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Making New Friends for a Progressive Peace Mission

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February 17, 2013

Choice USA Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, will be traveling this week in Israel with the National Council of Jewish Women, Israel Action Networkand a group of progressive women leaders. While there she will be blogging about the experience for ChoiceWords.

Making new friends for progressive peace mission.

I don’t know if the other delegates would describe this trip in exactly the same way but this is what I’m calling it for now. I am about to embark on an amazing trip with women’s rights leaders from the US. I know exactly zero of them well. So I guess this is a new friends for Kierra mission as well. : )

It is Sunday. I am sitting at the airport. DCA to be exact. It is so quiet here. I am happy to have the physical and mental space to roam.The past couple of weeks I have been a bit of a basket case trying to prepare for this trip. I have been told that it will likely be an intense experience. I have also  been encouraged to be modest. That should be simple enough right? HA! I have been called many things, I don’t recall modest being one of them. It got me thinking though. What does radical modesty look like? I ask not with judgement but with a real curiosity.We are going to be meeting with leaders throughout Akko, Nazareth, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, many of them are women working, living and expressing leadership in a multitude of ways. My understanding or at least my interpretation of radical powerful women in the US has been that they were and are often accused of not being modest and they aren’t ashamed of it. Women who make demands have been cast in opposition to the feminine, nice, demure, timid, and deferential.  And yet I have a nagging question about whether that has to be. In fact, can modesty be employed as a tool for radicalism? I think I am about to have modest redefined for me. And so, I will check my american progressive feminist  baggage as this journey unfurls. My learning and evolution depend on it.

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One Response to “Making New Friends for a Progressive Peace Mission”

  1. Shari Eshet

    Kierra,

    Welcome! I think you will find progressive feminisism very much the same here.

    I welcome sharing your thoughts here in Israel.
    Shari Eshet
    Director, NCJW Israel Office