Julien Oomen is a Dutch/French, Amsterdam-based musician who draws inspiration from spiritual ceremonies and personal stories with their trapdoor to the universal. Julien is currently working on a long cherished project: For the first time he will be releasing an album with songs in the French language only. The album is a collaboration with his mother Marinette Oomen-Myin, who wrote the lyrics. Most of the songs have a double perspective throughout time, as Julien asked his mother to write new extra parts to poems she wrote when she was 20-22 years old. The album thus encompasses a time span of more than half a century.
Jerry Tello has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Latina and Lowrider magazines and has received many major awards including: the Maria Shriver’s Annual Advocate for Change award; the White House Champions of Change award; the Presidential Crime Victims Service award, presented by President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno; two California Governor’s Awards and the Ambassador of Peace Award presented by Rotary international.
Jerry is considered an international expert in the areas of trauma, healing, men and boys of color, fatherhood, family strengthening, racial justice, racial healing, community peace and mobilization and culturally based violence prevention and intervention issues.
He is co-founder of the National Compadres Network. He has authored numerous articles, videos and curricula addressing the issues of Fatherhood, Male “Rites of Passage,” relationship and gang violence prevention, racial justice, teen fatherhood, pregnancy prevention, family strengthening, fatherhood literacy and community peace.
Jerry is the author of “A Fathers Love”, a series of children’s books, co-editor of Family Violence and Men of Color, a series of motivational health and healing CD’s and author of the recently released award winning book “Recovering Your Sacredness.”
Jerry is from a family of Mexican, Texan and (Koa-wilt-con) roots and raised in the south central, Compton areas of Los Angeles.
Robert Jensen is an emeritus professor in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin and a founding board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. He collaborates with the Ecosphere Studies program at The Land Institute, and with New Perennials Publishing and the New Perennials Project at Middlebury College. Jensen joined the UT faculty in 1992 after completing his Ph.D. in media ethics and law in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a professional journalist for a decade. At UT, Jensen taught undergraduate and graduate courses in media law, ethics, and politics until he retired in 2018. In his writing and teaching, Jensen draws on a variety of critical approaches to media and power. Much of his work has analyzed pornography and the radical feminist critique of sexuality and men’s violence, and he also has addressed questions of race through a critique of white privilege and institutionalized racism. Jensen’s recent work has focused on the ecological crises. Jensen writes for popular media, both alternative and mainstream. His opinion and analytic pieces on such subjects as foreign policy, politics, economics, and ecology have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and websites all over the world. – Continued…
As an author of more than thirty books, Gudjon Bergmann has been sharing his knowledge of writing and self-publishing since 2009. He offers his coaching clients a no-nonsense, affordable, systematic approach that creates results. His services include: Individual coaching, group coaching, workshops, content editing, typesetting, cover design, and more. For a no-obligation free 30-minute assessment, book your appointment through Calendly. For email inquiries, click here. Gudjon is an Icelandic-American author of more than thirty books and an ordained interfaith minister. Since 1996, Bergmann has combined his passion for spirituality and religion with his deep interest in human psychology and decades of experience as a workshop facilitator, and professional speaker.
Recently, a friend was telling me about his experience leading a team of woofers, an acronym taken from the term, Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms(WWOOF). These are people who are somewhat nomadic and travel across the state, country and the world working temporarily on organic farms. The pay consists basically of food, shelter and an environmentally friendly culture within which to work.
Because of the nature of the work and the adventurous nature of the woofers, turnover was naturally somewhat high. This, not because the work was hard, environment was bad or the leadership poor. In fact, it was quite the opposite, even though some of the tasks were harder than the others and required working outside and getting sweaty. This was more than offset by the beautiful setting, the organic meals and how the somewhat transient team was led by my friend.
Work had come to a pause for the season and the last of the woofers had just moved on. My friend expressed how relieved he was not to be leading the woofers for a few months. He loved each one who had come to work, but he recognized he had earned his time for retreat and renewal, and taking off the mantle of leadership for awhile felt good.
Having kept up with him over the past couple of years, I shared how impressed I was with his situational leadership abilities. To this, he gave me a quizzical look. Even though situational leadership was innate to him and he used it daily, he had not given the technique conscious thought in many years. This sparked me to go back to my notes from the 1980’s to review Paul Hersey’s and Ken Blanchard’s theory on Situational Leadership.
In short, Situational Leadership is based on the theory that the best leaders vary their leadership style to fit the competence and commitment of the person or team being led, and there are sound principles and techniques that are well worth considering. This video is an excellent introduction:
Ram Dass wrote a letter some years ago to a family who had lost their young daughter, Rachel. Although he wrote it to these two parents specifically, everything in this letter applies to anyone who has lost a child.
Dear Steve and Anita,
Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.
I can’t assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel’s legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.
Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.
Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts – if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space.