1. Application

Listening, Learning, & Engagement Institute:  Transformational Communication
Sunday November 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm – Wednesday November 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Sequoia Retreat Center, Ben Lomand, CA

Due March 21, 2017
Institute Description:

Colleges and universities must play a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice.  Despite well-meaning intentions, both the systems we work in as well as our own fears and resulting biases limit our capacity to work, communicate and build relationships in ways that uphold equity and inclusion.  For most, the impacts on us and others are as invisible as our biases: from whom we choose to collaborate with to how we interact with our colleagues and students.  Early and persistent experiences of institutional oppression left their residue on us. 

The intention of this institute is to come together in community to understand the impacts of and heal from the effects of institutional and internalized oppressions in order to create a more just and connected present and future.  We will do this by deepening our understanding of who we are, where we come from and why equity and justice matter – to us personally, to our colleges and universities, to our communities, to our service learning and community engagement field, and to our world.  This institute focuses on enhancing our self-awareness, learning about the dynamics and impacts of systems, discharging and healing from past hurts, and practicing skills to lead more effectively and compassionately together.  We will reflect on how we can incorporate these tools into our work with students and others in our communities on- and off-campus.  In this highly interactive and experiential institute, we will learn a framework for transformational change and emotional growth as well as tools to create and deepen trust and safety – as we uncover and release our most authentic and effective leadership.

This institute takes place at the Sequoia Retreat Center – a beautiful, tranquil place of reflection, dialogue and celebration.  The retreat center is located among the redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains and has a rich history of promoting peace and unity in the world.   The Sequoia Retreat Center is located 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and 1.5 hours from the San Francisco airport. http://www.sequoiaretreatcenter.com/
Who should attend:

This institute is for service learning and community engagement professionals who are seeking a space to listen, learn, explore and engage with others to increase their commitment to transformative social change through personal transformation.  We seek participants who are willing to reflect honestly and be vulnerable in ways that deepen our connections with and understandings of ourselves and each other.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn new theories and models to understand systemic dynamics and apply them personally within a caring and supportive community. 

*Learn and practice specific cultural competency skills (constructivist listening, interrupting inappropriate jokes or comments, being allies across dominance and institutional power imbalances, etc.) to advance both understanding and capacity.
*Begin to explore the dynamics of institutional and internalized oppression and the patterns we take on as individuals, organizations and cultural groups in response to these experiences.
*Discharge past hurts related to oppression and dominance to be more effective and self-aware, demonstrating less rigid attitudes and behaviors.
*Increase capacity for creating a just environment based on authentic relationships and understanding.
*Discuss utilizing these cultural competency skills in our higher education settings and service learning and community engagement work.