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Lessons for Kwanzaa from Pyramid of Peace

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Hi from Chicago. I m going to have a booth at the Malcolm X celebration of Kwanzaa, which is an African American cultural celebration that takes place from
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 17, 2010
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      Hi from Chicago. I'm going to have a booth at the Malcolm X celebration
      of Kwanzaa, which is an African American cultural celebration that takes
      place from December 26th to January 1st.
      http://karnakwellnessinstitute.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80&Itemid=105

      Perhaps you'd like to add your thoughts and your creativity to my project?

      As an artist, I'm going to depict the lessons I and others learned from
      our stories of the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in Kenya in 2008.
      Recently, accusations were made in the International Criminal Court
      against six men suspected of fueling ethnic violence.
      http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/132101160/ICC-Case-Accuses-6-Kenyan-Leaders-Of-Violence

      I and others understood at the time that somebody was deliberately
      fostering the violence and we responded to good effect. I will tell my
      story.

      As I tell my story, I will focus on *how* I and others learned and grew
      and shared. I will also highlight our values at play, notably, our
      deepest values in life. I will be drawing people's portraits and
      depicting their values and showing how they might imagine themselves in
      our story. I will draw human figures with which I can also describe the
      events so we can discuss them. I will make photos and videos and that
      will help tell the story.

      Kwanzaa celebrates seven basic values of African culture:
      * Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family,
      community, nation, and race.
      * Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name
      ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
      * Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our
      community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our
      problems, and to solve them together.
      * Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores,
      shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
      * Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and
      developing of our community in order to restore our people to their
      traditional greatness.
      * Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we
      can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than
      we inherited it.
      * Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our
      parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of
      our struggle.
      the above is taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa see
      also: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org

      I'm going to focus on the values that we exhibited and note how
      Kwanzaa's values came into play, rather than the other way around. I've
      collected answers from hundreds of people about their deepest values in
      life, and I'd like for people who come to think about their own and see
      how theirs fit in among others, like stars in the sky, each seeing the
      whole sky from their own vantage point. Kwanzaa is a new celebration
      that I imagine is still finding its way. We lived through a profound
      victory in Africa that inspires reflection on values.

      In particular, I will note how the lessons I learned about engaging the
      violent in the South Side of Chicago were key for our success in Kenya.

      Monday, I will speak with organizer Jessica Holloway about my ideas. We
      already discussed that I might lead video bridges with Pyramid of Peace
      participants in Kenya and around the world. I also think there might be
      broader interest that could lead to support for a Kickstarter project
      that I might organize to document our stories, and ultimately, to apply
      our experience in new challenges.

      What lessons have we learned, large and small, thinking back? What
      stories would we like to tell? Who would we like to hear from? What
      creativity might we contribute to express our stories? I will tell my
      story, and certainly, I hope you might tell yours, likewise, in the
      Public Domain, for all to share creatively.

      I'm glad to hear from us!

      Andrius

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      ms@...
      (773) 306-3807
      http://www.gospelmath.com
    • Samwel Kongere
      Ok thanks Andrius & All, The lessons for Kwanzaa from pyramid of peace! Good, we were sitting down with Ken Owino at one time in one city slum in Nairobi and
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 19, 2010
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        Ok thanks Andrius & All,
        The lessons for Kwanzaa from pyramid of peace! Good, we were sitting down with Ken Owino at one time in one city slum in Nairobi and decided to have a pyramid of people which changed abruptly to "pyramid of peace" at envergence of election violence in Kenya 2008. Our values at MS Lab had the purpose and goal for peace, start by making a list of all the goals that values upheld. The list doesn't have to be in any particular order, but it is sometimes helpful to put them down in logical in logical groups. The result will be a very long list of goals like values the pyramid of peace project we underwent unrecognized. And there is nothing more frutrating or discrouging than to presend a long of items and being asked to rank them in values, say one through hundred! The mind can't hold all the information.
        Besides, you are comparing each item with the other 99, and as soon as you identified one goal as number one value (motivation through sacrifice), it automatically means that all the rest are less than one. And life doesn't work that way, does it? Motivation and Personality.
        Therefore: there is no reason why we have one value that will make our top priority. We are more likely to have a number of goals/goals, all of which we consider 'number one'.
        There is 'must do' or very high value, 'should do' or medium value, 'can do' or low value.
        Ok Andrius, i wish you well in the Kwanzaa Lessons for bringing the pyramid of peace to another limelight and audience" can we, make 'pyramid of peace trust' international?
        Samwel.

