Facilitator Development Program
for the Work That Reconnects
April – November 2017
Online study w/12-day Intensive
River’s Bend Retreat Center
July 18-30, 2017
Molly Brown, Mutima Imani, and Constance Washburn
An eight-month course for those who wish to become facilitators or enhance their skills as facilitators in the Work That Reconnects. This course is offered as one of the several pathways available for deepening theoretical understanding and facilitation skills in the Work. The 2017 course is a pilot project on the West Coast; we hope other experienced facilitators will make similar programs available elsewhere.
OVERVIEW OF 2017 PROGRAM
March 1: Deposit ($500) due to reserve lodging and a place in the cohort. (All but $50 refundable until March 1)
April: Program begins with reading and study assignments and monthly study group meetings online.
July 18-30: 12 day Intensive held at River’s Bend Retreat Center in Mendocino.
Post-Intensive through November: Monthly study/action groups continue online; participants offer workshops and classes in their communities with support from study groups and trainers.
Contact Molly Brown with concerns and questions here.
PURPOSE AND CONTEXT
At this time of planetary destruction, systemic racism and oppression, and political chaos, many of us are seeking ways to reconnect to one another and to the living Earth, and to bring forth our particular gifts to contribute to the Great Turning. The Work That Reconnects is a transformational body of work that includes both theories and practices which enable us to reconnect us to our own true nature, the web of life, and to our human community, while inspiring us to act on behalf of life. This program will give facilitators the support needed to make the transformational journey themselves and to assist others on the path to coming back to life.
In addition to facilitation skills, the ability to guide others through the Work That Reconnects is enhanced by personal work, knowledge and engagement in social and ecological challenges, and decolonizing one’s worldview. This course will weave all these dimensions together.
We aim to meet the needs of people who want to facilitate the Work but don’t yet feel confident to do so, as well as people already facilitating the Work who want a “graduate level” program to develop their competencies. We have based the plan on the Facilitator Competency Framework developed by Joanna Macy, Chris Johnstone, Molly Brown, and Constance Washburn.
Text books for this course are Coming Back to Life (with its Study Guide) and Active Hope. We will be working deeply with the theories and practices contained in these books as well as exploring additional texts, articles, and videos in study groups, and hands-on experiences during the Intensive. Those participating in the program will be expected to do their own inner work, participate in study groups before and after the Intensive, and share the Work That Reconnects in some form in their communities.
Perhaps most importantly this program will help build a widening community of facilitators who support each other to do the Work through sharing resources and experiences, as well as helping each other face the difficult times ahead with open hearts and open minds.
The central purpose of the Work that Reconnects is to help people uncover and experience their innate connections with each other and with the systemic, self-healing powers of the web of life, so that they may be enlivened and motivated to play their part in creating a sustainable civilization. ~ Joanna Macy
Facilitators/Trainers: Molly Brown, Mutima Imani, and Constance Washburn will be the primary teachers/trainers/facilitators for this Facilitator Development Program.
- At least one 4 – 10 day retreat with WTR facilitator.
- Read Coming Back to Life and Active Hope.
- For white-identified folks: participation in a local or online anti-oppression workshop/study group, such as:
- Anti-Oppression Study Group for White-Identified Folks in the Work That Reconnects Community, Feb. 5 through May 24, 2017.
- Decolonizing the Work That Reconnects: A Workshop for White Facilitators of the Work, Friday evening, Feb 24 through Sunday midday, Feb 26, 2017 Canticle Farm, Oakland CA.
- We will recommend similar workshops or study groups for mixed groups or people of color as we learn about them. Please inform us of any you know of.
Structure Spiral of the Work That Reconnects
We will follow the Spiral of the Work (Gratitude, Honoring Our Pain for the World, Seeing with New Eyes, Going Forth) throughout the Intensive and in our study groups.
- WTR underlying concepts and worldviews; Living the Great Turning.
- WTR practices–experiential learning
- General facilitation skills
- Practice sessions/ practice talks by students
- Decolonizing the Work That Reconnects
Study Groups and Homework
- Study groups before the Intensive will explore responses to study guide questions, as well as participants’ self care, spiritual practice, anti-oppression work, time in nature, new insights, and experiences offering the Work. Reading and blogging assignments between group meetings, on these topics.
- Study/action groups following the Intensive will continue as before, as well as providing support in planning and facilitating WTR workshops–from evening presentations to weekend or 4-5 day retreats–and debriefing afterwards.
Before and after Intensive, participants:
- engage in at least one activity in each of the three dimensions of the Great Turning (including anti-oppression work) and share learnings and challenges with their study group.
- contribute to a compilation of poems, songs, art activities, theatre games, new practices.
12 Day Intensive will include:
- WTR theory and practices; workshop design and facilitation. At least one major exercise each day, with group debrief. Principles of inclusive, respectful facilitation. Examine practice for unconscious white bias.
- Practice sessions to provide the opportunity for everyone to lead one or two practices with a partner and receive feedback.
- Living the Great Turning
- Discussions of facilitation challenges; guided meditations; group process; confronting current racial justice and environmental crises and their interrelationship.
- Exploration of how we can“decolonize” practices and concepts of the Work That Reconnects to free ourselves from unconscious colonized Euro-centric worldviews and assumptions.
- Students may deliver short talks on a WTR concept or principle (e.g. the three dimensions of the Great Turning).
- A day of silent reflection halfway through.
COST AND REGISTRATION
Cost includes lodging, meals, administration, and tuition for teachers and guest teachers: $2960 (lodge/vintage cabin), $2775 (rustic cabin), $2780 (tent cabin), $2670 (camping). Single rooms available at $300 more. Only 4 tent camping and 4 camping spaces are available, so send in your deposit soon if you want one.
- Enrollment limited to 21 participants.
- Complete registration form AND :
- Send a $500 deposit as soon as possible to reserve your place. ($50 of deposit not-refundable.) Send a check to Molly Brown, 722 Meadow Ave, Mt Shasta CA 96067, or pay via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org. We must receive deposits from at least 15 people by March 1, 2017 to hold our reservation with River’s Bend for July.
- Balance of payment due by April 1 (or commitment to a payment plan). Room and board for Intensive may be fundable up to July 1, in the case of dire emergencies. Send payment to Molly as above.
- Contact Molly Brown with concerns and questions here.
- Scholarships: Presently we have no scholarship funds available, but welcome your ideas for–and help with–raising money. Crowd-sourcing? Grants? Contributions from friends and family? If you have expertise in fundraising or know of possible donors, please contact us right away..
- Volunteering: To keep administrative costs down, we will ask everyone to volunteer some time to handle registration and lodging assignments, arrange carpools to bring people from the Bay Area to River’s Bend, raise scholarship funds, and help out during the intensive. Please indicate how you would like to help on the Registration Form.
Venue for Intensive: River’s Bend Retreat Center in Mendocino
The Navarro River runs through the Anderson Valley’s majestic redwoods, sunny meadows and vineyards and then curves at River’s Bend to create a still point for contemplation, ecological understanding, and deep connection between land and people.
Take a dip in the swimming hole, find a quiet path through the woods, help tend the organic flower and vegetable garden, and enjoy home-cooked, fresh-from-the garden meals in the dining room. A vegetarian option is offered at every meal; vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free diets can be accommodated if requested ahead of time. Those with other dietary restrictions are welcome to bring their own special food that can be kept in the center refrigerator.