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Culture of Radical Engagement: Train-the-Trainer and Get Empathy

  • Gestalt Institute of Cleveland 1588 Hazel Drive Cleveland, OH 44106 (map)

Culture of Radical Engagement: Train-the-Trainer (Oct. 23 - 25)
Sunday: 11:00am-6:00pm
Monday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am-5:00pm

Tuition: $250.00
Continuing Education (CE):  16 contact hours (additional $20.00 for CE)

Get Empathy Training* (Oct. 27)
Thursday: 9:00am-5:00pm
*Prerequisite: Culture of Radical Engagement: Train the Trainer

Tuition: $50.00
Continuing Education (CE):  6 contact hours (additional $10.00 for CE)

Mark Fairfield, LCSW, BCD

Culture of Radical Engagement: Train-the-Trainer (TTT)

Americans today are faced with an alarming public health crisis—disconnection. Research shows that 40% of us consider ourselves "lonely" or socially isolated. In urban centers, where we have access to more diversity than our rural counterparts, we struggle to embrace the unique contributions we could bring to each other. Those of us who get stuck feeling separate or "on the fringe" are 45% more likely than others to die an early death. Isolation is tightly correlated to an array of poor health outcomes. We need a systemic intervention NOW. Our well-being depends on promoting a culture of re-connection.

Our efforts to generate solidarity and collaboration often falter. In addition to the unprecedented scale and complexity of problems we face, from social erosion to gaping inequality, and climate collapse. We also struggle to trust and rely on one another so we can work together to find the right solutions. We need to create change, however, in this culture our most popular stories of achievement glorify competition and heroism. Drawing on values of "disconnection" derails our collective efforts, breaks apart our relationships, and fractures our organizations and movements.

The Culture of Radical Engagement training supports participants to lead a shift in culture, an essential and often elusive arena of social transformation. Bringing together community organizers, scholars, educators, students, caregivers, and healers from diverse fields, we work toward strategies that ensure we can depend on one another, without shying away from the challenges of diversity, power, and trauma. We explore how to embody values of support, empathy, interdependency, inclusion, and shared leadership.

The framework for this 3-day training is based on an integration of social capital research, social neuroscience, relational theory, community organizing, and somatic education. It presents a nuanced approach to issues of identity, intersectionality, and privilege using an embodied, relational practice of narrative and movement. Modules in this training include: Stories of Separation, Stories of Connection, Ecology and Diversity, Support for Conflict Resolution, and more.

Participants completing this workshop will be able to:

1) Create a values-driven, strength-based narrative of personal leadership (Stories of Connection);
2) Link that story to a larger collective narrative that identifies share community values;
3) Use these stories as engagement tools to inspire others to join together and take action;
4) Engage in a Resonance Practice, which structures group activities focusing on mutual attunement and collective empathy to deepen bonds and build new ones;
5) Teach Stories of Connection and Resonance Practice to others in their home communities and/or organizations.

Get Empathy Training

PREREQUISITE: Culture of Radical Engagement TTT: must be attended first. 

A youth project developed by The Relational Center, Get Empathy is a training program that promotes resilience and leadership in young people. The curriculum targets teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, mentors and parents. Benefits include increases in social emotional learning, social resilience and creative expression. The program builds skills for preventing isolation, bullying, violence, low self-esteem and loneliness. The design stimulates protective factors for resilience through a values-focused storytelling strategy and includes a protocol for compassionate listening.
As a school-based social resilience program, Get Empathy teams up with students who are already showing leadership tendencies. Youth are mobilized to engage their peers in creating conditions consistent with the original aims of public education: to develop an informed citizenry. Youth learn the legacy they have inherited; the responsibility required for steering a purposeful direction for the human community into the future; and a way to identify what their contribution will be to civic life as they move toward adulthood. To support these outcomes, participants may choose to host ongoing peer-groups in which students connect at regular intervals to share stories, address meaningful challenges, share artistic, creative expression and learn how to be leaders in their worlds.

Participants completing this workshop will be able to:

1) Help schools and youth-serving organizations to launch resilience-focused peer groups and leadership campaigns;
2) Teach Stories of Connection and Resonance Practice to teachers and youth-serving professionals;
3) Train teachers and youth-serving professionals to teach young people to use the same tools.

Mark Fairfield

Mark Fairfield, LCSW, BCD, is the Founder and Executive Director of The Relational Center, a grassroots nonprofit in Los Angeles. Mark is a longtime community organizer, organizational consultant, author and teacher. After completing his graduate studies at Columbia University in the 90s, he took various leadership positions in the AIDS movement for over a decade. In addition to overseeing The Relational Center, Mark consults with other non-profit boards and management teams, offering strategic planning facilitation, leadership development and support for culture shift.