While honoring its origins in the teachings of Joanna Macy and her colleagues, the Work That Reconnects is an evolving body of work. Evolving Edge features articles on new theory, practices and other developments in the Work That Reconnects. There is a current focus on re-visioning the Work with the aims of de-colonization,* integrating a deeper anti-oppression framing and analysis, embracing marginalized perspectives and considerations, and generally making the Work safer and more relevant for non-dominant groups.
*We are using the term “De-colonization” to mean the pursuit of liberation, reclaiming mind and heart from the legacy of colonialism, i.e. personal, interpersonal, and institutional domination over people and the natural world. This process demands that we acknowledge historic and ongoing traumas from colonization, genocide, white supremacy, and systemic racism. It requires actions accountable to people of color by creating and securing structural changes that insure equity and right relationship.
Reading bell hooks’ words again, I feel struck and expanded by the power of her vision.
Sisters in Spirit by Sally Roesch Wagner describes how early feminists and suffragettes received their clear vision of what an egalitarian and cooperative society looks like from their neighbors, the Haudenosaunee.
An Afrofuturist & Afropessimist Counter Perspective on Climate Apocalypse
A growing edge for me with my Work That Reconnects facilitation is learning about how power, privilege, and oppression are operating in group spaces.
This letter explores the problem of white space and ponders how activist movements might be recreated as truly inclusive spaces.
Livelihood as a social justice issue; going beyond "having a job" to finding right livelihood that furthers the Great Turning.
Land Acknowledgements--The first installment of a series of articles exploring first steps and how to go deeper with anti-oppression approaches in facilitation.
Carl Anthony, an elder in the civil rights movement, speaks about how to respond to the interlocking challenges of racism, classism, poverty, and environmental crises.
Dr. Pavel shares how the Breakthrough Communities Project has drawn on and expanded the understandings and practices of the Work That Reconnects.
Paula relates how the Interhelp Community Guidelines came into being and shares them with the Work That Reconnects community.
One of the things that has particularly intrigued me is how to support people in shifting long-term ingrained behavior. This article offers some reflections on that challenge from experiences over the past year.
An expanded version of the “3 Stories” described in Coming Back to Life (2014 edition), p. 5 , with a longer and more inclusive historical perspective.
Joanna shares her recommendations for bringing anti-oppression perspectives and practices into the Work That Reconnects.
The course described here, “As European Americans, Healing Our Relationship with the Ancestors: moving towards personal and collective wholeness” is rooted in the powerful state of consciousness, Deep Time.
Extended Part 1: WTR Through a Lens of Person of Color (POC) Identity, and Intra-personal, Inter-personal, and Group Dynamics
A perspective on my own journey of identity and personal and professional development, about how powerful WTR has been for my own process of reconnection, as well as how great the opportunity is for WTR’s continued evolution.
Available as both an audio recording of the full interview, or edited excerpts in writing, this conversation between ordained Zen Buddhist priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and author Ann Marie Davis covers much ground ranging through tenderness, embodiment and oneness, anger, peace, practice, suffering, fear and thoughts on cultural appropriation.
Over time, it became clear to me that it wasn’t so much that BIPOC was missing the WTR, as it was that the WTR and the broader community surrounding it, was missing us, as well as the awarenesses and frameworks that would create space and safety for us.
2017 has been a year of embracing the flavors and textures of me that stray from the stereotypical image of a therapist. And I owe immense gratitude to the Work That Reconnects (WTR) for guiding my path towards self-celebration. I am the Founder and Director of Dig & Demand (D&D)—a radical training program for queer trans 1st, 1.5, 2nd generation diasporic Vietnamese artists. Its mission is to dig deeply and demand daringly for the collective threading of our resilience.
I feel called to uncover what history took from me: a solid sense of my ancestors that goes as far back in history as will give me deep knowing of full connection and identity to humanity in all of humanity’s splendor and degradation.
My daughter Karissa shared a Facebook post that expressed frustration about the outpouring of support for Standing Rock that looks different from the support for BLM. I understand the frustration. I also know that we romanticize Indigenous people and lifeways in much the same way that we demonize Blackness.
A conversation between the three guest editors about why they said yes to editing this special issue.
Can we live in a world where all life is respected and all human beings are afforded the dignity and respect they deserve? Can we, as human beings, be humane beings? Can we create a circle of human concern where all humans are inside the circle and all life is respected? Can we have a we without a them?
To live up to its promise of reconnecting us with each other and the Earth, the Work that Reconnects must center the voices of people of color and the systemic and historical realities of white supremacy, capitalism and colonization. We must recognize that the Great Unraveling and Business as Usual have been going on for a very long time.
A few weeks after the election, my yoga teacher and owner of a studio in Georgia, approached me and said, “Beth, I have to do something. People are crying in class. I am having a hard time getting through classes myself. What can we offer these people who are in so much pain?” We scheduled a workshop for the first Saturday in December and named it after the book, "Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy."
When the online course White Awake was offered to Work That Reconnects facilitators, I eagerly enrolled. Now, halfway through the course I find myself challenged to think not only about how I facilitate the Work That Reconnects, but how I live my life.
What a time to be alive! So many skeletons are coming out of the systems of oppression closets and being made more visible in the public arena, which has been mostly silent for centuries in order to maintain power.
What inspired me to make the call for everyone to gather to think about decolonising our practice in the Work That Reconnects is that over the past four years or so, it had been gradually dawning on me just how very exclusive a lot of the work that we have been doing is.