Classes, Public Speaking and Publications

FOUR PART PEACE SERIES

It is in times of challenge that God is closest to us, yet we paradoxically are most likely to cry out. Conversations about Peace is a four-part series designed and organized by Charlene Smith at St. Andrews church, Wellesley to encourage reflection and courage in speaking out and reaching out.

April 23: Truth and Reconciliation –Charlene Smith, authorized biographer of Nelson Mandela began the first investigations into South African government death squads at the behest of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Those investigations led to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Smith will take about death squad investigations, the release of Mandela, peace negotiations, the challenges around the TRC, sources of inspiration, and the gifts that came from it.
Recommended Reading: No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu
Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life by Charlene Smith

May 21 – Escaping the Massacre: From Refugee to Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysicist. Raid Suleiman, a teenage Palestinian, lived with his family in Shatila refugee camp when Lebanese militia massacre more than 800 people in sight of Israeli troops, a fact affirmed by an Israeli judicial inquiry. When Suleiman was given asylum in the United States he first worked as a dishwasher in New York. A Muslim scholar, he is an astrophysicist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Recommended Reading: Sabra and Shatila: September 1982 by Bayan Nuwayhed Al-Hout

October 29: Bonhoeffer and Christian Resistance - Clifford J. Green is a world-acclaimed expert on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a U.S.-trained, German Lutheran theologian who opposed the Nazi’s and was executed by them. Prof. Green was professor of theology and ethics and director of the public policy center at Hartford Seminary. A former parishioner at St. Andrews, Prof. Green edited The Bonhoeffer Reader with Michael P. De Jonge (2013).

November 19 – Speaker and topic to be confirmed.


Abstract and Color: Celebrating Life in New England Wellesley Main Library 530 Washington Street, Wellesley June 1 to July 31 https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org
Abstract and Color: Celebrating Life in New England
Wellesley Main Library
530 Washington Street,
Wellesley
June 1 to July 31
https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org

Abstract and Color: Celebrating Life in New England Wellesley Main Library 530 Washington Street, Wellesley June 1 to July 31 https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org
Abstract and Color: Celebrating Life in New England
Wellesley Main Library
530 Washington Street,
Wellesley
June 1 to July 31
https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org


Charlene Smith provides leadership training, editing, writing, writing classes, personal coaching, press releases, professional and business writing.

THE POWER OF ONE - MERCHANT TAYLOR SCHOOL, LONDON, SEPTEMBER 18 - 7PM
"Mandela’s cell on Robben Island was the colour of a jade sea under a stormy sky. It is little more than three paces wide and five long. Its high narrow window looks onto an exercise yard next to grape arbours, peach trees and flowers grown from pips and smuggled seeds. "Visiting the prison in 1998, Mandela gazed into the cell where he spent two decades and mused, ‘It seems so small now, but so big then’. And it was. He brought the universe into his cell: books, reflections on political debates, analyses of news broadcasts from smuggled radios, and snippets of news from contraband newspapers and journals.
Payment for smuggling was often made in diamonds – obtained by MK cadres from Angolan diggings or rivers – which were either given to warders or sold. ‘One warder now has a beautiful house on Signal Hill in Cape Town,’ reflected Mbeko Zwelakhe, a former MK soldier involved in smuggling operations, and who today runs a security company. The smuggling routes MK soldiers used persisted after the democratic elections in 1994 and even now are used to smuggle contraband, whether diamonds, stolen vehicles or drugs.
In prison Mandela learnt the lessons of survival: ‘Prison is designed to break one’s spirit and destroy one’s resolve. To do this, the authorities attempt to exploit every weakness, demolish every initiative, negate all signs of individuality. Our survival depended on understanding what the authorities were attempting to do to us, and sharing that understanding with each other. It would be very hard, if not impossible, for one man alone to resist. But the authorities’ greatest mistake was to keep us together, for together our determination was reinforced. We supported each other and gained strength from each other. Whatever we knew, whatever we learned, we shared and by sharing we multiplied whatever courage we had individually.’
"In a letter to Tim Maharaj he wrote: ‘It has been said a thousand and one times that what matters is not so much what happens to a person than the way such person takes it.’" _ Excerpt from Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life by Charlene Smith © 2014.






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