Hello from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I’m Jesse, and this is me rattling my cup for donations. I hope you like the sound. Now, on with the resume.
I’m an Electrician that’s managed to squeeze in some schooling, in both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. Working with my hands seems to suit me better, though. I think it might have something to do with the haunting effects of many years working menial labour. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though. It was in these jobs that I realized the necessity of unions to counteract the power of owners and bosses and the various ways I’ve seen and experienced their unfair hand. I’ve worked in my electrical union, the I.B.E.W. or International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; they still haven’t realized that women work in the trades, as you can tell from their name. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be a member of the I.W.W. or Industrial Workers of the World, which is a much more egalitarian name, don’t you think? In both theses organizations, I’ve worked in various capacities to push for bottom up changes in our workplaces because economic equality strikes me as pretty important.
I’m not just a blue collar worker, though. I have a passion for music. A friend and I co-host a show on the local university radio station that focuses on punk music and music that carries the punk ethos typified by the anti authoritarian do it yourself spirit. It’s one of my passions because punk, from its inception, has highlighted gender, economic, sexual, and racial inequality and has offered solutions to this inequality that are horizontally organized and democratic, such as DIY record labels and distribution systems, as well awareness events such as Rock against Racism. Plus, the music has a lot of energy, which is fun.
Guess what? I also meditate. During a tough emotional time I needed to find some way to cope with the stress I was feeling, and it worked. Along the way, through doing various Shambhala trainings and a couple retreats, I’ve also realized that meditation is the most fundamental activity that I’ve practiced that helps me to recognize our common goodness and helps to provide the clarity needed to find ways to challenge and transform inequality and injustice. Plus, it’s community oriented, which is important to me.
It is because of the above two worlds, that of social justice and meditation, that I’d like to attend the summit, which would be my first, to help to learn how we can build a more just community, particularly through the ideas, energy, and spirit of us under forty year olds, and to share what I learn and know with my many communities. Ziji is the place.
How was that? Decent tune? If so, I’m hoping you’ll press that little button at the bottom to help get me there. I’m asking for funds to cover the cost of the trip, which includes air fare, registration fee, and food/lodging, and am grateful for anything you can offer. Thank you.