Refugee Women Find Healing and Unity Through Drumming in El Cajon
By Nikki Lyn Pugh, MFA
In a large room in El Cajon, 43 women sit in a circle. Many smile and nod as they listen to the petite woman who is speaking in the center. The speaker is Christine Stevens, founder of Upbeat Drum Circles, one of the facilitators of the event that day. Christine holds a large drum in her hands as she addresses the women around her. On the skin of the drum is an image of a woman. Her delicately- painted face is framed in a thin, light blue scarf.