Writing for peace means: Praying before each line is written that the Great Spirit’s message comes through. The root word of genius is, ‘genie,’ or spirit. And so the true genius does not take credit for her/his work. Rather s/he celebrates the fact they they were able to move out of the way enough for Spirit’s masterpiece to flow through them. To allow the essence of love to breath and speak through us, this is writing for peace. It is to know that even if this poem brightens just one person’s day, then it was all worth it. To write for peace is to serve humanity and in doing so strengthen our own capacity to love. When we tap into this explosive force of compassion, this is when the muse can truly work through us and make each word a prayer for all things.
~Lyla June Johnston, Writing for Peace Adviser
Lyla June Johnston (known publicly as Lyla June) is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community servant of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her perspectives and solutions. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, focusing on Indigenous food systems revitalization.
Lyla June is a student of global cycles of violence that eventually gave rise to The Native American Holocaust and the destruction of many cyclic relationships between human beings and nature. This exploration birthed her passion for revitalizing spiritual relationships with Mother Earth and cultivating spaces for forgiveness and reconciliation to occur between cultural groups.
In 2012, she graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Anthropology. During her time there she wrote the award winning papers: Nature and the Supernatural: The Role of Culture and Spirituality in Sustaining Primate Populations in Manu National Park, Peru and Chonos Pom: Ethnic Endemism Among the Winnemem Wintu and the Cultural Impacts of Enlarging Shasta Reservoir.
She spends her free time learning her endangered mother tongue, planting corn, beans and squash and spending time with elders who retain traditional spiritual and ecological knowledge.
Copyright © 2013/2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.