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Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change

July 9, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Tuesday, July 9, 6:30-8:30pm
First Unitarian Church of Des Moines
1800 Bell Avenue, Des Moines
Suggested Donation: $10-20

The Toward Right Relationship project of the Boulder Friends Meeting (Quakers) offers this workshop in response to calls from Indigenous leaders and the World Council of Churches. The 2-hour exercise traces the historic and ongoing impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th-century justification for European subjugation of non-Christian peoples. Our goal is to raise our level of knowledge and concern about these impacts, recognize them in ourselves and our institutions, and explore how we can begin to take actions toward “right relationship.” We provide a Resource Kit with suggestions for continued study, reflection, and action.

In the Doctrine of Discovery, we find the roots of injustice. In the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we find the seeds of change. How can we nurture these seeds to bring forth the fruits of right relationship among all peoples?

“This workshop is an innovative and impactful step towards healing. Working with the truth that has never been told about the American myth is vital to all of us in our country if we are to move forward in a more healthy way. ” — Brett Shelton (Lakota), Attorney, Native American Rights Fund

“Like everyone else I ask, I did not know about the Doctrine of Discovery. The [workshop] was an amazing experience that I expect to remember till my dying day. The mix of clear statements, together with the experiential learning, sent those lessons deep into my understanding.” –Jim Grant, Acadiana Friends Meeting, Louisiana

“This program brought up emotions that I haven’t let myself feel for a while. Now I am ready for action and my mind is spinning with ideas.” –Nico Larson, Naropa University

To register, please contact Linda Lemons, lemonslin@gmail.com or 515-229-1404.

For more information, visit boulderfriendsmeeting.org/ipc-right-relationship.

Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples Workshop Presenter

Paula Palmer is a sociologist, writer, and activist for human rights, social justice, and environmental protection. As director of Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples, a project of the Indigenous Peoples Concerns committee of the Boulder Friends Meeting (Quakers), she created and facilitates workshops titled, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with America’s Native Peoples” (for adults) and “Re-Discovering America: Understanding Colonization” (for middle schools and high schools).

For 17 years, as executive director of the non-profit organization, Global Response, Paula directed over 70 international campaigns to help Indigenous peoples and local communities defend their rights and prevent environmental destruction. In Costa Rica, where she lived for 20 years, she published five books of oral history in collaboration with Afro-Caribbean and Bribri Indigenous peoples, through a community empowerment process known as Participatory Action Research.

From 1995 to 2001, Paula served as editor for health and environment of Winds of Change magazine, a publication of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). She holds an M.A. degree in sociology from Michigan State University and has taught courses in the Environmental Studies Department at Naropa University. She is profiled in American Environmental Leaders From Colonial Times to the Present (ABC-CLIO, 2000) and Biodiversity, A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO 1998).

Paula is a recipient of the Elise Boulding Peacemaker of the Year Award (given by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center), the Jack Gore Memorial Peace Award (given by the American Friends Service Committee), the International Human Rights Award (given by the United Nations Association of Boulder County), the Mulitcultural Award in the “partners” category (given by Boulder County Community Action Programs, and the Cadbury Scholarship (given by Pendle Hill Quaker Study and Conference Center).


July 9, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Boulder Friends Meeting


First Unitarian Church
1800 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315 United States
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