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Awakin Calls » Melissa Dickman

Melissa Dickman: Activist, Urban Farmer
Jul 27, 2013: Desert Love Warrior: From Activism to Giftivism


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Blog entry and transcript coming soon!  
In 2008, Melissa Dickman moved to the Sonoran Desert as a graduate student.  Nothing unusual, except that it transformed her identity in the "most excruciatingly painful and beautiful ways."

An eager graduate student, Melissa quickly found herself on the front lines of the migrant and immigrant right movement in Arizona, and for the first time, coping with the pain in her heart and that of the collective community.  In her own words, "I had used my research to hide from my own emotions, analyzing the performance of public protests, marches in the street, staged arrests and nonviolent direct action (NVDA) tactics. I became incredibly frustrated with the activist movement - as our actions, repeated marching, shouting slogans, carrying signs - seemed to invoke little change but to deepen the lines of US versus THEM."  In the height of that struggle, she met Pancho Ramos Stierle.  Pancho took strong principled stances, but it was always about the WE.  Melissa flew to California to be with Pancho's Casa de Paz and ServiceSpace communities, to practice activism as a holistic, compassionate, generous act of service.

She candidly shares, "When I first met Pancho, he me called the love warrior of the dessert.  At that time, it was an ill-fitting description, but as emerged from my time 'bat cave' - a dark hole of separation from yourself, community and God - I began to see myself as just that.  I have amazing friends walking the walk as compassionate, light filled love warriors. I began to wake up to my own self, my own actions, and that the change I desired and had marched in the streets for - that it had to start with me."

Join us for a call with Melissa Dickman -- an activist, teacher, a yogini, an urban farmer, a writer, a scholar, a philosopher, a theorist ... and most importantly, a love warrior of the desert.

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