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Transformative Practices for Social Change: Lessons from the Field

May 2009

The Seasons Fund for Social Transformation Transformative Leadership Awards

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TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PART ONE: Transformative Practice and Values A. Inner Awareness Practices B. Shared Values C. Beliefs about the Relationship between Inner Work and Social Change PART TWO: Social Change Issues and Outcomes A. Relationship Between Transformative Practices and Social Change Issues B. Tangible Outcomes of Transformative Practice PART THREE: Emerging Trends and Lessons for Funders A. Importance of Strong Relationships B. Prioritizing Transformative Practice: Time, Space, and Resources C. Geographical Trends and Networks D. Fear and ‘Us vs. Them’ Thinking E. Difficult Conversations and the Power of Language F. Spiritual Diversity G. In but not of the World CONCLUSION RECOMMENDATIONS APPENDICES 1. Applicant Organizations Reviewed 2. Social Change Issues Addressed by Applicant Organizations

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Introduction This report is about social change agents and their use of transformative practices in pursuit of progressive social movement. It is about what’s happening in the emerging field of social transformation, and how precisely practitioners are creating change. In the pages that follow, we outline the inner awareness tools, shared values, changing ideology and tangible outcomes articulated by applicants to the Seasons Fund’s Transformative Leadership Awards during the spring of 2009. The Seasons Fund For Social Transformation invests in opportunities to couple the expansive power of personal transformation with the public work of repairing societal ills in the United States. The Fund, a collaborative effort led by several private foundations, springs from a shared belief that cultivating a rich inner life is both a worthy end in itself and an overlooked pathway to heightening the impact, effectiveness, and sustainability of social change initiatives. Together these partners support those working for social, economic, and environmental justice to embrace a range of contemplative practices that can deepen their capacity to lead. The Seasons Fund mobilizes resources, makes grants, and supports learning activities to strengthen and shed new light on the connections between personal and social transformation The Seasons Fund recently announced the winners and finalists of their inaugural Transformative Leadership Awards. The Fund received over eighty applications from collaborative teams across the country. Inspired by the breadth of work integrating transformative practice into progressive social change initiatives, the Fund chose to honor six leadership teams who are defining this emerging field of social transformation and developing new models of leadership. Each team received a $30,000 award. The Seasons Fund also created a finalist category (offering $5,000 awards) to acknowledge the phenomenal work happening in two additional organizations. This report draws upon experiences and insight of forty TLA applicants, provided in the report’s appendix. Together their work exemplifies some of the most exciting and innovative practices in this growing field. It is important to note that what we refer to here as transformative practice is not new. As applicant Mariko Ryono (Coordinating Director, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote) wisely noted, “popular democracy, popular education, (the) feminist movement, the civil rights movement, and third world movements across the world…(all) incorporate personal awareness and faith.” That said, as social change communities reclaim the language and practice of personal and spiritual transformation, recently this work appears to have gained renewed sustenance within progressive social movements. Moreover, this work is not simply an “add-on” or “bonus” to the work of social change, but instead a critical response to the discord and dis-ease that has, over time, compromised the integrity and effectiveness of many organizational and movement

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cultures. In fact, this is one reason why the Seasons Fund exists. For instance, the founders of Women and Girls Collective Action Network (CAN) started the organization to develop ways of “responding to acts of violence within the social justice community.” Along this path, they have begun to confront numerous challenges, some of which reside in social justice and social service organizations themselves: “Too often, we find that social justice and social service organizations are themselves abusive and oppressive; this can include verbal and emotional abuse of staff and clients; the development of a competitive and untrusting environment; the withholding of pay; racism, sexism, adultism, ableism, heterosexism and transphobia; and even physical violence.” Echoing this insight, leaders of Generative Somatics note, “We see examples again and again of good people and organizations committed to social justice and organizing for systemic change treat each other poorly, struggle with personal and organizational relationships, and harm each other in the name of justice. We see progressive organizations building cultures based on critique, blame and shaming of emotions. We see movement sectors split and distrusting, unable to build strong lasting alliances and ones that see healing as only bourgeois.” Part of the problem here lies in the pressures of what one applicant called “the nonprofit industrial complex” itself on social change practices. Women and Girls CAN notes that “the relentless competition for funds can lead all of us to feel pressured to take short cuts to ‘produce results’ that foundations can easily evaluate. Stories of transformation for organizational members are rarely the kind of stories we are asked about, and this can create pressure to move quickly from event to event, and campaign to campaign, without taking the time for personal transformation for those involved.” Chicago, where this organization was founded, has a long history of organizing based on Saul Alinsky’s model (the late founder of today’s Industrial Areas Foundation), wherein, leaders of Women and Girls CAN believe, “Action takes place through promoting conflict, and even the terminology draws from war and violence: identifying a target, and doing a ‘hit’ (action) on him or her, for example.” Instead, leaders of Women and Girls CAN “firmly reject” these models, especially as they relate to survivors of violence.” They were founded to develop more holistic ways of engaging in social justice work, that combine healing and organizing and that use an intersectional analysis to look at multiple oppressions. Others engage in this work because it simply makes them more effective change agents, better collaborators, and healthier people. For instance, leaders of ForestEthics have used their training in transformative practice to break through longstanding barriers and forge common ground with unlikely allies in their work in the Great Bear Rainforest. As Tzeporah Berman and Merran Smith wrote, “Time and time again, we saw how important it was to stay grounded and compassionate, and how that energy had a transformative effect on what occurred. We had to let go of the ego-ic gratification of ‘being right.’ We had to avoid the all-too-common trap that activists fall into: the idea that being effective means being combative. In doing so, we unlocked an May 2009

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enormous power within ourselves to succeed where years of unyielding opposition had failed.� Using these tools, the best of these teams have learned to put aside ego, fear, and isolation in favor of compassion and sustainable partnership. We hope that our data and examples such as these will help to inform your grant making across this critical, creative, and rapidly growing field. In the pages that follow, we explore a range of transformative practices and values made manifest in the work of TLA applicants, tangible outcomes they have achieved, and emerging trends and lessons for grantmaking.

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PART ONE: Transformative Practice and Values A. Inner Awareness Tools Applicants articulated an extraordinary range of inner awareness tools, from religious prayer and ritual to a 360-degree performance evaluation survey and other leadership development tools. The existence of this spectrum of transformative practice today speaks to the growth social change organizations and agents have experienced especially over the past two decades. Sometimes these tools are culturally or religiously rooted, while at other times they are simply sensible leadership development tools. Indeed, transformative practice has moved far beyond narrowly-defined religious practices. The following inner awareness tools were reported by applicants. The frequency of usage is noted parenthetically, and the tools listed accordingly, in declining order.                            

Prayer, Moments of silence, and Ritual, including sharing respective religious and cultural traditions (26) Attention to thoughtful partnership, management, collaboration, supervision, organizational culture (23) Council, Reflective Circles, Deep dialogue; Healing circles and traditions, restorative Language to “equalize the group while embracing diversity” (21) Mindfulness, self-reflection, awareness of ego, inner balance, self-assessment tool (21) Attention to self-care and personal ecology: health, nutrition, sleep, exercise, time alone (20) Leadership Retreats (20) Peer support and accountability groups (18) Storytelling, sharing dreams, “truth-telling” (17) Professional training and facilitation practice (15) Meditation/ breath work/ morning sitting practice (14) Singing, chanting, improvisational music, drumming, shamanic art, art/ sound therapy (14) Reading and Writing (poetry, quotes, journaling) (14) Yoga, dance, walking, hiking, tai-chi, chi kung, martial arts, sports, and creative movement (14) Intergenerational collaboration/ harnessing “wisdom, lessons, and legacy” of elders and ancestors (12) Attentive listening (12) Workplace policies on family leave, vacation, management and supervision, health insurance (10) Connecting with land and natural world and cycles (9) Sharing food (9) Somatic centering practices and energy work/ Workshops that combine mind, body, and spirit wellness (9) “Check-in” during meetings (8) Spiritual mentorship (5) Allotted time alone for religious and cultural traditions (5) High caliber supervision/ comprehensive performance feedback tool (“360 degree review”) (5) Altar building, Sweat lodges, Totems (6) Indigenous spirituality (e.g. Sundance ceremony, Huwipi healing ceremony) (4) Individual and/or Group Psychotherapy (3) Code of Conduct and Oaths (3) Natural medicine and holistic therapies (3)

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The vast majority of applicants mentioned a range of meditation, ritual, and other forms of contemplative practice. Many also addressed the transformative power of listening and/ or storytelling within their communities: We especially value the transformative power of listening, and our spiritual practices help us to embody this value even as we work to cultivate it in others: listening resiliently to our Palestinian partners and Israeli colleagues; to our staggering range of participants, from right-wing Greater Israel advocates to anti-occupation activists; to Palestinians and Jews who do not yet feel ready to enter the Encounter tent; to those with whom we agree and those with whom we disagree; and especially also to each other. Listening not only for what is said but for what is not said, the feelings, needs, and aspirations that underlie speech. - Encounter Steering committee members share their personal stories – growing up in farm worker towns, becoming homeless, living in religious communities – as well as their personal connections to key social issues such as immigration reform and gay marriage. – Mobilize the Immigrant Vote We share histories of what has shaped us personally and politically, the strengths and limitations of that, and engage in somatic processes to open and transform these limitations. People are sharing at the level of histories of violence, the impact of immigration and racism, real struggles in previous political work, etc. – Generative Somatics ...We are actively honing deeper skills of reflection, storytelling, visioning, breath work, and healing based practices, including energy and body work and some somatic practices, to build accountability, trust, leadership, and cognitive ways to hold trauma and justice within a political organizing context. – Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective (kindred) and Atlanta Transformative Justice Collaborative (ATJC) When I entered the organization I was using writing as a vehicle to express the anger and frustrations that I saw in my community and dealt with daily. Bro-Sis was the first organization to give me an audience and a stage and let me know my words mattered. Writing is now not only the way I negotiate with the world, it is the way I am going to make my living. - Letter to The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol We have found that over time, the acts of sharing one’s stories and being trusted to listen to others’ stories, build trust within the group, leading to deeper emotional learning and greater self-confidence when our students interface with the world outside. – Literature for All of Us May 2009

