Native Alaska: Trans-generational Toxic Stress

They didn’t talk about it and didn’t want to.  They changed the subject when it was brought up by the young people  — what happened? Silence — a non-response common throughout the world by those who have experienced brutal defeat, genocidal actions, sending Native children to schools, decimating families, preparing the way for segregation and racism.  The shame is nearly unbearable.  So Silence. Nancy didn’t know the specifics of her people’s pain —  depression, alcoholism,… Continue reading

Calming and Settling Children in Stress

Janet Courtney, Ph.D. is a leader in developmental play therapy and wants to help stressed mothers who may need some new ideas of ways to calm and settle their children.  She is especially interested in adding to the existing cultural traditions of women living in war, war-like conditions and in the aftermath.  We have posted some of her calming activities for children on our ACTIVITIES  page. She talks about what motivated her to do this work:… Continue reading

Stress response: men and women differ

The discovery of how women’s responses to stress are different than men came about in a casual conversation between two University (UCLA) women scientists, Laura Cousino Klein, PhD and Shelley Taylor who noted their reactions to work stress were different than their male colleagues. They started hunting down some studies on how men and women responded to stress to see if there were any distinguishing differences. What they didn’t find were the studies that focused… Continue reading

Two Heart Cells

When two heart cells are brought together and separated by glass, it takes 2 seconds for them to beat in sync.   What is the lesson for us? — it takes effort to stop that process.


Joseph Chilton Pierce



The Tone and Texture of Shame

Shikata ga nai: It cannot be helped. Carl Watanabe is a Japanese American, an intelligent,  thoughtful, fun, and earnest man. He has been in public radio and public life for many years.  I first met him years ago in his public radio role.  Once I realized that he and I shared WWII from very different perspectives — he was Japanese American and I am native Californian who lived on the San Francisco penninsula — I… Continue reading

Waves Wash the Wounded Shore

From the fifteenth floor balcony, we were looking  at the Mediterranean spreading its waves on the wounded shore. There were smiles coming at us through the windows from the high rise buildings near by. Children screaming in joy, were finally free to check and see if their neighbors were still alive. Flocks of pigeons were flying across the sky wiping away the smoke and clearing the intense noise of the earlier bombing. Ceasefire was announced.… Continue reading

Womens’ Court Initiative

WOmensCourtOver the course of the past few years there have been some very exciting developments for women in the Balkans and as such, for women everywhere. The Women in Black led the Women’s Court Initiative to support women in redefining and achieving justice for their war experiences and creating opportunities for testimony from some of the women. There was a great deal of effort in creating services leading up to the testimony as this is a very dangerous thing for the women to do and the women needed a great deal of preparation and protection. Continue reading

Globalgirl Media

GlobalGirlLogoGlobalgirl Media is dedicated to empowering high school age girls from under-served communities around the world through media, leadership and journalistic training to have a voice in the global media universe and in their own futures.

We at Ashlar Center believe in this IMPORTANT work!  See the video’s witnessing Kosova women.

GlobalGirl Media invests in girls as agents of change by providing concrete skills with which to improve their personal situations.  Continue reading

Love is what makes me strong – Elife’s Story

You may have everything and then lose everything, but still you continue living,  because human beings are stronger than stones. From my story I want people to understand from all that I have been through and that life has no guarantees. Kosova: I’m Elife, a 45 year old mother of two children. Married to a man that I loved.  I was lucky because my parents  gave me permission to choose my own husband  compared to… Continue reading