The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Radical Aliveness and Belonging: Exploring the Intersections of Spirituality and Social Change

Brother David

Friday, September 27, 2019
1-4:30 p.m.

Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst

Tickets available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office for $20. Admission is free for Five College students.

Join the UMass Amherst Libraries and A Network for Grateful Living for a dynamic afternoon of conversation exploring the landscape of engaged spiritual practice and action for social change. We will delve into the places where the personal and political meet as well as pathways that can catalyze and sustain our love, stewardship, and responsibility for the Earth and each other.

The Radical Aliveness and Belonging Symposium is inspired by the life and work of Brother David Steindl-Rast, a 93-year-old Benedictine Monk known as the “grandfather of gratitude” and one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement. Brother David, whose papers are in the UMass Special Collections and are part of their significant holdings documenting social change movements and activists, will be traveling from Austria to participate in the symposium.

The afternoon features accomplished, contemporary scholars, who are also spiritually-inspired activists and leaders, to engage this theme in its many facets. Speakers currently include: 

  • Mirabai Bush, founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, co-developer of Search Inside Yourself at Google, and recent author of Walking Each Other Home with Ram Dass

  • Lucas Johnson, Executive Director of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project and former leader in the U.S. community of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the world’s oldest interfaith peace organization

The afternoon will also include poetry, music, meditation, and other special guests.

Parking Information
UMass Amherst Parking Services has generously arranged for complimentary parking for you to attend this special event.

Complimentary Parking is available in Lots 12, 25 or 33 only. Note: It is approximately a 10-15 minute walk from these lots to the Fine Arts Center.

Handicapped Parking: The Fine Arts Center does provide free handicapped parking in the front of the building.

Paid Parking Options: Parking is also available in the Campus Center Garage.  The Garage Parking rate is $1.75/hr.  The Campus Center Garage is approximately a 10 – 15 minute walk to the Fine Arts Center.

Use our interactive campus map to identify metered parking spots, the campus garage and other locations.

The Radical Aliveness and Belonging Symposium is co-sponsored by A Network for Grateful Living (co-founded by Br. David) and Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst
Drawing upon the philosophy of W. E. B. Du Bois, Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s most profound insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement—and no solution to social ills—can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas. Our hope is to provide a more robust framework for interpreting the deep histories of social engagement in America and to lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change. We are home to over one thousand collections which touch on some aspect of social change, including the Du Bois Papers, Brother David Steindl-Rast’s Papers, The Records of the New England Yearly Meeting of Quakers, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

A Network for Grateful Living
A Network for Grateful Living is a global nonprofit serving a growing movement of people who embrace gratefulness as a guiding light and grounding principle in their lives. We hold grateful living as an engaged mindfulness practice, grounded in both wisdom and science, which supports our ability to see the wonder and opportunity in every moment, and motivates us to act boldly with love, generosity and respect towards one another, ourselves, and the Earth.

In service of our mission, we offer online and community-based educational programs and practices which inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living, and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility.