I am in conversation with Jonathan Gordan, one of the architects of the Vallejo Peace Project, and Phil Wilson, a very public and vocal leader, as you can see below.

I’m suggesting taking a leaf from Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Orgainzation (CCISCO)’s work in West and East Contra Costa County, where they have monthly Friday walks to promote urban nonviolence. My idea is to begin with a walk and candlelight vigil at spots in Vallejo where killings have occurred, culminating in a Jazz Vespers in a local church, using music from a jazz peace mass I composed and recorded while cantor at a Catholic Church in Berkeley.

I would also like to promote the Compassionate Cities project for Vallejo. You can read about it in these two websites:

It is the brainchild of theologian and author Karen Armstrong, and you can hear her accepting the TED Prize on this video:


In support of this, I am working on a concert, titled “Suite for Mother and Child

Please e-mail me via the frog if you are interested in participating:


Do you seek community, to become connected, to give life the shape of justice in a world where the worth and dignity of every individual is respected?

Let’s work to create such a community by beginning a conversation and moving into action and realization. We do not have to accept a world of alienation, where violence is expressed through racism, bullying, homophobia, misogyny and random, senseless killing. We can choose to make nonviolence the operating principle of our lives. Let us dream, and in that dreaming make it so.

Leonard Bernstein, in reponse to the death of President Kennedy, wrote, “This will be our reply to violence, to make music more beautifully, more intensely, more devotedly than ever before.” Whatever your art, your craft, your creative expression, you can use it toward this end.

A dream is but reality not yet realized. Let us dream, and in that dreaming make it so.

Daniel Zwickel ben Avrám,

If anyone is into serious community building, check out Sacred Fire UU. It was started by a Unitarian Universalist minister, almost unintentionally, but has sparked some serious community action. The movement is non-denominational, inclusive and welcoming of all, regardless of religious affiliation or non-affiliation or sexual or gender identification.

Look to this website for a new musical work, “Suite for Mother and Child”, my reply to violence. Meanwhile, here are a few of my compositions. None of them will be in the work, at least in its present form, but they will give you an idea of what I do, musically.


“In the Stillness Of the Morning”

“Sing To the Heart!”

“3 Miniatures for Megan Ashley Brown”




Street Prophets Coffee Hour:
Vallejo Peace Project Vigil

Vallejo citizens assembled at our waterfront on Sunday evening, August 9, 2015, to give testimony about the effects of violence in our community and to have a 4 and half minute moment of silence for those who lost their lives locally and nationally. This is an Open Thread. What are you doing for Peace?

Phillip Wilson — One of the leaders of the “Vallejo Peace Project”

This vigil was organized by the Vallejo Peace Project response to the recent violent deaths of Tierra Westbrook and Elliot Patterson. Also remembered was Vallejo student Max Rusk who was shot last May and Michael Brown, killed in Ferguson last year. The vigil, only organized a few day ago, drew over 100 persons in a peaceful assembly. See Vallejo Peace Project Facebook Page.

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“We all need to come together and be as one, no matter what your background is, what your race is, who you like, who you don’t like,” said organizer Dee Dee Dunson. “Put all that stuff on the back burner and come together. It’s ridiculous that this is all (the shootings are) happening every day to young folk.”

Dee Dee Dunson, from Vallejo Times-Herald article

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This young man, with bull horn above, talked about what it felt like living with the violence around him. Over all about 20 people spoke including myself. Below are some more pictures of those that spoke. And I'm taking the liberty of adding some quotes from the book Forward Together by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

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Ruscal Cayangyang - Vallejo School Board

But the reality is that in this county, all great Movements have happend because there was a deep moral center. And a center based on constitutional values.

Mother Carolyn Coleman

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We Are In a Crisis - A Moral Crisis

I believe that deep within our being is a longing for a moral compass. For those of us who are moved by the cries of our sisters and brothers, we know that like justice, the acts of caring for the vulnerable, embracing the stranger, healing the sick, protecting workers, welcoming and being fair to all members of the human family, and educating all children should never be relegated to the margins of our social consciousness. These are not just policy issues; these are not issues for some left versus right debate; these are the centerpieces of our deepest traditions of our faiths, of our values, of our sense of morality and righteousness.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

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Poverty produces a kind of violence. A starving child is violence. Suppressing people is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Discriminating against working people is violence. Even the lack of willpower to help your fellow brother or sister is a form of violence.

Coretta Scott King

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.... We need a Movement that stands against violence without being violent, and that stands against meanness without being mean and that stands against hate without being hateful. A Movement that stands against injustice without being unjust, and stands against destruction without being destructive, and stands against those who do not care without becoming uncaring ....

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II


Erin Hannigan - Solano County Supervisor


We need a Moral Movement guided by our deeper faith tradition and values:

    A movement of grassroots organizing across every state

    A movement of civil disobedience strategy with needed

    A Movement of voter registration and education

    A Movement of strong constitutional legal strategy

    A Movement of transformative long-term coalition relationships

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II


We know our five goals:

    1) Secure pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability.

    2) Provide well-funded, quality public education for all.

    3) Promote healthcare for all, including affordable access, the expansion of Medicaid, protections for women's health, and assurance of environmental justice in every community.

    4) Address the continuing inequalities in the criminal justice system and ensure equality under the law for every person, regardless of race, class, creed, documentation, or sexual orientation.

    5) Protect and expand voting rights for people of color, women, immigrants, LGBT persons, the elderly, and students.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II


Forward Together
Jonathan Gordon

Note: The above quotes are from Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II I added them in to be an inspiration to those that are involved with the Vallejo Peace Project.

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