Practice of Change
The Fierce Allies body of work is rooted in ancient wisdom that is indigenous to us all. What makes it new and increasingly relevant to our conflict prone, divisive, xenophobic times is the integration of diverse philosophies and approaches into one unified body of work. This equips practitioners with the resources necessary to build resilient and diverse alliances within and across seemingly insurmountable divides. Its primary influences include:
- Power Analysis, resulting in the destruction of conventional limitations on the ability to create change and propelling new organizing structures and opportunities that are distributive, equitable, and just.
- Equitable decision making, accounting for one’s relative access to power when making choices.
- Restorative Justice, aiming to break cycles of violence and restore relationships and accountability between individuals and communities.
- Popular education (like Theater of the Oppressed), drawing forth the wisdom of participants.
- Experiential learning, activating the emotional impacts and memories essential for changing beliefs and behaviors.
- Ecopedagogy is a teaching practice that seeks to ground learners in an ecocentric orientation that accounts for the ways we impact and are impacted by all of life.
- Somatic awareness and body-centering, supporting self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-care, enabling grounded interactions rather than hyper aggressive/defensive reactivity.
- Personal, social and ancestral trauma healing, preventing cycles of trauma from being transferred onto future generations.
- Personal storytelling, shifting us beyond stereotypical assumptions and towards the common ground of our humanity.
- Ritual, which invites us to tap into ancestry, mystery, unconscious, and sub-conscious levels of intelligence and healing.
Combined, these approaches generate the equitable sensibilities, emotional-social intelligence, compassion, and humility necessary to effectively work through difficulty and difference. It supports participants in re-membering the interconnectedness of all life, as well as our accountability to multiple generations, past and future. The broad intersection of these diverse philosophies and approaches ensures that the work informs, impacts, and has resonance with the widest possible audience.
Fierce Allies establishes a learning culture that makes it safe to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. Within this context, participants engage in group and individual learning exercises where they collectively:
- Develop an understanding of the cyclical and entrapping dynamics of power, dominance and oppression, and their effects on human behavior;
- Cultivate a deep sense of self-awareness in the face of strong emotions;
- Access critically important resourcing tools for generating calm, courage, and inspiration, opening the door to a broader menu of responses;
- Stay in their body, stay in relationship, and stay in the conversation when strong emotions are present;
- Slow down, assess charged situations, and prevent harmful acting out;
- Communicate in ways where passion and emotions are valued and translated into deep understanding and meaningful change;
- Generate mutual accountability, distributive power, and win-win strategies.
With these values in their hearts, skills in their toolbelt, and experiences in their cells, Fierce Allies practitioners have both the dignity and humility to convert adversaries into allies, and leverage their collective power into institutional and systemic change.
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