Friday, December 4, 2009

Introduction - Sheri Wander

I sit here with the task of introducing myself to you all. After some typing I ask a friend “how does this sound?” It does a nice job of saying why you want to go to Gaza she says (ever the diplomat) “but it doesn’t really introduce you. It doesn’t tell me who you are" Who am I ? Now there is a question…one that would likely have a different answer from day to day.

I am a nonviolence trainer, an activist, an organizer, and a curriculum writer. I work in a pediatric office part time in order to afford to work for justice and peace full time. I am a friend, a daughter, a care giver of children, and a coffee addict. I am blessed and lucky and surrounded by the most amazing people. I am an adrenaline junky. I am an animal lover. (The above photo is of my 2 well loved children)

I am also a passionate advocate for justice and peace, a struggling to be pacifist, a believer in acting “as if ” the world is as I know it can be. I am a spiritual person who tries (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to honor the sacred connection between all living things by the life I lead.

I am a sometimes cook, a traveler, a vegetarian, a learner, a rule breaker, a lover, a mistake maker, someone who runs to rather than away from the crisis and commotion, a reader, an organizer, a wannabe gardener, and a peace team member.
I am someone who is thrilled to be going to Gaza with MPT. And thrilled with the members of my team.
I have been volunteering with Michigan Peace Team (MPT) since the spring of 1998. The idea of peace teams speaks to me. I believe that if we want to have real justice and peace we need to build alternatives while we dismantle the systems and structures of violence and injustice. I think training people in nonviolence and sending unarmed civilian peace teams instead of armed militaries does this. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to serve on many domestic peace teams here in the US and to serve in Palestine. This work in Palestine changed my life.

Through my work with MPT I was also able to get involved with Nonviolent Peaceforce. These two organizations give me hope for the world, and I never stop being amazed at how lucky I am to be a part of the work we do!
A quote from writer and activist June Jordan comes to mind as I close "I mean to resist the hatred of these times any way I can." That is who I want to be - someone who resists the hatred of these times, and works to model a different way forward. Some days, I am less than successful. But somedays....


  1. i think you are more succssful than you give yourself credit for! glad you are going but stay safe we need you here and we need you doing this work for the long haul! i've learned much love about love from you! i know others have too!

  2. Sheri- Glad you are going. Thanks for walking the talk with such love

  3. Hi Sheri. We met at the Catholic Worker training last weekend. I was so impressed with all 3 of the MPT leaders but most appreciated the way you connected with the group and your skilled facilitation. And I really liked your story about the guys at the SOA protest. Please be safe in Gaza. Thanks for going. Thanks for doing this work and doing it well.