Friday, February 23, 2018

Reverend Barbara Kaufmann

Reverend Barbara Kaufmann

Reverend B. Kaufmann’s life study has been eclectic: as a nurse, management major, ordained minister, international diplomat, urban shaman, metaphysician, -- but the core of the work has always involved healing. Her life’s avocation as a wordsmith has stayed the same even though the genre occasionally changes to accommodate her mission: “writing to simply change the world.”

Poet, author, journalist, biographer, researcher, scholar, storyteller, filmmaker and lifelong activist, she is the Founder, Executive writer and Editor of “Words and Violence,” a large body of work about bullying in all its incarnations—from the playground to the tabloids, to the grave. The large and growing body of work embracing a myriad of genres and contributors is dedicated to Michael Jackson and Lady Diana whose public bullying was massive and global. Voices Education Project, host to the program, is a global educational resource, pedagogical institute and humanitarian organization that spans 140 countries with 40,000 weekly visitors.
Her interest in researching Mr. Jackson began when she was asked to, and wrote, a review of his last film “This Is It” for a magazine and fans worldwide began writing her letters about Jackson and asking deep and existential questions. Trained at seminary in the ministry of Spiritual Emergency, she recognized that precise emergent commonality among the hundreds of weekly correspondents who wrote—reeling from an existential crisis and bona fide spiritual emergency triggered by his sudden and jarring departure. She became the de facto minister for Jackson admirers, creating a website as a guidebook for the search and journey to the Inner Self, research project, touch point and place of solace to assimilate the grief of losing someone they grew up with, who inspired them to hope for a better world with his music and lyrics, and who for some represented a kinship and the only reason they survived abusive and lost childhoods.

Words and Violence is in its 4th edition themed “Bullying the Planet” and she is now a staff host, writer and blogger for the Charter for Compassion, an idea that Author and Scholar Karen Armstrong started when she posed the question: “What would the world look like if we began to treat self, others and the planet with true compassion?” The Charter for Compassion has become a global movement with numbers approaching 900 partners and 300 compassionate cities worldwide with the first compassionate country, Botswana.  A former grant writer, Executive Officer and Citizen Diplomat for Sister Cities Initiatives and the international decommissioning of weapons of mass destruction, she finds the compassion movement a global idea whose time has come.

Reverend Kaufmann supports MDF because.....

"Like much of the world, all I knew about the Michael Jackson who died in 2009 was what the rest of the world knew or thought they knew. I had grown up with the Jackson Five and knew of Michael's music, particularly "We are The World" and "Heal the World" which were anthems in our home because of my activism- civil rights, Sister Cities, anti- war, citizen diplomacy and decommissioning WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and being born an empath able to feel the worlds' pain and beauty keenly-- apparently just like Michael.

I didn't know what the fan community knew about the behind the scenes antics and corruption surrounding him and a deliberate targeting of the man and his career at the hands of the bottom feeders and less scrupulous of our culture in commerce and the media. Once the extent of it was obvious to me, how could I do nothing? The world deserved to know the truth. In the research fans encouraged me to do about Jackson's life, I found a consummate humanitarian and worldwide children’s' champion. Long before Hillary, Michael Jackson was preaching "It takes a village" and that children’s' welfare fell to all of us the world over. He knew that if we could come together in solidarity to make that paradigm change in self and others, the world would become a safe and nurturing place for children and therefore, all people. Children are the future because they are tomorrow’s adults. 

As a Jackson researcher and biographer, I support organizations which lift up children and support them throughout the world because they are living out Michael Jackson's deepest wish and his soul's desire and life mission: making the world a safer and better place for children. And what more noble pursuit is there in this world? None that I can think of."