        On Sat Dec 18th, 2010 7:31 AM Etc/GMT+12 Janet Feldman wrote:

        >Dear Andrius and All,
        >
        >Wonderful to hear from you, and what a fantastic and meaningful way to approach both Kwanzaa and our Pyramid of Peace project. There are some important and timely linkages that can be made between them, in particular reinforcing personal and communal values that can be found in Africa, the African Diaspora--and descendents thereof--and around the world.
        >
        >There are many artists who have responded creatively to what happened in Kenya in 2008, and this project will help to carry on that legacy. In fact, there is an article on the ActALIVE website that I wrote on that subject, called "Rising from the Ashes: Kenyan Artists and Peace Activists Re-Create Community from Conflict," which was a feature story in the arts and development journal, "artishake", Issue #8. If you click onto the "Art4Development" page of our site, and follow the link at the bottom of the page, the full article is also there.
        >
        >I hope that many of us will contribute creativity and thoughtful spirit to your own project. Engaging people via expression of their deepest values is marvelous, and can show the universality of hopes, fears, love, anger, and so much more that motivates and informs human behavior. I'm sure that specific connections can be made between Kenya and the south side of Chicago, both in terms of how violence comes about, and how it can be ameliorated if not transformed.
        >
        >There is also a terrific project that is building bridges between Brooklyn, USA and Kenya: called Brookenya, it is another example of how the local can become the global, and vice versa, especially via creativity. See http://www.brookenya.org I know the creators-organizers, if anyone is interested in being in touch with them.
        >
        >On the Kickstarter note, a recent film on HIV/AIDS, men, and condoms--about which I posted to Holistic Helping--was helped by the Kickstarter project. A $10,000 amount was raised to translate the film into another African language (it is already in several African languages), so that several million more people can more easily understand the messages of the film. Kickstarter is a great facilitator, and I hope you and we will be able to utilize it accordingly.
        >
        >Peace and conflict are still very present in the Kenyan context (as they are worldwide) as issues, and what happened in 2008 might still occur again. This is why the peace-related efforts of individuals and entities remain so imperative, and lessons from the past are so important to (re-)learn and apply to the current time.
        >
        >With blessings and happiest holidays to all, and a fervent hope that there will truly be peace on earth, as well as goodwill to all wo/men. Love and greatest appreciation, Janet
        >
        >-----Original Message-----
        >>From: Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...>
        >>Sent: Dec 18, 2010 1:59 AM
        >>To: livingbytruth@yahoogroups.com, mendenyo@yahoogroups.com, help group <holistichelping@yahoogroups.com>, learningfromeachother <learningfromeachother@yahoogroups.com>
        >>Cc: jholloway@...
        >>Subject: [holistichelping] Lessons for Kwanzaa from Pyramid of Peace
        >>
        >>Hi from Chicago. I'm going to have a booth at the Malcolm X celebration
        >>of Kwanzaa, which is an African American cultural celebration that takes
        >>place from December 26th to January 1st.
        >>http://karnakwellnessinstitute.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80&Itemid=105
        >>
        >>Perhaps you'd like to add your thoughts and your creativity to my project?
        >>
        >>As an artist, I'm going to depict the lessons I and others learned from
        >>our stories of the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in Kenya in 2008.
        >>Recently, accusations were made in the International Criminal Court
        >>against six men suspected of fueling ethnic violence.
        >>http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/132101160/ICC-Case-Accuses-6-Kenyan-Leaders-Of-Violence
        >>
        >>I and others understood at the time that somebody was deliberately
        >>fostering the violence and we responded to good effect. I will tell my
        >>story.
        >>
        >>As I tell my story, I will focus on *how* I and others learned and grew
        >>and shared. I will also highlight our values at play, notably, our
        >>deepest values in life. I will be drawing people's portraits and
        >>depicting their values and showing how they might imagine themselves in
        >>our story. I will draw human figures with which I can also describe the
        >>events so we can discuss them. I will make photos and videos and that
        >>will help tell the story.
        >>
        >>Kwanzaa celebrates seven basic values of African culture:
        >>* Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family,
        >>community, nation, and race.
        >>* Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name
        >>ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
        >>* Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our
        >>community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our
        >>problems, and to solve them together.
        >>* Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores,
        >>shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
        >>* Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and
        >>developing of our community in order to restore our people to their
        >>traditional greatness.
        >>* Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we
        >>can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than
        >>we inherited it.
        >>* Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our
        >>parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of
        >>our struggle.
        >>the above is taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa see
        >>also: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org
        >>
        >>I'm going to focus on the values that we exhibited and note how
        >>Kwanzaa's values came into play, rather than the other way around. I've
        >>collected answers from hundreds of people about their deepest values in
        >>life, and I'd like for people who come to think about their own and see
        >>how theirs fit in among others, like stars in the sky, each seeing the
        >>whole sky from their own vantage point. Kwanzaa is a new celebration
        >>that I imagine is still finding its way. We lived through a profound
        >>victory in Africa that inspires reflection on values.
        >>
        >>In particular, I will note how the lessons I learned about engaging the
        >>violent in the South Side of Chicago were key for our success in Kenya.
        >>
        >>Monday, I will speak with organizer Jessica Holloway about my ideas. We
        >>already discussed that I might lead video bridges with Pyramid of Peace
        >>participants in Kenya and around the world. I also think there might be
        >>broader interest that could lead to support for a Kickstarter project
        >>that I might organize to document our stories, and ultimately, to apply
        >>our experience in new challenges.
        >>
        >>What lessons have we learned, large and small, thinking back? What
        >>stories would we like to tell? Who would we like to hear from? What
        >>creativity might we contribute to express our stories? I will tell my
        >>story, and certainly, I hope you might tell yours, likewise, in the
        >>Public Domain, for all to share creatively.
        >>
        >>I'm glad to hear from us!
        >>
        >>Andrius
        >>
        >>Andrius Kulikauskas
        >>ms@...
        >>(773) 306-3807
        >>http://www.gospelmath.com
        >>
        >>
        >>------------------------------------
        >>
        >>http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?HolisticHelping
        >>
        >>Please note our rule: Each letter sent to the Holistic Helping group enters the PUBLIC DOMAIN unless it explicitly states otherwise. Thank you! http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org
        >>
        >>Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
      • Andrius Kulikauskas
        Janet Feldman, Pamela McLean, Samwel Kongere, Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my project for the African-American cultural holiday Kwanzaa to
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 27, 2010
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          Janet Feldman, Pamela McLean, Samwel Kongere,

          Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my project for the
          African-American cultural holiday Kwanzaa to present and consider what
          we learned with the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in 2008 in Kenya.

          I did get a booth (for $350) at the Kwanzaa festival at the Malcolm X
          community college. The festival is seven days long; tomorrow will be
          the third day. It's quite pleasant in that the booth holders around me
          have become friendly, even though I am unusual here as a "pale-skinned"
          person, as my friend David Ellison-Bey would say. They enjoy my art.
          So far I drew about sixteen portraits, letting people take photos of the
          portraits for free, and buy the originals if they like. In this way, I
          sold two originals for a total of $16. So it's not promising as a way
          to make a living, at least not of itself.

          I'm taking the opportunity to create a larger project. One direction is
          to depict people's deepest values as "superheroes" so that children and
          others might better identify with them. I can create "playing cards"
          and also make spaces where I can draw in people's faces, or they can put
          in a photo of their face, thus taking them up personally. I have a
          printer and a camera with me. I hope to complete some such project by
          the end of the festival so that something useful comes out of it.

          I was thinking of painting a backdrop that represented a crosssection of
          Kenya from Lake Victoria to the Rift Valley to Nakuru, Naivasha and
          Nairobi, with lakes, villages, roads, farmland and slums, where I could
          talk about various episodes we went through, perhaps also connecting
          with cyberspace and episodes in the South Side of Chicago where I gained
          practice in nonviolent engagement. But I didn't have much time to
          prepare and the Pyramid of Peace doesn't seem too relevant for me right
          now. What's relevant for me is what I'm going to do with my own life,
          how will I apply myself to note and share the ways of figuring things
          out as the basis for a culture of truth, the kingdom of heaven, how will
          I work with God, and how will I make a living in this world? I intend
          to explore these questions with drawings and words and engage others to
          think alongside me about their own lives. Perhaps you online might like
          to also.

          This year I stopped my efforts as a social networker and got a job as a
          tutor to regroup, start repaying my loans ($130,000) and think through
          what I might do in the long run so that I might work from the Lithuanian
          countryside, support a family, but also apply my thinking to organize
          the kingdom of heaven. This fall, however, I stopped getting more
          students from my employer because I think and say that it's
          counterproductive for parents and students to focus on homework and
          tests. I need to find another way to make a living, which for me is
          hard, because I've grown very skeptical that there is honest work, at
          least any kind that would allow me to earn $4,000 a month so that I
          might make my loan payments and pay off my loans.

          Meanwhile, God keeps telling me to do what's relevant for him, which is
          applying my many creative talents to express and share the hundreds of
          ways of figuring things out that I've noted this summer and fall in
          Lithuanian. A nice example is my Christmas card "Do you recognize
          Jesus?" which I made of portraits that I drew
          http://www.gospelmath.com/upload/DoYouRecognizeJesusNew.png
          It illustrates one way of figuring things out, which is listening to a
          person as if God were speaking through them. I'd like to do hundreds of
          such projects. This one was also a rather successful fundraiser for my
          church choir, as 14 people donated $25 each for me to draw and include them.

          I don't know if God is going to lead me to bankruptcy and even
          homelessness, which would not be so bad if I could make sense of it. So
          I'm going to think through and make explicit the logic of my principles
          and also engage God more so that I understand what might he want.

          Today I purchased a book "Gamestorming" by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and
          James Macanufo. http://www.gogamestorm.com It's relevant for me because
          games, I think, are the ideal form for communicating the ways of
          figuring things out. They focus on games that unleash business
          innovation in collaborative settings, whereas my own ways are generally
          activities that I do on my own.

          I look forward to sharing my thoughts as I develop them. I welcome your
          letters likewise.

          Andrius

          Andrius Kulikauskas
          +1 (773) 306-3807
          ms@...
          http://www.gospelmath.com

          ---------------------------


          Dear Andrius and All,

          Wonderful to hear from you, and what a fantastic and meaningful way to
          approach both Kwanzaa and our Pyramid of Peace project. There are some
          important and timely linkages that can be made between them, in
          particular reinforcing personal and communal values that can be found in
          Africa, the African Diaspora--and descendents thereof--and around the world.

          There are many artists who have responded creatively to what happened in
          Kenya in 2008, and this project will help to carry on that legacy. In
          fact, there is an article on the ActALIVE website that I wrote on that
          subject, called "Rising from the Ashes: Kenyan Artists and Peace
          Activists Re-Create Community from Conflict," which was a feature story
          in the arts and development journal, "artishake", Issue #8. If you click
          onto the "Art4Development" page of our site, and follow the link at the
          bottom of the page, the full article is also there.

          I hope that many of us will contribute creativity and thoughtful spirit
          to your own project. Engaging people via expression of their deepest
          values is marvelous, and can show the universality of hopes, fears,
          love, anger, and so much more that motivates and informs human behavior.
          I'm sure that specific connections can be made between Kenya and the
          south side of Chicago, both in terms of how violence comes about, and
          how it can be ameliorated if not transformed.

          There is also a terrific project that is building bridges between
          Brooklyn, USA and Kenya: called Brookenya, it is another example of how
          the local can become the global, and vice versa, especially via
          creativity. See http://www.brookenya.org I know the
          creators-organizers, if anyone is interested in being in touch with them.

