Sharing Sisterhood Across the Globe

Sister to Sister is a place to renew for women of all cultures, faiths and races. Coretta Scott King said, "Women, if the soul of the Nation is to be saved, I believe we must become its soul." I would like to add "Earth" instead of "Nation." We need to widen the borders and challenge the world to become a better place. Join the conversation.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Study War No More

My New Year's Resolution: To study war no more!

Peace on Earth -- Peace by Piece
There is no way to Peace, Peace is the Way!

The year 2010 brings us to the close of a Decade of learning to build cultures of peace for the world. Oddly, enough, I believe that we have learned so much about the ways in which we can forge peace and that we're also a world that is ready to embrace it. No matter what the critics say, PEACE-IS-INEVITABLE! We are doing it. We just haven't had the right press, so to speak, to make others aware that 1) they are not alone, and 2) we are a species that cares---ulitimately.
     Last night, I shared this desire to build cultures of peace with citizens of Salinas Valley and realized that these conversations are going on around the world. I also realized that if we could take a camera into these rooms where people genuinely converse about making their communities better, their peace organizations stronger, and lives safer, more people would understand what I am seeing and believing. I am also beginning to wonder if it such a good idea of just identifying the talk. I'm of the ilk that believes "I can show you better than I can tell you," but then I'm a storyteller, so I know that I can tell you just as well, too. Still, actions do speak louder than words.
     This is why this sister to sister blog is so important to me. If we are ever to truly study war no more, we are going to have to make sure that women are at the table of those discussions that study peace. While a blog is another form of talking, the stories we will tell here are about the actions being taken, some of which start in our minds, but ultimately they go from paper to proof! In the printing business, a proof is the document that shows how it is going to look before it is printed. This blog does share just a vision, but a plethora of visions and people who can make these visions reality.
     The risks we take ...
     It is said that God counts a woman's tears. I believe that there is a spirit that moves in us as women that we sometimes fail to use in this quest for peace. Our resolve, our tenderness, our caring, our warmth--those are strengths, sisters, and we, all of us, need to use these strengths more often. We are also tacticians. Wise. We can see behind the brutality that plagues our homes, our communities and nations. We must remind our sons and daughters that they too can choose a different course. We risk our future to do otherwise. We risk our hearts as well.
     So, tomorrow for some is just another day. Still, in the morning when I rise, women will bring those tears of joy to my eyes, telling me that everything is going to be alright!

[If you are interested in being a part of the sister to sister blog, email P.K. at We want to hear from you.]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our World, Our Women, Our Voices

