There are three windows through which to look in order to see the actions we take and, therefore, what we value--the issues and themes which move us: What we do as individuals (the choices which reveal what we believe), what we do with the acceptance or support of others (how society functions and fails to function), and what brings everyone involved together to work as a team toward a shared goal (how Big Ideas make Big Change). We prefer to track each level, as individual behavior changes groups and vice versa.


This page will track what we have done in relationship with the themes that move us to our choices.



ABC members Iris McGinnins and Brandon WilliamsCraig had the pleasure of making Cheryl Honey's acquaintance, collaboratively creating the Care & Share process in preparation for the inaugural Nexus for Change conference at Bowling Green State Univerity. Care & Share was established to help people otherwise unable for financial reasons to attend get to the event, find housing, and get their related needs met by a commuity of support.

This is what Cheryl does every day.     

Her approach to building community, called Community Weaving America, was proposed to the Obama Administration and is working its way into pilot programs at various sites throughout the US starting in Obama's hometown of Chicago. They were promised grants and have a fiscal agent to house this new large-scale implementation effort. Cheryl invested her time, let other opportunities go, and then the money became uncertain. Now things seem to be "on hold" and the faithful are more vulnerable than ever and needing some support.

She is in her van, now her only residence, with her two kids and small dog, headed for Berkeley and then up to Ashland to live for a time with a friend and collaborator.

She as been asked to do a presentation Thursday night in Oakland.

There might be time to set up a talk and fundraiser at another time as well.

I'm looking for:

    * Contact from you to let me know you are ready and able to be good neighbors to these most excellent folks,
    * a place for them to stay with at least the night of the 28th.That's Cheryl, her two kids, and small dog, named Sandy.
    * Offers of invitations for other nights around that date and
    * invitations to a meal or two.

Please help support people who devote their lives to building community on purpose. Cheryl is the Real Deal.

CONTACT ME at brandon at abcglobal dot net

More about the Community Weaving Model:

From a recent email:

I've been swamped lately working on a nation-wide large-scale pilot project that Obama staff is keeping a close eye on called Community Weaving America. What is important to remember is when anything shifts from one state to a new state it needs support to maintain the new state of being. (Ken Wilbur/Don Beck: Spiral Dynamics).  All the methods whether dialogue or change methods they all deepen relationships,  yet there isn't an infrastructure to sustain the efforts. Many fizzle out and this has been a big frustration that's been conveyed over and over again as we talk with organizations. "Oh, here's another what?" is the most common response we hear initially.

We are not re-creating the wheel here - we believe in local sustainable systems and highly recommend creating an infrastructure for sustainability that is adaptive to change. That's our specialty...buildling community capacity  by weaving the fabric of community to support positive change. Community Weaving is a process to re-engineer the infrastructure of community. Our goal is to have trained Community Weavers within all the organizations and networks you mentioned, which would embed them within community systems across all sectors at all levels of community. President Obama informed Americans that our nation was entering times when neighbors must help neighbors. The challenge was "how" to do that.  Logistically, in our culture that is pretty near impossible for the majority of Americans because of the guilt, shame and judgement associated with being needy. We need "safe places" and "Good Neighbors" available to listen and lend a helping hand so others can feel comfortable ot share their challenges without fear of judgement.

It seemed the time had finally arrived for the work we've been was doing (which few really understand has finally arrived) I sold everything in December (except for furnishings for a small condo which I put in storage) and moved from Seattle to Plymouth, MA. I moved here because a woman I met at the National Volunteerism Conference last September invited me to move in so I could write my book on Community Weaving America. She admired the process that had emerged over the years and saw how it could be the change President Obama was looking for to foster new leaders and healthy communities, We create space where both givers and receivers are equal and they support one another like an extended family.

We've asked two questions at our Community Weaver Certification trainings over the past 15 years and the answers still remain the same:
1) Why don't neighbors ask for help when they need it?
2) Why don't neighobrs offer to help when they see someone in need?

Take a moment to close your eyes and reflect on these two questions. How easy is it for you to ask for help?
We have incredible opportunities ahead of us. Formal systems are not able to meet the rise in demand for services in order to meet the rise in demand with the economic downturn, combined with budget cuts and layoffs. Last week the Developmental Disabilities department in Plymouth Co. was told to consolidate 3 departments and lay off 47% of their staff. I do hope some of you are working to help organizations reorganize to meet the needs. Who is working with agencies and cities currently to help them re-organize for the times we live in? Alot of folks I've spoken to indicate they're experiencing a decline in generating revenue from their work. A lot of folks are donating their time to help in organizations who are working on shoestring budgets.

Community Weaving America was proposed to the Obama Administration and we are piloting Community Weaving at various sites throughout the US starting in Obama's hometown of Chicago. I'm not at liberty to share who the convener is, but I can say that within the past 30 days, we've received grants and have a fiscal agent who will house this new large-scale implementation effort. If you want to serve as a pilot site, just email me back and I'll forward you information.
Implementing the Community Weaving infrastructure is done in a six phase implementation. The trick is attracting partners from across community sectors to engage their constituents as "Good Neighbors" who pool resources to build up individual and community capacity and bridge social capital. We spent 3 years developing a web-based technology as a tool for the Community Weavers and Good Neighbors at Good Neighbors self-organize into Family Support Networks where they have safe places to share and care for one another.  They can also use the recommended processes to deal with issues and craft their future together. Agencies who partner with the initiative list their programs, services, expertise and curriculums to make them accessible to anyone who wants to use them. NCDD members can sign up as both Good Neighbors and FSN Partners at the website for free and search for others who are part of the network or find resources or post activities (Open Space, World Cafe's, IA, Future Search, Charattes, Workshops, Art, Music, Meditation, Transition Towns, or train trainers to expand the effort exponentially)  Peggy Holman sees Community Weaving as a community-wide Open Space design. The CW process emerged over 15 years. We have over 300 trained Community Weavers across the country with 1,500 Good Neighbors in over 100 communities across America and in 8 countries. Our Good Neighbors speak over 25 languages so far and can be contacted eaily by a conference call to help with interpretation.
Below is the 6 part phase that emerged over the years to sustin the infrastructure in Community:


Community Weaving America is a “process” model that engages citizens to weave a strong web of support for families and work together to improve conditions in their lives and in the community. In this phase convener(s) are identified. In a series of coaching session they gain insight into ways to increase community capacity by engaging people in the process of creatively addressing issues impacting their lives and communities. This process model is awkward for those who work in programs driven by outcomes. This unique process unfolds as people commit to serving and volunteering in their communities. Organizations work interdependently with citizens to prepare them to be more responsible and responsive in times of change.


Conveners instigate Community Weaving by raising awareness about this innovative approach to building and bridging social capital across community sectors. Representatives from across community sectors are invited to participate in an inquiry and visioning session and gain insight into Community Weaving. Following the session, they determine how they want to engage in the process. Those that choose to be involved help spread the word to expand the scope of participation in the Community Weaving Initiative.


This event is an introduction to the Community Weaving experience. Usually 3 hours in duration, it is held at a neutral location with all the partners, leaders and their constituents engaging in activities that offer insight into the inclusionary process of Community Weaving. This opens up new possibilities for effective collaborations across the whole community system.


CW Certification Training: Partners identify individuals from within their organizations to be trained as Community Weavers. Community Weavers access the tools, techniques and technology to start Family Support Networking in their organizations and neighborhoods.

CW Action Planning: The trained Community Weavers and partners spend a day in an Open Space session to design an action plan detailing how they will integrate Community Weaving into their service delivery system to create more vibrant, resilient and cohesive communities more cost effectively and efficiently.


Trainers will attend FACT training be train volunteers who want to serve in volunteer positions within local agencies, or volunteer to provide direct services to agency referrals may attend a 2-day training to be certified as a Family Advocate. Those who attend the 2-day training and want to provide transitional housing in their homes may apply to become part of Operation Safe Haven, to host people displaced by hardship, crisis or disaster.


This phase reveals impact and outcomes of the various applications of the Community Weaving model and adaptations are made to refine and expand Community Weaving efforts. The culture of community becomes more vibrant and responsive to change as citizens are engaged in weaving the fabric of community. The more institution adopt Community Weaving practices into their service delivery systems and train staff, the more resilient the web becomes to create thriving communities that are adaptive to change.

Kenoali, as I shared with you and Mark at lunch last summer, the design creates an infrastructure for the grassroots and uses reciprical feedback loop processes to share information (data through the reporting features) that is shared between formal and informal systems to be a more adaptive system and ultimate impact democracy by including the voice of the people. This system is totally separate from government, yet works collaboratively with systems to re-engineer the manner in which whole community systems interact for the common good of the residents of the community. The infrastructure opens space to give birth to a new way of "being" together and dissolving the tension and polarity of "us and them"  with formal systerms.


All systems need what NCDD members have to offer, the trick is we haven't developed a conduit to pierce through the formal systems to get to the people. Community Weaving creates the means to get to the people where they can initiative change initiatives from within their organizations.

I guarantee, with less money and fewer will be very tricky getting systems to organize and market change processes. However, if Community Weavers are already in place and connected to a system of support, they can organize activities and events that are inclusive and seemless for little or no cost.

System partners of the Community Weaving America initiatives are coming up with incredibly innovative ideas such as engaging welfare recipients as Good Neighbors and connecting them to others who share common skills so they can start microenterprises supported by others in the network. One agency has already agreed to compensate families to house family members, in lieu of giving them vouchers to stay at hotels for a few days following a disaster. These families traumatized by the disaster, need to be living in homes as part of a family to manage throught the times ahead. Our kids can be engagedin the process and help spread the word to sign up students as Good Neighborhoods.

This project is very large in scope and we need help growing an infrastructure to coordinate with all the pilot projects that are starting-up. If anyone is interested in more subcontract work, please give me a hollar by responding to this email. Send me your bio or CV..

We have been asked to write a contract with a state. Has anyone written a contract with a state before? If so, email me directly at

We need more funders to work with us
A web desiner who can revamp our calendar section on the website and troubleshoot some strange glitches.

Does anyone have a suggestion where we can use webinars for no/low cost?

More information will be provided upon request.

Blessings and peace to all in these amazing times!

Cheryl Honey, C.P.P.
Family Support Network, Int'l
(206) 240-2241






Cheryl Honey is a Certified Prevention Specialist and a pioneer of Community Weaving practices. Cheryl was named Washington State's over-all Jefferson Award winner in 2007. This mini-Nobel Prize for Public Service was created by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and given to ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She designed a community empowerment approach that taps grassroots resources and mobilizes the strengths and assets of caring people committed to creating a more civil society. She is a dynamic speaker and facilitator who captivates an audience with her community building expertise. Her knowledge, experience, humor, and interactive presentations spark a call to action to save our children's future.

Cheryl founded the Family Support Network (FSN) in February, 1992. Over a period of ten years, she built the FSN into a nationally recognized "bottom-up" community mobilization strategy to weave a community web of support for all families and children across America. This exciting network was implemented in other communities around the country including Washington, Idaho and Colorado. The FSN received a grant from the Institute for Civil Society for a pilot project to replicate FSN's through systems in 1997 and establish an FSN Institute in the Puget Sound. The Lifetime Channel featured a story about the Family Support Network in a segment for New Attitudes which aired January, 1999. Today she is the President of Excel Strategies, a Washington based corporation and consults around the country on how to create a more civil society through volunteerism.

Please follow any of these URLs for more information



an excellent article by George Lakoff, reproduced from:


An article by George Lakoff on Obama's Problem on Health Care

What has gone wrong for Obama's Health Care Strategy?

George Lakoff on Communicating About Health Care

Barack Obama ran the best-organized and best-framed presidential campaign in history. How is it possible that the same people who did so well in the campaign have done so badly on health care?

And bad it is: The public option may well be gone. Neither Obama himself nor Senior Advisor David Axelrod even mentioned the public option in their pleas to the nation last Sunday (August 16, 2009). Secretary Sibelius even said it was “not essential.” Cass Sunstein’s co-author, Richard Thaler, in the Sunday NY Times (August 16, 2009, p. BU 4) called it “neither necessary nor sufficient.” There has been a major drop in support for the president throughout the country, with angry mobs disrupting town halls and the right wing airing its views with vehemence nonstop on radio and tv all day every day. As the NY Times reports, Organizing for America (the old Obama campaign network) can’t even get its own troops out to work for the President’s proposal.

What has been going wrong?

It’s not too late to turn things around, but we must first understand why the administration is getting beat at the moment. The answer is simple and unfortunate: The president put both the conceptual framing and the messaging for his health care plan in the hands of policy wonks. This led to twin disasters.

The PolicyList Disaster

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Howard Dean was right when he said that you can’t get health care reform without a public alternative to the insurance companies. Institutions matter. The list of what needs reform makes sense under one conceptual umbrella. It is a public alternative that unifies the long list of needed reforms:  coverage for the uninsured, cost control, no preconditions, no denial of care, keeping care when you change jobs or get sick, equal treatment for women, exorbitant deductibles, no lifetime caps, and on and on. It’s a long list. But one idea, properly articulated, takes care of the list: An American Plan guarantees affordable care for all Americans. Simple. But not for policy wonks.

The policymakers focus on the list, not the unifying idea. So Obama’s and Axelrod’s statements last Sunday were just the lists without the unifying institution. And without a powerful institution, the insurance companies will just whittle away at enforcement of any such list, and a future Republican administration will just get rid of the regulators, reassigning them or eliminating their jobs.

Why do policymakers think this way?

One: The reality of how Congress is lobbied. Legislators are lobbied to be against particular features, depending on their constituencies.  Blue Dogs are pressured by the right’s communication system operating in their districts. Congressional leaders have a challenge: Keep the eye of centrists and Blue Dogs on the central idea, despite the pressures of right-wing communications and lobbyists’ contributions.

Two: In classical logic, Leibniz’ Law takes an entity as being just a collection of properties. As if you were no more than eyes, legs, arms, and so on, taken separately. Without a public institution turning a unifying idea into a powerful reality, health care becomes just a collection of reforms to be attacked, undermined, and gotten around year after year.
Three: Current budget-making assumptions. Health is actually systematic in character. Health is implicated in just about all aspects of our culture: agriculture, the food industry, advertising, education, business, the distribution of wealth, sports, and so on. Keeping it as a line item — what figure do you put down on the following lines — misses the systemic nature of health. The image of Budget Director Peter Orszag running constantly in and out of Senator Max Baucus’ office shows how the systemic nature of health has been turned into a list of items and costs. Without a sense of the whole, and an institution responsible for it, health will be line-itemed to death.

Obama had the right idea with the “recovery” package. The economy is not just about banking. It is about public works, education, health, energy, and a lot more. It is systemic. The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

The PolicySpeak Disaster

PolicySpeak is the principle that: If you just tell people the policy facts, they will reason to the right conclusion and support the policy wholeheartedly. PolicySpeak is the principle behind the President’s new Reality Check Website.  To my knowledge, the Reality Check Website, has not had a reality check. That is, the administration has not hired a first-class cognitive psychologist to take subjects who have been convinced by right-wing myths and lies, have them read the Reality Check website, and see if the Reality Check website has changed their minds a couple of days or a week later. I have my doubts, but do the test. To many liberals, PolicySpeak sounds like the high road: a rational, public discussion in the best tradition of liberal democracy. Convince the populace rationally on the objective policy merits. Give the facts and figures. Assume self-interest as the motivator of rational choice. Convince people by the logic of the policymakers that the policy is in their interest
But to a cognitive scientist or neuroscientist, this sounds nuts. The view of human reason and language behind PolicySpeak is just false. Certainly reason should be used. It’s just that you should use real reason, the way people really think. Certainly the truth should be told. It’s just that it should be told so it makes sense to people, resonates with them, and inspires them to act. Certainly new media should be used. It’s just that a system of communications should be constructed and used effectively.

I believe that what went wrong is (a) the choice of PolicySpeak and (b) the decision to depend on the campaign apparatus (blogs, Town Hall meetings, presidential appearances, grassroots support) instead of setting up an adequate communications system.

What Now?

It is not too late.  The statistic I’ve heard is that over 80% of citizens want a public plan, but the right wing’s framing has been overwhelming public debate, taking advantage of the right’s communication system and framing prowess. The administration has dug itself (and the country) into a hole.  At the very least, the old mistakes can be avoided, a clear and powerful narrative is still available and true, and some powerful, memorable, and accurate language should be substituted for PolicySpeak, or at least added and repeated by spokespeople nationwide.

The narrative is simple:
Insurance company plans have failed to care for our people. They profit from denying care. Americans care about one another. An American plan is both the moral and practical alternative to provide care for our people.

The insurance companies are doing their worst, spreading lies in an attempt to maintain their profits and keep Americans from getting the care they so desperately need. You, our citizens, must be the heroes. Stand up, and speak up, for an American plan.


As for language, the term “public option” is boring. Yes, it is public, and yes, it is an option, but it does not get to the moral and inspiring idea. Call it the American Plan, because that’s what it really is.

The American Plan. Health care is a patriotic issue. It is what your countrymen are engaged in because Americans care about each other. The right wing understands this well. It’s got conservative veterans at Town Hall meeting shouting things like, “I fought for this country in Vietnam, and I’m fight for it here.” Progressives should be stressing the patriotic nature of having our nation guaranteeing care for our people.

A Health Care Emergency. Americans are suffering and dying because of the failure of insurance company health care. 50 million have no insurance at all, and millions of those who do are denied necessary care or lose their insurance. We can’t wait any longer. It’s an emergency. We have to act now to end the suffering and death.

Doctor-Patient care. This is what the public plan is really about. Call it that. You have said it, buried in PolicySpeak. Use the slogan. Repeat it. Have every spokesperson repeat it.

Coverage is not care. You think you’re insured. You very well may not be, because insurance companies make money by denying you care.

Deny you care… Use the words. That’s what all the paperwork and administrative costs of insurance companies are about – denying you care if they can.

Insurance company profit-based plans. The bottom line is the bottom line for insurance companies. Say it.

Private Taxation. Insurance companies have the power to tax and they tax the public mightily. When 20% - 30% of payments do not go to health care, but to denying care and profiting from it, that constitutes a tax on the 96% of voters that have health care. But the tax does not go to benefit those who are taxed; it benefits managers and investors. And the people taxed have no representation. Insurance company health care is a huge example of taxation without representation. And you can’t vote out the people who have taxed you. The American Plan offers an alternative to private taxation.

Is it time for progressive tea parties at insurance company offices?

Doctors care; insurance companies don’t. A public plan aims to put care back into the hands of doctors.

Insurance company bureaucrats.  Obama mentions them, but there is no consistent uproar about them. The term needs to come into common parlance.

Insurance companies ration care. Say it and ask the right questions: Have you ever had to wait more than a week for an authorization? Have you ever had an authorization turned down? Have you had to wait months to see a specialist? Does you primary care physician have to rush you through? Have your out-of-pocket costs gone up? Ask these questions. You know the answers. It’s because insurance companies have been rationing care. Say it.

Insurance companies are inefficient and wasteful. A large chunk of your health care dollar is not going for health care when you buy from insurance companies.
Insurance companies govern your lives. They have more power over you than even governments have. They make life and death decisions. And they are accountable only to profit, not to citizens.

The health care failure is an insurance company failure. Why keep a failing system? Augment it. Give an alternative.

The Needed Communication System

A progressive communication system should be started. It should go into every Congressional district. It should concentrate on general progressive ideas. President Obama has articulated what these are.   
• The basic values are empathy (we care about people), responsibility for ourselves and others, and the ethic of excellence (making ourselves better and the world better).
• These values form the basis of democracy: It’s because we care about our fellow citizens that we have values like freedom and fairness, for everyone, not just the powerful.
• From that, it follows that government has two moral missions: protection (of consumers, workers, the environment, the old, the sick, the powerless; and empowerment through public works; communication, energy, and water systems; education; banks that work; a court system: and so on. Without them, no one makes it in America. Taxes are what you pay for protection and empowerment by the government, and the more you make the greater your responsibility to maintain the system.

