Book Circle: In This Place Together by Penina E-Schwartz with Sulaiman Khatib

Date/Time
Date(s) - Oct 4, 2021 - Nov 20, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Virtual Event Link
Register for the Book Circle Here!

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In This Place Together (By Penina E-Schwartz with Sulaiman Khatib)

The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) presents this series of antiracism book circles as an act of radical education and collaboration. Our hope is to provide a unique opportunity to process the impact of the pandemic and respond to the renewed call for racial equity in our society. Our goal is to create a space in which participants may collectively and individually gain understanding that will result in healing, understanding, inclusion and empowerment. More importantly, they provide a way to maintain energetic human connections through virtual meeting spaces. Past circles have included participants from around the world to create transformative and educational learning spaces.

About this book

From Penina’s epilogue: “In Souli’s reality, within some third way, we do our very best to keep everything worth keeping. We see the process of mutual transformation as an ever-widening circle, one that creates space for more and more stories to be included, one that invites Palestinians and Israelis–and all people–to create a world where everyone, without exception, feels what it is to be free.”

As a Palestinian youth, Sulaiman Khatib encountered the occupation in his village and attempted to fight back, stabbing an Israeli. Imprisoned at the age of 14, he began a process of political and spiritual transformation still unfolding today. In a book he asked Penina Eilberg-Schwartz, an American Jew, to write, and based on years of conversation between them, Khatib shares how his activism became deeply rooted in the belief that we must ground all work—from dialogue to direct action to healing—in recognition of the history and humanity of the other.

In language that is poetic and unflinchingly honest, Eilberg-Schwartz and Khatib chronicle what led him to dedicate his life to nonviolence. In his journey, he encountered the deep injustice of torture, witnessed the power of hunger strikes, and studied Jewish history. Ultimately, he came to realize mutual recognition, alongside a transformation of the systems that governed their lives, was necessary for both Palestinians and Israelis to move forward. Still, as he built friendships with Israelis and resisted the occupation alongside them, he could not lose sight of the great power imbalance in the relationship, of all the violence and erasure still present as they dreamt forward together.

Who should join?

This book circle is open to people of any race, culture, religion, or spirituality who connect with and want to explore Sulaiman’s journey; as well as those who want to do the deeper work of self inquiry, reconciliation, and healing across the divide. Melissa, Muna and Jeanne styles will vary between covering the book’s material, with mindful/ heart-centered introspective exercises, group process, and spontaneous artistic sharing. They include eclectic techniques in the learning, from intellectual to somatic/embodiment. Everyone who feels called to do this work is welcome.

RCNV Note on Affinity & Mixed Race Groups

Due to the sensitive racial nature of the books offered, the RCNV’s racial equity policy offers separate affinity groups to respect the process of participants and to provide more safety and depth in the circle. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), especially, may benefit from a unified healing experience within a safe container to grieve and process. Thus, book circles offered for mixed races and for affinity groups are determined depending on the nature of the chosen book and the skills of co-facilitators. Book circles are co-facilitated by facilitators of all races; and affinity groups are facilitated by facilitators who identify within that affinity group. Mixed race individuals are welcome to join affinity groups matching their self-identification. Our co-facilitators will do their best to support every participant in their process. Our book circles provide spaces to practice mutual respect, collaboration, and the creation of an inclusive community. This book circle is offered to all racial identities.

Your Circle Facilitators

Muna (she/her) is Palestinian-Jordanian-American. She was trained as a therapist and has experience in eclectic spiritual and body practices. She worked with kids and adults in the foster care system in Ohio, held workshops/talks on social and peace activism, and volunteered doing inner work with inmates in the prison system in California. Currently, she works for the RCNV coordinating the antiracism book circles while still doing her activism work locally and globally with Combatants For Peace in Palestine and Israel. She lives in the Santa Cruz mountains- the colonized land of the Ohlone Native Americans and the Awaswas speaking peoples.

Melissa (she/they/siya) is a Filipina-American, living on unceded Lummi and Coastal Salish land in Bellingham, Washington. As founder of ImprintEd Abroad, she works to bridge Moroccan and U.S. cultures through educational programming (previously through in person exchange in Morocco and, today, virtually) and especially focuses on bringing reciprocity and equity to relationships functioning within systems of global inequality.

Jeanne Mayer Freebody (she/her) identifies as a white and Jewish dyke feminist who was raised in a working class family in New York. She is fiery about anti-racism and grounded in a deep love of the Buddha Dharma.

Schedule and Logistics

RCNV circles meet weekly on Zoom over the course of 8-10 weeks beginning in October 2021. Weekly meetings last 2 hours. This book circle will meet on Mondays from 6-8pm PT; it begins on October 4th and will run for 9 weeks.

Suggested donations to support the work of The Resource Center for Nonviolence is $25 per person, or more for those wishing to grant space to others. Any donation amount is accepted and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

After you register and as our circle start date nears, your co-facilitators will reach out with more details. We look forward to having this journey together.

Questions? Email muna@rcnv.org

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