In this three-part series, we will use Starhawk’s Empowerment Manual to explore group dynamics in collaborative, non-hierarchical organizing for social events and change. As activists and organizers, what can we do so that everyone feels included and empowered? How can we be both leaders and followers? What does it mean to be “empowered”? Is hierarchy always bad? What does it mean to be “non-hierarchical”? How can we promote long-term viability and healthy interpersonal relationships in our grassroots groups? How can we move away from “co-existence and tolerance” and move towards “co-solidarity and an ethic of care”? When is “enough enough” and it becomes right to leave a group with poor dynamics or bothersome individuals? What happens when someone is asked to leave a group? What kind of process should we use when asking a group member to leave? How can bad social dynamics be turned around?
Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:00, January 14th, 28th and February 11th at the Madison Infoshop, 1019 Williamson Street. Please register with Thistle Pettersen by January 7th to ensure your spot and allow her time to get you photocopies of our course materials. Register by sending an email detailing your interest and availability for all or some of this three-part series to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thistle Pettersen is a teacher in the Madison community who works at Marquette Elementary School with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in the Red Caboose program. She is a seasoned activist and grassroots organizer, engaged in a variety of non-hierarchical organizing efforts including participating in the Madison Infoshop Collective and in Madison Action for Mining Alternatives (MAMA). Her many talents include artful songwriting and performance, cooking with local, organic foods and leading and following in groups of musicians and activists in creative projects around town.