Appropriate language can be found to express these values. They lie at the heart of all progressive policies. If they are out there every day, it becomes easier to discuss any issue. This is what it means to prepare the ground for specific framings.

The Culture War is On! You Can’t Ignore it

President Obama wants to unify the country, and he should. It is a noble idea. It is the right idea. And he started out with the right way to do it. Campaign for what you believe – for empathy, social responsibility, making the nation better. Activate the progressive values in the many millions of Americans who have some conservative values and some progressive values.

But also inhibit the radical, harmful conservative ideology in the brains of our countrymen, by directly saying what’s wrong with it. Yes, there are villains. They have a very potent communications system and can organize their troops. Every victory makes them more powerful. They have put together powerful narratives. We need more powerful ones.
And avoid PolicySpeak and PolicyLists.

What should have been done?

It is useful to review what should and should not have been done, because we need to understand the past to avoid future mistakes.

First, it was obvious to the framing community what the right wing would do. Almost every move could have been predicted, and most of them were. There should have been a serious counter effort from right after the election.

Second, an effective communication system should have been built. Not for dictating what to say, but for creating a system of effectively trained spokespeople who can get the basic progressive values out there every day, to compete with the very effective conservative system. It should not work issue by issue, but in addition to the issues of the day, it should promote general values that apply to all issues.

The elements are all in existence. The money is there. Indeed it would be a lot cheaper to build than spending tens of millions of dollars on health care ads. What it would accomplish is laying the groundwork in advance of any particular issue. The work of such a communication system would be to activate ideas already there in the millions of citizens who have progressive as well as conservative worldviews in their brain circuitry. The idea would be to make progressive ideas stronger and conservative ideas weaker, balancing what the conservative communication system is doing now.

It is rather late in the game for the stimulus, cap and trade, and health care, but better late than never. And it would be indispensible for future policy campaigns. Framing a powerful message is a lot easier when the groundwork for it has already been laid. Without the groundwork, it is much harder.

Third, a serious framing education effort with folks who do know the science should have been organized, not just for the communications system, but for the policymakers themselves.

Fourth, the villainizing of real insurance company villains should have begun from the beginning. As it is, the right wing turned the tables. They attributed to government all the disasters of insurance company health care: rationing, long lines, waits for authorizations and visits to specialists, denial of care. The administration is trying to turn that around, but it is harder now, and they are trying it using PolicySpeak, which is the most ineffective of means.

Fifth, the positive policy should have been made in moral terms, with clear and vivid language. The term “public option” is a PolicySpeak loser. The public is the American public, it is all of us, it is America, and it should have been called the American Plan.

Sixth, the administration should have been on the offensive not the defensive all the way. The use of conservative language should never have been used in debunking.

Seventh, it was a mistake to shut out single payer advocates. They should have been welcomed into the debate. Though the term “single payer” is hopeless PolicySpeak and “doctor-patient care” would have been more accurate, nonetheless the doctors, nurses, and unions advocating for such a plan could have done a lot of the work of villainizing the health care industry and would have drawn fire from the Right. An alternative on the left would have made the President’s plan a compromise. Besides, there is so much to be said in favor of single payer, that there might have been fewer actual compromises with the right.

Eighth, it was a mistake to put cost ahead of morality. Health care is a moral issue, and the right-wing understands that and is using it. That’s why the “death panels” and “government takeover” language resonates with those who have a conservative moral perspective and have effectively used terms like “pro-life.” Health care is a life and death issue, which is as moral as anything could be. The insurance companies have been on the side of death, and that needs to be said overtly.

Ninth, accepting the idea that health is a line item separate from agriculture policy, the food industry, regulation of food and drugs, education, the vitality of business, banking reform, etc. is just bad economics. These are all tied up together. In this, health care might have been treated like the “recovery” package, but in reverse.

A causal approach to economics would be appropriate. Instead of putting funds in many places, it might have taken funds from sources of health problems. For example, big agriculture and the food industry produce and heavily marketed foods that have been central causes of the obesity epidemic and heart disease — corn syrup, too much meat, and so on. They might have been called upon to pay the costs of treating heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. It would not be popular with those industries, but it would be causally fair, and might even save a lot of lives – and money.

Our take another example of causal economics. Hugely high private taxation (that is, high costs and profit taking) by the health insurance industry helped drive American automakers into bankruptcy. The health insurance industry should have had to use a portion of their profits for bailouts of the auto industry, and the equivalent amount of bailout money could have been used for providing health care to those without it.

Given the systemic nature of our culture and our economy, a move in the direction of such causal economics should start to be seriously considered. At the very least it would bring up the question, alert the public to systemic causation, and start people thinking about the justice of causal economics.

All this is not just 20-20 hindsight. My colleagues, Glenn Smith and Eric Haas and I have made many of these points before. See our reply to the May 2009 memo by Frank Luntz:

And take a look at an even earlier memo of the logic of the health care debate:

Where PolicyLists and PolicySpeak Come From

Framing is everywhere, not just in language. What people do depends on how they think, on how they understand the world — and we all use framing to understand the world. Truth matters. But it can only be comprehended when it is framed effectively, and heard constantly.

This point is to often misunderstood that it is important to understand why. It is also important to understand where PolicyLists and PolicySpeak come from and why they have the powerful grip that they have. This is especially important now, when there might still be a chance to turn the health care debate around.

The source of these political disasters lies in an unlikely place: our most common understanding of reason itself.

What Is Reason Really Like?

PolicySpeak is supposed to be reasoned, objective discourse. It thus assumes a theory of what reason itself is — a philosophical theory that dates back to the 17th Century and is still taught.

Over the past four decades, cognitive science and neuroscience have provided a scientific view of how the brain and mind really work. A handful of these results have come into behavioral economics. But most social scientists and policymakers are not trained in these fields.  They still have the old view of mind and language.

The old philosophical theory says that reason is conscious, can fit the world directly, is universal (we all think the same way), is dispassionate (emotions get in the way of reason), is literal (no metaphor or framing in reason), works by logic, is abstract (not physical) and functions to serve our interests. Language on this view is neutral and can directly fit, or not fit, reality.

The scientific research in neuroscience and cognitive science has shown that most reason is unconscious. Since we think with our brains, reason cannot directly fit the world. Emotion is necessary for rational thought; if you cannot feel emotion, you will not know what to want or how anyone else would react to your actions. Rational decisions depend on emotion. Empathy with others has a physical basis, and as much as self-interest, empathy lies behind reason.

