Community Cohesion & Effectiveness

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 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 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 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. 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.

For booking or additional information, please contact
the Center for Applied Theatre.

Kathleen Ramona Rice Reddy

is a teacher and student of history and culture. Her concern is for increasing knowledge and understanding so that we will have justice for all.

EDUCATION
Elementary and high school on the south side of Chicago where she was a National Merit Scholar. The area was and remains a largely African American part of the city due to redlining and racial segregation.
BA Michigan State University and University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. Major in Early Childhood education, minor in social studies.
M.Ed. University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign.

ADDITIONAL TRAINING
Workshops on understanding unconscious and internalized racism and the history of racism in the US.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Teaching positions in Decatur and Urbana, Illinois, and Cedarburg, Grafton, and Shorewood, Wisconsin.
University of Chicago Lab School – Nursery through 2nd grade.

RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE
Kathleen has co-lead workshops and discussions about racism and how to heal our nation.

 

JULIAN BOAL 

Co-founder (with Geo Britto) and pedagogical coordinator of Escola de Teatro Popular (ETP; The School of Popular Theatre, in Rio de Janeiro)

JULIAN BOAL is a teacher, researcher, and practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed. He has facilitated workshops in more than 25 countries and has collaborated on several international festivals of Theatre of the Oppressed: in India with Jana Sanskriti, in Spain with Pa’tothom, in Portugal with Óprima, in Croatia with the Istrian National Theater, in France with GTO-Paris, and in Brazil with CTO-Rio. Some other groups and movements with whom he has worked closely include MST (the Landless Workers Movement) and MSTB (the Roofless Movement of Bahia) in Brazil and La Dignidad In Argentina. In Paris, he was a founding member of the Ambaata collective, which worked alongside migrant workers, and he also worked with GTO-Paris and Féminisme Enjeux. He participated in the design and realization of the exhibition on Augusto Boal at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil in 2015 and curated part of the Utopia International festival, held in Maricá, Brazil, in 2016. He collaborated with Sergio de Carvalho as assistant playwright for two recent plays of Companhia do Latão (São Paulo): Those Who Stay (2015) and The Bread and The Stone (2016). He holds a Master’s degree in History from the Sorbonne (Paris IV) and a Ph.D. from the School of Social Work at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Boal is the author of Images of a Popular Theatre (Hucitec, 2000) and co-editor of the DVD & essay booklet Theatre of the Oppressed in Actions (with Kelly Howe and Scot McElvany, Routledge, 2015) and The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed (with Kelly Howe and José Soeiro, Routledge, 2019). He is co-founder (with Geo Britto) and pedagogical coordinator of Escola de Teatro Popular (ETP; The School of Popular Theatre, in Rio de Janeiro), a school run by social movements for social movements, where political unity is practiced at the grassroots level through the practice of theatre. He is also a member of the Instituto Augusto Boal in Rio.

 

S Leigh Thompson

Strategist, facilitator, and Consultant for Go Beyond Diversity

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska I moved to New York in 2005. A white and Native trans queer person with disability, I have spent my entire adult life working at the intersections of art and social justice and equity, utilizing Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and working with the queer and trans* movements. I work with organizations, businesses, community groups, faculty and students to strengthen understanding about power, privilege and oppression and to provide stronger tools to make positive change in the world.

In 2000, I started organizing in Omaha as the voter canvassing coordinator against the so-called Defense of Marriage Amendment. Ever since I have been dedicated to developing and supporting change-makers. I have worked for several non-profits including the ACLU, GLSEN, Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and The Forum Project. I also have worked for large and small for-profit businesses in service, finance and retail industries. As a consultant, I’ve worked with many clients to understand the impacts of systemic power, to develop strong critical analysis to help develop tools for doing good work better. I bring experience training advocates and organizers across the country on non-profit management, legislative advocacy, campaign strategies and engagement and most commonly on positive and effective strategies for addressing power, privilege and oppression in their work.

I hold a BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Directing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a individualized Master of Arts from Gallatin at New York University, focusing on utilizing creative participation for political and social change with course work in community studies, public policy, non-profit management and campaign strategies. I have studied Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and other creative pedagogy techniques since the late nineties, working with facilitators from around the world, and have trained with TO’s founder Augusto Boal multiple occasions. I was also a Out in Front Leadership Fellow with Stonewall Community Foundation in 2011. I am proud to have served as a Board Member and Board President of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed from 2011 to 2018.