brad’s sketch fever

sibelius-colorIf we understood the world we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances.  — Jean Sibelius

ruby-dee The greatest gift is not to be afraid to question.  — Ruby Dee

martti-ahtisaari The mediator’s role combines those of a ship’s pilot, consulting medical doctor, midwife and teacher.  — Martti Ahtisaari

eco For every complex problem, there’s a simple solution, and it’s wrong.  — Umberto Eco (also attributed to H.L. Mencken)

patton-oswalt-yello When you spot violence or bigotry or intolerance think “the good outnumber you, and we always will. — Patton Oswalt

ornette-coleman Human existsance exists on a multiple level, not just on a two-dimensional level, not just being identified with what you do and say.  — Ornette Coleman

george-bernard-shawThe single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it took place. — George Bernard Shaw

voltaire The ear is the avenue to the heart. — Voltaire

daniel-johnston To understand and to be understood is to be free.   — Daniel Johnston

desmond-tutu If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. — Desmond Tutu  (Also attributed to Moshe Dayan and others!)

philip-k-dick The true measure of a man is this: how quickly he can respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.  — Philip K. Dick

borges Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.  — Jorge Luis Borges

 

Get to know a peace partner — Ana Espada, Advocates for Children!

Folks, we’re so lucky to work with amazing organizations, advocates and partners in our mission to build peace in New York City and beyond. This is the first article in a series profiling our wonderful peace partners, written by our very own Emily Sernaker, Development and Outreach Officer.ana-soloA Special Thank You to Advocates for Children’s Ana Espada

By Emily Sernaker

Today we honor Ana Espada, an incredible education advocate! Ana has been providing specialized support and resources to children with disabilities and disciplinary issues since 1988. As a Co-Director and Parent Information Specialist at Advocates for Children, Ana changes students’ lives by helping them address educational challenges.

Advocates for Children’s mission is to protect every child’s right to education. The organization focuses on students from low-income backgrounds who are struggling in school or experiencing school discrimination. When a disciplinary issue emerges or a student with a disability is struggling, parents can reach out to the organization’s hotline for help. From there a specialist, like Ana, meets with the family to advocate for the child and develop a plan.

“Suspensions can mount up,” says Ana. “If you have a kid who keeps getting suspended again and again, you’re not going to see him in science and math… he’s going to fail those classes.” Ana also noted that students with disabilities are often overwhelmed with academic challenges.

In many cases, Ana recommends mediation through New York Peace Institute. New York Peace Institute’s Special Education Mediation Program creates a safe and neutral space to bring parents and educators together to make a plan to get the student back on track.

“Mediation can make a difference,” says Carol Himes, the New York Peace Institute Special Education Coordinator. “Parents and schools meet with the support of a neutral mediator and create a mutually agreeable plan for the student. Mediation can also help parents and schools repair their relationship.”

Mediations are often highly charged. Parents and schools may feel frustrated and the problem in play can be difficult to address. The first session is usually sufficient, but at times it serves as a starting place. Ana appreciates that sometimes the parties benefit from attending multiple mediation sessions, noting that rebuilding trust can take time. Interim agreements can be helpful in allowing the parties to try out potential solutions and to adjust them accordingly.

“I work with New York Peace Institute because they believe in what they’re doing and the process is effective,” says Ana. About 80% of the cases mediated end up reaching an agreement, which is legally binding.

Ana often follows the progress of her clients. She recently shared an email update from a parent regarding one of the students for whom a mediation was conducted. “Thanks again for encouraging me to still pursue my concerns in the mediation,” the parent said. “Now my child and I won’t have to stress about what will happen at the end of the school year.”

the grateful eight.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!web-duboisWhat a world this will be when human possibilities are freed, when we discover each other, when the stranger is no longer the potential criminal and the certain inferior. — W.E.B. DuBois

laverne-coxEvery one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor. I want to everyone of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and for each other.  — Laverne Cox

piper-kerman-color If I could forgive, it meant I was a strong good person who could take responsibility for the path I had chosen for myself. — Piper Kerman

mark-ruffalo-color You’re unbeatable when you have love on your side. –Mark Ruffalo

ava-duvernay-color Nonviolence is pretty ballsy, pretty advanced weaponry.  — Ava DuVernay

madeleine-lengle To be alive is to be vulnerable.  — Madeleine L’Engle

thurgood-marshallIn recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. –Thurgood Marshall

aparna-nancherlaThe only thing ruder than finger pointing is rocket pointing. — Aparna Nancherla

50 shades of black and white.

