WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
A community building process rooted in inclusion, trust, healing, and equity
WHO ARE WE?
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
In phase one (PRESENCE), participants explore and reconnect with their authentic self and their life-calling. In sharing those highest values, participants begin to develop trust and form respectful relationships while understanding the often difficult and different experiences each of us have had. In short, it asks “how do we learn to love ourselves and each other?”
Phase two (PURPOSE) asks “how did we get here?” Participants begin to grapple with the systems and histories we have all inherited that have limited opportunities for many and which have prevented a shared prosperity for all. It does not assign blame or shame. Rather, it illuminates those existing structures and attitudes that prevent people from working together and being successful. It recognizes that while none of us created racism and other biases, we have all inherited a responsibility to address those mindsets.
In phase three (POWER), participants begin to practice working together and using an equity lens approach as they develop a project that benefits the greater good. Having engaged with who we are and how we got here, phase three explores what we are going to do about our present situation in order to build a more sustainable and equitable future.
We ground our work on the principle that achieving justice begins with the inner work of individuals examining their own attitudes and biases. That reflective practice, when combined with the outer work of building trusting and respectful relationships, leads toward advocacy and policies for equitable systemic change.
Our process was born and refined in over 20 Mississippi communities. Its successes there include a historic conviction in a cold civil rights case, the passage and implementation of a statewide law requiring civil rights and human rights history curriculum in all Mississippi schools, plus dozens of other local actions that have improved the quality of life for local citizens. Since then, Susan and Charles have offered this community building process in other locales, including New Orleans, South Carolina, and fifteen other states and have used it to help transform the climates and cultures of universities, communities, and corporate partners.
Our approach includes three phases of reflection, connection and transformation. We facilitate a variety of interactive exercises, carefully sequenced for growing understanding, in large circles and in small groups and pairs. This guided learning process is based on a growth or strengths-based model of learning rather than a compliance model. In other words, we believe that all participants have their own wisdom and gifts that can be tapped into and called forth and that sharing those with others increases the collective wisdom of the group. In short, the process is not a series of lectures meant to convey lessons for rote memory. The facilitators and participants learn from each other.
Sessions can be created of varying lengths from one week to three weeks and for municipalities, universities and corporate partners, from half-day and full day sessions to multiple days and weeks. If you're interested in becoming a partner, please contact us!