I have greatly appreciated being a part of a community of people who are developing active hope through the tools of engaged Buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology. The Work That Reconnects is facilitated group process that allows individuals to dynamically name their gratitude, honor their pain, see with new eyes, dwell in deep time, and go forth with re-invigorated energy to face the challenges presented to us by this social and ecological moment. As part of my contribution to our global network I wrote an article Deep Times journal, and introduce the language of “Intersectionalization” to describe the nature of current work on integrating in power-privilege and oppression awareness and practice more deeply into Work That Reconnects facilitation. The journal article is here, and the full announcement about cool stuff happening in the network follows.
A new issue of Deep Times journal is now available online. This special issue with guest editors Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda focuses
on the impact of race and culture on the Work That Reconnects. Rather than strictly following the spiral, the special issue has four sections: in support of POC; what do we mean by we?; toward greater white responsibility; and seeing with ancient eyes & going forth. It contains a rich collection of insights about how race and culture contribute to different experiences for participants in Work That Reconnects and the final section offers some recommendations for facilitators to improve in their skillfulness in this respect. Please check out the many beautiful contributions to this special issue. The guest editors encourage you to compensate contributors generously for the emotional, spiritual, and physical effort that went into articles or poems in this special issue.
Please submit articles or poems by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of September to be considered for publication in the next issue of Deep Times. The categories of submissions for the next issue include the four stages of the spiral (gratitude, honoring our pain for the world, seeing with new/ancient eyes, and going forth), evolving edge, networking, and resources.
Regional Hubs and Ongoing Groups
On August 15, the Network hosted a call for existing or potential regional hub and or ongoing group leaders. If you missed it, a recording of that call is available online in the multimedia sectionof the website. A lot of the conversation focused on interest in current evolving edges of the Work with greater attention to and integration of power privilege and oppression awareness and application. A next call to continue this conversation is scheduled for October 3 (see below for details).
There has been interest from folks in Australia to schedule a Zoom call focused on regional hubs and ongoing group at a time more conducive to timezones outside of North America. Please contact the network if you would like to help organize this and check the events calendar to learn of upcoming opportunities.
A Southeast U.S. regional network is forming. Please contact Rebecca Blanco if you would like to be a part of this emerging hub.
Undoing Oppression/Intersectionalization of the Work – updates and shared learning opportunities
In Sarah Thompson’s article in the special issue of Deep Times journal, she introduces the language of “Intersectionalization” to describe the nature of current work on integrating in power-privilege and oppression awareness and practice more deeply into Work That Reconnects facilitation. Please read her journal article for more information on this.
The group of facilitators who have been meeting on Thursday mornings since the beginning of May to reflect on some recommended changes to framing, practices and facilitation with respect to power, privilege, oppression and intersectionalization are working hard to get more content on the Evolving Edge section of the website including a glossary of terms and list of resources for ongoing learning. Check there throughout the coming month for additions. One new thing you will find is a tab on the Evolving Edge menu for Community Conversations and you can check that page for online opportunities to discuss ongoing evolutions in the Work.
On September 20 at 8:30am PDT the Network will be hosting a webinar/community conversation with Aravinda Ananda, Belinda Griswold, Kurt Kuhwald and Joseph Rotella who will be sharing some of their applications of undoing oppression work to their WTR facilitation and emerging better practices. You can sign up here for this webinar/community conversation.
Many folks are doing good work in this area. If you are a registered facilitator, you have the capacity to log-in to workthatreconnects.org and post to the Undoing Oppression and Intersectionalization section of the website. We invite you to share about work that you have been doing in this area. It is possible for the general public to comment on posts in this section as an avenue for discussion while we explore other options for online conversation and shared learning on these important topics.
To continue the conversation begun on the August 15 regional hub and ongoing group webinar, and to hear from more voices, Stacie Noble-Weist will be hosting a follow-up online webinar/community conversation on October 3 at 8:30am PDT as an opportunity for folks to share more about their own applications of undoing oppression work to WTR facilitation. You can sign up here for that webinar/community conversation.
And one year later, October 11, 2018: A full group writes open-letter entitled “Toward Greater Inclusion and Solidarity” within the Work That Reconnects.