Is there one "right" way to work for transformation? I used to think so. I remember one day in the late 80s feeling particularly turned off by some social action I had just heard of, and complaining to my mother. In a moment of deep wisdom, my mother reminded me of the obvious: we don't actually know what works. We can't know what, if anything, will ultimately bring about the dream so many of us carry of a world that truly works for all, where separation and scarcity are a thing of the past, where people share resources collaboratively with immense care for the one sacred planet we inhabit, where privilege is something you read about in history books, and where all cultures celebrate our full humanity. For as long as we don't know, she said, and for as long as what people do is not harmful, let's support all the ways that people choose to aim for that dream.
Her words echo for me as I prepare for my new teleclass series,  Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past. This course is a distillation of all I have learned in over 20 years that gives me hope about changing the systems and structures that we live and breathe. And I want it to support anyone who is committed to the same dream, whatever path you take.
Maybe you are a member of the Network for Spiritual Progressives (NSP), following the lead of Michael Lerner and Cat Zavis in taking the depth of our spiritual longings - for love, generosity, interdependence, and deep joy and wonder about life as a whole - and giving them concrete and practical form. NSP unabashedly brings spiritual values to politics, and offers a spiritual covenant -a vision of a world based on a new bottom line. They also support specific legislative initiatives - the Global Marshall Plan and the Environmental and Social Responsibility constitutional amendment - that, if adopted, would address and turn around global poverty and the rule of corporate greed. I know I want that.
Maybe you work with or support Black Lives Matter, participating in the exploration of what a true grassroots "leader-full" movement can be and do. This movement challenges so many notions of social action, rooting the center firmly in marginalized communities, taking on the invisible and pervasive ways in which centuries of whiteness as a norm shape what seems possible, challenging power structures and their effect, and showing all that the downtrodden and marginalized communities are so completely capable of leading themselves and all of us into an honest and caring future. I know I want that.
Perhaps you've been part of the Democracy Spring mobilization, zeroing in on the role of money in politics, banking your hopes on the simple idea of "one person, one vote." You may be among the record numbers of people willing to put their bodies on the line to call attention to this issue until business as usual is sufficiently disrupted, your call is heeded, and something begins to shift. I know I want that.
Or maybe you have been inspired by and engaged with the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education, whose Roadmap humbly provides a framework to tie together much work that has been fragmented, so we can all see ourselves as part of one movement of movements. At the heart of the Roadmap, the source of strength and coherence for all this different work, are inner peacebuilding, shaping a "New Story," and reverence for all life. I know I want that.
A Painful Hope 
Or maybe you have not yet found your way. Maybe you are just longing to find a way. Maybe you get inspired by people like Ali Abu Awad, a Palestinian who was imprisoned for some years in Israel for participating in activities against the occupation. 

A Painful Hope
Ali Abu Awad
Ali found nonviolence while in prison and is now spreading it, holding the vision of a major nonviolent movement within Palestine. In his TED talk "Painful Hope," he says simply: "Nonviolence for me is the art of being a human being. It's the celebration of my existence... I'm not a victim any more... because I belong. I belong, and I know how to serve this belonging. I'm right here. If Jewish people are right here, we (Palestinians) are also right here. So peace is a place where two truths can fit together in one place." I know I want that.
I want all of it.
We are so often told that life as we know it is the only way to be. That winners and losers, war and environmental degradation are unavoidable because of human nature. Or that someone in power, with the right technology, will magically fix all the world's problems.
I don't believe any of those stories. Like the movements and people I just highlighted, some of whom are partnering with us on the Working for Transformation course, I know we can do better.
Anna asks Miki: "What's the purpose of this class?"

I hope you join me - us - in this course. Please come to the free preview call on June 3 if you'd like a glimpse of where we're going. To put it simply: when we embrace nonviolence internally, when we have the wisdom, courage, and tenacity to take on everything, when we embrace the humility of supporting all paths towards the Great Turning, and when we learn how to collaborate with each other across differences to work together for a nonviolent future, we might just become unstoppable.
in peace and hope,
P.S. If you want to hear more of what's been happening in the last month, click here for my celebrations and mournings, including in particular the amazing web of partnership forming around this course! 

Image credit: Butterfly - "emergence (7)" by Dubh, Flickr, (CC BY-NC 2.0).
Working for Transformation scholarship fund
Want to help bring tight-budgeted world-changers to Miki's new telecourse on transformative nonviolence? Here are two options to consider:
  • Do you know someone whose important work would be nourished by this course? You can sponsor them through NVC Academy's "come with a friend" discount, which lets you register two people for the price of one. Click here for details.
  • Contribute to our scholarship fund for nonviolent revolutionaries. $250 supports one full scholarship, and any amount helps. Click here and choose "Working for Transformation scholarship fund" from the designation drop-down menu. 
On the Blog
This month my blog post is about collaboration in the restaurant business. If you are wondering about whether collaboration is possible in this industry, learn about places doing it and those aiming for it. Meanwhile, here at BayNVC, we just had our weekly lunch, a collaborative project in its design and implementation. It's at my house, the little bit of "office" that we share on Thursdays. It evolved gradually, each of us contributing an idea, and it is now fairly stable. We get to have a truly yummy lunch towards which each of us contributes exactly what makes sense to us, between shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Today we laughed about collaboration, one of our favorite topics to banter about. One of us is a former caterer, and is now eager to look up the post. It's about food, and, more than anything, it's about how a business can truly function collaboratively while maximizing resource utilization. Enjoy. 

Workshops and Seminars
Miki talked up her Working for Transformation teleclass above, and if you go to her celebrations and mournings you will find links to her in-person workshops on Convergent Facilitation and Leveraging Your Influence. Or click here for all of Miki's offerings in one place, including her FREE teleseminars to:
  • discuss topics from her blog, on a Sunday morning or Monday evening, June 5 and 6 this month.
  • talk honestly and vulnerably with each other about privilege and how we respond to those with less, more, or other kinds of privilege than we have ourselves: this month on June 3 in the afternoon or June 19 in the morning. 
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