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RSVP /  Listening  Project

2011/2012 Newsletter    

25 Years  of  Helping  Communities  Move   From  Divisiveness  and  Disempowerment   To  Listening  and     Cooperative  Community  Action    

1036 Hannah  Branch  Rd.,     Burnsville,  NC  28714   Tel.  828-­‐675-­‐4626  


f you  are  troubled  by  the  intense  social  and  political  polarization  that  so  often  prevents  positive   change  these  days,  then  you  can  feel  proud  of  your  connection  to  the  Listening  Project  (LP).     Conducted  by  community-­‐based  organizations  made  up  of  everyday  people  like  you  and  I,   Listening  Projects  have  for  the  past  25  years  been  successful  in  transforming  divisiveness  and   disempowerment  into  listening  and  cooperative  community  action.    Whether  you  have  been  in  a   project  or  are  newly  interested,  you  are  an  important  part  of  our  work.    

LP’s include  interviews  with  people  who  have  opposing  or  differing  views  from  our  own.    Trained,   local  listeners  create  a  safe  space  where  people  can  explore  their  concerns,  hopes  and  beliefs  in  a   manner  that  often  leads  to  new  ideas  and  community  based  solutions.    The  next  step  is  empowering   people  to  work  together  and  create  the  change  they  seek!    It’s  an  amazing  process  that  takes  time,   commitment  and  resources.    RSVP/  Listening  Project’s  training  and  support  resources  are  vital  to   success  and  we  depend  on  people  like  you  to  support  our  work.    In  this  newsletter  we  offer  you   stories  and  reports  from  current  Listening  Projects  including:    

 Accomplishments  

o In-­‐Common Community  Development  in  Omaha  Nebraska,   empowering  neighborhoods  to  make                  changes  that  benefit  all  residents   o Facilitated  Group  Listening  with  teens  on  drug  and  alcohol   abuse  results  in  positive  youth  and  community  action      

 New Projects  and  Possibilities    

o Christian Stewardship  of  Creation  Project  addresses  problems   and  needs  of  the  Falls  Lake  Watershed  which  provides  water  for   Raleigh  and  Wake  Forest,  NC     o Loyola  and  Govans  neighborhoods  work  together  through   listening  to  build  a  better  relationship  and  grow  local  business   o Organizational  capacity  building    -­‐-­‐  Listening  Projects  can  make   your  work  stronger   o Haitian  community  empowerment  projects  in  Miami,  Florida   and  Haiti  planned  by  the  American  Friends  Service  Committee  plans   for.    No  article  for  this  one  yet  as  we  are  still  consulting  on  the   project.    

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About Us  


Loyola University  and     Govans  Neighborhood   Transform  Listening  into   Community  Organizing     by  Gary  Gillespie    

As a  result  of  the  Loyola  is  Listening  findings,   Loyola  University’s  Y or k  Road   Tas k  Fo rce   developed  three  area  of  focus  for  the   community  engagement  initiative:    

RSVP/Listening Project  Board  members  a nd   staff:  (left  to  right,  top)  B rian  Yaffe,  Jon  Ward,   Whitney  Brasington,  Gary  Gumz,  Marnie     Walters,  Mari  Ohta,  (bottom)  Dixie  P omerat,     Melia  Kizer,  Herb  Walters,  Colin  Sugioka.  B elow:   Silvia  Peterson,  Cindy  Warlick  

1)  Building  Civic  Capacity    2)  Strengthening  the  Commercial  Corridor    3)  Enhancing  Youth  Development       In  addition,  the  Task  Force  established  several   crosscutting  themes:      

• • • • • • •

building partnerships conducting asset mapping evaluating histories unifying divisions knocking down walls in relation to Loyola’s campus and the neighborhood engaging the greater community keeping the greater Govans and Loyola communities informed of the initiatives

Building Civic  Capacity    

Training Manuals  &  Resources   These  materials  are  available  on  our  website:    

Listening Project  Training  Manual This  new,   updated  m anual  has  a  great  deal  of  new   information  and  m ethodologies.  It  is  d esigned  for   use  in  RSVP's  LP  Training  Program.  It  is  for  RSVP's   national  and  international  network  of  LP  trainers   and  can  be  m ade  available  t o  organizations   developing  a  Listening  Project  with  t he  assistance   of  a  trainer.  