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In short, most applicants discussed the role of meditation and contemplative practice; the value of attentive listening and storytelling; myriad religious and cultural rituals; and the importance of healthy work/life policies. Many of these practices occur collectively, in the course of staff meetings, reflection circles, and leadership and membership retreats; but many organizations have also made space for individual practice. B. Shared Values Applicant testimonials support the notion that our social change frameworks are becoming increasingly values-based. This shift grows out of the particular cultural moment in which we find ourselves, differing significantly from the histories and the political realities that gave rise to the Alinsky-model of organizing. From applicants’ testimonies, we can begin to see how these values allow for more expanded notions of partnership and provide space for stakeholders to show up in all of our multiple identities; for instance, an individual may be the CEO of a company that contributes to deforestation at the same time that he is a father and a grandfather; acknowledging our multiple identities allows change agents to see the humanness in others, cultivating inroads for change. Without being asked, applicants moved beyond practices to offer up their values. What do these values tell us about priorities for change agents today? Over half of applicants expressed how much they value empathy (and/or compassion), a clear hallmark of relationship building and personal transformation. Certainly these values indicate a growing acceptance of difference, internal contradiction, and the need, as one applicant wrote, to “be more easily with the unknown.” Applicants referenced the following values:           

Intentionality Curiosity/ Seeking wisdom, understanding, knowledge Attention to mind, body, and heart Transcending and transforming fear, conflict, guilt, and ego; connecting to purpose or higher self The need to embrace grey areas, to “be more easily with the unknown, and the “value of inaction and letting go” Creativity, imagination, commitment to thinking outside the box, embracing new ideas Sustainability Space of openness and humanness/ not separating the “worker” from the individual Humility and culture of learning/ Embracing vulnerability and asking for help Self-reflection, open-heartedness Mental and physical acuity

Additionally, as it relates to relationship-building, the following values were

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referenced:              

Diversity/ Multiplicity of voices/ Embracing differences and contradictions on a shared path Trust, accountability, honesty, and transparency Friendship, camaraderie, partnership, community Healing, empathy, compassion, and love/ open mind and open heart Suspension of judgment/ removing blinders Democratic participation and practice/ Those most affected must be the “truth-tellers” of our communities/ Stewards and trustees of the world around us Moving beyond conflict/ moving beyond tolerance Moving beyond reaction towards thoughtful responses Autonomy, dignity, self-determination, collective liberation Rooting social justice work within the context of our culture Appreciating non-traditional forms of leadership Faith, unity, hope, and justice Intergenerational learning / sense of urgency and love for future generations Willingness to take risks with one another

In keeping with prevailing tenets of social justice movement, most applicants have profound visions for and share extraordinarily high ideals in their pursuit of social change. Nevertheless, most were remarkably frank and realistic about the pervasiveness of fear, conflict, and isolation, that exists even within the context of social change movement. Many have developed transformative practices within their organizations specifically to transcend entrenched conflict and to transform fear, conflict, and isolation into innovative partnerships and positive social change. According to TLA applicants: Fear to confront the things we know in our heart to be true. Fear of unlearning many of the things we have been taught: about getting ahead, about being successful, about being ‘soft.’ Fear is the biggest challenge… Engaging in transformative work is a very personal and introspective challenge having to do with a fear of being who one really is…The challenges to this type of honesty and openness I think have to do with the following: a desire for (unbridled) growth at any cost, the personal need for self-aggrandizement at the expense of social need, lack of trust in one’s peers, colleagues, and social constituencies, fear that inhibits true leadership. – Melaver Breaking the political, geographic, and economic isolation of Native communities and developing a movement capable of acting in solidarity with Native peoples. – Honor the Earth

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To us the engine of transformation is ‘participation’ in this work, which is fundamentally social and cannot be done in isolation. CEF’s work is to create communities of participation that allow people to change their relationship to ‘power’ – both energetic and socio-political. We empower people to become creative and collaborative producers rather than simply consumers of energy services and societal process – a practice of collective liberation. – Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF) Nearly all believe that those members of society most affected by issues are best positioned to address them. At Casa Atabex Ache, “We believe that women are experts of their own lives, we are all born with the power to heal and transform ourselves, our families and our communities for self-determination. At Casa, women reclaim the tools they have within, their cultural and spiritual practices and use the elements of mother earth as weapons of resistance against the impact of racism, classism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, and patriarchy on their lives.” Similarly, at The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol, “To survive and thrive it is essential (young people) acquire the tools with which to analyze societal ills and transform themselves and their communities, as well as the belief that their lives and contributions are significant. These factors breathe life into the mission of The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol.” All appear to agree with leaders of Cooperative Energy Futures that “social transformation demands profound commitment to personal transformation, a creative, supportive, and collaborative community, and a focus on empowering others by embracing them as partners.” In this vein, members commit not only to an organizational goal but to each other’s personal transformation, even when they approach spirituality and personal awareness in “very different ways.” Those who have experienced such a community understand how unique and important it is. As one leader of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote California Collaborative (MIV) was told upon entering the coalition, “This collaborative is special. We take care of each other. There’s a commitment to self-reflection, evaluation, and democratic process that’s unique.” The communities that emerge through such a process intentionally put personal experience and relationships front and center. As one member of Casa Atabex Ache noted, “Women begin to connect with other sisters and realize that ‘my story’ is really ‘our’ collective story.” And one leader at Miami Workers Center echoed, “Among us we are bound by our camaraderie and friendship – the desire for each of us, and our members and allies, to achieve our full human potential.” In this way, healthier partnerships within and across organizations have grown tremendously through transformative practice. Leaders of Make The Road New York noted, “We have succeeded in establishing a ‘code of ethics’ in our relationships with colleagues and community members that encourages authentic communication and support in helping each other become aware about the impact of our presence in our work and the life of the organization and the movement.” May 2009

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Notably, as they model a culture of curiosity and lifelong learning, these partnerships and communities are especially willing to acknowledge vulnerability and internal contradictions. As one leader at Miami Workers Center wrote, “I am able to tap the abilities, strengths, and other gifts of people when I don’t have the answers…When we allow for vulnerability we grow WITH each other and we can get into the work in a deep way.” One leader of Melaver noted, “Our quarterly board meetings had a Talmudic quality to them, we were questioning the nature of business, our business, any business.” And leaders of Miami Workers Center emphasized the importance of embracing contradiction: “Through our collaboration and partnership, we have become more aware of our personal contradictions…how past personal experiences shape and mold our behaviors and expectations of the world and how we relate with one another at all levels of the organization; how we seek to create meaning for ourselves and one another); and the contradictions in society.” A leader of Casa Atabex Ache said it well: While we all want freedom, freedom comes with profound responsibility and accountability to personal and collective transformation. In order for this to happen everyone must be committed to self reflection, breaking down patterns, and unlearning oppressive language, behavior, thoughts, and actions that continue to create the violent world we live in and fragment our movement building. In the spirit of a lifelong learning, several acknowledged the importance of humility within their work. In some cases, they acknowledged that they were actively responding to an organizational and/or movement culture that, historically, has been overly rigid and authoritative. One leader of Melaver noted: I am personally a bit frustrated by the rock star status of certain green gurus in the movement, feeling that the need for positive, working stories needs to be balanced by humility and a willingness to share and be open about what hasn’t worked and about what one doesn’t know. I think the issue hinges on one of our core values – Learning. The critical piece here is to recognize that we are all of us in a learning mode, learning that must occur both democratically and in very short order. I hope we are facilitating this to some degree. While transformative practice may be unique within these contemporary social change organizations and movements, it is not entirely new. Most applicants understand their transformative practice as a return to, and acknowledgement of, often forgotten values. As leaders of Honor the Earth noted, “What we know is that indigenous teachings are not historic relics or myths. They are vital forces that frame our vision and efforts to create a better world…These principles include recognizing our joint dependence on the earth, uniting around a reverence for life and embracing our responsibilities for future May 2009

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generations.” Similarly, through the creation of sacred space and altar building with partner organizations, leaders of kindred and ATJC have explored “the importance of legacy, honoring our successes, memorializing our losses and holding grief and transformation in an intentional space.” C. Beliefs about the Relationship between Inner Work and Social Change Every applicant (100%) reviewed expressed the belief that inner work and social change are inextricably linked. These applicants believe that they are more effective leaders and collaborators because they do this inner work. Because this linkage is so central to the work of the Seasons Fund, we have included a diversity of expressions of this truth here: Reflection and personal awareness are inextricable from social change, and we must maintain a daily practice of personal, organizational and movement transformation in our work. – Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) The belief that in transforming the world, we transform ourselves; and conversely, that in transforming ourselves we transform the world. We believe that this value holds for ourselves individually, for our staff, for our grassroots members and for our work engaging the broader world whether it be our allies, our elected officials, decision-makers and society as a whole. – Miami Workers Center Our own leadership as women grew out of both our commitment to social and environmental change and our devotion to our own personal awakening…and that this explicit interconnection was something for which other women were also longing. – Cultivating Women’s Leadership Personal and social transformation are interdependent and… the methodology of somatics has a radical contribution to make to the effectiveness and transformative capacity of the progressive left, at the levels of theory, change models, and practice…We see that by themselves neither personal transformation work, spiritual development work, nor institutional change or policy work will impact and change the multiple causes and expressions of injustice. – Generative Somatics What makes our collaboration transformative is that it is led, run, and done by those most affected by the issues…It is easy to feel powerless within the legal realm and drown in court files, especially if one never went to law school…It is hard to find the locus of control and even

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determine what one can and cannot control. It is during these moments that the community we have built at De-Bug becomes like a church – the foundation and family that can be one’s spiritual guidance and rock. – Silicon Valley De-Bug Casa is a very unique organization in that it requires all workers, volunteers, board, etc., to embark on journeys of self healing and transformation…The work comes with much more ease and flow when we as a team are able to show up as our most powerful selves. - Casa Atabex Ache Spiritual and reflective personal awareness and personal practice is grounded in our community. Out of this sense of belonging and strong commitment to the well being of the community as a whole, grows the energy for creating a transformation practice that energizes our work for social change. – Centro Campesino We recognize and appreciate that systematic reflective practice is essential for leading effectively, inspiring action towards transformative change, and sustaining individuals’ energy for the long haul… We are explicitly emphasizing how people change themselves in order to change the world – in other words, consciousness. The program model marries personal transformation with community organizing and social change. – Center for Community Change (CCC) The overwhelming suffering and destruction in today’s world are not the result of isolated political or economic problems. They’re manifestations of the underlying culture from which they surge. It does little good to struggle to create change in the world if in our own lives we are recreating the very norms that give rise to that violence and destruction. We must create within ourselves, our families and communities, and our organizations and broader movement, the cultural norms we wish to see in the world. – Common Fire/ Be Present By learning how to create sacred space in our lives we are more able to create ‘sacred space’ in our work in the world. – Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee (CEDnet) Writing about these experiences and how to make sense of them has shown me that transformation happens first inside our souls, then inside our own homes and families, then in the bigger world. – Team member, Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA)

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Several applicants revealed that attention to inner awareness allows them to begin to transcend the reactionary politics which too often characterizes their work. According to leaders of Make the Road New York, “In our daily work as staff members of MRNY, as well as in our life outside of work, we are constantly ‘reacting’ to the multiple demands on our time and attention. In fact, the very nature of our work as a social justice organization requires that we respond/ react to multiple attacks on the dignity and well being of people in our communities. The efforts to integrate reflection, contemplative practices, ways of doing our work that support sustainability and selfawareness are key to our ability to engage in social change work over the long haul and build the capacity and effectiveness of our organization and the movement to fight the root causes of injustice in a city like New York.” To this end, Akaya Windwood and Robert Gass of the Rockwood Leadership Institute help prepare such leaders for more “skillful meeting of leadership challenges.” In their words, What is most important and fairly unique about our work is the seamless integration of inner work with practical application to the critical issues of social change leadership. Our programs equally emphasize state of the art training in organizational development, visioning and planning, capacitybuilding, team high performance, strategic communications, negotiation, and supervision, coaching and mentoring. Not only do we assist our trainees in making the connections between their inner work and the skillful meeting of leadership challenges (e.g. how to offer feedback, supervise or fire staff from a place of compassion), but we support leaders in taking on the challenges of leadership as the grist for their ongoing inner work. In short, TLA applicants clearly recognize, and have begun to leverage, the critical relationship between inner awareness and collective social justice.

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PART TWO: Issues and Outcomes A. Issue Focus Notwithstanding numerous shared values and practices, these applicants work on a tremendously diverse set of social, political, cultural, and economic issues. The question becomes whether it matters what issue we’re talking about. What is the role of transformative practice in particular issue areas? In the appendix of this report we have included a comprehensive list of the issues and social change objectives of the thirty applicant organizations reviewed. Notwithstanding their tremendous diversity, most applicants’ work can be captured by one of the following eight categories: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Conflict resolution, reconciliation, and interfaith collaboration Cultural and spiritual restoration Environmental and climate justice, and sustainable development Violence prevention and recovery Reproductive justice Community and movement organizing/ social justice Youth development Leadership development/ organizational and movement culture

Across these categories, applicants reflected a tendency toward women-centered leadership, as well as immigrant, communities of color, and indigenous leadership. We will discuss just three of these categories here, and the role of transformative practice therein. In the context of community organizing, transformative practice appears to imbue the field with a greater appreciation of education and self-determination over the long haul – in stark contrast to a conventionally narrow focus on campaign wins. As one immigrant leader of MIV noted, “So often, we are told what to believe when it comes to elections. With MIV, we have the opportunity to share our ideas and values.” In this vein, MIV is “not just committed to turning out increased numbers of voters, but also creating democratic spaces for immigrants to educate themselves, make personal connections to the issues, share in dialogue, and ultimately act as stronger voters and civic leaders around a shared platform of social justice and human rights.” In the context of youth development, transformative practice seems to require less articulation. It seems almost a given that the social change objective of Literature for All of Us and The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol, for instance, would be “to create communities of young people who are emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually engaged.” Indeed, personal transformation has always been key to youth development.

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To be more specific, Brotherhood/ Sister Sol makes use of ritual, music, and the arts, and their social change objective is “young people being the change they want to see.” They recognize that “youth need a safe space to speak their minds, define their beliefs and reach their full potential. We recognize young people need holistic support to combat all the emotional and physical challenges of growing and learning in order to become healthy and whole women and men.” Meanwhile, at Literature for All of Us, one leader notes, “We strive both to introduce the magic of reading and to instill a high capacity for empathy – both for themselves and for others. We do this by encouraging verbal and written self-exploration, and foster mutual respect and active listening among the book group members.” Students are able “to bring their authentic selves to an atmosphere of mutual respect and engage in a process to heal shame and conquer despair.” Leaders believe “that self-awareness leads to self-acceptance, and that selfacceptance is essential to engaging in healthy, authentic relationships with others.” Their program thus works “to strengthen individuals, and in doing so it also strengthens communities.” Similarly, Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA) is built on the foundation of personal awareness and transformation and its connection to social change: We offer alumni of foster care a place to belong to forever – something so many of us did not find growing up…Personal awareness and transformation is perhaps especially important for those of us who share the foster care experience given that we are often without the external supports available to others. By using our adult perspectives and the evolution of our own beings and experiences, we are able to reinterpret our life histories, tell ourselves new ‘stories’, create our own families (in each other and in an extended network), and claim identities for ourselves based on our internal transformations. In the context of organizational development work, practitioners such as those of Rockwood Leadership, stone circles, and Women and Girls CAN are continuously training leaders of social change organizations to invest in personal and organizational transformation. As one leader at Women and Girls CAN noted, “We believe that if we are to end violence against women and girls in society, we must address the issue of safety within groups and institutions where we work, where we receive services and where we organize. To that end, one of our central social change objectives is to make organizations across Chicago safe and accountable.” As one leader at stone circles wrote, “We believe there are innumerable ways in which activists and organizers can live fully into the reciprocal relationship between the liberation of individuals and the collectives. Our work is to help people envision, embrace and embody these possibilities to the greatest extent.” Finally, as Akaya Windwood and Robert Gass of Rockwood Leadership explain: May 2009

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The vision for our work is to create a substantive shift in the effectiveness, health and sustainability of those working for a most just and sustainable world: its leaders, its people, its organizations and its movements, from fear and anger to hope and positive vision born out of love, from inefficiency and activity to powerful results, from burnout and frustration to a lifetime of sustained engagement and joy, from piecemeal efforts to true partnership and systemic transformation. We have a dream of social change organizations that are vibrant working and learning communities, that care for their people, and that effectively maximize resources and opportunities. We envision a vast network of groups united in effecting the social, economic, political and spiritual changes necessary for the restoration and preservation of a healthy and just global environment. B. Tangible Outcomes How might we distill the growing impact of transformative practice in the world? How do meditation, ritual, and even family leave actually influence society at large? Applicants presented a wide range of extremely tangible outcomes that were catalyzed and made possible by the use of transformative practice. First and foremost, these practices have helped applicants to attain their goals and succeed in their campaigns. The leaders of Cooperative Energy Futures note, their skillful, expanded collaboration “creates value for all stakeholders, in reduced energy bills, new jobs, and returns on investment, but also through the creation of community and the shift in power from big, faceless utilities to everyday energy users.” And for their part, the leaders of Common Fire are particularly proud of the unusual success of their first housing co-op. In their words, “Ninety percent of new communities fail within the first couple years primarily due to dysfunctional communication and systems of dealing with conflict. By recognizing the importance of individual health in our ability to function as a community and by placing attention on how we communicate and share when interacting as a community, our co-op is thriving and positively affecting those who live there.” In this way, transformative practice has helped organizations to achieve myriad community development and policy goals. In culturally and spiritually-identified communities, these practices have often resulted in specific documentation of collective spiritual and cultural traditions. In the case of CEDnet’s African American Heritage Alliance, for instance, “We are restoring cemeteries and other landmarks as well as preserving stories, relics, souvenirs, photos and written materials.” In some cases, spiritual and cultural restoration occurs hand in hand with community development,