Ideas are physical, part of brain circuitry. Ideas are constituted by brain structures called ‘frames’ and ‘metaphors,’ and reason uses them.  Frames form systems, called worldviews.

All language is defined relative to such frames and metaphors. There are very different conservative and progressive worldviews, and different words can activate different worldviews. Important words, like freedom, can have entirely different meanings depending on your worldview. In short, not everybody thinks the same way.

As a result, what is taken as “objective” discourse is often worldview dependent. This is especially true of health care. All progressive writing supporting some version of health care assumes a progressive moral worldview, in which no one should be forced to go without heath care, the government should play a role, market regulation is necessary, and so on.

Those with radical conservative worldviews may well think otherwise: that everyone should be responsible for their own and their family’s health care, that the government is oppressive and should stay out of it, that the market should always dominate, and so on.

Overall, the foundational assumptions underlying PolicySpeak are false. It should be no wonder that PolicySpeak isn’t working.

The Bi-conceptual Audience

A property of brains called “mutual inhibition” permits people to have contradictory worldviews and go back and forth between them.  Many people have both progressive and conservative worldviews, but on different issues — perhaps conservative on financial issues and progressive on social issues. Such people are called bi-conceptuals. President Obama understands this. He has said that his “bipartisanship” means finding Republicans who happen to share his progressive views on particular issues, and working with them on those issues—and not accepting an ideology (radical conservatism) rejected by the American people.

The people the President has to convince are the millions of bi-conceptuals. That means he has to have them thinking of health care in progressive moral terms, not conservative moral terms.  How can this be accomplished?

Why Do the Nature of Reason and Language Matter?

It’s all in the brain. Words activate frame-and-metaphor circuits, which in turn activate worldview circuits. Whenever brain circuitry is activated, the synapses get stronger, and the circuits are easier to activate again. Conservative language will activate conservative frames, which will activate and strengthen the conservative worldview.

Conservative tacticians may not know about brain research, but they know about marketing, and marketing theorists use that brain research. That is why conservatives place such importance on language choice, from the classic “socialized medicine,” to Luntz’s “government takeover” to Palin’s “death panels.”  When repeated over and over, the words evoke a conservative worldview, with many of the specific bogeymen — abortion, socialism =ommunism = nazism, euthanasia, foreigners, taxes, spending, the liberal elite, Big Brother, and so on. The most effective language has emotional appeal and, to conservatives, a moral appeal because it activates the conservative moral worldview. And such language, repeated every day, changes brains, strengthening the synapses of those who listen.

Conservative language will activate and strengthen conservative worldviews — even when negated! I titled a book Don’t Think of an Elephant! to make this point. The classic example is Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook,” which made everyone think of him as a crook. And yet I’ve heard President Obama say “We don’t want a government takeover,” which activates the idea of a government takeover.’s major story, as I write this, is: “The media have debunked the death panels -- more than 40 times.” It then gives a list of 40 cases of debunking, each one of which uses the term “death panels.” And you wonder, after so many debunkings, why it is still believed! Each “debunking” reinforced the idea. The first rule of effective communication is stating the positive in your own terms, not quoting the other side’s language with a negation.

The Conservative Communication System

The serious reporting on role of conservative think tanks began in the mid-1990’s with works such as:
Buying a Movement: Right-Wing Foundations and American Politics (People for the American Way, 1996).
• Sally Covington, Moving a Public Policy Agenda: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations (National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 1998).
• Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado, No Mercy: How Conservative Think Tanks and Foundations Changed America's Social Agenda (Temple University Press, 1996).

In 1996, my Moral Politics appeared, outlining the conservative and progressive moral worldviews and how the conservatives used language to frame public discourse their way.

In 2004, Rob Stein tracked the conservative communications system, traveling the country with his detailed powerpoint, "The Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix." Stein tracked not only conservative think tanks, but also the language experts and training institutes training tens of thousands of conservative spokespeople He also tracked the communications facilities, and the collections of “experts” on every issue, together with a booking agency booking the experts daily on media all over the country. Daily talking points are repeated by those “experts.” The conservative communications system extends into every congressional district, including the districts of democrats. In the case of the Blue Dog Democrats, who come from relatively conservative districts, the Blue Dogs have to deal with constituents who hear conservative framing over and over every day without anything effective countering it. That is a major factor in Blue Dog resistance to administration proposals.

With all this information, you might think that progressives would set up their own communications network going into the heart of conservative districts everywhere, day after day, effectively countering the conservative framing.

It didn’t happen. Instead, PolicySpeak prevailed. The old philosophical theory, which is taught in every policy school, won out. Progressives thought such a communications system would be illegitimate — what the conservatives do. They believe, in 17th Century fashion, that if they just state the facts, people should reason to the right conclusion.
So progressives set up truth squad websites and blogs to negate conservative lies – like Media Matters, The Center for American Progress, the People for the American Way, the Center for America’s Future, MoveOn, Organizing for America, and so on. These are all fine organizations, and we are fortunate to have them.  But … they are preaching to the choir (because they don’t have an adequate communications system), and they are using PolicySpeak: just stating the policy truths will be enough.

As I was writing this, I received the viral email written by David Axelrod, which he refers to as “probably one of the longest emails I've ever sent.” It is indeed long. It is accurate. It lays out the President’s list of needed reforms. It answers the myths. It appeals to people who would personally benefit from the President’s plan. It drops the Public Option, which makes sense of the list. And it is written in PolicySpeak. It has 24 points – 3 sets of 8.

Ask yourself which is more memorable: “Government takeover,” “socialized medicine,” and “death panels” — or Axelrod’s 24 points?

Did the administration do a reality check on the 24 points? That is, did they have one of our superb cognitive psychologists test subjects who were convinced of the right-wing framing, have them read the 24 points, and test them a couple days or a week later on whether Axelrod’s 24 points had convinced them? PolicySpeak folks don’t tend to think of such things.

I genuinely hope the 24 points work. But this is the kind of messaging that created the problems in the first place.

I respect Axelrod deeply. But the strategist who ran the best-framed campaign I’ve ever seen is giving in to PolicySpeak.

The Irony

There is a painful irony in all this, and I am aware of it constantly. Highly educated progressives, who argue for the importance of science, have been ignoring or rejecting the science of the brain and mind. Why?

Because brains are brains. A great many progressives have not grown up with, nor have they learned, the new scientific understanding of reason. Instead they have acquired the old philosophical theory of reason and assume it every day in everything they do.  The old view is inscribed indelibly in the synapses of their brains. It will be hard for those progressives to comprehend the new science that contradicts their daily practice.

They may find it hard to comprehend framing, metaphor, and narrative as the way reason really works — as what you need to do to communicate truth. Instead, they may well think of framing as merely manipulation and spin, as the mechanism that the right wing uses to communicate lies.