Facilitated Group  Listening  Training  Manual,   2011  Edition  This  m anual  is  available  to   organizations  wanting  t o  organize  a  facilitated   dialogue.  RSVP  provides  Facilitated  Listening   consultation  and  training  when  needed  and  we   recommend  t hat  t his  m anual  be  used  in   conjunction  with  such  assistance.    

The University  co-­‐sponsored  an  AmeriCorps   VISTA  member  with  the  Greater  Homewood   Community  Corporation  to  focus  solely  as  a   community  organizer  in  the  York  Road   communities  through  the  York  Road   Partnership.  As  a  result:    

• The York  Road  Partnership  has  updated  its   strategic  neighborhood  action  plan  and   hosted  block  captain  and  community   organizing  trainings  for  over  60  residents.       • Additionally,  a  number  of  University  task   force  members  now  serve  on  York  Road   Partnership  standing  committees,  including   chairing  the  Housing  and  Neighborhood   Revitalization  Committee,  and  serving  on  the   Commercial  Development,  Streetscaping   and  Greening,  Liquor  and  Youth   Development  Committees  respectively.     Likewise,  the  university  is  advocating  for  the   continued  support  of  Chesapeake  Habitat   for  Humanity  and  Neighborhood  Housing   Services  in  their  efforts  to  rebuild  or  


rehabilitate more  than  20  homes  in  the   Woodborne  McCabe  neighborhood.     •  Students,  through  service  learning  classes,   have  worked  with  communities  and   neighborhood  associations  to  develop  and   implement  community  websites  and   Facebook  pages  and  they  successfully   developed  a  resident  outreach  plan  for  one   eastside  neighborhood  that  resulted  in  the   tripling  of  resident  neighborhood   association  meeting  attendance.    Students,   faculty,  staff  and  alumni  also  participate  in   service  days  with  community  residents   including  two  events  held  in  the  fall  and   spring  to  plant  trees  and  beautify  the   corridor.    

with the  Govanstowne  Business  Association,   Govans  Ecumenical  Development  Corporation   (GEDCO)  and  the  Baltimore  Development   Corporation  (BDC),  and  by  supporting   established  anchors,  such  as  the  Junior   League’s  secondhand  storefront,  The  Wise   Penny,  in  promoting  brand  awareness.    

Enhancing Youth  Development   The  University  is  committed  to  youth   development  through  collaborations  with   public  and  charter  elementary  schools  in  the   community  and  through  its  own  Clinical   Centers  at  Belvedere  Square.    Loyola  students   and  faculty  worked  at  Guilford  Elementary   School  and  Tunbridge  Public  Charter  School,   providing  faculty  enhancement  workshops,   school  counseling  and  after  school  support.    A   new  partnership  formed  with  Acts  for  Youth,   an  after  school  program  at  Guilford   Elementary  School,  and  the  University   partnered  over  the  summer  with  the  Mid-­‐ Govans  community  to  submit  a  proposal  to   the  City  Department  of  Recreation  to  prevent   the  closing  of  the  DeWees  Recreation  Center.    

Strengthening the     Commercial  Corridor   The  University  and  the  Sellinger  School  of   Business,  support  small  business  and   commercial  development  through  student   project-­‐based  work  and  an  AmeriCorps  VISTA   member  focused  on  developing  relationships   between  the  business  school  and  the   community.        

These commitments  have  led  to  website   design  and  implementation  for  six  businesses   on  York  Road,  highly  rated  social  media   workshops  attended  by  33  neighbors,  and  the   development,  coordination,  marketing,  and   sponsorship  of  the  inaugural  G o va nst o w ne   Far me r’s  M ark et ,  which  was  hosted  at   Loyola’s  transportation  and  public  safety   headquarters  on  York  Road  for  four  weeks  in   Summer  2011  and  attracted  over  10  vendors   and  1000  diverse  residents.    Additionally,   students  worked  to  attract  clusters  of  new   business  to  the  corridor  through  collaboration  

