IMP^o^041 RSVP back in action

Mary Calhoun moriah at preferred.com
Mon Jan 31 10:02:25 JEST 2000


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IMP ^o^ Bulletin 041
Rural Southern Voice For Peace (RSVP)
Is Back in Action
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(from a 1-12-00 message from Colin Sugioka, Clerk of Peace and Social
Concerns, Celo Friends Meeting, and Board Member, Rural Southern Voice for
Peace)


<|>  "After a period on hold, the mission of RSVP is being revived, and we
(RSVP board & staff) plan to ask for renewed support from SAYMA at the next
representatives meeting, and want to let the many SAYMA Friends who've
supported it in the past know about what is happening.  RSVP's plans have
been considered by Peace & Social Concerns, presented to
Meeting for Business and received a minute of support from Celo Friends
Meeting as well. " -- Colin Sugioka

<|>  Herb Walters' SUMMARY OF ORGANIZATIONAL AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENTS, RURAL
SOUTHERN VOICE FOR PEACE --

    "Rural Southern Voice for Peace (RSVP) with a 18 year history of
remarkable, innovative work in grassroots social change, recently came out
of a slump that almost resulted in its demise. Instead, supporters rallied
round and this summer the non-profit organization, Listening and Diversity
Project (LDP) merged into RSVP. Today, RSVP is back in action as a strong,
lean, keen, and non-bureaucratic organization. Our smaller staff will cover
additional work by referral to our national network of Listening and
Dialogue trainers. Herb Waiters, who founded both RSVP and the Listening
Project has returned after six years to provide leadership along with a new
and very enthusiastic board of directors.
    "Our mission remains clear: We provide training, consultation and
organizing support in Listening Projects, Facilitated Dialogue and other
creative organizing tools that empower and enable communities to overcome
conflict and other barriers to diversity and community based social change.
RSVP is still looked to by many, both nationally and internationally, as the
primary resource for Listening Project information and training. We will not
abandon this vital role. Thus, we are also committed in our mission to 'act
as a resource and trainer referral center for Listening and Dialogue
projects.'
    "Our New Programs: FACILITATED DIALOGUE, rooted in our commitment to
deep listening, structures intimate dialogue in groups of four participants
with differing views. This highly structured process enables the sharing of
feelings, ideas and solutions between participants at a deeply personal
level. It has had remarkable success in a variety of projects including one
in the former Yugoslavia that helped bring reconciliation between Serbs,
Croats and Muslims, and another that helped increase religious tolerance for
gays and lesbians. CEREMONIAL STORY DANCING uses deep listening from the
Native American and African traditions of dance, ceremony and storytelling.
Ceremonial Story Dancing is used to educate and inspire participants on
ecological and social change themes.
    "PROGRAM WORK FOR JANUARY 2000 TO MARCH 2001
    <\>"CONFLICT OVER SCHOOL REDISTRICTING IN GUILFORD COUNTY, NC: Civil
rights activists have protested and gone to jail in response to a
county-wide school redistricting plan they believe is unjust to black youth
and communities. The issue goes beyond racial conflict. It has also resulted
in polarization of communities based on class, geography (rural vs. urban)
and ideology. Randy Johnston, a coordinator of the Unity Task Force told us:
'We contacted you to help us with a creative way to approach this situation.
There's a lot of mistrust, anger, polarization, and a feeling that parents,
families and the usual disenfranchised communities are not being heard. I
believe your Listening and Facilitated Dialogue program will help us build
some unity and find more community-based solutions.'
    <\>"SOUTH CAROLINA CHURCH BURNINGS: We are helping Rebecca and Harry
Rogers on a Listening Project responding to the need for healing and justice
in a South Carolina community where the Klan burned an African American
church.
    <\>"DIVERSITY & ECOLOGY YOUTH PROJECTS: We'll provide Facilitated
Dialogue training to students and staff at Earlham College, Indiana, as a
part of their 3 year "Building Bridges" program. The primary objective: "to
strengthen Earlham's capacity for dealing with differences and building
community so students and faculty can offer stronger leadership for
diversity..." At a middle school in Greensboro, NC we will conduct a
Ceremonial Story Dance program with an ecological / social change theme.
    <\>"A NEW 'LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE' COMPONENT TO A NATIONAL PROTEST
INVOLVING THOUSANDS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. By using Listening, the national
Fellowship of Reconciliation will demonstrate a new model for national
mobilizations -- one that is not just preaching to the people but is also
listening and building relationships of understanding and mutual respect. We
will train protestors to listen and dialogue as well as identify people who
are interested in the issues of nonviolence, militarism and social justice.
FOR will then be able to follow up with further contact and information.
They will also be able to apply what they hear and learn to their own
program development.
    <\>"CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR A LOCAL PROJECT ON FOREST PRESERVATION
    <\>"DEVELOPING A LISTENING PROJECT and
                FACILITATED DIALOGUE TRAINERS NETWORK
    <\>"POSSIBLE LOCAL PROJECT ON MIGRANT WORKERS ISSUES"

~~~~~~~end ^o^ ~~~~~~
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Please address corrections and additions to moriah at preferred.com,
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Abingdon, VA 24210.  Thank you! ^o^ Mary Calhoun, AA
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