============================================================================ Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 22:09:53 -0700 To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••> From: Rosa Zubizarreta <•••@••.•••> ***** Toward a Deeper Unity: The Community Conversations project The Community Conversations project is a response to the 911 tragedy. It is also a broader, ongoing effort to address the various challenges faced by our society. Vision Statement Our purpose is to generate greater understanding in our communities by creating shared listening spaces where we can explore issues that affect us all, honor divergent perspectives, find common ground, and generate creative solutions to shared problems. Activities 1) Sharing information and resources on how each of us can help generate transformational conversations in our families, workplaces, neighborhoods, etc. 2) Hosting information tables in public places, as a way to let folks know about the project, offer information and resources, and invite participation. 3) Connecting folks who are skilled in creating safe conversational spaces with groups and organizations who would like help in hosting such events for their members. 4) Working towards large, public Community Conversations, sponsored by a variety of organizations and held in public spaces such as libraries and community colleges. 5) Leading workshops for activists and community organizers on heart-centered listening, inquiry, dialogue, and facilitation skills. 6) Offering support and collaboration to others who are doing similar work. Your input, participation, and contributions to this project are most welcome, including information about similar efforts happening locally. Contact information: Rosa Zubizarreta 707-578-6650 •••@••.••• The Community Conversations Project is a member of 911 World Solutions: Sonoma County Peace and Justice Coalition. More about the Community Conversations project How can conversation help? Isn't it "just talk and no action"? We know that certain kinds of conversation can help create deeper understanding between people - not just in small groups, but in larger groups as well. One of the silver linings of the 911 tragedy may be the opportunity to bring healing to some of the long-standing divisions within our society, and generate a deeper sense of unity among us all. Talking about this issue with family and friends doesn't seem to helpŠ Sometimes it's hardest to talk about charged issues with the people to whom we are closest, especially if we do not have an appropriate container for the conversation. Having an agreed-upon format can be very helpful - for example, a talking circle where each person can be heard without interruption. Or, having a "designated listener" present. Isn't this all very idealistic ? In the famous words of John Lennon, "you may say that I'm a dreamer, but I know I'm not aloneŠ" There are various initiatives taking place around the country, designed to help people initiate constructive conversations on this (and other) topics. Some of the most prominent are listed below: RESOURCES 1) The New Road Map Foundation has put together a web page for people who would like to host "Conversation Cafés". The purpose of their effort is, in part: "To offer simple, safe, comfortable ways for people of varying views to take part in deepening conversations in public settings about September 11Š" For more info, visit http://www.newroadmap.org/conversation-cafes.asp 2) The Study Circles Resource Center has developed a new discussion guide for folks who would like to lead a study circle on the subject of the Sept. 11 tragedy. It is called "Facing the Future: How Should We Respond to the Attacks on Our Nation?", and is available at their web site at http://www.studycircles.com/pages/americaresponds.html. 3) Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute wrote a list of simple questions on that anyone can use to invite inquiry and dialogue around 911, along with some suggestions on how to use the questions. This list can be found at http://awakening.to/cii.html There are many other suggestions and resources available for those who wish to apply the tools of empathy, listening, inquiry, dialogue, etc., to the work at hand, including the website of the Center for Non-Violent Communication http://www.cnvc.org. Part of the work of the Community Conversations project is to compile and share these kinds of information, so please let us know of any other resources we can include! -- ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ "A Guidebook: How the world works and how we can change it" http://cyberjournal.org/cj/guide/ A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Capitalism is the relentless accumulation of capital for the acquisition of profit. Capitalism is a carnivore. It cannot be made over into a herbivore without gutting it, i.e., abolishing it. - Warren Wagar, Professor of History, State University of New York at Binghamton Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .