I started to document ways and thought processes of community leaders as they do speak out. Weeks ago, I worked with urban poor leaders in surfacing their concerns and needs. In July, I journeyed with organic farming advocates. Their community is pretty isolated, and they have been on lockdown for five months.
We started with friendship by catching up and asking about how we lived through the pandemic. We practiced stopping and good listening. Sharing in concentric circles on themes about the pandemic and memories about the organization jump-started interactions in the workshop. Incorporating these AVP Cultures of Peace tools with appreciative inquiry allows participants to stay more relaxed and focused.
As a facilitator, I learned to lend my confidence to the participants by staying relaxed and open to support or by offering technical assistance to them. I need to respect the concerns that they pick. The community knows better than I about their concerns. I translated some of their speak out statements: