Leadership for Radical Engagement

What It’s About

The Leadership for Radical Engagement workshop equips participants to draw on their own stories to connect with others who share their values and are ready to join them in a shared struggle. The training brings together community builders, scholars, educators, students, caregivers, and healers from diverse fields. It teaches strategies for distributing leadership so teams can rely more consistently on the support and inspiration they find in their bonds. The aim of the training is to help communities embrace mutual empathy and then convert that into commitments to solidarity and collective action.

The Challenge

As we deepen our understanding of the threats we as humans face in our quest for enduring life on this planet, we continue to bump up against a challenge that grows increasingly harder for us to ignore. We know we need to coordinate more effective action to realize conditions of justice: environmental health, economic parity, and social and political equity. But we will continue to replicate forms of injustice as long as our culture does not explicitly embrace the values on which the quest for justice is founded. Yet culture can be elusive. It’s hard to see it, let alone change it. It is the proverbial water we swim in. The water is murky. It needs changing.

The Solution

Culture reflects values. Values are how we assess what is worth protecting, even when it costs us significantly. Values are what we defend…what we stick our necks out for. The culture we are proliferating every day by organizing all our actions around buying and selling is a culture of consumerism. That culture will eventually distract us from the values of justice we hold dear. So we need to define the kind of culture…habits and customs and practices and rituals…that actually embodies our values. Intentional culture requires that we critique the dominant culture, generate alternative narratives that frame our purpose and future, and participate in daily rituals to keep us engaged in that vision.

How It Works

The framework for this 2-day training is based on an integration of social capital research, social neuroscience, phenomenology, relational theory, and community organizing. It focuses on increasing the quality of bonding among people who are most likely to share values. (This training will NOT equip individuals to engage in debate with people who appear to be their adversaries!) Modules in this training include: Stories of Connection, Radical Inclusion, Conflict Resolution, and Addressing Trauma in Communities.

Training Objectives

Participants completing this workshop will be able to:

  • Create a values-driven, strength-based narrative of personal leadership (Stories of Connection);
  • Link that story to a larger collective narrative that identifies share community values;
  • Use these stories as engagement tools to inspire others to join together and take action;
  • Engage in a Resonance Practice, which structures group activities focusing on mutual attunement and collective empathy to deepen bonds and build new ones;
  • Teach Stories of Connection and Resonance Practice to others in their home communities and/or organizations.

What To Expect

The training is typically 2 days long. It includes teaching, storytelling, story crafting, small group skills practice and some movement. All participants will be invited to share about struggles, past and current, values and choices.

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