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Using NVC - A Language of Compassion - To Walk the Talk of Critical Social Change

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Educators, social workers, mediators, human resource specialists, communication consultants, conflict resolution professionals, community organizers, educators, psychologists, nonprofit managers, occupy movement activists, artists, therapists working with people of color, lawyers, healers, religious and spiritual leaders, health care professionals, judges, government staff, legislative staff, etc. Read more about some of the experiences that people want to address through exploring this work.
  • Gain tools for ongoing personal healing (internal)
  • Build skills for empowered communication to strengthen human relationships (interpersonal)
  • Develop daily practices to transform the way you relate and interact with others in support of social justice––in organizations, agencies, companies and institutions (institutional)
Grounded in principles of  Nonviolence and Nonviolent Communication, at this seven-day retreat, we hope to:

  • raise awareness about systemic oppression (subtle and overt)
  • explore how existing power dynamics in North American society, including economic and political structures, impact our ability to connect with our own and others’ full humanity;
  • examine, through a new lens, the real wounds and societal messages we’ve received about our own and others’ race, ethnicity and social class and begin to find ways to heal and move past the impact of those experiences and messages;
  • learn and deepen our practice of concrete communication skills that can support authentic connections across race, ethnicity and class barriers;
  • understand how to deepen our connections with others, regardless of their background, through authentic, honest and compassionate communication;
  • identify effective strategies to support engagement with those currently working within the systems of power in North America;
  • share with each other the practices and strategies that support the building and strengthening of organizations and communities focused on creating transformative social change

At the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice Retreat, we aim to create a retreat environment that nurtures, supports and inspires a community process of exploring, examining and practicing various tools, based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication, that we believe contribute to greater cultural competency, awareness and empowerment.

We are fully committed to introducing the tools of Nonviolence to all people, of all races, ethnicity, and economic levels, so that each person can see the potential of integrating these tools as a daily practice so we can collectively create a world where every one’s needs matter. We are also particularly committed to sharing these integrative tools and skills that address both greater critical awareness of how certain institutional/social structures and power dynamics serve to divide and dehumanize us, and also to support the healing, transformation, and strengthening of our compassionate connection with each other, especially across our differences.
The NVC and Diversity’s unique environment helps me deal with race by giving me tools that go far beyond my familiar responses of silence, rage or pain.
Gwen W.
The integration of the principles of non-violent communication in the hard work of confronting racism and classism allows for people to be honest, uncover biases and roadblocks, and keeps folks accountable to one another and their own principles, all in a spirit of love and forgiveness.
Mandie C.
Things I have gotten at this retreat: a broader perspective, courage, community, real listening, self-compassion, compassion for others, hope, and friendship.
Kar Fraser
…it has allowed me to develop much more genuine relationships with the same co-workers, and with other people, and my life is so much richer for it.
Julie Rogers

“Peace requires everyone to be in the circle” – Isabel Allende