          On the Kickstarter note, a recent film on HIV/AIDS, men, and
          condoms--about which I posted to Holistic Helping--was helped by the
          Kickstarter project. A $10,000 amount was raised to translate the film
          into another African language (it is already in several African
          languages), so that several million more people can more easily
          understand the messages of the film. Kickstarter is a great facilitator,
          and I hope you and we will be able to utilize it accordingly.

          Peace and conflict are still very present in the Kenyan context (as they
          are worldwide) as issues, and what happened in 2008 might still occur
          again. This is why the peace-related efforts of individuals and entities
          remain so imperative, and lessons from the past are so important to
          (re-)learn and apply to the current time.

          With blessings and happiest holidays to all, and a fervent hope that
          there will truly be peace on earth, as well as goodwill to all wo/men.
          Love and greatest appreciation, Janet

          ------------------------

          Hi Andrius

          I wish you well at the celebration of Kwanzaa, sharing lessons from
          Pyramid of Peace. I have copied your letter below.

          I agree that Pyramid of Peace (PoP) was a wonderful initiative - both
          for what it did and for how it did it. The archive (of all the emails
          and the chats and the fund transfers) is outstanding. There are so many
          lessons to be learned from it - and relevant to so many different
          disciplines.

          Academics and "us"

          I think PoP should be a topic for serious academic research (and I
          believe that the value of its archive will be recognised at some future
          point). There are so many lessons to learn from it. However I seriously
          wonder how long it will be before the academic community sees the
          research potential of PoP (and other on the ground initiatives).

          I was at ICTD2010 last week - with a personal agenda of "better links
          between academics and practitioners". There were interesting discussions
          there about collaboration - but it seemed that the practitioners were
          reaching out to academics far more than the other way around. I am
          learning lessons about this and increasingly recognise that even if
          academics do wish to engage with practitioners the systemic barriers
          preventing them from so doing are considerable.

          Funding mechanisms

          I re-learned what I already knew - that academics, like many others,
          are trapped by funding mechanisms that - from my view point - are
          archaic and which reward people for answering "the wrong kind of
          questions" and measuring "the wrong outcomes" - far too much support for
          "Hooray for my thingy" type of work (ICTD2010 - Research needs from a
          developing world perspective and ICTD2010- Let's Bridge Those Divides
          by Pamela McLean and Dadamac - the Internet-enabled alternative to
          top-down development )

          By the way - the "funding mismatch" is why, at an early point I
          abandoned my own attempts to get any formal direct funding. I decided it
          would be less frustrating if I just plodded on with no funding but
          plenty of freedom. Obviously if I saw a funding opportunity for what I
          do I would take it - but I am not wasting time trying to sqeeze myself
          into funding strait-jackets that don't even come close to fitting. I
          stayed with the balancing act of minimising my paid work (and my related
          discretionary income) in order to maximise the discretionary time I had
          available to spend on my "information-related activities - learning by
          doing and discussing with others". (I didn't do it as extremely as you
          did. I was more financially cautious in the continuing attention I gave
          to a certain minimum of paid work.) Regarding funding I didn't want to
          waste time chasing money to do things that would be fixed in advance in
          some tick list that never really reflected what I was trying to do anyhow.

          Of course we need money, and it is frustrating to see it go on things
          that we don't value, especially when it goes on things that seem to us
          to be a complete waste of financial resources (and a waste of brain
          power too in the case of academia) - but until those with money start to
          see value in our wealth of information there is little we can do - other
          than to live as best we can in the two parallel societies:

          * the information and knowledge one (where we continue to get
          richer and richer in information and knowledge)
          * the material one - where we need to engage in ways that at least
          cover our essential material needs

          Peer groups

          I also understood, before ICTD2010, that academics seem trapped in a
          system which is heavily reliant on "academics impressing each other" -
          publishing in peer reviewed journals, writing in each others books,
          going to each others conferences, getting more and more visible in the
          academic world.

          To a visitor like me, the academic world seems a weird mixture of
          co-operation (creating and sharing knowledge) and competition (competing
          for funding and for personal career advancement). I don't really
          understand it.

