We are so grateful for your generous support and encouragement, which has enabled us to provide tools for healing for so many across the country this year.
The questions with we engage participants at the beginning of each workshop are more relevant than ever, for example:
What effect did your country’s past have on you?
What are your feelings about your country, your community, today?
What did you do? What was done to you? What did you fail to do?
What resources enabled you to survive?
The fear, division and bigotry exposed in our recent elections have highlighted the urgency for the work of the Institute for Healing of Memories-North American (IHOM-NA) to be expanded. The safe spaces for truth-telling, deep listening and expert facilitation that we provide are unique and all too rare.
One of the exciting developments we have to share with you is the appointment of a full-time Director. Beginning in January Gloria Hage will bring to IHOM-NA her considerable experience in non-profit management, fundraising, international relations, and healing and reconciliation through the arts. This increase in staffing will enable us to continue to build our administrative and financial capacity and to expand our Healing of Memories (HOM) program offerings.
We are also pleased to share this snapshot of some of the other ways we have grown this year:
- In New York we piloted a program for the staff of the Fortune Society, who support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration and continue to work with survivors of domestic violence.
- In Minnesota we held the first HOM workshop for the staff of Life Development Resources, an outpatient mental health clinic that provides individual, couples, and family counseling for adults, adolescents and children.
- We are increasing the number of programs we provide for our war veterans in Minnesota and Arizona, which this year included a workshop for their spouses and significant others.
- We are receiving more and more requests for assistance from communities riven by violence. In Los Angeles, we completed our second successful HOM workshop for community members and LAPD officers. In Chattanooga, Tennessee we engaged police officers and the Healing on Both Sides group, including offenders, victims and parents who have lost children in gang violence.
- In Hawaii we continue work with women furloughed from prison and those in recovery from addiction.
- As we tend to the needs of these specific constituents, one of our core tenets is that we are ALL in need of healing from painful memories. For this reason we have increased the number of HOM workshops for the general public.
Our work this year gives evidence to Margaret Mead’s wonderful saying about what a small, thoughtful, committed group of people can do to effect change. We invite to you to continue our partnership by making a financial contribution at this time, to ensure thatIHOM-NA continues to flourish.
Thank you for your consideration. We wish you peace this holiday season.
Father Michael Lapsley, SSM, Founder
Linda L. Rich, Board Chair
Karen Hayes, Director