a sore that has not healed.)
What affects one of us affects all of us. We need to hold each others’ hands.
We seek God’s guidance that all may be well.
We are stronger together! Love wants justice for all!
Are we preaching to the choir?? Perhaps the choir isn’t singing loudly enough!!
It’s not Right or Left – it’s right or wrong.

Om Shanti Om



Healing & Building Resiliency Workshop

A Peace Circle to help us gain a greater understanding of our own multiple traumas and seek ways to heal ourselves and do our part to heal the world.  With movement, mediation and ideas for self soothing, we build a better base for being resilient in a battered world.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 from 10am – 3 pm near Clarksville, MD. Register with or Bette at 202-329-4667. Donation requested. Brunch starts at 9:30 am.

Restorative Justice Conference

The Circle of Restorative Initiatives (CRI) presents the 6th R.J. Conference on November 17 & 18 at Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland. “Exploring Intersections between Restorative Justice and Race” features Nancy Riestenberg, Author of  Circle in the Square: Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools and many workshops.

Just Peace Circles will present a workshop on “Circles and Trauma Healing” on Thursday, Nov 17 @ 2 pm.  


Refugees in our Midst: How can we help?

A forum will be held at Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860 on Sunday, October 9th from 1 – 4 pm.  

Just Peace Circles joins the Peace Committee of Sandy Spring Friends (Quaker) Meeting, Maryland Welcomes Refugees and other co-sponsors in organizing this event.  According to the UNHCR there are an unprecedented 20 million refugees in our present world.  Nearly 5 million have fled the violence in Syria and at least 200 families are being resettled in Maryland in the coming months.

Panelists include Yasmine Taeb of Friends Committee on National Legislation, Ruben Chandrasekhar of the International Rescue Committee, faith and community leaders sharing their process in becoming part of the solution and voices of new neighbors telling their stories. Opening prayers led by a Piscataway elder, Rico Newman.

Doors open at 12:30 pm for registration and light refreshments.  Suggested donation of $10. RSVP at

Contact or for more info.



Nicaragua Delegations

This gallery contains 24 photos.

2016 Healers Delegation

Warm breezes welcomed our team of six healers to Managua on Feb 18, 2016.  The group settled in at Quaker House where they were greeted with a delicious meal and hugs from Pro Nica staff.  The team included massage therapists, yoga teachers, a psychologist and a sex therapist.  For several team members it was their first visit to Nicaragua.  For the next ten days the group led retreats for Pro-Nica staff and partners in various parts of the country. 

The first day the team visited sites in the city of Managua and listened intensely to the history of the country.  It was important to understand the context of the country and the inter-connectedness of our nations.  The tree-lined Salvador Allende Bolivar brought us to present times as we admired the “trees of life” that were created by first lady, Dona Rosario Ortego.  The well-lit metal structures loom tall and powerful.  Political billboards proclaiming the strength and goodness of the Ortega government are everywhere.  A tourist might surmise there were no other political parties in the country that calls itself a democracy.

Our first workshop was a one day AVP training on trauma healing held at the Kairos Center.  Harold Urban and other Alternative to Violence facilitators from around the country enjoyed the intense “advanced” workshop experience.  For most of the team, it was an introduction to the AVP model and the popular education modality.

Next we traveled to the Centro de Retiros La Palmera in Diriamba to spend the next few days with Los Quinchos staff.  Initially, we visited the children and were entertained by a visiting circus who were there working with the former street children for a month.  Our team was excited by the holistic approach of Los Quinchos to the traumatized street children.  We observed them learning new skills (like sewing or drumming), cooking together and a cooperative family approach.

“The best part of the experience for me was working with Los Quinchos staff.  It was amazing fro see their resilience, desire to learn and to help in spite of all they have been through themselves.  Sometimes I feel jaded about the world and working with them boosted my sense of hope.”  This statement by one of the team is reflective of the their experience as a result of our days in retreat with these amazingly resilient and resourceful people.

Our third – and final- retreat was held in San Ramon at the Sueno de la Campana Retreat Center.  Retreatants came from Pro Nica’s northern partners and some traveled for many hours by bus to join us.  Casa del Nino, Casa Materna, Rio Blanco Women’s Network were all well represented at the retreat.

Each person was received a massage during our time together and got called from the circle when their turn came.  Again we explored types of trauma with a popular education format.  We spoke of stages of grief and how to deal with them.  There was ample time to share stories and learn some new information as well.  For many the five circles of sexuality were a welcome way to explore issues of relationship and violence.  The circles include: sexualization, sensuality, intimacy, sexual identity and sexual health and reproduction. 

In addition to leading the three retreats described, the team has time to swim at Laguna de apoyo, stroll along the Lakeshore waterfront park in Managua and have a mini-retreat at La Garnacha near Esteli.  The healers were all pleased to participant in this project and several described deep hearings that happened to them during the experience.