          I do know that in "my world" - learning online, in a self directed way,
          it is a world of sharing openly (to the nth degree in your case:
          including very personal hopes and circumstances, more cautiously in my
          own, sharing knowledge and my learning journey). We do not have
          peer-review where information is only shared if our "peers" agree that
          our information is "worthy of publication" (although we do have some
          moderation, to keep out spammers and other 'inappropriate content").

          Instead of filtering through peer review we share our information freely
          in online spaces where it costs nothing to share information - and (I
          would suggest) our "peers" are the people who have an interest that
          overlaps our own. If "our peers" value what we write then they will read
          it, and share it, and comment on it. If they don't then it will fade
          away. It may be that sometimes we are only writing to ourselves. That is
          okay too, if by making the effort to put something in writing we learn
          something that we did not know before.

          As a learner, interested in exploring new "socio-tech" knowledge and
          insights, I loved the freedom of Minciu Sodas as a place to learn. I
          think that, for me, the greatest value of Minciu Sodas was the fact that
          I was encouraged to "think aloud" - without having to frame carefully
          what I was going to say beforehand, and without having to find someone
          else's discussion group that (more or less) overlapped some portion of
          my own interests and concerns. My peer group was simply people who
          wanted to exchange information with me. (At some point Andrius I would
          like to explore the overlaps between our past shared work in Minciu
          Sodas, and your developing work now, and my present and future work in
          Dadamac.)

          Separate disciplines

          I now discover (through the ICTD2010 keynote on Wednesday morning) that
          it is difficult for academics to co-operate with each other, if they are
          in different disciplines - never mind trying to connect with people
          outside who have practical overlapping interests. It seems that people
          in one discipline write to one kind of journal, and people in another
          discipline write to another kind of journal, and so on, and that
          somehow, "never the twain shall meet". If that is so, then it is not
          surprising that there seems to be little connection between ICTD -
          research and ICT - real-life, except through a few exceptional individuals.

          Quoting and answering Andrius

          Andrius' email (copied in full below) ended "What lessons have we
          learned, large and small, thinking back? What stories would we like to
          tell? Who would we like to hear from? What creativity might we
          contribute to express our stories? I will tell my story, and certainly,
          I hope you might tell yours, likewise, in the Public Domain, for all to
          share creatively.

          I'm glad to hear from us!"

          Sorry I have not really addressed your questions Andrius - I just
          responded to the "glad to hear from us".

          You may also be glad to know, regarding openness, that session 4108 at
          ICTD2010, organised by Laurent Elder of IDRC-CDRI was on "Open
          Development" - they are moving away from ICTD programmes to Open
          Development programmes. See www.idrc.ca/en/ev-131099-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html
          and www.idrc.ca/en-133699-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html. So maybe things are
          starting to move in a direction where there will be more overlap between
          researchers and open practitioners. They were talking about trying to
          get people to make "open" the default rather than the exception.

          Pamela

          Posted to Dadamac's Posterous by Pamela McLean email
          pamela.mclean@....

          For more about people or organisations named in my posts try -
          http://www.dadamac.net/network

          Dadamac - Integrating Education and Development in Africa and Online. We
          introduce people. We help them to work together or to learn from each
          other. How can we help you?

          Replies - Respond publicly by posting a comment on Dadamac's posterous
          or privately by emailing me
          Did you get this "open letter" sent to you as a personal email? If
          so.you may wonder what happens when you reply. If you "reply to all"
          including post@... then you will get a reply from posterous
          (inviting you to use posterous). Your reply will only appear on
          posterous if you also post it as a comment.
          Privacy and Openness - I only share my own emails on posterous (or ones
          I have been given permission to share). I often post my own emails as
          open letters, for future reference or general interest.
          Your email address - Even if I post to you and to posterous at the same
          time, your email address will not show on posterous.