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and transformative practice has helped to achieve both ends. Indeed, as one leader at Thunder Valley, of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, noted: These spiritual practices have reinvigorated me and they are now helping our youth reclaim their identity. Once experienced, the young adults are now ready to make major changes in their lives. For many, it has meant leaving the ways of alcohol and drug addiction, as well as gang participation. Some who were once gang members now bring their children to these sacred ceremonies and have become responsible fathers and husbands…Humbled by their life experience, they are appreciative of the opportunity and respect to the community and to their elders. While tools of transformative practice have, in the case of Pine Ridge Reservation, bolstered young people’s spiritual and cultural grounding and health within a community, they also appear to be especially effective in confronting external barriers, both cultural and political, and transforming fear and conflict into positive social change. Leaders of Encounter, an education program dedicated to reconciliation in the Middle East, has built their organization on the core values of deep listening and storytelling. As a result, over the past three years, “We grew Encounter from an allvolunteer operation run out of an apartment living room to a $700,000 organization with offices in North America and Israel, a staff of six, a volunteer base of dozens and more than 500 alumni who have been the only significant non-military presence in Palestinian areas of the West Bank since before the second intifada.” Organizations that employ transformative practices such as these are often the first to break down barriers long thought insurmountable. As leaders of MIV noted, “When allies from unions and community organizations working with immigrant communities across the country heard that (we) took a No on Proposition 8 position (the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage), many asked us with surprise, ‘How did an immigrant coalition take a position on such a matter?.’” She explained that “We didn’t railroad (our) position through the coalition. It was our commitment to personal reflection, relationship-building, and multi-year political education and dialogue that brought us to this place. We worked through difficult and contentious conversations, and we are all clear that these practices were what allowed MIV to maintain its unity and reach this important benchmark in our history in 2008.” Many emerged as stronger negotiators and collaborators as a result of their transformative practice. In the case of ForestEthics’ campaign in the Great Bear Rainforest, it was their grounding in Rockwood and other leadership modules that allowed them to transcend entrenched conflict. As the campaign leaders recall: At one point, we found ourselves caught up in the same old battle, getting angry and getting nowhere. Then, in the midst of it all, Merran passed me May 2009

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a note... We suggested that we needed to take a break, come back, and revise the agenda. When we returned, the atmosphere was remarkably different – and we realized that it was because we’d brought an entirely new energy into the equation. Once we re-grounded ourselves, we realized that we needed to… become curious, compassionate and ask nonjudgmentally: What was keeping them from changing? We took the time to understand what was behind their opposition, and in doing so they became human beings facing major challenges, just like us...We brought that same energy to countless subsequent negotiations, with government and industry as well as labor groups, First Nations (indigenous groups) and others. Time and time again, we saw how important it was to stay grounded and compassionate, and how that energy had a transformative effect on what occurred. We had to let go of the ego-ic gratification of ‘being right.’ We had to avoid the all-too-common trap that activists fall into: the idea that being effective means being combative. In doing so, we unlocked an enormous power within ourselves to succeed where years of unyielding opposition had failed. In the years that followed this initial breakthrough, “Time and time again the coalition threatened to break apart, and (ForestEthics) helped keep it together.” Ultimately, they managed to expand and solidify the agreement. After five years of research, analysis, and negotiation, “the area to be protected from any future logging was increased from 7% to 33% of the entire region.” Moreover, today the First Nations of the Great Bear Rainforest have recognition from the Canadian government, and “most importantly, we’ve helped to institutionalize the arrangement, changing the very nature of the system in a way that serves as a model for other governments.” As one environmental leader from British Columbia wrote to Akaya Windwood and Robert Gass of Rockwood Leadership – who worked closely with leaders of this campaign – “I truly believe that your work with a number of our leaders has been the single most important factor in bringing the shift in our community from anger and mistrust towards heart-centered communication and collaboration. Our victory in the Great Bear Rainforest was the most important result of our increased ability to collaborate.” ForestEthics is just one of several applicants that revealed a much-expanded ability to collaborate in and across organizational, coalition, and movement boundaries. Using transformative practice, the women of SisterSong “successfully brought together women of color who are pro-choice and pro-life in the same organization who work together in a sustainable fashion.” Leaders believe that “because we use our self-help processes that allow women to tell their stories and be respected regardless of their views, we have modeled for others how to build unity based on diversity.” They actively “resist group-think on any issue – we have as many opinions as we have members. But our private motto is that ‘We are SisterSong not because we sing the same song, but because we sing our different songs in harmony.’” May 2009

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Similarly, in the context of the 2004 grocery strike of CLUE-CA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of California), members were better negotiators and achieved far beyond their wildest campaign goals because they were grounded in their collective transformative practices, including prayer. They had launched a statewide pilgrimage of prayer to visit the recently converted CEO of a grocery industry leader during a strike and lock-out which was affecting 70,000 grocery workers in Southern California. They built upon the strong relationships and shared values they had developed within their interfaith alliance. As a result: We were able to attract over 60 press hits (and four embedded journalists) as we carried 40,000 postcards and letters from the religious authority of every major denomination asking the CEO to return to the negotiating table and settle the strike. We then were able to have a behind-the-scenes text study with his conservative pastoral team, which resulted in their personal advocacy with him. He went back to the negotiating table, settled the strike, quietly contributed 180 million of his own money to the health and welfare fund of the union (which was bankrupt) and when the next contract renewal came up, worked personally behind the scenes to restore the health care benefits that workers had lost in the first contract. Indeed, organizational capacity and sheer numbers have grown tremendously for many of our applicants, as a direct result of their inner work: An example of the impact of our staff team’s personal transformation on our grassroots leadership development is that we have grown from ending 2007 with under 200 grassroots leaders with some LOCs ‘stuck’ with small memberships and no new members in some time, to ending 2008 with over 230 active grassroots leaders plus nearly 70 more prospective leaders and with almost all of the LOCs having success in sustaining long-time members (re-activitating some) and engaging new leaders as well. This is a major accomplishment in growing our network of relationships and growing our base of power for creating social change. – People Acting in Community Together (PACT) The primary outcome of our collaboration has been to build the largest and strongest national coalition of women of color reproductive justice organizations in the history of the U.S…Perhaps our greatest achievements have been in the area of capacity building…Our trainings and presentations reached more than 9,000 people in 2008. – SisterSong In the past two years alone, we provided guidance, technical support and training to grassroots organizations as they worked to advance issues May 2009

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including health care, immigration reform and worker justice. We brought presidential candidates together with 3,600 grassroots leaders to discuss new policy directions, registered and mobilized hundreds of thousands of new voters across the country, trained an placed young people in paid internships and fellowships with grassroots organizations in 20 states, convened academics and organizers to explore new ideas for the progressive movement, and worked to increase the resources available for community organizing and movement building. – CCC To date, Literature for All of Us has facilitated 165 book groups, reaching over 4,700 young women an girls, and more recently boys. Our greatest sense of accomplishment comes fro the powerful changes we see taking place in our groups. – Literature for All of Us An example of these values in action can be found in the work of our national community art project, Exploring the Culture of Foster Care, where people in and from foster care have submitted postcard art about their experiences, insights, questions, and dreams. This art has been developed by more than 1000 people and is used extensively to educate and influence policy and practice in foster care at the same time it provides a new opportunity for young people and alumni to make meaning of our own lives. – FCAA In addition to breaking down longstanding barriers and bolstering effectiveness, transformative practice helps cultivate long-term personal investment, deepens capacity for individual and collective healing, and supports the acceptance of diverse leadership styles and the capacity of learning through difference. Time and again, the outcome has not simply been new partnerships, but tremendously innovative and unlikely alliances: Bringing a human face to this issue transformed the perspective of many of our seniors. I am particularly proud that MIV distributed curricula on how to talk about reproductive justice and LGBT rights within the immigrant communities this past election year. The curricula are rooted in personal reflection as a doorway for understanding key wedge issues that are sometimes the toughest to discuss in our communities. – Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) The Honor the Earth-Tides Foundation Native Communities Program is the first of its kind, where non-Native donors contribute resources and a Native board makes decisions on funding Native groups. – Honor the Earth

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The recent use of this exercise with African-American and Hispanic congregational leaders in South Los Angeles enabled participants to cross significant barriers and heal tensions that were preventing collaboration. - CLUE Other outcomes of transformative practice may be less visible from the outside, but they are no less tangible or central to the health of individuals, organizations, and movements. For instance: The fact that the organization supported me in my attending group therapy was one of the single greatest factors in my self-development practice. As an organizer it’s not easy to say that ‘every Tuesday I’m unavailable for work’. But the rewards of being in group have made a big difference in my work. I’m more calm, relaxed and present in the work. I look forward to coming into work instead of dreading it. And I’m personally in a much better place – spirit of happiness, greater uality of work and relationships. I’m also more aware of my own emotions and more empathic with others. – Staff member, Miami Workers Center Our Executive Director went on a 12-week sabbatical to spend time with his family and to have time for personal and professional reflection and renewal after eight years of intense work as a non-profit leader and over 15 years in community organizing. Since then he has maintained his daily meditation practices and shared new learning with the rest of the team. During his sabbatical the other staff members had new opportunities for leadership and developed even stronger collaborative working relationships….These examples, while internally focused, are significant for our collaborative team and organization. It is a major accomplishment to have established a new and demonstrated commitment to work-life balance, family, personal renewal and its critical importance to professionals. To sustain our highly skilled and truly dedicated staff in the field of grassroots leadership development and community organizing is a major contribution to creating social change. – PACT Transformative practice has helped participants to tap a sense of abundance and wisdom rather than the “fear and scarcity that creates false choices.” As they overcome mistrust and hostility, they learn to stay present and centered amidst challenging circumstances and to approach others with openness and compassion. Some applicants emphasized that they are not simply integrating core principles into the work, but instead the work is based on the principles themselves. Many have had exceptional success transforming adversaries into allies, not simply to win, but to “change the nature of the game” itself.

