Disarming Conversations, Connecting Across Divides

We live in a world deeply divided, where tribalism and polarization widen the gaps between us. This division, often seen on a national scale, is every bit as present on a local one: affecting our communities, neighborhoods, and even our families. How can we begin to heal those divides and reconnect, even with those whose ideas oppose our own?The Disarming Conversations, Connecting Across Divides course—beginning Tuesday, May 25—aims to answer that question over eight weeks with a cohort of 25-30 people. Together, you’ll get to practice skills in communication and connection, explore options for how to find common ground in tense situations, and enjoy movie nights and presentations from guest speakers who work to bring people together. Rivera Sun, who will be co-facilitating this course with Rosa Zubizarreta, wrote a blog about disarming conversations to share how powerful they can be, even pulling Christian Picciolini from life steeped in white supremacy to a new calling as a peace activist. The thing that made the biggest difference in his path? Human connection. In that spirit, consider inviting a friend to join you for the course so you can learn and share together. Be sure to click through to the event page for more details about what each session will entail, information about the guest speakers, and more.
Disarming Conversations, Connecting Across Divides
8-Week Course on ZoomWhen: May 25-July 10th; Tuesdays 11am-apm PST (8) and Saturday Film Discussions (3)Objective: Decrease the likelihood of violence and deal with toxic polarization by unlearning hate, unpacking misperceptions, and opening space for change in this 8-week program. This series will help you gain skills in communicating with people who hold views opposed to your own—whether they’re family members, neighbors, coworkers, or others.Facilitators: Rosa Zubizarreta and Rivera SunCost: $150 for the whole course, $20 each for some individual sessions available to the public
Campaign Nonviolence Skillbuilding Webinar: Connect the Dots 90-minute Webinar on ZoomWhen: Tuesday May 25, 5-6:30 pm PSTObjective: Whether you’re organizing for Action Week or throughout the year, this webinar will help you find the links between the climate crisis and racial justice, peace and ending poverty, stopping violence and fostering nonviolence, and much more. Learn how to lift up interconnected solutions with nonviolent action and find new strategies for organizing across issues. Facilitator: Rivera SunCost: $20, or sign-up for Action Week and get a free pass!
Nonviolence in Action: Planning and Strategy 2-hour Webinar on ZoomWhen: Thursday June 3, 4-6 pm PSTObjective: Learn the guiding principles of how to make change with nonviolent action, how to think strategically, and how to design powerful campaigns for change. From local campaigns to national issues, you can apply these ideas and tools to every issue you care about. Invite your Campaign Nonviolence and Nonviolent Cities group to learn with you.Facilitators: Rivera SunCost: $20
Nonviolent Cities 101 90-minute Workshop on ZoomWhen: Monday June 7, 4-5:30 pm PSTObjective: Explore what a Nonviolent City is and how to get started. Ruth Ann Angus will offer organizing tips from her efforts in Morro Bay. Break down the big vision of infusing nonviolence into every aspect of life into tangible first steps anyone can take to start making a shift in their community.Facilitators: Ruth Ann Angus and Rivera SunCost: Free
Learning From The Earth: A Summer Solstice Nonviolence Retreat Four-hour Workshop on ZoomWhen: Saturday June 19, 9-2 pm PST (with a one-hour break)Objective: We will open our hearts and minds to the many ways that the Earth embodies and teaches us nonviolence. Debunk the false myths of competition and survival-of-the-fittest and draw new understandings from evolutionary biology.Facilitators: Veronica Pelicaric and Rivera SunCost: $40
Campaign Nonviolence Skillbuilding Webinar: Media Matters 90-minute Webinar on ZoomWhen: Tuesday June 29, 5-6:30 pm PSTObjective: Learn how to do skillful media outreach. Dig into simple tricks for greater impact. Explore how to have fun while doing it. We’ll look at how everything from press releases to action roles can help get media to cover your actions and events. We’ll talk about the importance of social media (and how intergenerational organizing can help with this). Guest facilitator Deborah Mathis will share from her expertise in communications and media relations for nonprofit social justice organizations. Facilitator: Deborah Mathis and Rivera SunCost: $20, or sign-up for Action Week and get a free pass!
Campaign Nonviolence Skillbuilding Webinar: Amplify with Art 90-minute Webinar on ZoomWhen: Tuesday July 27, 5-6:30 pm PSTObjective: Learn how to infuse your Action Week plans with a burst of artivism. When it comes to building a culture of active nonviolence, free from war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction, art is our hidden superpower. In this fun webinar, we’ll look at the past, present, and future for ways to infuse our action with eye-catching creativity. Facilitator: Rivera SunCost: $20, or sign-up for Action Week and get a free pass!
Campaign Nonviolence Skillbuilding Webinar: Preparing for Protests 90-minute Webinar on ZoomWhen: Tuesday August 31, 5-6:30 pm PSTObjective: When we get ready for protests or street actions, we need to be prepared for a range of potential situations. In this skillbuilding webinar, we’ll look at everything from sensible shoes to great (waterproof!) signs to whether or not you should bring your phone with you. This is an excellent skillbuilding webinar to invite your organizing team to attend together.Facilitator: Rev. Jerry Maynard and Rivera SunCost: $20, or sign-up for Action Week and get a free pass!

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