          Twitter - http://twitter.com/pamela_mclean and #dadamac Website -
          http://www.dadamac.net

          ------------------------

          Ok thanks Andrius & All,
          The lessons for Kwanzaa from pyramid of peace! Good, we were sitting
          down with Ken Owino at one time in one city slum in Nairobi and decided
          to have a pyramid of people which changed abruptly to "pyramid of peace"
          at envergence of election violence in Kenya 2008. Our values at MS Lab
          had the purpose and goal for peace, start by making a list of all the
          goals that values upheld. The list doesn't have to be in any particular
          order, but it is sometimes helpful to put them down in logical in
          logical groups. The result will be a very long list of goals like values
          the pyramid of peace project we underwent unrecognized. And there is
          nothing more frutrating or discrouging than to presend a long of items
          and being asked to rank them in values, say one through hundred! The
          mind can't hold all the information.
          Besides, you are comparing each item with the other 99, and as soon as
          you identified one goal as number one value (motivation through
          sacrifice), it automatically means that all the rest are less than one.
          And life doesn't work that way, does it? Motivation and Personality.
          Therefore: there is no reason why we have one value that will make our
          top priority. We are more likely to have a number of goals/goals, all of
          which we consider 'number one'.
          There is 'must do' or very high value, 'should do' or medium value, 'can
          do' or low value.
          Ok Andrius, i wish you well in the Kwanzaa Lessons for bringing the
          pyramid of peace to another limelight and audience" can we, make
          'pyramid of peace trust' international?
          Samwel.

          ------------------

          Hi from Chicago. I'm going to have a booth at the Malcolm X celebration
          of Kwanzaa, which is an African American cultural celebration that takes
          place from December 26th to January 1st.
          http://karnakwellnessinstitute.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80&Itemid=105

          Perhaps you'd like to add your thoughts and your creativity to my project?

          As an artist, I'm going to depict the lessons I and others learned from
          our stories of the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in Kenya in 2008.
          Recently, accusations were made in the International Criminal Court
          against six men suspected of fueling ethnic violence.
          http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/132101160/ICC-Case-Accuses-6-Kenyan-Leaders-Of-Violence


          I and others understood at the time that somebody was deliberately
          fostering the violence and we responded to good effect. I will tell my
          story.

          As I tell my story, I will focus on *how* I and others learned and grew
          and shared. I will also highlight our values at play, notably, our
          deepest values in life. I will be drawing people's portraits and
          depicting their values and showing how they might imagine themselves in
          our story. I will draw human figures with which I can also describe the
          events so we can discuss them. I will make photos and videos and that
          will help tell the story.

          Kwanzaa celebrates seven basic values of African culture:
          * Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family,
          community, nation, and race.
          * Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name
          ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
          * Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our
          community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our
          problems, and to solve them together.
          * Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores,
          shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
          * Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and
          developing of our community in order to restore our people to their
          traditional greatness.
          * Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we
          can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than
          we inherited it.
          * Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our
          parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of
          our struggle.
          the above is taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa see
          also: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org

          I'm going to focus on the values that we exhibited and note how
          Kwanzaa's values came into play, rather than the other way around. I've
          collected answers from hundreds of people about their deepest values in
          life, and I'd like for people who come to think about their own and see
          how theirs fit in among others, like stars in the sky, each seeing the
          whole sky from their own vantage point. Kwanzaa is a new celebration
          that I imagine is still finding its way. We lived through a profound
          victory in Africa that inspires reflection on values.

          In particular, I will note how the lessons I learned about engaging the
          violent in the South Side of Chicago were key for our success in Kenya.

          Monday, I will speak with organizer Jessica Holloway about my ideas. We
          already discussed that I might lead video bridges with Pyramid of Peace
          participants in Kenya and around the world. I also think there might be
          broader interest that could lead to support for a Kickstarter project
          that I might organize to document our stories, and ultimately, to apply
          our experience in new challenges.

          What lessons have we learned, large and small, thinking back? What
          stories would we like to tell? Who would we like to hear from? What
          creativity might we contribute to express our stories? I will tell my
          story, and certainly, I hope you might tell yours, likewise, in the
          Public Domain, for all to share creatively.

          I'm glad to hear from us!

          Andrius

          Andrius Kulikauskas
          ms@...
          (773) 306-3807
          http://www.gospelmath.com
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