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Many believe that individual justice and collective justice are fundamentally interconnected, and that transformation must begin with oneself. One leader at stone circles suggested that the “deepest roots of injustice lie in the tangled places of our hearts and minds.” Unbinding themselves internally from patterns, greed and aversion has a “very direct impact on the degree of suffering that they create in the world.” Together, they are building a collaboration of social justice healers and organizers to prevent isolation, early burnout and emotional, physical and spiritual deprivation; building “a network of practitioners that pulls us out of isolation as leaders, organizations and movements and into an intentional collaborative relationship of justice, accountability and well being for one another and towards our vision for systemic change.” Once they have moved beyond “reacting” to engage over the long haul, applicants note “a seamless integration of inner work with practical application to the critical issues of social change leadership,” in turn using these very challenges of leadership as “the grist for inner work.”

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PART THREE: Emerging Trends and Lessons for Seasons Fund A. The Importance of Strong Relationships One common thread that should be clear by now is the role that transformative practice appears to play in healthy relationship building for social change. As one leader at MIV commented on her colleagues upon joining the alliance, “They believed, and have since demonstrated, that combining each other’s individual and organizational assets and building an alliance rooted in strong personal relationships, could achieve much more than any one leader or institution alone. They knew that only such an alliance could forge the trust necessary to build unity in a state of 38 million people and with immigrant communities from almost every national origin and cultural context.” Similarly, the women leaders at Cultivating Women’s Leadership experienced “a new definition of leadership through becoming deeply invested in each others’ visions and success,” and today they are “willing to support each other in the work of remembering and activating the full expression of that purpose.” One leader at Cooperative Energy Futures describes collaborative work itself as “a practice of self-awareness.” That is, “by learning the gifts and weaknesses of others and how they perceive me, I discover new things about myself, relationships and compassion. I learn to love myself by loving the others in the team. My personal struggles with time management, giving time to relationships, and questioning the accessibility of our work were facilitated by these very relationships, and my friends in CEF have attentively helped me grapple with such questions.” Ultimately, according to leaders of Be Present and Common Fire, “once people have developed skill in knowing themselves and listening to others, the possibility for building new alliances emerges.” Part of collaboration lies simply in “staying at the table together.” As leaders at SisterSong wisely note, “in any collaborative effort, issues and conflicts will come up, and we have all experienced the loss of partners due to these conflicts. In SisterSong, our leadership has managed to grow a collective in which we listen to each other with respect and recognize emotions as a valid and important part of the process and outcome.” “Staying at the table together” is exactly what leaders of ForestEthics’ Great Bear Campaign so expertly negotiated over the course of their five year campaign. They describe their collaboration as “a true partnership,” reflected in the interchangeable nature of their roles. This unique evolution reflects “our commitment to put egos aside and focus on the task at hand.” Indeed, careless handling of ego might be understood as the leading explanation behind so many failed relationships across social change and social service sectors (and beyond). In essence, the best of these teams have learned, through a diversity of transformative practices, to put aside ego, fear, and isolation in favor of compassion and partnership. Along the way, they have participated in the breaking down of long

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insurmountable barriers and the accomplishment of tangible social change outcomes. B. Prioritizing Transformative Practice: Time, Space, and Resources Time and Priorities Nearly every single applicant cited time as a major impediment to fully embracing and implementing transformative practice. Leaders of Make the Road New York described a given day in their busy offices: On any given day, 40 to 60 community members might be walking in the offices to go to a weekly meeting, while 60 adult education students are learning English in two classrooms, 15 kids are in the childcare room, and a sixty high school students are preparing for a rally. This environment is a powerful demonstration of what is possible within our communities. It is also a place where it is challenging to maintain focus or to be present for all that is taking place…MRNY’s staff and leaders experience daily challenges to live and work sustainable, to resist the silos, and to prioritize what is important. In the midst of such an environment focused on day-to-day crises, as in Encounter’s peace education program in the Middle East, “there are days when it’s hard to believe that deep listening, spiritual well-being and a path of mutual understanding is really sufficient in the face of such terrifying violence. It’s easy to feel helpless in the midst of powers that seem much greater and much darker.” Nevertheless, Encounter participants are serving as “a vanguard and catalyst for peace and co-existence efforts between Jews and Arabs as well as between Jews from diverse political and religious backgrounds, both in North America and the Middle East.” Encounter leaders believe that “the relentless pursuit of justice is not simply aided by a spiritually sustained life, but that true transformation only takes place in partnership with a deep connection to one’s Higher Self.... both of us believe that justice and spirituality are inextricable, even if they sometimes exert competing pulls.” Indeed, leaders of Honor the Earth note that “stress, lack of sufficient staff and resources and the nature of working with communities in crisis…lend to a cycle where time for reflection and renewal is difficult to find. The overall workaholic culture in the activist world exaccerabates this cycle. And, our own sense of urgency in regard to the dire state of the planet often pushes us to go faster rather than to slow down. Often it is when we are moving too fast that we are more susceptible to chaotic and negative thinking.” They add that, “the biggest impediment to this kind of thinking is time… More structured time for transformative practice in our work is needed.” Similarly, the leaders of PACT note that “the greatest challenge is to consistently make time for meaningful reflection, sharing and learning with each other on an ongoing basis. It

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takes great commitment to resist the daily time crunch – the push to get things done and the pull to react to new and urgent matters. The commitment of each member of the PACT staff team to ourselves and to each other is what keeps our collaborative team focused on protecting and fostering our culture of deep reflection and shared learning and growth. We remind each other and help keep our team on the path of personal awareness and transformation that fuels the challenging, intense and rewarding work creating social transformation with grassroots community leaders.” This is made all the more challenging living in a society that is “very focused on action and task and only trusts pressure based in numbers or wealth.” As leaders of CLUE note, “transformative social change practices require “time spent on apparently ‘useless’ activities,” and it is “sometimes hard to convince allies that it’s worth the wait.” Similarly, leaders of the Center for Community Change acknowledge that “many community members wish to see change immediately and like to find quick solutions to problems,” instead of the time and energy required by transformative social change. Leaders of Common Fire and Be Present have noted how many are drawn to action that provides “quick, quantifiable results,” whereas “the work of focusing on root causes through personal transformation and the creation of new systems and cultures is slow, deep work.” In order to manage their own “competing pulls,” organizations like MIV have begun to create “intentional ‘ebbs and flows’ in our campaigns,” to allow for deeper periods of reflection and movement-building. In this spirit, some choose to engage in clearly dedicated staff and membership retreats, such as Rockwood Leadership and stone circles. As the leaders of stone circles note, “We know full well that we are limited by our own suffering in the form of overwork, anxiety, perfectionism, ego and the like. Our challenge is to rise above the fantasy that we can eliminate this suffering, to make peace with the realities of our current circumstance and to harness our wisdom moving forward so that more restful and spacious patterns may take root over time.” In the context of such retreats, many who used to doubt the value of such a process have experienced a change of heart. As the leaders of SisterSong note: The greatest challenge in applying transformational social change practices in our work is getting people to believe in the value of what they called the ‘touch-feely’ practices. Many people in our movement are afraid of any process that requires them to be emotionally naked in front of others. They are often resistant to self-help practices, like check-in, stopping discussions in order to explore obstructive feelings, or in facing conflict head-on. They devalue such practices or see them as wasting time – that is, until they actually engage in them. Afterwards, we usually have instant converts because it is rare for activists to take the time to explore what is difficult or joyful about doing challenging social justice work. We May 2009

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rarely stop to actively listen to each other and offer unconditional support to each other. Yet this is vital work in order to be fully present and participate in the struggles we face. Space Along with time, most applicants cited the importance of space to their transformative practices. Leaders at Kindred and ATJC noted that “in the creation of sacred space and altar building we have led partnering organizations in exploring the importance of legacy, honoring our successes, memorializing our losses and holding grief and transformation in an intentional space.” On a larger scale, stone circles recently acquired and developed The Stone House. In so doing they believe they have created a space, “a new center for spiritual life and strategic action,” that directly supports movement work in numerous ways. We provide an environment that inspires creative strategy and reflective understanding through our land, facilities and programs. And we have done this by maintaining a space that is available and accessible to all people. This is a radical notion when we consider how much land is falling into private development and the ways in which our public spaces are being increasingly commercialized. People need places to gather outside of the home and the workplace; it is these ‘third places’ which often give rise to the most innovative ideas and revolutionary plans. Investment in space – be it land, offices, or a retreat center – also indicates a commitment to the work over the long haul. Those who steward the land and create that kind of space often have a transformative, long-term vision for the kind of impact they are hoping to make. In several cases, the day-to-day activity of social justice work has shaped an organization’s offices into a locus of communal power and transformation. Like Make the Road New York, the Miami Workers Center’s office has become “a central site in the growing ‘storm’ of social justice that is growing in South Florida. It is a locus of community power, individual transformation, alliance building, hope, and inspiration.” Similarly, the new Oakland Leaf Mother Garden Community center “acts as a safe productive space for community organizing, celebration, education, research, cultural validating, and a resource for other vital needs,” and “as a hub of high-tech digital equipment, a wireless community internet network, and a healthy fertile garden site for medicinal herbs, fruits, and vegetables.” It is “a site of hope, pride, change and sustainability for hundreds of youth and families in the Fruitvale District.” This is all the more important when we acknowledge that “many of our communities have been forcibly removed from land and resources that traditionally enabled us to

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respond communally to the emotional and physical needs of our communities.” This loss of connection from our traditions, the leaders of kindred and AJTC note, has too often “severed our cultural memory of how to build wellness into our daily practices.” Resources In addition to the importance of time and space, financial resources for this sort of work are essential, and do not come easily. In 2009, as funding is severely reduced, training, “which is so essential in applying transformative inner practices to social change” has been cut early on from numerous organizational budgets. Moreover, “With the notable exception of the Seasons Fund and its commitment to our organization’s internal development,” leaders at ForestEthics note, “many funders do not view training as a direct and urgent need. We therefore find ourselves without the resources to conduct the kind of retreats and in-depth trainings that were the foundation for our collaborative success.” Similarly, leaders at Pathways to Peace note, their greatest challenge lies in locating “financial support during economically upside down times.” They add, “We are working on a critical social change component in the middle of a major global shift regarding how we relate to money, economy, trade, and overall attitudes toward business.” Leaders at Literature for All of Us have noted the difficulty of finding the “appropriate niche” in the current funding climate. They note, “The holistic nature of our model means that we often find ourselves in the position of shrinking the scope of our program to fit within funding guidelines. Many funders request comparative reading scores, for example, while our experience has shown us the value of more observational evidence…the most powerful elements of our program cannot be numerically reduced. What happens in our groups has been described by many as ‘magic’ – the kind of growth, connection, and transformation that can take place only in an environment of profound trust.” That said, some believe that the past year has also introduced new opportunities for their work. Even as they have struggled financially, leaders at PACT note, “the discussion of community organizing around the presidential campaigns has raised new awareness about our work, and we are leveraging this opportunity to engage our community more broadly from the grassroots to the grasstops.” Notwithstanding a growing shift towards a culture of collective social change, most applicants identified the very real challenge of mobilizing resources for transformative practice in a campaign-centered, “results”-oriented institutional culture. C. Geographical Trends and Networks Transformative practice has also helped to facilitate the growth of place-based networks

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of leaders who share projects, resources, and constituencies, and ultimately invest in one another over the long haul. In the Southeast, Midwest, Bay area, and New York City, leadership networks have emerged with a keen sense of the importance of transformative practice to sustainable social change. In turn, transformative practice has been critical to moving past organizational boundaries to invest more broadly in movement and movement culture. Part of Kindred’s strategy and purpose, for instance, is to build “a collaboration of social justice healers and organizers based in the Southeast who stand ready to respond to trauma…to prevent isolation, early burn out, and emotional, physical, and spiritual deprivation.” Eliminate the prior reference to this quote. Connecting reproductive justice work to economic justice and anti-prison industrial complex efforts, their ultimate goals are to build a stronger network of organizers with capacity, to deepen political analysis, and to inform practices of leaders “within a particular Southern experience” and “within our southern movements.” Recently, they have begun to push their network beyond the Southeast. At the U.S. Social Forum, they created an interfaith-based space for spiritual practices. There they provided “a plethora of healing based modalities for sustainability of physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental well being.” Other well-woven regions which appear to sustain networks of transformative practice include New York and northern California. With their partner in the TLA, Social Justice Leadership, Generative Somatics provides increasingly critical resources to generations of social change agents throughout the New York metropolitan area. Illuminating the rich concentration of activity, challenges, and collaboration in New York, two longstanding social justice organizations recently became one. According to the leaders of MRNY, “The birth of Make the Road New York has created the largest communitybased, participatory, democratic organization of low-income immigrants in New York City. Over the past year we have achieved significant victories for our communities, and most importantly, we have planted powerful seeds for long-term social change by bringing to scale a way of doing social justice organizing that is based on recognizing our interdependence, developing practices that encourage personal and organizational transformation and sustainability, and cultivating self-awareness and deep relationships.” Thus investing in transformative practice across organizational boundaries – through regional trainings and retreats – can have an enormous effect on the future of social change movement. For its part, the Bay area has been at once a hub for movement building and organizing and of contemplative practice and inner work, and there the Rockwood Leadership Institute became one of the first organizations to intentionally integrate the two. Several applicants made note of this concentration of resources on the east and west coasts, and especially the Bay area and New York. Leaders of SisterSong have actively responded by focusing on “communities in the ‘middle’ of the country – the deep South, the May 2009

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Midwest, and the Rocky Mountain regions.” They “strategically prioritize” their resources in order to target activists “not likely to be reached by others.” Of course, several organizations have extended their reach far beyond particular regions and today, as in the case of Rockwood and stone circles, serve as national resources in leadership development and personal transformation to individuals, organizations, and networks across the nation and beyond. As Akaya Windwood and Robert Gass of Rockwood Leadership note, “We train leaders of front-line non-profit organizations, funders, and capacity builders across the United States, in Canada and in Israel and the Middle East.” Notwithstanding the possibilities of national and international co-education around transformative practice, regional work continues to make a great deal of sense. Encounter’s programming in the Middle East, for instance, is focused specifically on Israeli-Palestinian social, cultural, and political reconciliation. They offer their educational programming and contemplative practices in the very place where the conflict lies. It is worth noting that this approach is no less relevant within regions of the United States. How has the history of Alinsky-style organizing in Chicago constrained the role of women and attention to violence against women within social justice work? How has the history of the gulf coast shaped social justice work following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? As much as practitioners attend to personal histories in the pursuit of personal transformation, so must we attend to our collective (local and regional) histories in the pursuit of social transformation. D. Transcending Fear and ‘Us vs Them’ Thinking Most applicants noted the grave challenge of transcending conventional ways of approaching leadership, ego, and power. As leaders at CCC note, “traditional methods of organizing marginalized communities often rely on fear and anger to motivate people to act. As we work toward applying the principles of self-awareness and transformation to our work, we will seek to motivate people to act based on compassion, and by building powerful and transformative relationships with each other and with people in power.” To this end, leaders at SisterSong believe in modeling the self-disclosure process for others. “In fact, as a left-brain, analytical activist, I’m sure I surprise others by how easily and frequently I share my emotional successes and distresses with others. This challenges the traditional stereotype of leadership – someone who is strong, apparently infallible, and does not display weaknesses in front of those she leads. I believe my willingness to share my history and my struggles through the self-help practices creates a new model of leadership in which one does not hide behind the structures of power but instead feels confident enough to show one’s scars to others.” Continuing in this vein, many applicants discussed the freedom they feel when they

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learn to move beyond entrenched positions and “us vs. them” thinking. Leaders at ACRJ-EMERJ (Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice/ Expanding the Movemnet for Empowerment and Reproductive Justice) discussed “the need to move away from the pervasive oppressor/ victim frame that is often used in the progressive community to deal with disagreements and conflict and replace that frame with a model that strengthens, heals and unifies staff, board, youth leaders and ally organizations in the broader social justice movement.” Similarly, leaders at Common Fire and Be Present noted, “Our work forces people to step back from a relatively simplistic and safe ‘us versus them’ perspective of the world where the problems are caused by the ‘other.’ Doing the work of personal liberation requires opening up deeply emotional and vulnerable places within ourselves, and it means owning the ways we each often feed into the problems in the world.” As part of this process, applicants such as Cooperative Energy Futures have moved away from imagining themselves on a “separate path” of “helping others,” to see themselves instead “as part of a larger social body with a commitment to create a sustainable future. Our focus on integrating personal and collective vision yields bold and holistic solutions we couldn’t do alone.” At the root of this approach lies “a belief that our true work is compassion – whether that be manifested through community organizing, conversation, or personal creative and spiritual practice. What we seek is a pathway to a sustainable future.” E. Difficult Conversations and the Power of Language Understandably, the conversations that emerge within the context of transformational practice are not always easy. But most applicants agree that inner work makes the difficult conversations easier to have. Where we might normally avoid these topics to great detriment, with the tools of transformative practice, activists are recognizing their new capacity to face and transcend longstanding barriers to social change. For instance, leaders of Common Fire and Be Present thoughtfully engage their community members, including donors, on the subject of money and donor relationships. They note, “People’s relationships with money are complex and often uncomfortable. They may involve shame, resentment, fear, and more. The transfer of money is at the heart of donor relationships, yet the broader topic of these relationships is almost never broached.” These leaders are “committed to healthy, honest relationships with donors where we have these conversations, and where the benefits of the relationship go both ways. This takes time and involves risks, but it’s part of creating the world we are striving for.” Similarly, the staff at Literature for All of Us have developed a program that “fosters and maintains the conditions that allow this kind of inner change to take place – empathetic listening, unconditional acceptance, and faith in the generative power of language.” Finally, leaders of Encounter’s programs in the Middle East treasure listening and storytelling as cornerstones of their challenging

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reconciliation work: “Listening not only for what is said but for what is not said, the feelings, needs, and aspirations that underlie speech.” F. Spiritual Diversity Numerous applicants discussed the challenge of spiritual and contemplative diversity. Leaders of stone circles noted the challenge of balancing their “strong commitment both to our spiritual traditions and to creating a space where staff and guests of all spiritual traditions (and none at all) can thrive and find their own path.” Similarly, leaders of Common Fire and Be Present “believe in the importance of practices that help to center, inspire and sustain, practices that continue to connect us again and again with our deeper purpose and the larger story our individual lives are a part of…but we do not believe there is only one path to attain this kind of spiritual grounding.” Their “challenge – and joy” is to create a diverse community that strikes the appropriate balance between shared spiritual practices and time for private ones, without defining what dedicated time needs to look like.” G. In but not of the world Given the nature of transformative practice, many applicants find themselves negotiating a constant tension between community engagement and inward retreat. Leaders at Pathways to Peace use meditation to strengthen their “inner quiet” as well as their “capacity to listen deeply to the people we are serving, and to the synergy of our unprecedented time in history.” Similarly, leaders at Common Fire and Be Present noted, “We want to be fully engaged with the larger society, but at the same time we are trying to create something very different. That requires creating certain boundaries and holding space. So it is an interesting challenge balancing the ways we are accessible and engaged in the broader society while also stepping back and committing the time to be with ourselves engaged in personal and interpersonal transformation work.” At their best, the communities they create “will not be places where people retreat from the world, but ones that allow them to more powerfully step into the world.”

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Conclusion: Past, Present, and Future of Transformative Practice While the work of community organizing and social change offer an “inspiring history and inspiring ancestors,” leaders at Make The Road New York note, “one thing that has survived across the generations is the tendency of our organizations and our leaders to demand of themselves and their supporters the willingness to be a martyr to the cause. MRNY is opposed to our staff sacrificing self, friends and family to their work. We believe that the revolution is NOT just around the corner, and that many years of work lie ahead all of us if we are to achieve real social transformation. We must therefore find ways to sustain ourselves, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.” Indeed, the work that these applicants do is built on the premise that change happens on multiple levels, including personal transformation. For funders that are interested in supporting holistic social change, investing in personal transformation remains a key part of the puzzle. And yet, historically, Akaya Windwood and Robert Gass of Rockwood Leadership Institute posit, “the progressive social change sector has been leery of spiritual practice. For many, religion has been the source of personal and/or collective oppression, and there has been a consequent resistance among many groups to spirituality as a tool for change. Teaching leaders that their work must be centered in purpose (or something greater than personal ego) has been a challenge. Because taking the time to reflect on and learn about leadership is often seen as ‘elitist’ or ‘navel gazing’ among activists, it has been challenging to make the case for doing so.” This attitude has begun to shift in part through an expanded focus on power and oppression and the practical application of leadership skills, but also in no small part on the evidence that it works. It is also shifting due to the larger political moment in which we find ourselves. We went from the Bush era in which leaders did not acknowledge their inner selves, their mistakes or express humility to the Obama era in which we have a president who exemplifies ‘transformational leadership’ as he did recently during his speech at Notre Dame when stood centered and unshaken in front of an audience that is booing him because of policies on abortion. We are not lacking for growing evidence of this truth. Indeed, leaders of CLUE’s interfaith collective have noted that the “most effective force” in reversing the growing incidence of working poverty in California in recent years has been “an innovative coalition of creative community organizations, progressive labor unions and the faith community.” One day, Windwood and Gass hope, “the discourse on leadership in the US will be centered on values of interconnection, purpose, and mutuality. No one will lead in isolation. Burnout among social transformation leaders will be a thing of the past – in fact, people will be held accountable for attending to their well-being. Social justice leaders will see themselves as part of a movement of movements. They will have real connections to others – both within and across movements. Work will be satisfying, and people will lead for the long run.” With this vision in mind, we expect

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that funders across diverse fields will begin to take seriously the work of transformative practice.

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Recommendations  Recognize that transformative practice is not typically an “add-on” component of social change work, and it often requires widespread organizational change. As the leaders at CCC note, “Fundamentally, we need to completely transform our organization on all levels. This will be challenging, and we have some anxieties about attempting a dramatic cultural change in the midst of the high-stakes, high-volume campaign activity occurring in our overall organizational work, and in times of economic uncertainty. Yet despite these anxieties, we know that the quality of our future work will depend on our ability to do this.”  Educate grantees on the breadth and depth of this field. Some may feel pressures similar to these applicants, but not be sure how to address them or know that there are alternative waysof approaching their work. As leaders of SisterSong noted, “Few members of our movement are knowledgeable about such practices and there are few easily accessible opportunities to learn.”  To the extent possible, put aside any aversion to “overhead” when it comes to contemplative practice. This is work that requires, at bottom, the basic building blocks of space and time. Consider investing in an organization’s space (buildings, land, beautification projects, etc.) and the thoughtful development of this space for staff and membership training and retreats. Consider investing in staff time, family leave, and the support of personal ecology.  Recognize and support time for reflection and grounding between campaigns. Women and Girls CAN notes that “the relentless competition for funds can lead all of us to feel pressured to take short cuts to ‘produce results’ that foundations can easily evaluate. Stories of transformation for organizational members are rarely the kind of stories we are asked about, and this can create pressure to move quickly from event to event, and campaign to campaign, without taking the time for personal transformation for those involved.”  Invest in regional networks that operate across organizational lines and pursue unexpected allies.

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Seek out under-served regions such as the Midwest and the deep South. Regional trainings and retreats around transformative practice allows funders to leverage resources by touching many organizations in a single space and through one well placed grant. Such efforts directly support the development of healthy relationships, collaborations, and movements where they matter most.  If you are engaged in youth and leadership development, invest in those organizations that take seriously the role of contemplative practice and personal transformation. Working with yount leaders is a stratetic way to cultivate a social change movement in which transformative practice is the norm. Help current grantees to understand and maximize the relationship between personal and social transformation.  If your grantees are struggling with entrenched conflict and communication – within or beyond their organizations’ walls – consider investing in transformative practice. Study the peace education work of Encounter in the Middle East, ForestEthics’ work with loggers, paper corporations, and First Nations peoples of British Columbia, CLUE’s interfaith grocery strike in California, and SisterSong’s work with pro-choice and pro-life women of color. Even the most intractable barriers can fall.  Invest in holistic training and development that works not only across organizations, but issues and funding silos. As leaders of Common Fire and Be Present note, “We believe issuespecific work is essential, but it can only have a sustained and transformative impact if it’s partnered with deeper and more holistic work.”  Take time and risks to have difficult conversations about grantmaking and donor-grantee relationships. Leaders of Common Fire and Be Present thoughtfully engage their community members, including donors, on the subject of money and donor relationships. They note, “the transfer of money is at the heart of donor relationships, yet the broader topic of these relationships is almost never broached.” Commit yourself and your organization to healthy relationships with donors, “where we have these conversations, and

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where the benefits of the relationship go both ways.� Appendix One: Applicant Organizations Reviewed 1. Encounter. Encounter is an educational organization dedicated to providing Jewish leaders from across the religious and political spectra with exposure to Palestinian perspectives, stories, and realities. 2. ForestEthics. ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Their mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing. One of their focus areas is climate change. They catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve their goals. 3. The Brotherhood/Sister Sol. The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol addresses the dire need for supportive programs for Black and Latino youth who are surrounded by poverty, drugs, violence, racism and mis-education that plague America’s cities. The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol provides these youth with the knowledge, resources, opportunities, and love necessary in order to understand and overcome these negative pressures, as well as the skills to combat them. 4. stone circles. stone circles is a nonprofit organization that works to sustain activists and strengthen the work of justice through spiritual practice and principles. 5. Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective and Atlanta Transformative Justice Collaborative. Kindred’s mission is to honor and resource healing traditions as tools for liberation and individual / collective transformation within southern movements. The Atlanta Transformative Justice Collaborative (ATJC) seeks to transform the responses and conditions that perpetuate all forms of social control and violence. 6. Women & Girls Collective Action Network (CAN). Women & Girls CAN is a center for consciousness-raising, training, dialogue and action around issues that matter to women and girls. They strengthen connections across communities to promote collective action. They provide resources to create safe spaces for girls and women to develop as leaders, learn from one another, and take action to promote social justice. 7. Make the Road New York. In the fall of 2007, two dynamic grassroots organizations in New York City came together to create a new long-lasting collaboration and a new organization. Almost a year after the merger of the Latin American Integration Center and Make the Road by Walking, the birth of Make the Road New York has created the largest community-based, participatory, democratic organization of low-

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income immigrants in New York City. 8. Mobilize the Immigrant Vote California Collaborative (MIV). Spearheaded by Partnership for Immigrant Leadership and Action, the Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) Collaborative was founded in 2004 by six women Executive Directors who had a vision for strengthening the political power of low-income immigrant communities through a new model of compassionate and sustainable alliancebuilding. They believed, and have since demonstrated, that combining each other’s individual and organizational assets and building an alliance rooted in strong personal relationships could achieve much more than any one leader or institution alone. They knew that only such an alliance could forge the trust necessary to build unity in a state of 38 million people and with immigrant communities from almost every national origin and cultural context. 9. Honor the Earth. Honor the Earth is a Native-led organization established in 1993 to address the two primary needs of the Native environmental movement: the need to break the geographic and political isolation of Native communities and the need to increase financial resources for organizing and change. As a unique national Native Initiative, Honor the Earth works to raise public awareness and raise and direct funds to grassroots Native environmental groups. 10. Rockwood Leadership Institute (Akaya Windwood & Robert Gass). Rockwood Leadership Institute was founded in 2000 to provide individuals, organizations, and networks in the social benefit sector with powerful and effective training in leadership and collaboration. Each year Rockwood delivers its programs to more than 250 national leaders working in important grassroots and policy reform sectors that help improve the well-being of our communities and world. 11. Miami Workers Center. The Miami Workers Center is based in the Liberty City area of Miami, Florida. The Center was founded as a volunteer organization in 1999 by former union organizers Gihan Perera and Tony Romano. The Center helps working class people build grassroots organizations and develop their leadership capacity through aggressive community organizing campaigns and education programs. The Center also actively builds coalitions and enters alliances to amplify progressive power and win racial, community, social, and economic justice. 12. Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of California (CLUE-CA). CLUE is a grassroots alliance of fourteen affiliates around the state who have come together to build a faith-rooted movement for economic justice throughout California. 13. Cultivating Women’s Leadership (CWL). Cultivating Women’s Leadership (CWL) increases the capacity of women of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities to step into greater leadership to effect progressive environmental and social change. May 2009

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14. Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee (CEDnet). CEDnet is a diverse network of grassroots, community organizations that focuses on strategies that will improve the economic standing of the people they serve. 15. Silicon Valley De-Bug. Silicon Valley De-Bug is a collective of writers, artists, organizers, and workers based in San Jose, California. They are a project of Pacific News Service, a national news service located in San Francisco, started in 2000 by reporting on the hidden experiences of working people who were employed as lowwage temporary workers. As they grew as a collective, they began exploring all of the issues in their community – in the workplace, schools, streets, relationships, and beyond. 16. Generative Somatics and Social Justice Leadership (SJL). Generative Somatics and Social Justice Leadership (SJL) have been partnering over the last two years to deeply integrate transformative theory and practice into leadership development, community organizing, organization building and movement work in the social and environmental justice movements. 17. Casa Atabex Ache. Since 1994, Casa Atabex Ache has been building a “movement of alternatives” for women of color in the South ronx. Casa has a unique approach in supporting collective transformation and social change by providing holistic and alternative healing techniques for the self-empowerment of women of color worldwide to reclaim the power of their minds, bodies and spirits, and their rights. 18. Pathways to Peace/ TBL 21. Pathways to Peace incorporates spiritual and transformational practices in projects around the world. Triple Bottom Line for the 21st Century (TBL 21) is the third initiative of PeaceBuilding Through Business which was created in 1985. The objective is to create a replicable regional model that enhances the sustainability of businesses. Their underlying goal is to improve the quality of life for all stakeholders of business by improving awareness of how practice and policy affects that quality of life, and by improving relations between businesses, decision makers, and consumers. 19. Centro Campesino. Centro Campesino grew out of a community’s desire for an autonomous organizing center for migrant farmworkers and rural Latinos in Minnesota. Centro is a membership organization that was born and exists to create positive social change. 20. Melaver, Inc. Melaver is a seventy-year-old, third-generation, family-owned business that is passionately devoted to being both a thought and product leader in sustainable real estate.

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21. Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF). Cooperative Energy Futures sees energy efficiency as the first step to engage our communities in the process of building people-powered solutions to the energy crisis and global warming. 22. Thunder Valley. Thunder Valley’s objective is reconnect Lakota Native American youth who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation to their rich spiritual heritage. They focus their efforts on young adults at risk who have historically seen high rates of suicide attempts, crime, teen pregnancies, school drop-outs, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence. 23. Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ)/ Expanding the Movemnet for Empowerment and Reproductive Justice (EMERJ). ACRJ is a grassroots communitybased organization based in Oakland, California. ACRJ works with communities and organizations to advance reproductive justice on a local, state and national level. ACRJ’s two core strategies are community organizing and movement building. EMERJ is a national movement building initiative of ACRJ. EMERJ's role is to build strategic alliances and increase the power, leadership and capacity of grassroots organizations and communities working for reproductive justice. 24. Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA). FCAA was founded and is led by adult alumni of foster care. FCAA connects the community of alumni of foster care to create a permanent “extended family” network for each other, and they use the lessons of their experience to transform foster care policy and practice. 25. Oakland Leaf. Oakland Leaf concentrates its work in East Oakland communities. The new Oakland Leaf Mother Garden Community Center acts as a safe, productive space for community organizing, celebration, education, research, cultural validating, and a resource for other vital needs. The community center is a site of hope, pride, change, and sustainability for hundreds of youth and families in the Fruitvale District. 26. Center for Community Change (CCC). Founded in 1968, the Center for Community Change works to empower low-income people and communities, particularly people and communities of color, to improve the institutions and policies that affect their lives. 27. Literature for All of Us. Literature for All of Us brings the rewards of reading and writing through book group discussions to teen mothers and other young people in underserved neighborhoods. They build communities of readers, poets, and critical thinkers. They develop family literacy by providing children’s literature and child development resources to teen parents. 28. Common Fire/ Be Present. Common Fire supports the creation housing-coops and

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similar communities that support the transformation of society, from the inside out and the ground up, towards being more loving and joyful, and more just and sustainable. Be Present uses a model of transformation, the Be Present Empowerment Model (BPEM), which was created by Lillie P. Allen to provide individual empowerment and collective leadership skills first, to African-American women, and now to women from all walks of life, as well as men and boys. 29. People Acting in Community Together (PACT). Founded in 1985, People Acting in Community Together is an inter-faith, grassroots organization that empowers everyday people to create a more just community. PACT provides leadership training and experience to community members of many different ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. 30. SisterSong. The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective was formed in 1997 and initially funded by the Ford Foundation to educate women of color and policy makers on reproductive and sexual health and rights, and to work towards the access of health services, information and resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. They achieve these goals through public policy work, advocacy, service delivery and health education within their communities on the local, national and international levels.

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Appendix Two: Social Change Issues Addressed by TLA Applicant Organizations

Encounter ForestEthics The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol stone circles

Conflict Resolution/ Reconciliation

Cultural & Spiritual Restoration

X

X

X

Environmental Justice and Sustainable Economic Development

Honor the Earth Rockwood Leadership Miami Workers Center CLUE - CA

Community & Movement Organizing/ Democratic Participation/ Social Justice

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X X

X X

X X

X

X

CEF Thunder Valley

May 2009

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Leadership Development/ Organizational and Movement Culture

X

X

X

Youth Development

X

X

Cultivating Women’s Leadership CEDnet Silicon Valley De-Bug Generative Somatics Casa Atabex Ache Pathways to Peace Centro Campesino Melaver, Inc.

Reproductive Justice and Women's Leadership

X

Kindred/ ATJC Women & Girls CAN Make the Road New York MIV

Violence Prevention/ Recovery

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

42


ACRJ/ EMERJ

X

FCAA

X

Oakland Leaf CCC Literature for All of Us Common Fire/ Be Present PACT

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X X X

SisterSong

X

X X

X

X X

Applicants referenced the following issue areas and social change objectives:                    

 

Conflict and reconciliation Leadership development Personal and Organizational Effectiveness/ Transformation Movement Building and Sustainability Environmental health and justice Youth development Violence Prevention and Transformative healing Interfaith dialogue and reconciliation Dialogue, relationship building, collaboration across perceived boundaries Capacity building of social justice organizations and movements Integrated voter engagement Energy and climate justice, building a green economy in Native America Developing community infrastructure Changing how energy is produced, owned, and managed Building collective power and engagement of working class communities of color Interfaith engagement in social justice Organizing religious leaders to respond to the crisis of working poverty in ways that highlight their “unique role and gifts as faith representatives” Leadership development of women, indigenous peoples, low-income communities of color Building place-based networks of collaboration around regional social justice concerns To “deeply integrate transformative theory and practice into leadership development, community organizing, organization building, and movement work in the social and environmental justice movements” To alter the way that structural power is organized such that it “supports social justice, environmental sustainability, personal and collective well being, and spiritual awakening.” Addressing the “traumatic and ongoing impact” of violence, especially intimate violence Business as pathway to peace and sustainability

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   

  

Improve trust, joy, creativity, innovation, sense of community and quality; increase abundance and resiliency during our current global economic and consciousness shift. To be both thought and product leaders in the field of sustainable development Near-complete transformation of the way energy systems work. Introducing literature into the lives of marginalized youth, guiding them to explore their inner selves through the themes and characters found in books and poetry; encouraging growth and self-awareness among young people who have failed to thrive in traditional educational settings. Teaching people how to be conscious and whole in each moment so that they can deal positively with difficult issues and transcend them to form lasting partnerships with others Bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to build understanding and relationships across differences so that together we can achieve significant and lasting change for the well-being of the entire community To build a national movement of women of color working for reproductive justice to end the myriad forms of reproductive oppression. To reconnect Lakota Native American youth who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation to their rich spiritual heritage. Organizing a host of interconnected social justice and human rights issues that affect our bodies, sexuality, and reproduction; expanding participation; and transcending polarization of debate. To bring all readers to the truth that the past shapes us, but does not determine us, and that today and tomorrow have possibility.

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Transformative Practices for Social Change: Lessons from the Field