Thursday, March 23, 2017

Launching AMENDS Oxford - please help!

Several weeks ago, I shared how current US political actions have impacted AMENDS, the network of Middle East activists that has been so important to me.

Many of our delegates are currently denied entry to the US, threatening this year's Summit. I spent a frantic week in February in meetings, trying to figure out how we could move forward.

I am thrilled to announce that something really beautiful has come from this: the launch of AMENDS Oxford.

This June, over sixty amazing activists from across the US, Europe, and Middle East will gather in the UK for a week of resource sharing and idea building.

This has been a major shake-up for us in terms of organization and funding. The basic conference is secure, but visa fees and flight prices remain barriers.

In order to bring as many members of our community together as possible, we are asking for your help. Funding from this emergency campaign will go directly to travel costs, supporting activists who currently can't get into the US to instead come to Oxford to share with each other.

I can promise you that this week will lead to very direct change. Workshops at AMENDS have launched new initiatives for education, peace, environmentalism, women's rights, and so much more.

I spoke at the UN because of AMENDS. I led an international tour for an Israeli-Palestinian youth choir through AMENDS. I spent a year living in Morocco, Lebanon, and Kuwait thanks to AMENDS.

These conversations matter. And they work.

Your support - whether it's $5 or $500 - will empower a young person from the Middle East to join us.

This is a direct way to transform potential into reality. I hope you're able to help.

Thank you so much for making this difference...and do let me know if you would like to talk further!

For more details and to give:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

'Brothers' day out

My (American) flatmate from Norwich years came to the UK for a holiday this month...and promptly left us for Scotland. But her train brought her back to us yesterday, so Iorwerth and I headed into the city to pick her up. We haven't had a date day in quite a while - it was good to see the kiddo properly.

And naturally, since we were in the city...we grabbed the baby. Rafael is quickly becoming a toddler, though, as demonstrated by the wobbly walking:

Both boys are only children, but Iorwerth's inner 'big brother' comes out in the most adorable way with Rif.

We help get his shoes on:

And let him lecture us on the playground:

All in all, we're just kind of a rambunctious bunch!

And we did, eventually, manage to actually fulfil our agenda of Miss Audrey pick-up! (And now she's flying back to America. Blast.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hello hello!

It is truly shameful, how long it’s been since I updated this!

I spent the end of February at Yale, where I convened a session on environmental peacebuilding for the New Directions in Environmental Law conference:

Then mum and I very cheekily snuck in a week in New York City, catching up with beloved friends and watching (a lot) of Broadway Shows. We got to see Josh Groban and Glenn Close on stage in separate productions, and also got our own backstage tour of “A Bronx Tale”, since a friend is in the cast.

Landing back in Heathrow, I picked up two friends from Michigan in the airport - and we got to see the “Harry Potter” play!! They both spent a week or so in London and Norwich with me. We’ve been frolicking about touring and seeing more shows.

In between all the theatre, I’ve been frantically writing job applications. I’m looking primarily at academic jobs in the UK, but it’s a bit of a ‘hail Mary’, as they’ll have to be able and willing to sponsor my visa as well! I’ve also thrown my name in the ring for something in the US that looks really up my alley, and am regularly exploring other options.

There is a beautiful irony in avoiding my PhD work by applying for jobs that require my PhD to be finished...