A Way Forward in Unprecedented Times: Being. Belonging. Becoming.
Sharon Browning, Fred Magondu and Brenna McGinnis
January 6 - March 9, 2024
No dark fate determines the future. We do. Each day and each moment, we are able to create and re-create our lives and the very quality of human life on our planet. This is the power we wield.
The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
When you ponder our world, are you disturbed? Grieving? Anxious? Struggling? Challenged? Lonely? Do you fear the future on a heated planet for yourself and the generations to come? Does the crumbling of institutions that once supported and stabilized us edge you into numbness or even despair?
Do you hold a vision of a world of justice, peace and equity? Are you wondering how to embody and manifest these qualities in the midst of our rapidly changing and challenging reality as we become a species universally characterized by kindness, goodness, gentleness, generosity and service to others? Do you hunger for a transformed world and long for fuel and companions for the journey?
You are not alone. You are invited to come together with others seeking a way forward in these extraordinary times. In a three-part program of collaborative conversations, we will explore our current reality, ponder and share our personal and collective wisdom, pay attention to what arises and discern individual and collective next steps. Convene with others who are looking for understanding, connection and a sense of purpose during these challenging times. Together we will strive to understand the forces shaping our current reality and the possibilities for taking action – both individually and as a group.
At the end of the series, participants will feel more grounded in their sense of purpose, gain tools for surfacing their own wisdom, develop skills for truly listening to others and identify individual and collective plans for moving forward with this new wisdom.
All who bring themselves to this unique gathering become members of a community of like-minded humans with dreams for transforming our world.
This gathering is intended to be a safe, inclusive space. All are encouraged to come with or invite someone whose identities are not identical to yours: we hope for a robust, intergenerational, race and gender inclusive, inter-spiritual community bound by a recognition and honoring of our inherent dignity and common humanity. (If you and someone you invite and who is different from you in one of these significant ways — age, gender identity, race or spiritual affiliation — register together for the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an additional 10% discount for both of you.)
You are asked to commit to the entire program.
Being: Session One, January 6, 2024, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Here we begin the process of discerning how to Be in our current reality. How do we live wholeheartedly and faithfully in these times of social and spiritual upheaval? We will explore our current reality, both personally and communally, share our concerns and dreams for the future and ground ourselves in ancient wisdom and spiritual practices for the Long Haul.
The following two sessions will build on this process.
Belonging: Session Two, February 3, 2024, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
In this session we explore Listening to Ourselves, and Listening to Others, and acquire some of the foundational skills needed for personal and social transformation and the survival of our species in harmony with all of life. Who are you and who are We? What is our personal role in birthing a new world? How might we turn toward one another? Which of our attitudes and beliefs must we reconsider and what skills do we need to be in just relationship with ourselves, each other and the more-than-human world? This will be a highly interactive, skills-development day.
Becoming: Session Three, March 9, 2024, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
This is a day of both personal and communal exploration and planning: how now shall we live? Who are we becoming, individually and collectively? From the chrysalis of our times, what new form is being born and taking wing? What are the next steps for us? How do we move forward without feeling overwhelmed and despairing? What insights and skills do we embrace as we live lives of presence and possibility? The shape of this day will be determined by the group interactions and input from the prior two sessions.
. . . our time is now, when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took.
Christopher Fry, “A Sleep of Prisoners”
With relentless compassion and radical humility, let us continue this stride of soul together.
Sharon Browning co-shepherds JUST Listening, a collaborative social enterprise fostering personal and social change and transformation through the practice and teaching of mindful, equitable, and just communication skills. The work of JUST Listening is twofold: the facilitation of training workshops, retreats, and ‘difficult’ conversations, focusing primarily on those working with…
Learn more about Sharon Browning
Fred Magondu has been a member of the JUST Listening (JL) Core Team since 2017, shaping the direction of the work, creating workshops and facilitating numerous others. During his incarceration, Fred was also involved with other social justice organizations, (including Let’s Circle Up, Alternatives to Violence, Community Forgiveness & Restoration…
Learn more about Fred Magondu
Brenna McGinnis co-shepherds JUST Listening and believes that we can use our creativity and collective wisdom to build communities & organizations that support the humans who are a part of them. She is a proven team leader and service designer with experience in the hospitality, non-profit and healthcare industries. As…
Learn more about Brenna McGinnis