dh-lawrence-yello-copy Anger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is not just. — D.H. Lawrence

eubie-blake-yello Be grateful for the luck, pay the thunder no mind — listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody.  — Eubie Blake

henry-james-copy Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. — Henry James

sherman-copy We’re all products of what we want to project to the world. — Cindy Sherman

kareem-bw One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team. But one man cannot make a team. — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

virginia-woolf-bw You cannot find peace by avoiding life. — Virginia Woolf

woody-yello-copy Gonna get through this world the best I can.  — Woody Guthrie

octavia-butler-yello Kindness eases change. Love quiets fear. — Octavia Butler

yogi-berra-bw It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking. — Yogi Berra

tawakkol-karman-yello In our hearts we are just human beings who want a dignified life. Is that too much to ask? –Tawakkol Karman

iggy-pop-copy Curious is a good thing to be. It seems to pay off some unexpected dividends. — Iggy Pop

shirley-chisholm-bw Service is the rent you pay for room on this earth. — Shirley Chisholm

bill-murray-yello-copy The last time doesn’t exist. It’s only this time. And everything is going to be different this time. There’s only now.  — Bill Murray

keith-haring-yello Don’t understand anything. That is, I think, the key to understanding everything. — Keith Haring

yoko-yello Sadness and anger can make you feel more creative, and by being creative, you can get beyond your pain and negativity. — Yoko Ono

tim-gunn-yello Life is not a solo act. It is a huge collaboration. — Tim Gunn

louis-armstrong-yello I don’t let my mouth say anything that my head can’t stand. — Louis Armstrong

leon-russel-bw Goodbye sorrow, hello tomorrow.  — Leon Russell (RIP.)

gwen-ifill-yello Changes comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. — Gwen Ifill (RIP.)

reggie-watts-copy When in doubt, zoom out.  — Reggie Watts

john-steinbeck-yello All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal. — John Steinbeck

billie-jean-king-yello It’s just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let’s start tolerating first, but thne we need to celebrate our differences.  — Billie Jean King

kathleen-hanna-copy Think of something you can do, as opposed to all the things you can’t — and do that.  — Kathleen Hanna

coetzee-yello We are not by nature cruel. — J.M. Coetzee

carl-sagan-yello Understaning is joyous. — Carl Sagan

rza-yello It’s harder to make the glass than break the glass.  — RZA

mother-teresa-copy Peace begins with a smile.  — Mother Teresa

quentin-crisp-bw wynton-copy A musican’s whole life is to listen.  — Wynton Marsalis

malcolm-bw There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. — Malcolm X

isabel-allende-copy We don’t know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome. — Isabel Allende

rupaul-yello None of the supericial things that this world deems important. The real you is the energy force that created the universe. — RuPaul

marc-maron-yelloAccept that you’re fragile, vulnerable and sometimes stupid. — Marc Maron

cohen-yelloAct the way you’d like to be seen and soon you’ll be the way you act. — Leonard Cohen

sketching the truth.

octavia-butler-color Kindness eases change. Love quiets fear. — Octavia Butler

cohen-color Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.  — Leonard Cohen

wynton A musician’s whole life is to listen. — Wynton Marsalis

isabel-allendeWe don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome. — Isabel Allende

marc-maron-yellowAccept that you;re fragile, vulnerable and sometimes stupid. — Mark Maron

woody-colorGonna get through this world the best I can.  — Woody Guthrie

kathleen-hannaThink of something that you can do as opposed to all the things you can’t do – and do that.  — Kathleen Hanna

iggy-popCurious is a good thing to be, it seems to pay some unexpected dividends. — Iggy Pop

dh-lawrence-yelloAnger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is never just.  — D.H. Lawrence

leon-russellGoodbye sorrow, hello tomorrow. — Leon Russell (RIP…)

yoko-colorSadness and anger can make you feel more creative, and by being creative, you can get beyond your pain or negativity. — Yoko Ono

eubie-blake-colorBe grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody. — Eubie Blake

gwen-ifillChange comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. — Gwen Ifill

there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

We lost singer-songwriter-poet-artist-novelist Leonard Cohen, one of my personal heroes and the mentor I never met. Here’s my little tribute.

leonard-cohen There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

cohen-color Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.

leonard-love Love is the only engine of survival.

cohen-yesterday-colorHow can I begin anything with all of yesterday in me?

cohen-trainingBTW, I’m training mediators in New Orleans this week, and Mr. Cohen was my co-trainer.

 

we can sketch it out.

malcolm-yelloThere is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. — Malcolm X

leonard-cohen There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. — Leonard Cohen

tawakkol-karman In our hearts, we are just human beings who want a dignified life. Is that too much to ask? -Tawakkol Karman

bill-murray-yello The last time doesn’t exist. It’s only this time. And everything is going to be different this tie. There’s only now.  — Bill Murray

coetzee We are not by nature cruel. — J.M. Coetzee

mother-teresa Peace begins with a smile. — Mother Teresa

tim-gunn Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration.  — Tim Gunn

shermanWe are all products of what we want to project to the world. — Cindy Sherman

henry-jamesThree things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. — Henry James