A public talk by Beloit College Professor BIll New takes place during the zazenkai on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 10:30 AM. Even if not attending the zazenkai, all are welcome to join us just for the talk or to come earlier at 9:00 AM for a few periods of zazen before the talk.
This talk will explore the use of the three tenets of the Zen Peacemakers — not knowing, bearing witness, and taking action — to teach about genocide and other gross institutional violence and injustice. We will focus specifically on the middle term, bearing witness, as the key to engaging students’ and teacher’s compassion and understanding. These considerations arose from work with students in a course on American Indian boarding schools, that also touched on the unreported disappearance and murders of hundreds of Native women and girls. We will think together about how we can bear witness to this unthinkable, but continuing, history.
William (Bill) New biography: Bill grew up in the suburbs across the USA, attended Dartmouth College, and then accidentally became a third grade teacher in an inner-city Catholic School in Jersey City, NJ. Several years of teaching, and being a part-time graduate student, later, Bill found himself the surprised recipient of a Ph.D. in Educational and Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia. Since becoming a professor about 25 years ago, he has taught all sorts of courses in all sorts of things, and has conducted research on minority education in the US and Europe, focused mostly on the Roma. This research led to an interest in the Romani genocide during the Nazi times, and the continuing persecution of this group. Currently, Bill is professor and chair of the Education and Youth Studies Department at Beloit College. He’s been a member of GPZC for a few years now.
Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi