Listen and Acknowledge
I feel like I forget how to really listen until every time Marty Pottenger comes to town. She does an activity called Listening Exchanges in which you ACTUALLY listen to your partner for three minutes. You don’t respond verbally, or with a head nod. You actively listen without thinking of what you want to say next. It is a very valuable exercise in truly listening.
Last night our BrideNext program and our Art & Change Collective came together to present Stronger Together: Embracing Community for Hope. In the wake of the election results we wanted to come together as a community and discuss how we move forward. Each listening exchange Marty led in the evening revolved around a topic dealing with the election and the fears, emotions, etc. that the participants were feeling about it. It was really nice to be genuinely listened to as well as really listen and connect with our partners.
Following our Listening Exchanges, Casey Cook and Aarati Kasturirangan from Bread and Roses Community Fund led us in an exercise that examined the Four Roles in Social Change – Helper, Advocate, Rebel, and Organizer. The main take-away was that everyone handles their social change initiatives differently, but that all actions – whether it’s protesting on Broad Street, working with City Hall, and everything in between, is valuable, and that we have to acknowledge and support each other in the various roles.
To end the evening HeIanah led us in a short activity that reminded everyone that we aren’t alone in this. We are a community with support on all sides of us and the legacy of those that came before us as inspiration and guidance. I really enjoyed this event and look forward to more events, discussions, and activities, as both BrideNext and Art & Change Collective develop. If you want to keep up with what both groups are doing and everything else at the Bride join our e-mail list.
Written by LaNeshe Miller-White, Marketing Manager