Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Retreat 7: Leadership Council Sets Out to Clarify TJP Vision

by Liz Goodwin

Last Saturday October 30, the TJP leadership council - including Stacey Prince, Nathan Shara, Briana Herman-Brand, Anne Phillips, Keren Lehavot, and I - gathered to talk project vision. Prior to the meeting, and since the last Retreat 6 (Somatic Transformation day-long with Staci Haines), we met several times to get acquainted, discuss the role of the council, and share and learn about each of our political and social identities and histories. From these series of meetings, it became clear that we needed to spend more time getting clear about the vision, goals, objectives, and process intended for TJP. We agreed that, instead of a large-group retreat, it made sense to hunker down together and spend a day getting clear. It was expected to be a full day – emotionally and mentally – and we even wondered if there would be some conflict as we each expressed our different ideas about what TJP should focus on and how. Our last meeting before this full day retreat consisted of sharing our different conflict styles, defense structures, and requests we might have for others in moving through and staying connected.

Turns out, we hit very little conflict, really. And our visions seemed less far from each other than we may have anticipated. Stacey got us started with her take on what TJP is and where we might go. She presented a diagram of What? How? Why? – with corresponding circles, concentric style. The why is often difficult to answer, she said - and answered it. The big Why question, or the statement of grand purpose of TJP, is to end oppression and the trauma associated with it. Stacey shared about how TJP would be a hub, as she’s seeing it, where this work of how psychology weaves into ending oppression, would be the mission of TJP. She listed different areas of focus, as spokes from the center questions and answers. These included creating transformative space for healers and activists - “intentional community of transformative practice,” impacting higher education psychology programs, community organizing and political advocacy.

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