Gary  Gillespie  has  organized  L istening  Projects  in   seven  Baltimore  neighborhoods,  o ne  community   in  West  Philadelphia  a nd  with  Loyola  U niversity  in   the  Govans  neighborhood  of  Baltimore.    H e  has  a lso   participated  in  seminars  in  South  Africa,   Cambodia  a nd  Brazil  on  gun  violence  a nd  conflict   transformation  where  he  presented  o n  community   listening  a s  a  tool  to  lessen  violence.    Gary  directed   the  Baltimore  office  of  AFSC  a nd  is  currently   coordinator  for  the  Baltimore  College  Peace   Network.  Contact:  at;  or   443-­‐8 47-­‐8 989  


that a  group  of  trainees  came  back  to   inCOMMON  to  conduct  listening  sessions  at   the  Community  Meal  hosted  by  inCOMMON.  


inCommon Community   Listening  Paves  the  Way     for  Change

In May  2010,  RSVP  trained  12  Listening  Project   organizers  at  inCOMMON  Community   Development  in  Omaha,  Nebraska.     inCommon  continues  to  use  listening  at  the   heart  of  all  the  work  they  do  within  the  under-­‐ resourced  Park  Avenue  neighborhood.    This   includes  their  Community  Meals,  where   residents  share  stories  and  ideas,  Listening   Booths,  which  have  enabled  one  on  one   interviews  that  are  recorded,  and  their   Listening  Circles,  where  neighbors  explore   their  stories,  experiences  and  connections  to   the  neighborhood.  They  are  currently   processing  all  that  they  have  learned  so  they   can  continue  to  utilize  resident  input  and   leadership  in  all  of  their  programs  including   development  of  a  new  community  resource   center  that  can  respond  to  the  priorities  of   residents.    

A second  inCOMMON  focus  has  been   fostering  more  listening  throughout  the  city   of  Omaha.    They  have  done  this  by  providing   listening  training  to  v arious  groups.    For   example,  The  Omaha  Chamber  launched  a   young  professionals  group  a  few  years  ago.     On  August  10,  2011  about  a  dozen  board   members  of  the  young  professionals  group   came  to  inCOMMON  Community   Development  for  the  listening  project   training.    The  training  was  such  a  huge  success  

inCOMMON  hosted  a  listening  booth  at  the   Crossroads  Connections  Annual  Block  Party   this  fall.    Hundreds  attended  the  party   throughout  the  evening  and  about  six  Park   Avenue  residents  were  interviewed   throughout  the  evening.    Many  residents   spoke  about  the  violence,  crime,  and   prostitution  in  the  area.  Some  also  spoke   about  the  hope  that  they  have  for  Park   Avenue-­‐-­‐believing  that  it  has  potential  and   events  like  block  parties  bring  light  to  the   darkness  that  is  often  associated  with  that   area.    Residents  were  educated  about  the   listening  events  that  are  offered  at   inCOMMON  and  some  plan  to  participate  in   the  Community  Meals  in  the  future.       Now,  after  almost  two  years  they  have  seen   other  organizations  in  Omaha  implementing   listening  meetings,  sessions,  and   opportunities  into  their  community  work.    The   power  listening  has  in  connecting  people   together  and  providing  the  roots  for  change   has  been  moving  across  this  city  in  all  kinds  of   ways.    A  great  time  for  listening  has  come  to   Omaha.      

More info:  Calvin  Smothers,  inCOMMON  Community   Development,  Community  Center  Director.  C ontact:   402.933.6672,


From: Yancey  Common  Times  Journal                           Re:  Article  for  I mmediate  Release,  11/8/11  

Drug Abuse  Task  Force   Listens  to  Students   For  Solutions      

In February  of  this  year,  60  Mountain  Heritage   High  School  students  participated  in  a   Facilitated  Group  Listening  session  sponsored   by  the  Prescription  Drug  Abuse  Task  Force.    Funding  was  provided  by  the  Graham   Children’s  Health  Services.    The  purpose   behind  this  Listening  to  Our  Teens  event  was   to  engage  Mountain  Heritage  High  students  in   examining  what  the  current  situation  is  with   teen  use  of  alcohol  and  drugs  and  to  explore   ways  to  respond  to  the  problem  of  teen  drug   and  alcohol  abuse.    A  current  evaluation  of  the   results  of  this  event  indicates  that  MHHS   students  have  already  had  a  positive  impact   on  these  matters.        

Amy Sheele,  director  of  Graham   Children’s  Health  Services  believes  that     “Listening  to  Our  Teens    (LTOT)  was  a  great   success,  based  on  new  programs  that  were   influenced  by  their  input.”          

implemented.”  The  following  are  some   examples:    

1.  Inspired  by  the  leadership  teens   demonstrated  at  the  listening  session  and   their  and  their  interest  in  providing   additional  leadership,  a  teen  drug  prevention   group  at  the  high  school  called  TIP  (Teens  in   Prevention)  has  been  formed.    Patty  Hughes   at  the  high  school  is  the  club  sponsor.       2.    An  after  school  fitness  center  program  for   20  students.  (Many  requests  were  made  in   the  group  listening  session  for  more  after   school  activities).  The  program  is  two  hours   for  two  times  a  week.    It  is  free  to   participants  and  transportation  is  provided.    Fitness  Center  staff  and  volunteers  work   with  the  students  during  this  time.       3.    Teen  events  sponsored  by  the   Prescription  Drug  Task  Force,  have  included   a  free  pool  party,  a  day  of  live  music  at  the   town  square  in  partnership  with  Family   Violence  Coalition,  and  a  free  movie  night.    4.  One  student  in  particular  made  a  plea  for     4-­‐H  programming  at  MHHS    

“We  were  all  really  pleased  with  the   maturity  and  willingness  of  the  students  to   take  a  serious  look  at  what  was  going  on  in   and  out  of  school  with  substance  abuse,”  says   Herb  Walters,  director  of  RSVP  /  Listening   Project.    Walters  facilitated  planning  meetings   and  provided  two  hour  training  on  use  of  the   Facilitated  Group  Listening  process.    After  the   training  he  joined  thirteen  adults  from  the   high  school  and  from  local  health  agencies   who  acted  as  facilitators  (guides)  for  each   teen  group  of  five  to  six.      Each  of  these  teen   groups  listened  to  one  another  as  one  at  a   time,  they  responded  to  five  LTOT  questions   that  enabled  teen  participants  to  reflect  on   both  problems  and  possible  solutions.    

“Looking back,”  says  Sheele,   “listening  to  our  amazing  teens,  who  were   members  of  various  school  clubs,  has   provided  us  with  a  better  understanding  of   the  problems  as  well  as  great  ideas  for  drug   and  alcohol  prevention.    In  fact  many  of  their   recommendations  have  already  been  

According  to  Tres  Magner,  director  of  Yancey   Extension,  "4-­‐H  wants  to  build  their  presence   at  the  High  School  and  one  way  we  plan  to  do   that  is  begin  a  4-­‐H  Club  targeted  at  students  in   the  middle  schools,  and  build  on  that  as  they   move  into  the  high  school.    4-­‐H  would  also   work  closely  with  FFA  to  make  sure  students   have  a  v ariety  of  opportunities  and  to  avoid   any  duplication.    


Christian Stewardship  Listening  Project:      

Falls Lake  Watershed     Restoration  and  Protection  

Picture, from  left  to  right:  Pamela   Lewis,  educational   consultant;  Dr.   Robert  George,  director  of  the  George   Institute  for  Biodiversity  a nd  Sustainability  which  is  the   primary  sponsor  of  this  project  under  the  auspices  of  the   L.  R uss  Bush  Center  for  Faith  and  Culture,  Southeastern   Baptist  Theological  Seminary;  Pastor   Dwayne   Milioni,   pastor  of  the  Open  Door  Baptist  Church  a nd  Herb   Walters,  RSVP/Listening  Project  trainer    


In the  last  decade  there  is  a  growing  concern  from   the  Christian  faith  community,  to  take  active  part   in  promoting  clean  water  and  healthy  habitats  and   ecosystems  in  our  lakes,  rivers  and  the  estuaries   along  the  coast.  The  goal  of  this  project  is  to  serve   in  a  catalytic  and  proactive  manner  in  mobilizing   ongoing  plans  to  develop  clean  drinking  water   from  the  Falls  Lake  Reservoir  for  nearly  half  a   million  people  in  the  Triangle  area  (the  city  of   Raleigh  and  Wake  County).      

The restoration  of  Falls  Lake  Watershed,  as   stipulated  by  the  North  Carolina  State   Environmental  Management  Commission  (EMC),  is   to  achieve  the  goal  of  cleaning  up  the  Falls  Lake   upper  part  within10  years  and  the  lower  part   within  30  years.      

The Falls  Lake  –  Neuse  River  Christian  Creation   Stewardship  Project  focuses  on  two  means  of   influencing  the  Falls  Lake  development  planning.   One  is  to  build  grassroots  support  for  sustainable   development  by  working  with  different  pastors   and  other  leaders  in  the  churches  in  the  Falls  Lake   watershed  area.  The  second  is  to  provide   information  that  is  both  science  and  faith-­‐based   and  that  provides  clear  and  achievable  

development to  complement  the  efforts  of   government  agencies.      

Phase One  

The first  approach  will  begin  with  initiation  of  the   “Christian  Stewardship  Listening  Project.    The   effort  includes  teams  of  trained  interviewers  with   each  team  interviewing  pastors.  The  interview   process  is  based  on  the  25  years  of  successful   Listening  Projects  conducted  by  RSVP/  Listening   Project  –  including  a  current  successful  model  –  the   Christian  Stewardship  Listening  Project.    The   trained  interviewers  will  utilize  active  listening  and   open-­‐ended  questions  that  enable  the   interviewees  to  explore  their  own  feelings  and   ideas  about  Creation  Stewardship  and  it’s  meaning   in  relation  to  caring  for  the  Falls  Lake  watershed   eco-­‐system.  Questions  will  be  carefully  selected  so   that  church  leaders  have  an  opportunity  to  express   their  concerns,  ideas  and  priorities  for  Falls  Lake   development  in  context  of  Creation  Stewardship               This  project  derives  energy  and  enthusiasm  from   the  works  of  Pastor  Dwayne  Milioni  and  his   colleagues  at  the  Open  Door  Baptist  Church,  which   will  serve  as  the  nucleus  of  the  dialogues  and   roundtables  for  promoting  the  proposed  plans.   The  project  also  draws  strength  from  the  Christian   vision  of  ‘Creation  Care’,  as  envisaged  in  the  2008   book  entitled  “For  the  Beauty  of  the  Earth”   (Bouma-­‐Prediger,  2008).      

Dr. Robert  Y.  George  will  serve  as  the  director  of   the  Falls  Lake  ‘Christian  Creation  Stewardship’   (CCS)  project.  He  is  a  science  consultant  at  the   ‘Center  for  Faith  and  Culture’  to  develop,  teach  and   promote  ‘Creation-­‐based”  environmental   stewardship.    

Phase Two   The  second  phase  of  this  work  will  be  a  pro-­‐active   Theoecology  Dialogue  Project  (PTDP).  The  purpose   of  this  phase  is  to  place  the  recommendations   from  the  faith-­‐based  community  from  9  churches   in  the  vicinity  of  Falls  Lake  to  the  different   stakeholders  of  the  Falls  Lake  Ecosystems.  These   stakeholders  and  managers  will  include  the   following:    

A. The City  of  Raleigh  (Utility  Department)  since   the  Falls  Lake  provides  drinking  water  to   500,000  citizens  of  the  Wake  County,  primarily   Raleigh.    


B. The Water  Quality  Department  of  the  NC   Department  of  Energy  and  Natural  Water   Resources  since  this  department  works  to   maintain  the  water  quality  of  the  Falls  Lake  to   meet  the  state  standards  as  well  as  to  bring   the  quality  mandated  by  federal  regulations   through  the  Environmental  Protection  Agency   (EPA).  Furthermore,  the  Falls  Lake  in  north   Raleigh  has  the  city  Waste  Treatment  Facility   and  effluents  from  the  treated  waste  contain   trace  elements  which  impact  the  health  of   plants  and  animals  in  the  ecosystems.  Because   of  new  developments  (houses  and  shopping   malls)  and  lack  of  a  buffer  zone  there  is  a   significant  flux  of  phosphorus  and  nitrogen   through  storm  water  entry  via  creeks  and   rainwater  flow  in  to  the  Falls  Lake.  The   increased  nutrient  loading  results  in  outbursts   of  dinoflagellates  and  plants  that  consume  the   dissolved  oxygen  and  create  hypoxia,  leading   to  fish  kills.  Toxic  algal  blooms  also  make  the   proactive  dialogues  with  managers  of  the  Falls   Lake  Dam  and  will  continue  the  dialogues  on   the  basis  of  the  recommendations  from  the   Listening  Project.    

C. Army Corps  of  Engineers:  ‘Falls  Lake  Dam’   was  built  in  the  early  ‘80s  primarily  to  control   flooding  problems.  We  have  already   developed  proactive  dialogues  with  managers   of  the  Falls  Lake  Dam  and  will  continue  the   dialogues  on  the  basis  of  the   recommendations  from  the  Listening  Project.    

D. Large-­‐Mouth Bass  Restoration:  There  is  great   scope  to  increase  the  biomass  of  the  large   mouth  bass  and  striped  bass  populations,   using  the  models  from  Gastonia  Lake-­‐Roanoke   River  Ecosystem  in  the  northern  North   Carolina  near  Virginia  border  and  also  the   Chesapeake  Bake  Program  with  advice  from   Dr.  Reginal  Darrell  (one  of  the  members  of  the   steering  committee).  We  have  initiated   discussions  with  fisheries  ecologist  Dr.  Jim   Rice  of  North  Carolina  State  University  to  gain   input  in  enhancing  the  large-­‐mouth  bass   populations  in  Falls  Lake  ecosystems.    

E. Environmental Management  Commission   (EMC):  It  is  our  goal  to  bring  before  the  EMC   the  results  of  this  project  and  there  fore  the   commission  will  have  sufficient  input  from  the   faith-­‐based  communities  around  Falls  Lake  in  

heir decision-­‐making  process  for  the   restoration  of  Falls  lake  Ecosystems  and   eventually  the  Neuse  River  Basin  which  will  be   a  follow-­‐up  large  scale  project  contemplated   for  4  years  (2013-­‐2026).  

Contact  regarding  Christian   Stewardship  of  Creation Listening  Projects.       You  can  read  the  full  article,  submitted  to  the   Theoecology  Journal,  at  our  website:      

Rural Southern  Voice  for  Peace  

Social Change  Organizations     Can  Build  Capacity   with  a  Listening  Project    

Listening Projects  have  helped  many  hundreds  of   organizations  achieve  positive  local,  regional  and   even  national  change.    Equally  important  is  the  fact   that  successful  Listening  Projects  also  increase  the   strength,  diversity,  public  support  and  overall   sustainability  of  the  organization/s  conducting  the   project.      Organizations  that  have  conducted  LP’s   have  grown  stronger  in  the  following  ways:            

✸ Increasing  membership  and  financial  support     This  leads  to  more  active  participants  and  more   financial  support  for  the  organization.    In  Harlan   County,  K entucky,  the  groundwater  and  soil  of  the   town  of  Dayhoit  had  been  severely  poisoned  by   chemicals  from  a  plant  that  cleans  mining   equipment.  Health  problems  were  widespread,  but   many  residents  were  uninformed  or  afraid  to  speak   out.  The  Concerned  Citizens  Against  Toxic  Waste   (CCATW)  used  a  Listening  Project  to  document  the   effects  of  the  contamination  and  to  educate   people.  It  also  brought  so  many  new  people  into   the  organization  that  their  new  problem  was  how   to  involve  them  all.    CCATW’s  Interview  results  also   helped  them  access  new  funding  sources.      

