4 Point Process
Each one of us has the capacity to make a difference right where we are. By standing up within the communities we find ourselves - where we live and work - we can create greater spaces of honesty, equity, hope, compassion and creativity for not only ourselves but for others.
If we are changing systems, we must first begin with the system of the self. As disruptors of structures laced in steep inequalities, we must also disrupt our borders, question our systems of belief and perception. What are the structures of inequality that exist inside? How do we confront and root it out just as we are doing in our communities and in the world? We have the power to run a virus scan over our lives to detect the integrity gaps. We can take personal inventory and let go of that which does not serve us well. A discipline around quiet time, or developing a practice of mindful awareness outside of one’s self can grow one’s inner voice, the conscience within as a source of inner freedom, knowing and deep creativity.
Through a regular practice of deep listening - opening, connection and correction - we can deal with unresolved issues and mis-truths about ourselves, families, communities and nations. Letting go of preconceived ideas opens one’s mind to the possibilities. This process involves honesty about our motives, attitudes, and hidden agendas. Through honesty, we confront our multi-dimensional selves, peeling through the layers to see what is underneath. Honesty can be the first step in reconciliation, forgiveness and the building of a trusted vision that can be identified and pursued.
Healing is a key component and methodology of our work in action. The idea is that our self-narrative is skewed and incomplete and not fully representative of the full picture. We reverse this process by going through a revolution through honesty, self-reflection, empathy, deep listening, and inner work (spiritual focus). This enables us to shift the lens and restore ourselves and, therefore, our understanding and interpretation of the world and our relationships to others, allowing for more inclusive historical experiences to take root within our worldview (reconciliation, peace, trust and relationship building).
Disrupting traditional narratives of history takes place through a fuller telling and representation. This is the healing process at work, a process that is never finished but ongoing, multi-layered and always shifting. We provide space and routes for deep conversations on power distribution, resource sharing and equity wealth building, as well as access to networks of high-level decision making and/or social influence across the country and internationally.
Honest and inclusive dialogue is at the heart of trustbuilding. For this to take shape, it is important that participants (especially new and unengaged audiences) step out of their comfort zones, acknowledge the inequitable histories we have inherited, and connect how personal change fuels social and community transformation. We take the journey together and ask these challenging questions - exploring the ghosts, gaps, silences, dismissals and openings within difficult conversations - and interrogate the development of our histories, family and community narratives, identities and representations. We reconfigure these fragments into a system of being that is more holistic, integrated and rewoven with a matrix of equitable power.
Honest conversations can take a number of forms and practices such as strategic planning, administration, mediation, facilitation and training, resource reinvestment, historic truth-telling and storytelling, mirroring, and reflection.
Nothing is more powerful than a diverse group of people working together. Effective teambuilding draws on the other three steps described in the process of trustbuilding: the courage to begin with change in our own lives; open dialogue with people who are different from us; and private and public acts to acknowledge and repair broken relationships in order to restore historic wrongs and build justice.
Initiatives of Change is a constellation of diverse teams who are passionately committed to working together and who demonstrate deep systems of trusted relationships that can be replicated throughout the world.
Through IofC program methods, participants learn how to:
Create and sustain teams and networks that bridge traditional boundaries of culture, politics, religion, race and class.
Explore methodologies to engage people of different views as allies and build shared visions.
Understand and appreciate how a team is enriched by different personalities and styles.
How can we recognize that healing (or rather trustbuilding) is working?
The recognition of healing - or the formation of relational trust - has often been made through the form of testimony, or a person sharing an account of a life-changing shift taking place in her/his life. Through this form of storytelling, Initiatives of Change marks a primary form of change-making, i.e. the ownership/authorship of the story by a narrator who provides evidence to witnesses.
Storytelling is a realization of visionary change and the basis for showing how other processes shift:
A change in behaviors, attitudes, interpersonal communications and/or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
A greater experimentation in social engagements
A larger capacity to take risks and buck the status quo
Through this effect, there is a greater buy-in among organizations and individuals which impacts and changes systems. Systems can be an individual, family, neighborhood, faith community, workplace, or school. Furthermore, change can be marked by the increasing of network and partnerships engagement. By amplifying the influence of those in our networks and partnerships, we shift power dynamics.