'Blessed are the peacemakers' doesn't mean keeping peace at all costs. Sometimes, we have to stir things up in order to make peace.
Before she was old enough to vote, she participated in voter registration in black communities. Decades before there was any national focus on environmental issues, as a teenager, Dr. Cari was active in environmental advocacy. As a child, she was recognizing, critiquing and working to change social realities that were impeding individuals from having fulfilling, healthy and happy lives.
Since those childhood years, Dr. Cari has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder, bringing together people of different races, social strata, religions, sexual orientations, and cultures to help them engage in rich dialogue and build meaningful, transformational relationships. She has been able to expertly accomplish this because people across color lines and social groups feel respected and honored by her. As one white woman noted, “Because white people don’t feel judged or shamed by you, you help us look more honestly at ways many of us are privileged. You help us look at the ways we do contribute – intentionally and unintentionally – to the oppression of others.”
Dr. Cari also seeks to address class and economic issues that often separate people within and across racial groups. In South Africa, she was able to bring groups of middle-class and poor black women together. Most recently, she has spearheaded the Every Valley: King Legacy Symposium on Community Economic Empowerment bringing together The Riverside Church, Union Theological Seminary, New York Theological Seminary, Center of Spiritual Light, and U.S. Small Business Administration as partnering organizations to provide theological and entrepreneurial strategies and resources for economically disadvantaged communities in New York City.
Dr. Cari launched her Forgiveness Tour after being prompted by pain-filled questions about forgiveness during Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt book-signing events. She recognized that the ability for individuals and communities to thrive is directly connected with their ability to use forgiveness as a resource to heal from painful experiences. Through the Forgiveness Tour, Dr. Cari is training individuals and groups about the benefits of forgiveness and providing them critical strategies for how to forgive and transform their lives.
She has a demonstrated commitment and capacity to help individuals and groups heal in tangible ways. She has been uniquely described as a “Re-Parenter” who nurtures adults with unconditional love, provides them safe emotional space to heal old wounding from their parents, and strategies to change those wounds into resources for their strength. She helps them to claim their own individual giftedness. Because of her love-filled work as a Re-Parenter, countless individuals of all ages affectionately call her “Mama Cari” and “Auntie”.