Civil Rights and Liberties: Examining Peaceful Protest and the Principles of Nonviolence

Your civil rights and liberties are intended to protect you against discrimination or injustice committed against you because of your RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ETHNICITY, GENDER, DISABILITY, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.


What is the difference between a civil liberty and your civil rights?

  • Civil liberties are protections against government actions, protecting freedoms.
  • Civil rights refer to positive actions of government should take to create equal conditions for all Americans.

In order for us to truly see change, people must develop empathy and take action which is NOT BASED IN SELF-INTEREST. What does this mean? It means that we need to fight for the rights of others when we receive no personal benefit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center gives us a road map for fighting hate at the community level. There are things we can ALL do:

  1. Act
  2. Unite
  3. Support the Victims
  4. Do your homework
  5. Create an alternative
  6. Speak up
  7. Lobby Leaders
  8. Look long-term
  9. Teach tolerance


As we engage in peaceful protest, me must understand the principles of Nonviolent Resistance

  • Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, *satyagraha, and other methods, without using violence.

*Coined by Mahatma Gandhi: Satya means TRUTH Agraha means INSISTENCE… translates to “An Insistence on Truth”


Martin Luther King Jr. developed a list of six facts to help people understand non-violent resistance and join with him in his vision:

  1. Not for cowards, not an acceptance of evil: quiet physically but not spiritually
  2. The goal is NOT to defeat or humiliate the opponent but to win him over to understand new ways to create cooperation and community
  3. The non-violent resister attacks the forces of evil NOT the people engaged in the evil “Defeat the injustice not the unjust”
  4. The non-violent resister accepts suffering without retaliation, accepts violence, but never commits it.
  5. The non-violent resister learns to love the opponent with unconditional love: “Cut off the chain of hate”
  6. Based on the belief that the universe is “just” moving us towards wholeness and peace.

This requires the belief that change is possible, and that personal sacrifice is probable.

Brushing the dust off an old bandwagon: Why I bought Orlando City Soccer 2015 Season Tickets

Is there a person alive in that does not know that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is happening now? As Americans hang on to the hope of a victory over or draw with Germany this Thursday, person after person seems to be jumping on the Futbol Bandwagon.


FIFA Fever in Downtown Orlando - Photo by Joe Petro - from the OCS Facebook page

FIFA Fever in Downtown Orlando – Photo by Joe Petro – from the OCS Facebook page

This is great news for Orlando City Soccer – who is doing pre-sales of season tickets for their inaugural year as a Major League Soccer team. The tickets for the yet to be announced 2015 schedule are being sold at a discounted rate through July 15th.

While the 2015 season will be played at the newly refurbished Citrus Bowl, season ticket holders will have priority renew status for the 2016 season at the brand new 18,000+ seat stadium which will be located downtown Orlando, one block from the Amway Center.

Ticket plans for the 20 game season range from $320 for general admission seating, to $1500 for club level – and all packages can be paid for on a 9 month installment for a small fee. This means that the paid-in-full price for an entry-level seat is only $16 a game, and on the payment plan, $17.50 a game.

For less than the price of an IMAX 3-D movie, you can lock in 20 evenings of history making, awe-inspiring entertainment.

So on the bandwagon I jump. This, however, is not a new ride for me. Although I am a card-carrying, red-blooded, fanatical Midwestern bred football fan – I went to high school where we only had soccer. My first boyfriend was a soccer player, and I was a cheerleader for the sport (yes, we had cheerleaders for soccer). There are many memories for me in this game, and I am excited to breath new air on this fire that once burned brightly for me.

I went with the general admission ticket – mostly because I am hoping to get others to go, and the lack of reserved seating is a selling point. However, being familiar with the student section at UCF Knight home games…. I know that this is where the real party will be anyway.

The representative from Orlando City Soccer who helped me with my plan was Marcelo, who can be reached directly at 407-480-4710. What are you waiting for? Hope to see you at the newest party in O-Town as Orlando City paints the town purple.


