SESSION TITLE: Nonviolent Communication and Social Change 1
Convener: Marshall Rosenberg
Recorder: David R. McCain
Others Present: Many smiling faces sharing their needs

Marshall introduced the topic by sharing the idea that organizations or groups we would like to see changed are like "gangs".

He asked the group to identify gangs they are familiar with that are not enriching life. The groups shared a number of them including the NRA, Bush Administration, Pro-life, NAFTA, WTO, Police departments, and others.

He next asked the group to consider the ENEMY IMAGES they held of these "gangs" that make it hard to see them as humans. The group shared many such images including monster, stupid, racist, mean, untrusting, etc.

  • Marshall pointed out that this language supports DOMINATION systems.
  • He shared that he would like to create the world within himself that he wants outside himself.
  • He shared his concern that if we carry 'enemy images' he's not optimistic about Social Change - its important that we do the inner work.
  • Next this question was addressed: How do we change the gangs?
  • Help people to see new options for making life wonderful that are less costly
  • Steps
    • Show concern (empathy) - remove enemy images
    • Reveal other options
  • Access to gangs can be difficult
  • Support group is important to maintain effort. Enemy images return easily

Continued discussion…

Judgments - Difference in life-serving ones and moralistic

Life-serving judgments- are needs met (Marshall's eager to get everyone's needs met)
Moralistic judgments - are about who deserves to be punished

We need a NEW dream (or story) to guide social change

What would a life-serving system look like?

· Responds to the lives of people - constantly changing with the people in the system

· Ecological Model-self-governing, self-organizing, self-healing, self-learning

· Safe place for self-expression - every voice is heard and valued

· Serve needs of people not a "system"

What could CNVC (Center for Nonviolent Communication) do to better meet our needs?
[The group raised certain specific concerns and requests about the organization]

· Concern about the desire to renegotiate an agreement but CNVC was less responsive than desired· Desire greater economic accessibility for events and clearer understanding of financial issues

· Interest in setting up a committee to explore models of running CNVC and making proposals within a year's time

· Concern about lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities when staff is ill

· Would like greater email interaction and shared information through 'friendsofnvc' message board