An excellent example of such old-theory thinking appears in the Rahm Emanuel/Bruce Reed book, The Plan, where framing is seen only as manipulation, not as the structure of ideas. Emanuel and Reed (p. 21) assume that policy is independent of what they incorrectly understand framing to be. As a result, they assume that framing can only be illegitimate manipulation.

This is, of course, the very opposite of what I and other cognitive scientists have been saying. They are right that real reason can be manipulated in that way, as Frank Luntz has shown us. But it need not be. An understanding of how the brain really works can be used to communicate the truth effectively, and that’s how it should be used.
In the Obama campaign, honest, effective framing was used with great success. But in the Obama administration, something has changed. It needs to change back.


The battle between not-always-clearly-divided forces for the hearts and minds of the religiously and politically motivated may be the central issue of our time. Here are some examples.


The Mythic Extremes of Monotheisms
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Primarily treating Islam and Christianity, where does experience direct the eye of inquiry when wondering about the dark roots and flaming branches of fearful religious violence? Extremes accompany ultimate ideological singularity. When does my Salvation/Survival/Security wrap itself up in needing to control, overawe, or annihilate those who are fundamentally different in some central way? Moreover, when is this control or destruction essential in my mind when it is the central way in which we are similar? 

Globalized Religions
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Mainstream Protestantism
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Under the auspices of "The Institute for Religion and Democracy" (IRD) a multi-million dollar initiative has been at work for over a decade to shift the legislative and constitutional base of the mainstream Protestant churches (United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal) around the world which organize themselves through democratic and parliamentary systems. Aligned covertly within "The Renewal and Reform Coalition", an entity that comprises the Confessing Movement, Good News/Renew, Transforming Congregations and UMAction, the IRD uses tactics from the playbook ideologically extreme elements used to gain control the GOP and then the Federal Government of the United States: tactics like libel, influential gifts to potential allies, and personal attacks on persons designated as part of opposition leadership.


ABC co-founder, Brandon WilliamsCraig works with Epworth United Methodist Church and its California-Nevada Annual Conference to respond to these attempts in a way that will ensure moderation, inclusion of all voices in the United Methodist polity, and a return to what the church has refered to as "Holy Conferencing" being driven by compassion and radical inclusivity. The United Methodist Church just completed the sole international "General Conference" held every four years to create identity statements and set legislative policy for the entire body.


Waheed and Nusrat Hashmi
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The Hashmis have been released!
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Our joint efforts on many fronts grassroots, legal, and political sent a powerful message to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Hashmis arrived home late Wednesday night. They are tired but relieved to be home with their daughters. They have three short weeks left in the US.

Message from Waheed and Nusrat Hashmi:

"We are so touched by the outpouring of sympathy and concern that came during our ordeal. So much love and support came from the people we know and from people we will probably never meet. It was a horrible experience but despite what was done to us, you all helped us keep our faith in humanity. We need to continue to speak out against a system that is utterly inhumane and inconsistent in its handling of immigration issues. We feel that people who are decent, honest, hard working and who obey the law should be valued, and respected, and honored%u2014not put in jail. We all need to continue to speak out against atrocities committed against innocent people. Thank you for everything!"


Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 08:36:21 -0400
To: ;
Subject: Fwd: Stop racist detention and deportation policies

From: sanjay pinto <>
Date: Wed, May 7, 2008 at 5:49 PM
Subject: Dear Friends Detained by ICE. Please Sign Petition!

Dear Friends,

Very dear friends of my family, Waheed and Nusrat Hashmi, have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and face the prospect of immediate deportation without even being able to hug their children, let alone pack their belongings.  They were already planning to move back to Pakistan so that Uncle Waheed could take up a job as a research scientist, but that doesn't make a speck of difference under ICE's cruel 'logic.'

My sister has detailed the situation further below, and has included a link to a petition that will be delivered to Julie Myers, head of ICE.  Please consider signing it.  I am so deeply angered and saddened by what is happening to Uncle Waheed and Aunty Nusrat, whom I remember staying the night with when my sister Maya was born.  They are beautiful, gentle, loving people.  Justice needs to be served not only for them, but for the countless numbers of immigrants in this country who are currently being mistreated.

Please forward widely.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Maya Pinto <>
Date: Wed, May 7, 2008 at 11:55 AM
Subject: Dear friends are in detention, please sign a letter to ICE demanding their release

Dear Loved Ones and Friends,
Last Wednesday (4/30), two of my family's oldest and dearest friends, Waheed and Nusrat Hashmi, were ripped from their home in Toledo, Ohio, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who appeared at their doorstep without warning to arrest the couple.  The Hashmis were placed in detention near Cleveland, where they remain, clothed in orange jumpsuits, unable to see each other, and able to see their children twice now, for twenty-minute periods, through glass.  They are likely to be deported this week. 

As it stands now, they will never again see their home in Toledo.  They won't be able to say their goodbyes--not even to their children, who won't even be allowed to hug their parents before they leave.  Uncle Waheed is recovering from cancer and Aunty Nusrat was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  The trauma of the detention threatens their health.

I have known Uncle Waheed and Aunty Nusrat since birth.  In fact, when my mom went to the hospital to deliver me, my dad with her, the Hashmis took care of my brother.  Their daughters, Faryal and Anita, were the most-favored babysitters of my brother and me.  The Hashmis and their children are among the kindest, most generous, and loving people I know. 

This is what we believe:

It is simply inhumane to hold two elderly people in custody for no good reason, especially when they were voluntarily planning to depart the U.S.  The Hashmi detention is a colossal waste of precious tax dollars and does not make us any safer.  ICE should lock up those who would do us harm, not senior citizens whose misfortune has brought them into the grip of a dysfunctional immigration system.  ICE needs to do the right thing and release Dr. and Ms. Hashmi.

And please forward this message to your networks.  We are trying to gather as many signatures as possible in the next few days.  We're also trying to get this story into the press and blogosphere as much as possible.  We believe that if enough pressure is brought to bear on ICE, the Hashmis will be released from detention. 
FYI, in the past few days, The New York Times has published several pieces on deaths occurring at detention centers.

A New York Times Op-Ed published 5/6 stated that 'the detention system seems designed to sacrifice thoughtful deliberation and justice to expediency and swift deportation.' The editorial's concluding call speaks very much to the Hashmis' case:'...The government urgently needs to bring the detention system up to basic standards of decency and fairness. That means ...designing a system that is not a vast holding pen for ordinary people who pose no threat to public safety.'

The unjust detention of the Hashmis is not at all an unusual case.The Hashmi family hopes that bringing attention to their case will help the push for immigration reform.

