COMMUNITY COHESION AND EFFECTIVENESS: Exercising inner strengths for social transformation
During this workshop participants will explore the crucial role that humanizing virtues play in making choices that are transformative both personally and collectively. Virtues can be seen as inner/innate qualities and resources, that – when they inform progressive activism – make our interactions, both large and small, more humane, just, fruitful, and supportive.
Together we will develop definitions of virtues that contribute to a supportive, democratic, and liberatory environment, share boundary setting techniques, practice deep listening, and explore communication and power-sharing patterns to address the question of how activist groups and communities (including in classrooms) can be generated and sustained. We’ll also explore the crucial self-care needed to “stay the course.”
Using techniques from The Virtues Project, Theatre of the Oppressed, and other sources, participants in the workshop will share and analyze stories that raise questions about how virtues can manifest themselves in our anti-oppression, anti-racism, community building, and transformative work in the world. We will explore how virtues might look and feel in personal and political interactions, and what the results of practicing them in the service of social justice and liberatory education might be for the self and others. Activities are designed to offer participants experiences through which they will identify and explore qualities they already possess that lead to strong, caring, just, creative, and progressive communities – virtues that enhance the fight against oppression – and envision the society they hope for. Storytelling and image making provide exciting and creative routes to rich and compelling connections and provide a road map for in-person activism.
This workshop is particularly valuable for already existing groups or individuals interested in becoming group leaders/facilitators, educators, and teaching artists. The workshop can be offered online or in person to already existing groups, members of several groups, or individuals interested in working toward social transformation and justice across group and cultural (or even national) borders. Longer workshops will include fuller examination of cross-cultural communication, virtues in action, and development of specific strategies for fostering systemic change.