Club Crest from the Orlando City Soccer Club Facebook Page

Shallots and parsnips and tomatoes, ohhhhh my!



Visiting a local farmers market is one of my favorite parts of the weekend. My shopping list is memorized: tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers and peppers are a must… garlic, onions, fennel and radishes often make it in the bag. There are, however, two items I always look at but have not picked up: Shallots and Parsnips.

Shallots are a small bulbs resembling an onion, but are not as strong and have a garlic undertone. Looking for shallots that are shiny and firm indicates they are fresh. Parsnips are root vegetables related to carrots and parsley. The caloric and carb count for parsnips is almost identical to potatoes – many chefs today will serve a parsnip puree instead of a mashed potato.  Both vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked.

Laying out my vegetables on my counter, I was hungry and feeling slightly impatient. With a pan warming on the stove-top, I began to look for a recipe, but decided instead just to saute these two new flavors together and see what might happen. With a touch of olive oil and a half tablespoon of butter in my heated pan, I started to let the peeled and sliced parsnips cook over medium heat. Turning my attention to the scallion, I peeled and diced it, and added it to the parsnips. Turning the heat to medium-low I let them slowly cook until the parsnips were fork tender.

I cut up one of the heirloom tomatoes and placed it in a bowl, and then poured the warm parsnip/scallion mixture on top. Some fresh cracked pepper – and that is all. So simple, and so amazing. Turns out I loved this so much I prepared the rest of my parsnips the same way in the next few days…. I guess I will need to make another trip to the farmers market this weekend so I can explore roasting them and making a puree!


If everybody ran…

Tonight, like so many runners, I hit the pavement and marked my miles on social media with #nationalrunningday. As I drove home from the park I realized how very different my life is today than it was a year ago. Before this season, I was a solitary runner. I traveled to races alone – and talked very little about my goals.

One year ago, on national running day 2013 I sat at my computer and signed up for a dozen races. I had set a seemingly impossible goal of running 40 half marathons in a year between my 40th and 41st birthdays. I had just joined Half Fanatics, and a new online friend told me about running for the Sun, by doing 52 half marathons in a year.

Half Fanatics gathering before a race

Half Fanatics gathering before a race

In several Facebook groups I was making new friends… Megan, Sue, Kelly, Jamila… women across the country who shared my passion and fears, dreams and ambitions. Over the next months, I met these women in person, and it seems crazy to me as I sit here today that a year ago I did not know them – now I talk to them daily.


Just some of the wonderful women that have become my best friends

Just some of the wonderful women that have become my best friends

I connected with the organization Black Girls Run, and run frequently with my local chapter. Tonight, my run was with these fantastic empowering women who have become my sisters, my family on and off the road.

Some of the wonderful women from the Orlando Black Girls Run Chapter

Some of the wonderful women from the Orlando Black Girls Run Chapter

In the past year I have run 57 Half Marathons. My schedule for the coming year is already fairly full – and I am turning my attention to training for full marathons – starting my season in October with Chicago, Marine Corps, and NYC.  My goals are more aggressive than ever, but as I face them, I do so with a community of support.

Mizuno has been asking the question “What if everybody ran?”. This sport, which embraces all races, genders, ages and skill levels has the transformative power to change lives. It has changed mine.

So to all my running friends, thank you. Thank you for encouraging me, celebrating with me, and making me see a version of myself I had not yet met, one who knows anything is possible if I take the journey one step at a time.




Ten Commandments For The Runner

I ran across this article and it really resonated with me… some of the commandments made me laugh, some of them made me reflect – but all of them had meaning. For me the most poignant is #2 – “Thou shall not say I am not a runner – If you run, you are a runner”. I remember the day when I made this mental shift from I run, to I am a runner – and I LOVE seeing that change in people around me as they explore this journey. Which one means the most to you?

Ten Commandments For The Runner.