September, 2017

Victor Lewis
A few days ago, as I was sitting with a group along with BayNVC board member Victor Lewis, he spoke of the imperative to tap into joy as often as possible as an integral part of our awakening to the world, even while suffering and destruction are daily occurrences. I was reminded of Emma Goldman's famous line: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."
In honor of her, of Victor, and of the untold number of people who manage to live joyously against all odds and in dire circumstances, I decided to share in this entry of the newsletter some uplifting tidbits.

Rovaja: administered in green, claimed in orange
Have you heard of the extraordinary social and real-life experiment in self-governance and feminism going on in Syria? It's hard to believe, and it's true: the Rojava region, made up primarily though not only of Kurds, has gone through an internal revolution after their leader, while arrested, read anarchist literature. Now they are run entirely on participatory democracy and feminist principles, and they have an entire army of women. Overall, they are doing as well as could imagine. Sadly, they are still embroiled in war, and they do better than any in fighting off ISIS.
Life after Hate
I am rarely speechless, and yet I am challenged to find words to speak of this organization. All the founders are former members of extreme right wing organizations, and are now dedicated to supporting others in making the journey out. I talked to their executive director a few months ago as part of a now dormant project, and was deeply touched by his stories about others' journeys and by the fierce uncompromising faith in the possibility of redemption that the entire organization exudes. In this time of growing polarization and the politics of hatred and shaming, this is a shining star for me. And if you are in the Bay Area, you might want to come to a screening of the movie Accidental Courtesy, "a documentary about Daryl Davis, an African American man who has spent over 20 years befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan, an effort that has resulted in over 200 members leaving the KKK."
Still from an Ayeish movie
This organization has taken on bringing the spirit and practices of NVC to bear on high-tension political issues. Right now Leah Wolfthal, the founder of Ayeish, is working with an informal group in Syria to bring together multiple groups to potentially create a shared vision for a future Syria. In this case, I've had conversations with Leah and the source of magic and passion in this project on the US side. We've talked about Convergent Facilitation and her own approach to the intricate task lying ahead of her. Based on what I've seen and heard, I have utter confidence that Leah and whoever else she brings along for this project possess enough vision, skill, and commitment to make it happen. This is an experiment, clearly, and we all know that the "tried and true" is only making things worse. Leah has a crowdfunding campaign going to support this project, and I hope you will join me in supporting her work.
Transformative parenting
Last week marked the third anniversary of Inbal's death, my sister and partner in thought and action. She knew, early on, to focus on two key areas: leadership development, so we could replicate what we do, and parenting, so a new generation of children will be free from the brutal effects of patriarchal socialization. One of her projects, the Parent Peer Leadership Program, combines the two areas of focus, and has continued beyond her life led by two former students of hers, Ingrid Bauer and Stephanie Mattei. Please read about it below and follow the link, even if you're not a parent. You can get a glimpse of a different world, and perhaps inspire other parents to at least sign up for the informational call coming up in a few days.
NVC in South America 
About a year ago, I was invited to be one of four NVC trainers leading a nine-day intensive training in Spanish in Chile, along with my sister Arnina, Fabiola Fuentes from Colombia, and Alan Seid from the US. Felipe Yurjevic, the indefatigable organizer of the event, is bringing to this training people with vision and capacity to create change. Chile is a country with a rich and painful history. While writing this, I read an article by Ariel Dorfman in Tikkun which includes a devastating account of the US-backed coup in Chile in 1973. It is uplifting for me to imagine 85 people coming together to become connected and highly effective in working towards their vision. Felipe has created an  to support people in getting scholarships beyond what was in the original budget. I hope you will consider supporting this unusual opportunity. 
The work ahead of us continues and deepens. In my recent blog post I grapple with an aspect of the recent events of Charlottesville: reflecting on what we can do in response to the growing polarization instead of demonizing anyone. Extreme weather, being on the brink of a scary war in Asia, unprecedented disparities in access to resources, and a growing malaise everywhere are with us and escalating. If we are honest and committed, we know we will be called upon to step into new territories of discomfort and to question everything we've been told about what life is about and what it means to be human. Being inspired and nurtured along the way is a vital source of energy. I hope the snippets I included here have inspired you and will sustain you on your journey towards courage, truth, and love. As one of my students, Melanie Gold, has said: instead of "unite the right", the slogan of the Charlottesville marchers, let's go for "unite the light". 

in peace and hope,


P.S. If you want to hear more of what's been happening in the last couple of months, click here for both work and personal celebrations and mournings,
including completing the "Miki's Match" $45,000 donation drive.
Image credits: Top: from Victor Lewis's website. 2nd: from Wikipedia on Rojava. 3rd: from the trailer for Accidental Courtesy; 4th from an Ayeish movie.
Transformative Parenting
The Parent Peer Leadership Program
with Ingrid Bauer and Stephanie Mattei
founded by Inbal Kashtan
September 22, 2017 10:30 AM -- Informational Call for the:
October 2017 - June 2018 -- Program
The PPLP begins in October 2017 and runs through June 2018, and is structured as a long-distance program in order to support participation by lay leaders throughout the world. The components of the program include regularly scheduled teleclasses, weekly study suggestions, buddy relationships, and individualized tele-support.
Learn about the program here. Sign up for the Sept 22 preview call here

Free Teleseminars

Sunday, October 29, 10:30am - noon
You are invited to join Miki and others in the next   Fearless Heart Teleseminars.  On these calls you can engage in conversation about her latest blog post, "Moving from Fault to Cause: Looking for Systemic Solutions to White Supremacy," earlier posts, or other topics of interest. 

Tuesday, September26, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Friday, October 27, 5:30 - 7:00pm
The Facing Privilege Conference Calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the question of privilege. 

Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Saturday, September 23, 4:00 - 5:30pm, PT
Saturday, October 28, Noon - 1:30pm, PT
The Principle-Based-Teaching calls are designed for people who have been integrating NVC for a while, who are now sharing NVC with others in various forms, and would like to engage with others and with Miki in deepening our collective capacity to bring NVC to the world in this particular way.
In Chile and Argentina
October 6-15 
CNVC FormaciĆ³n Intensiva Internacional
with Alan Seid, Fabiola Fuentes, Arnina Kashtan and Miki Kashtan
At FundaciĆ³n PuntoZero, Putaendo (103 km north of Santiago)
Learn more and register...

Argentina -- workshops in Spanish
October 19-22 
For information contact Maria Marta Suarez.
Working for Transformation: Rochester, NY
in Rochester, NY
November 3-5
Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past: A Workshop for Change Agents. With Miki. At the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Convergent Facilitation Trainings with Miki: 
in Cleveland and Chicago
One-day training in Cleveland 
November 9

Three-day training in Chicago  
November 11-13

CNVC International Intensive Training: SF Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Focus on Power, Privilege, and the Body
December 1 - 10 
9 Day residential training, Menlo Park, CA
with Roxy Manning, Jeyanthy Siva, Sarah Peyton, Bob Wentworth, and Miki Kashtan
Learn more and register...
2018 in Asia: Save the dates!
January 3, 3:00 pm - January 4, 6:00 pm 
A one-and-a-half day workshop with Miki. 
Learn more

Transforming Organisations Through Collaborative Processes -- Jaipur, India 
January 6 - 13, 2018 
A residential training by Miki, hosted by AhimsaGram, at a small temple town 80 km from Jaipur.

Convergent Facilitation -- South Korea
January 22 - 24, and 25, 2018. Details to be announced.
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