When Women Gather
India 2008

Over the past two months, I've shared with many of you an idea to have a Sister to Sister blog for women from around the world. I'm glad to say that while my hope was to have 100 women for the next 12 months, it was not merely a suggestion, but a goal. Many of you have asked and/or agreed to participate in the blog, but offered that it probably would not be on a regular basis. Others considered that there were periods in 2010 that may necessitate more responses than others, and still others have agreed to commitments of once a month or every three months. As most of us are very busy, my hope is that whatever contribution you make, it will enough and it will be important. Plus, I believe that we will have 100 women participating in any given month. A hope nestled in my faith in you.
     One woman offered that this blog would be "a catalyst of significant conversations by and among women who are shaping their realm and our shared world." Then she added some insightful questions and comments to go with her statement, asking:
  • "What is the message, the role, the function that women should be filling at this junction of history as we shape the coming decades and the generations that will be living them?"
  • "Who do you know who is doing that in your world?  What is their story?"
  • "If you could look back to the year 2010 from the year 2030, what would you hope to see has happened in the intervening years?  What did women do to make those changes possible?"
  • "What are the three most influential books or movies you've experienced recently? What did you find impactfull about them?
Another women suggested that we take certain dates in 2010 and really make an impact such as the International Day of Peace on September 21st. What other dates should be considered? I would also think that since this is to be an international blog, that we consider dates besides those known only to Americans. Still, there were several women who wrote to me about President Obama's acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize. I thought this particular event in history showed the variety of voices from women although not every woman wanted her comments to be posted. Two posts that showed the diversity of thought and reflection on this are here:
     Barbara Malloy-Morin, HALO-Houston Apartment Life Outreach, wrote:
     I was impressed by the speech delivered by President Obama today accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.  I believe he eloquently expressed the dilemma that many of us live daily as we hope to develop lives that embody peace, love, hope and faith.  I  also believed that he accurately explained the dichotomy between the politics of peace and the reality of peace in a world that is often filled with violence and war.  It reminded me in some ways of the time that Jesus told the Pharisees to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's".  It also reminded me that in the continuum of eternity we must keep the focus on the goal of peace and not be sidetracked by the minutiae of politics and war.
     Anonymous, American.
     While I heartily endorse the stated objectives of sending US troops into Afghanistan, and even to Iraq, that of eradicating terrorism both within those countries and throughout the world, I have strong reservations about the appropriateness of doing so with military force.  In the long run, I'm convinced that force only strengthens the resolve of resistance, thereby defeating the very purpose intended.  When looked at in another way, I consider the cost of any military action to be exorbitant - not only as counted in the billions of dollars being spent on these wars directly, and of the lives lost in waging them, but also the more insidious costs to our country and our people. Costs in the thousands of promising lives turned inside out by the loss of limbs and minds due to the damage done by war. Costs in the emotional price paid by our soldiers - men and women who must try to fit back into our society when they return home someday after having withstood the constant erosion of their bodies, minds and souls while in harms way - and having become that "harms way" themselves to others they encountered, both military and civilian. And when we expand our vision with recognition that All Are One, we cannot help but see the costs of war are too high for all people - men, women and children in the occupied countries, as well as those left at home by soldiers on all fronts - "theirs" as well as  "ours" - and those who must find refuge from the very real threats that surround them every day in a land at war.  The cost of war is too high, for it is the price of our humanity itself.  We must find a better way.
     These two posts  sent to me about President Obama's speech were not the only ones. Others expressed outrage and others still wrestled with what was termed "the complexities of war" and what his words meant to them. As I read each of these posts, I became aware that part of the issues we will have to address are those of our dissent. Every blog submitted might be commented on. While comments are viewed prior to posting, I will endeavor along with my team of women who have agreed to help me, not to censure any comment written with the principles of the Decade in mind. Most especially, every comment must endeavor to evoke dialogue as in the principle of "listening to understand." I will also endeavor to have any issues from women bloggers addressed promptly as well.
     The Rules of Engagement
  1. Every bloggers can upload her own blog. When a blogger submits a request to blog, she will be given a passcode to post. The length of the blog can be as short as a paragraph and limited to 1,000 words. Each blog must have a subject and can have pictures. Links to other websites within the blog is acceptable.
  2. Blogs in Other Languages. We are currently working on the best way to do this. I understand that google has a language translation program and am looking into it. However, if possible, if the blog is in another language, please provide English translation.
  3. Subject Matters. This blog is an initiative of Decade of Nonviolence. As this Decade ends in 2010, my hope is that subject matters will address "Beyond the Decade" and the measures and indicators of how women are participating. 
  4. Start Date. I want the first series of blogs to include women from around the world on January 1st! Those of you who agree to post, please email your request to blog and your subject matter to I will return your proper instructions on how you can post for that day.
  5. Additional Blogs. For all other submissions, please provide the date you wish to post and the subject matter. Again, see instructions in item 4. 
  6. Links to Other Organizations. We want this blog to be a network of people, places and organizations. The links will be important to support the work that is important to our role as women, but also to the mission of building cultures of peace.
  7. Who You Are. We want to make sure that we have a short bio of who you are and the work that you are doing.
  8. Outcomes. A goal of this blog for a year is to understand how we meet and how we work together. I would love to hear stories about women who meet through this blog, whose relationships are strengthened through this blog and all that can transpire when women gather.

Shall We Gather at the River?
India 2008

The pictures in this posting were taken in India where the United Religions Initiative met in an assembly of peacemakers committed to interrreligious dialogue. There were young people and women, which is a testament to our roles. When women gather--things happen for the better.
     Again, I welcome your further input. As we start this adventure--together--may we consummate our roles as peacebuilders. We do this for each other, but mostly for our children.


[P.K. McCary is a storyweaver and writer, who role in life is to continue to gather and tell the stories of peace in action.]

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


What Makes A Great Sweet Potato Pie?

My mother, grandmothers and aunts all made a great sweet potato pie
And every one of them had a unique recipe,
Always moist, never dry.
Of course they all used fresh Sweet Potatoes,
They each added nutmeg and cinnamon, too.
They only used pure vanilla extract,
Evaporated milk, for sure
Each pie had 2 eggs, real butter, and a teaspoon of flour
Added to the mix to set it nice and fine
And nothing could ever compare
To their pies, each so devine.
But none of their pies tasted the same
Each one with its own unique flavor
You had to have a little of each of their pies
Because each piece was a joy to savor
And now I realize more than ever
What made their pies so good
It was because each pie was made with love
A gift that lasts forever!

I'm a good cook. My family says so. My friends do, too. I also love to cook. I just don't get to do it as much as I'd like. Still, one gift I love to give my friends is a sweet potato pie. Ask anyone I've ever visited with and they will tell you, "P.K. makes a great potato pie!" Don't let my kids know that I made a sweet potato pie for another family because I have to make twice as many for them. Why? Because they know that while I may make just about anything for you if you ask, you only get one of my pies if I love you.
   You know what I love? I love to leave the smell of my pie in every home that opens up to me. And I love to watch the look on the faces of those friends and family that I love, savoring that first bite, then reaching for a second piece. I don't know if I make a better pie than my mother, grandmothers or aunts, but I know that I do bake them out of love. So, maybe it's not the actual pie that I'm giving, but the symbol of what Sweet Potato pie means to me.
     First, sweet potatoes are a cultural expression for me. It's a Black tradition. You don't have holiday dinners in my family without sweet potatoes of some kind. Another cultural aspect of sweet potatoes  is that they are part of home and love--my mother, my grandmothers and aunts--ladies who love and loved me well. Still, it's also a reminder of another home--a home I only know in my dreams and imagination. When Africans were enslaved in this country and they saw sweet potatoes for the first time, they likened them to the Yams of the African continent. Blacks of that time looked for anything that connected them to their homelands and the dishes they made out of these sweet potatoes kept a little bit of Africa in their souls: stews, pies or just eaten with a spoon--it was something to hold onto. It was a distant memory, yet it kept our hopes alive. As a child of the Diaspora, I, too, carry these memories--distant though they are.
     So, when I make a friend or family member a sweet potato pie, I'm giving them a taste of those memories. My family gets to touch those memories of our grandmothers, Miss Elaine, Miss Ethel and Big Mama Liz. They are getting a piece of the love from my aunts, Luella and Jean, both still living, and my aunts who have left this world, Ollie, Louise, and Josephine. I get to share this with friends, too, although I never realized it until now. I get to watch as my mother before me watched; those that she loved sharing her gift of love. Sweet potato pie--a symbol of my love!

[Let P.K. know if you're interested in having her make you a sweet potato pie. She lives part-time in Houston and Carmel, but she might just make one for you if you ask nice. Email her at]

Thursday, December 03, 2009


What is your pleasure, ladies?

My Sisters, My Friends

I've had the honor of getting to know women from different cultures, from all across the globe and I realize that of all the conversations we've had about this world--our place in it and how we can make it better--I don't hear those voices elsewhere. I don't see us represented in newscasts or magazines. True, I live in America where the media is galvanized by reports that a famous person cheated on his wife, hawking the pain of a situation that most of us as woman would find not only embarrassing, but heartbreaking. Still other stories are about how we are abused or worse, abusers (you know the stories of women--saint or sinner?). Which are you?
     I think I'm wanting a different world. I want to hear the other voices. I want to know that I can share the joys of womanhood with my daughter and granddaughter and those of their friends. The other day, one of my daughter's friends called to ask me questions concerning the stories she read on the women of the Bible. She is a Muslim woman, new mother. I relished in being able to offer her hope, hope that will translate and transfer to her daughter, too.

     This gives me an idea! An idea I'd love to help orchestrate and develop.
     I want to gather the other stories. Motherhood. Grandmotherhood. Working for the environment or children's healthcare--where are those stories? This summer I spent time at Haley's Farm at the Samuel Proctor Institute and every day we worked on getting affordable healthcare for children. Every day we went to the phones or emailed our representatives, urging them to do the right thing. But, later--when I looked at the news, when I read reports on the internet from several sources, I saw ONE, just ONE story about it and it was as if "so what?"
     So, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm putting out a call to my sisters across the land and I'm handpicking you. I'm handpicking about 20 or 30 women that I'm asking to find women in their areas to share the stories of our hopes, dreams and aspirations for this world. All of 2010, I want to read the stories from Africa and the Middle East, from Latin America and the Carribbean, from West to East, from North to South--from sisters of all races about what we're doing and how we're doing it--changing the world. It'll be a grassroots movement of teachers, artists, homemakers, politicians, spiritual leaders, and a whole range of women--from black to brown to red to white to yellow--we are going to tell our stories. Some will do it every week. Others will do it once a month. Some will do it several times a week, maybe even daily and we'll do it right here on our SisterIISister blogspot. The first stories will come out January 1, 2010. We're working on adding video and audio blogs, too, linkingn to each other's websites and other blogs, our organizations and groups. The VOICES, however, will be ours!
So, look for an email over the next few days. If you're a woman who isn't sure I have your email, email me at We'll add you to the list. In the meantime, you might want to ask why I'm doing this? I'll tell you. See those two young women above? One's my granddaughter. The other is my granddaughter's friend. If I don't do for any other reason--this is for their future. But, I'm doing it for another reason. See that woman with me. She's my aunt. She's more than ninety years old and I want to share her story. It's a good one. You see, one of my goals for 2010 is to build grassroots coalitions with other women around world. The other goal is much bigger. I intend to harness the energy of young people and capture the wisdom of the elders. I can't do it by myself, however. But, I'm a start! So are you!
                                                                                                                    Peace! P.K.