Peace Celebration at Contra Costa Community College
On April 27, 2013, MBA’s Executive Director, Sam Himelstein, facilitated an opening meditation for the culmination of the Peace Celebration, a month-long series of 13 events, organized by Contra Costa College staff, which highlighted topics of meditation, stress, safety and immigration status, all in an effort to promote peace. The Peace Celebration was a grassroots effort to organize community members in Contra Costa County to practice engaged peacefulness and take their communities back into their own hands. The culmination of the peace celebration was a daylong series of speakers on April 27, during which Sam facilitated the opening meditation and spoke about the way outer violence is intimately connected to inner violence, and that mindfulness was one way to begin approaching one’s own core wounding and trauma. He said of the event, “I was honored to be a part of this community event. I saw young people, middle-aged people, and elders, and was blessed to be a part of a community that is courageous.”
Sam was invited to facilitate the opening meditation by Mayra Padilla, organizer of the Peace Celebration and program manager of METAS, a tutoring program whose mission is to get at-risk youth more involved in the sciences. MBA will be collaborating with the METAS program this summer by taking 15 of their high-school aged youth on a multi-day retreat. This 3-day, 2-night retreat will be MBA’s first ever multi-day youth retreat and will serve to engage youth in deep levels of mindfulness, meditation, compassion, and kindness.