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Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Thank you, Wesley, for passing me the Talking Piece.

My name is emily. I’m so grateful to be a part of the Huayruro team. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I’d be sitting in this chair right now, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. 10 years seems like a lifetime ago. But here I am.

I was born in Indiana to Ruth and Jesse Warren. I was the first born daughter, strong and upright. My two younger sisters, naomi and Esther came 4 years and 8 years later, respectively. I watched them come into the world, which was a deeply profound experience.

I was also a difficult child, or so I’m told. A common story-myth of my growing up is our family pediatrician re-assuring my mom that “a difficult child is hard to parent, but will fare well in the world.” I guess that’s true.

My mom’s side of the family is German -- I’m ½ German -- and I come from a lineage of women who have left home. My grandmother came to the United States from Germany when she was just 19 and my mom left her hometown of Lake Station, IN to drop down roots in South Bend, IN. While I will likely long call Chicago home, Seattle also feels like a home of sorts, so it makes me wonder what wisdom I’ve inherited from my mothers home: about what home means, what leaving home means, what finding home means. And what loss means.

My dad’s side of the family is from TN, almost as far back as we can trace -- 6 generations. We were bus drivers, factory workers, farmers, racists, and freedom fighters. On this side of the family, we were poor in paycheck, but rich in love and food. And there was also an underside of violence and addiction. I’m so grateful my dad was able to break many of those cycles, and I am committed to continuing in that lineage as well.

I came to circle work as I exited the womb. My mother sat in nursing circles and we would eventually develop family meetings and celebrations in circle, where everyone had a chance to share. It wasn’t formal circle, but the ritual and practice was there. I taught in circle, without even knowing it, for 15 years until I moved to Seattle and began to learn Circle in a formal way. So many things clicked to how I grew up and taught. My Circle teachers are my mom, Jabali Stewart, Keiko Ozeki, and Kay Pranis, as well as all of the people I sit in circle with. I am always learning.

To me, circle practice embodies Grace Lee Boggs’ quote “Transform yourself to transform the world.” All I can do is sit in my own chair and do my own work. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

My family is rich, spanning from Olga, Otto, Polly, Herb to Ruth, Jesse, naomi, and Esther. Ray, Jonah, Eloise. Keiko, Wesley, Monica, Jabali, Dave, and Jessica. Taishi, Mela, Ceci, and Keet. And, of course, my queer family with too many members to name, past and present. I feel so grateful and full.

I would like to pass the Talking Piece to Dave.

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