Again, you can read more about the case and sign a letter to ICE demanding the Hashmis' release by going here:
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
With love,









Process Arts Community

Process Arts in Practice Index

This page serves as an index of all known work that falls on the spectrum of the process arts, from the strictly technical process-level disciplines which implicitly develop collaboration to those overtly committed to creating sustainable, peaceful communities committed to doing conflict well.

Please keep this brief and feel free to create and then link to another page on this site

where you describe your approach, dilemmas, etc. in whatever length is suitable

Name Description, affiliations, key words, etc. Local area &Contact info
John Abbe johnca at ourpla dot net
Iris McGinnis irismaymcg at gmail dot com
Leon Regelson leonreg at yahoo dot com
Brandon WilliamsCraig public at bdwc dot net
Cheryl Honey
Steve Cady
Thomas Moore
Tom Atlee cii at igc dot org
Sandy Heierbacher National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation sandy at thataway dot org
Jim Rough
Kenoli Oleari
kenoli at igc dot org
Judy Gussmann Middle-East peace dialogue teachergus at aol dot com
Nichola Torbett Tikkun and NSP Network of Spiritual Progressives nichola at tikkun dot org
Odette Lockwood-Stewart Pastor: Epworth UMC, Berkeley CA. Community building, peace, justice work within the United Methodist Church revodette at lmi dot net

Carol Swann

Co-director Moving On Center carolswann at aol dot com
Lane Arye  Processwork (Mindell) in the SF Bay Area lane at processworklane dot com
George Lakey Training For Change

Philadelphia PA

georgelakey at yahoo dot com

Doug Germann
76066.515 at compuserve dot com
Laura Wells
lwlaura at yahoo dot com
DeAnna Martin Center for Wise Democracy, Wisdom Council deanna at wisedemocracy dot org
 Arnold Mindell

Processwork Institute and Deep Democracy Institute

Description, affiliations, key words, etc.

Local area &

Contact info

Nexus for Change
Nonviolent Communication
Community Building from the FCE model
Ojai Foundation
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
Community Weaving
Aikido of Berkeley Berkeley CA,
Aiki Extensions

Chicago IL, Berkeley CA

Moving On Center

Oakland, CA

Co-intelligence Institute
Archetypal Psychology
Pacifica Graduate Institute Academic institution providing instruction in the overlap of psychology and mythology as they shape and are shaped by culture. Keywords: Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marija Gimbutas, Marion Woodman, Archetypal Psychology, mythography
Center for Wise Democracy

Center for Wise Democracy
1122 E. Pike Street, #578
Seattle, WA 98122
info {@}

Rockridge Institute

* Appearance on this list does not imply affiliation or endorsement. This is a public, shared reference for the process arts.



The "Process Arts" are a range of participatory practices and facilitative disciplines which welcome disagreement, listen to the repressed, and access latent or underlying (meta) context before, during, and after apparent or literal content in order to understand and effect the mythology and psychology of Big Ideas making cultures. This move is not to claim a new social science or introduce another version of individual therapy, institutional pedagogy, or organizational development, but to track unconscious realities reaching beyond the cloisters of the private experience, classroom, and therapeutic session into contemporary dialogues with the perceived world. My purposes in originating the term and then freeing (claiming no proprietary rights to) this frame for the field are many.

  • Without a shared, open, and universally recognized name that is not controlled by a single entity (please always insist on this framing), this wonderfully variegated field will never garner sufficient collective recognition to gain the traction it needs to share survival tools with the entire planet
  • By naming these approaches the Process Arts, we have positioned this relatively new field of study parallel to the Liberal Arts so that
  1. Process Arts will become part of even the most basic curriculum in public and private education (Reading Writing Arithmetic + Relationship) and,
  2. enable a return to dialectic (dialogue, mediation, deliberation, negotiation, debate, etc.) in education and, thereby,
  3. the ubiquitous expectation of authentic representation in governance.
  • Many psychologically aware disciplines are process-savvy and yet stop short of working overtly toward building communities designed for peacemaking. This is an immaturity which contemporary humanity can ill afford. Connecting the Liberal and Process Arts will contribute to a re-visioning of education that re-opens doors of process-level inquiry and deliberate community in order to make this peace and kind of learning possible.

  • I have dedicated years of life energy to encouraging recognition of these avocations and vocations I love to practice and for which I feel such admiration. I believe they are the art forms that make deep democracy possible and which can open doors to hope in a day fraught with extensive systemic disjunctions that are causing widespread, needless suffering and costing hundreds of thousands of people their lives.

An independent educational wiki (please click here)is dedicated to working toward the maturation of public, private, and continuing education through the inclusion of Process Arts. These pages here are dedicated to conributing to the greater process arts community which may or may not be focussed at this time on developing our educational landscape, as such.


Process Arts are all around you in the shape of profoundly inclusive, power-sharing participatory practices. Though dialectical practices have been around as long as thinking itself, Brandon WilliamsCraig coined the term to include approaches like peer and therapeutic counseling, organizational development models, somatic systems awareness, mediation, active/deep/compassionate listening, conflict facilitation, cultural studies and activism, martial nonviolence, freedom (improvisational) theater -- any disciplines which make possible the conscious building of culture through creative attention to relationship, conflict and resilience, and purposefully working toward peace through the process of learning. As an educated people are required for democracy and related systems to function, the emerging worldwide community requires universally available education that supports a global politics of inclusion to move forward to the next institutional level required for survival on this planet. This must include the realities of exponential change currently in play and will lead to a shared and more flexible understanding of what it is to be human today.


Process Arts are also widespread in the adult world high school aged people must be ready to enter. Psychological therapies, Organizational Development, Process Work, Dialogue and Deliberation, community building, somatics, and many more related practices around the world offer eventual career paths to students already prepared during K-12 through age-appropriate models geared to anticipate their changing world. Even the child who does not eventually pursue these paths professionally benefits immeasurably from participating in the creation of peaceful communities and will be more capable of realizing her potential as an adult. This work also requires adult learning in order that they may support the work being learned by the next generation.






Fictions looking for feet.





Association for Cultural Movement in Education
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A High Point in Depth


a cocreative community purposefully designed to encourage the deepening of culture

A developing project of Association Building Community (501c3) in the San Francisco Bay Area, we hope ACME will support the contemporary movement toward imagination in learning, interdisciplinary dialogue, and ties between nurturing communities of scholars, activists, artists, and individuals working in religion, psychology, mythology, and all forms of cultural activism.

ACME logo.jpg


Association, Culture, Movement, Education - the acronym is composed of four "tags" which best anchor the work desired. Like many ideas in ABC, ACME is not concrete. It has no adherents yet, no projects, and no future beyond the theoretical and associations with other work already headed down this path. If you feel called to breate some life into the ideas below, please call (866) 236-0346 and let us know how to find you.

This page and configuration was begun by Brandon WilliamsCraig, is not a co-created project yet, and would like to be.


Education and its edge



Education, fundamentally, involves

    * learning how to learn
    * with others who have learned how to learn
    * well enough that they can peacefully (differing creatively) help others learning to
          o learn
          o entertain ideas, before adopting or rejecting them, long enough to discover many of their consequences
          o practice the ideas with salutary consequences such that undesirable consequences, inevitably a part of any constellation of thinking, may be framed as learning, thereby continuing the process, and not literalizing or creating dogma

Teaching, per se, is particularly problematic {a}, even before being thrust by those who have not learned how to learn into the realm of impossibility. "Guiding", as in the Montessori Guide, is less objectionable but still inflected with condescension. "Facilitating" learning carries with it a psuedo-corporate association that almost escapes condescension until a person becomes enshrined as the rather than a facilitator.

If education, as a drawing out of wisdom that is all-ready in the learner, has an edge, it is in the learning community where roles are both fluid and inflected with experience, such that wisdom may occasionally makes an appearance and be recognized for what it is. This requires building a conscious culture of community such that co-creation and conflict are both done well in the service of learning how to learn. Then a people's lore (the root of "learning") may enrich the lives of everyone involved.

The play-on-words I use for this series of expectations is Edgeucation.



We hope our constituency will include graduates from "new paradigm" higher educational programs pursuing the junctions where consciousness is described in terms of psychological, mythological, theological, philosophical, and anthropological ideas and begins to work a way toward a sustainable world view and daily practice.

ACME may become an ultimate high point in the understanding of depth, multi-sidedness, and polyvocality. We are also a cultural intervention within the idea of Education. Within our collaborations belong explorations of mono-cultural themes and many moving and individual bodies of work which can bring humans to experience the dimensions of life more fully, as though depth of understanding were accessible through thinking well and feeling with the body for mysteries which resist reduction to controlling comprehension.

Superlatively Ubiquitous!

The highest point, as of achievement or development: reached the acme of her career. Also a way of indicating commonness - a generic name for all Business in pop culture and cartoons.

call Toll Free: (866) 236-0346
email: administration at abcglobal dot net with ACME in the subject line

This wiki will be the forums through which ACME works together toward shared understanding
A library is developing here with resources for study from illustrative image collections to link caches and a shared library featuring the work of: Wolfgang Giegerich, David Miller, James Hilllman, C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Thomas Moore, and MUCH more.

Look forward to calls for custom papers, moots, conferences, workshops, and intimate talks by engaged scholars.
What was available before at Beamish Process Arts Cultural Resource is now here in a more sustainable format.

If you are ready to work some play into the literal binds of life - enough to fit imagination and metaphor into culture, then join right in!




Help Plan an

Alternative, Spiritually Oriented Pride Event
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I've found several others who are interested in helping me plan an event for the week leading up to GLBTQ Pride weekend in San Francisco.(June 28-29). Once a celebration of a courageous people who stood up for their own longings, so much of the weekend-long event now seems to be about getting high/drunk/stoned, looking sexy, and being marketed to by large corporations. In part, the sadness of the events for me is about how much wounding there has been as a result of homophobia, which among other things has exiled people from families, hometowns, and spiritual communities. The resulting suffering is capitalized on by corporations, especially alcohol, cigarette, entertainment, and high-end clothing companies. The attempt to answer spiritual longing, or longing for meaning, with material stuff is what the NSP would like to challenge on a large scale. What would an NSP alternative Pride event look like? All we know is that it would be drug-, alcohol-, and commercialism-free and would provide an opportunity for GLBTQ people and allies to come together for connection and meaningful conversation about the kind of world we want to build. We'd love to know your thoughts about what this might look like and have your help in building it. If you are interested, please send me an email and we'll figure out a time when most of us can get together to brainstorm.
Source: NSP, Nichola Torbet nichola at tikkun dot org


Neighborhood Wisdom Councils
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Click here for more information on this site.



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If you power down, buy less and use everything as long as you can, and localize your life...

Then you are "Green".

If you speak with compassion and listen deeply,

build community on purpose

by investing long-term in the people around you,

and support others who do the same...

Then you are PeopleGreen!

There all all manner of notions in the Green idea.

Nature, wildness, money, sustainability, envy, animality, hugging trees, pollution conservative business, nature protective politics, anti-drilling/cutting/digging/expanding blockades, Killing, eating, Sir Gawain, recycling, paganism, death and rebirth, enviro-activism, ecocapitalism, ... the list goes on.

After all is said and done, the basic value of human greenness, which occasionally escapes practice, is sustainable relationship, or cultivating associations between ideas and creatures and earth in which every participant gets all of what is needed and at least some of what is wanted.

The Peoplegreen idea you'll read about here, and to which you may contribute, directs the two-footed part of right relationship and ecologicality back into the mirror wherein we see each other, and without which we cannot work well together, and gives it a catchy name so it is easier to talk about and spread around like the fertilizer it is.

If paying attention to how you consume, reuse, transport, recycle, spend, make war, and make culture, and also refrain from doing all these things has to do with being Green, than what is required to green human relationships?

Have you noticed that one of the everybody's favorite metaphors has become one of the first associations with green in the urban and suburban mind? Grass ! Can you think of many things that come more immediately to mind after the word green than grass? And even better, not only are the carefully mown, effectively identical blades underfoot of interest, but beneath (and therefore more deep, Dude) you'll find Roots. But what is behind or beneath these roots of grass? When "They" speak of a grass roots campaign, are they talking about you? Under what circumstances is this phrase doing to the PeopleGreen movement what greenwashing corporate wrongdoing does to the movement to balance the physical environment?

Also, you may find that your conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual. What would it look like to do 

Business as Unusual

Maybe Steven Spielberg was pondering this when he announced his resignation as artistic advisor for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, to protest China's support for the Sudanese government and "the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur." (Source: BBC ). What criteria was he applying to make this decision?

is a service mark Brandon WilliamsCraig coined and uses.

If paying attention to how you consume, reuse, transport, recycle, spend, etc., and also refrain from doing all these things has to do with being Green, than what is required to green the human interactions on which all of this is based? Process arts like dialogue, deliberation, Nonviolent Communication, psychotherapy, organizational development and more all draw attentions to how humans do what they do below, above, and beyond the material physically produced. Those that work overtly to build peaceful communities by practicing conflict so they can do it well over time are Peoplegreen - relationally sustainable in stewardship of the systems their hands and ideas make every day. Peoplegreen families and organizations consume, reuse, transport, recycle, spend, shape conflict, and make cultures in which every voice gets heard and every need has a good chance of getting met.