✸ Identifying  and  integrating  new  community   leaders      

At a  public  meeting  in  West  Palm  Beach,  Florida   the  mayor  announced  important  new  initiatives  to   “draw  the  line  on  crime”,  including  plans  to   convert  a  boarded  up  building  that  had  once   housed  a  historic  African  American  elementary   school  into  a  multi-­‐service  center.  The  president  of   United  Sisters  Pleasant  City,  a  group  of  low-­‐income  


single moms  living  in  a  neighborhood  where  the   school  was  located  approached  the  mayor  after   the  meeting.  She  made  the  case  that  unless   residents  of  that  neighborhood  were  involved  in   the  creation  and  running  of  such  a  center,  it  could   not  succeed  in  truly  meeting  the  needs  of  that   area.  The  Pleasant  City  Listening  Project  engaged   residents  in  that  process  and  helped  contribute  to   the  creation  of  the  resident-­‐led  and  staffed  Asili   Resource  Center.    

environmental protection  that  included  many  who   had  previously  been  apathetic  or  negative  about   environmental  protection.  Several  years  later,   CSLP  initiated  formation  of  Sustainable  Yancey   (SY).    Led  by  business,  civic,  church,  and   community  representatives,  SY  continues  today  to   conduct  a  range  of  programs  that  have   strengthened  sustainable  economic  and  resource   development  in  Yancey  County.          

✸    ✸    ✸    ✸  

“I no longer was all alone; I was talking to people who were describing the same things that I felt. That was a very healing experience for me. I came back feeling uplifted, knowing that I had given people a gift of spending time to listen to them. In the process, I had been given a lot, too.” Quote from  The  Listening  Project:  P ersonal  and   Social  Change  through  D eep  Listening,  by  Herb   Walters  with  Geoff  Huggins    

✸ Helping  create  new  community  partnerships   and  coalitions  that  have  greater  resources  to   achieve  mutual  goal  

In 2008,  a  “  Listening  to  Our  Teens”  (LTOT)  project   initiated  by  the  Asheville  City  Schools  Foundation   was  conducted  by  20  school  and  community   organizations.    At  a  Listening  to  our  teen’s  summit   in  June  2009,  85  service  providers  and  community   representatives  came  together  to  learn  about  the   results  of  interviews  with  85  teens  and  40  family   members.    Out  of  this  discussion,  community   collaboration  led  to  programs  that  responded  to   teen/family  priorities.  This  included  launching  of   “IN  REAL  LIFE,”  an  after  school  program  that   responded  to  teen  and  family  needs  for  quality   after  school  activities  for  teens.    

✸ Creating  long-­‐term  capacity  for  cooperative   community  action  

In Yancey  County,  NC,  the  Christian  Stewardship   Listening  Project  CSLP  resulted  in  church  leaders   coming  together  for  the  first  time  to  advocate  for   stewardship  of  our  environment  as  God’s  creation.     This  created  a  local,  faith-­‐based  approach  to  

30 years  ago  …   Rural  Southern  Voice  for  Peace  was  born   25  years  ago  …   We  initiated  the  first  Listening  Project    

Since those  early  days  we  have  worked  with   people  who  we  believe  to  be  some  of  the  great,   unheralded  heroes  and  heroines  of  our  time.   They  give  deeply  from  their  lives  for  the   betterment  of  others.  Some  make  an  income   that  supports  their  community  organizing  work;   some  volunteer  their  time.  Many  are  low-­‐income   or  working  class  people,  or  professionals  with   demanding  jobs.  Even  in  the  midst  of  their  busy   lives,  perhaps  struggling  to  make  a  living  or  to   raise  a  family,  they  take  time  to  help  their   community  and  the  world  around  them.  They   give  with  dedication  and  wisdom  and  with  less   reward  than  they  deserve.  They  do  this  not   because  they  think  they  are  natural  leaders,  but   because  they  are  willing  to  do  what  it  takes,   make  mistakes,  learn  and  grow,  and  to  find  joy   in  service.    Thank  you  for  being  one  of  these   people  or  for  supporting  our  work  so  we  can   assist  them  or  for  just  doing  the  day-­‐to-­‐day   service  of  being  kind  and  generous  to  others   and  to  all  creation.     To  all  of  you  we  give  thanks  &  we  appreciate   your  continued  support.  

Go Green    

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RSVP/Listening Project Newsletter 2011/12  

Yearly newsletter with Listening Projects updates from Omaha, NB; Falls Lake, NC; Burnsville, NC; Baltimore, MD.

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