November, 2017
In this newsletter:


Hanoi in 2008. Imagine it in 2058. Or Houston, Kolkata...
climateOn a recent Facing Privilege call, we were talking about the climate privilege we have relative to those coming in the future, and what we can do about it. This is not a question I know how to answer, even though I think of it as the key question facing humanity at this time.
I don't anticipate that any one of us, on our own, will figure out clear actions that can tilt the configuration of powers that's keeping us on the course of likely extinction. Still, I listened and wondered: for this person speaking to our group, what would be the next step?
The clue about how to respond to him came as almost a throwaway sentence, a reference he made to how sometimes all that is possible for him is to turn away from the reality of what's happening in order to continue to function. Now I knew what to say to him: often, the first step is to question why we even want to continue to function given what is happening, and to wonder what would support us in keeping rather than averting our gaze. As Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek tells us, "structural violence is simply the smooth functioning of the current system." Collectively, we co-create it with each and every action (or inaction) we take. For those of us who have access to the comforts that the affluent Global North affords, our most fundamental exit from supporting the system begins with looking: at what the system actually does instead of what we are told it does; at the effect of our actions on people and systems far away from us in space and time; and at the cost to us of continuing to avert our gaze.
Discomfort, as I've been saying for years now, is a necessary aspect of doing this work. We are incredibly unlikely, as unsupported individuals, to be able to recognize the possibility and value of this discomfort; then step into it; and then sustain ourselves there until we know what else to do. For this, I suggested to my caller, we need to be part of communities of other flesh and blood humans, not just symbols and letters on a screen. Communities in physical space are what our evolutionary makeup designed us for and what capitalism has severed us from. What can we each do to move in that direction? 
multiOne thing I've done is to organize much of my work in intensive multi-day retreats, where a temporary in-person community forms to support focus and growth in our capacity to find creative responses to the impossible conditions that we all face now. The next one comes up very soon: the first International Intensive Training in Nonviolent Communication, sponsored by the International Center for Nonviolent Communication, to have a special focus on power, privilege, and the body. My co-trainers are Roxy Manning, Sarah Peyton, Jeyanthy Siva and Bob Wentworth, Jeyanthy Siva. We plan to explore the unique contribution that NVC can make to the vital work of examining power relations, how an awareness of power differences might inform the ways in which NVC is taught, and how our communities might rethink themselves. This is exciting for us, and we hope that you will join us in this exploration, or choose to support the many people who want to come and whose economic reality makes it impossible for them to secure those funds on their own.  
hatredMy final reflection as I close is about the inner dimension of the transformation I am pointing to in this letter. In my recent blog post, Nonviolence in the Face of Hatred, I trace an extraordinary example of what that can look like as one of the participants in my Responding to the Call of Our Times class sorts out her own internal violent responses to learning that her sister was assaulted years ago by the Ku Klux Klan. The work of nonviolence calls on us, repeatedly, to recognize that no matter how little say we have in what happens outside, we always have the ultimate freedom: to choose, moment by moment, where we put our attention and how we respond. 

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.

Image credits: Top:  2008 Hanoi Flood, by Nguyen Thanh Quang, Wikimedia Commons, (CC 2.0 Generic)   Middle: book cover from the publisher, Verso. Bottom: Detail from Klansmen_in_robes_with_burning_cross, probably 1958, By State Archives of North Carolina [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons. 
CNVC International Intensive Training: SF Bay Area
IIT with a 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...

Support Access to Learning at the Bay Area IIT 
One of the ways we see privilege impacting NVC communities is in determining who gains access to learn NVC. The cost of attending a residential retreat, especially when factoring in the cost of missed work and travel, makes it unattainable for many. Please join us in supporting a more diverse group of  attendees at the Bay Area IIT on Power, Privilege, and the Body by participating in the Access Auction.

Understanding the importance of supporting access to this training, CNVC has already provided scholarships at a higher rate than usual and more financial support is needed. There are at least 5 individuals who would like to attend the IIT should the funds become available. You can also help by sharing the link to the auction with your social networks, or contributing a service or item to be auctioned (more information on the auction website.) The auction end times vary by item with everything ending on or before Saturday November 25. Please see the individual item descriptions for more details.
Two online series at NVC Academy
A Principle-Based Approach to Teaching NVC Basics
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 
December 18, 19, & 21 (3 sessions) 
10:30am - noon PT
This class may well help you understand and practice how you can present NVC basics to others, as well as rethink for yourself how you apply NVC, so that you and others are more and more likely to live the promise of NVC and less likely to approach NVC as a mechanical formula. Info here and register with button above. 
Responding to the Call of Our Times
Fridays, February 2 - November 30, 2018 
(44 sessions)
Noon - 2:00pm PT
Whether you are an "official" leader or not, this ongoing program will support you in freeing yourself to fully step into leadership in all aspects of your life and work, and play your part in making life work for everyone. Info and register. 
Free Teleseminars

Sunday, November 26, 10:30am - noon
Monday, November 27, 5:00 - 6:30pm
Friday, December 22, 5:30 - 7:00pm
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, "Nonviolence in the Face of Hatred," earlier posts, or other topics of interest. 

Tuesday, November 21, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Tuesday, December 12, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Saturday, December 23, 10:00 - 11:30am
The Facing Privilege Conference Calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the topic of privilege. 

Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Sunday, November 19, Noon - 1:30pm
Saturday, December 16, 1:30 - 3:00pm
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.
Check out this novel!
Steve  Wineman 's novel  The Therapy Journal follows the lives of two women in the aftermath of sex trafficking and childhood sexual abuse. A literary companion piece to his book  Power-Under: Trauma and Nonviolent Social Change, this story chronicles the struggle to break the stranglehold of trauma and live a life in which human connection and joy remain possible. The Therapy Journal is available in print and ebook on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Miki says: "I read this book and provided an endorsement. I found it powerful and engaging, as my endorsement indicates. I also am immensely grateful to Steve for offering to donate 1/3 of his royalties to BayNVC."
January 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. 
  Information here.

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

Monday November 20, 9:30pm PT: 
 join a 
90-minute interactive call where you can ask Miki questions about the Jaipur workshop. 

Convergent Facilitation -- South Korea
January 22 - 24, and 25, 2018. Details to be announced.
As you know, we made the match for Miki's work this year. We invite you to join with others and to consider being part of the Circle of Support. This is a time of End-of-Year Giving. If you have the capacity and willingness to contribute, you can help build the foundation of sustainability for the future for this work to thrive.