In this class, we will offer an in-depth look at tools that have helped people address emotional barriers to effective climate organizing. We will share details of our theory and provide opportunities to practice our listening tools in pairs and small groups. The class will demonstrate how using these tools can help us address common struggles experienced by climate activists and organizers as we work to build the movement needed to tackle the climate emergency.
Participants will learn Re-evaluation Counseling (RC or Co-Counseling) theory about the nature of human beings: our inherent intelligence, goodness, and cooperative, caring, and enthusiastic nature; the negative feelings and rigid behaviors we develop as a result of early hurts and societal oppressions; and our natural ability to heal from hurtful experiences using the process of emotional release. The class will address common struggles experienced by climate activists and organizers as we work to build the movement needed to tackle the climate emergency.
During the class, participants will be paired together for short times to listen to each other in equal turns. One person listens with respectful, non-judgmental attention while the other talks about the topic of their choice. Then the two switch roles. In the safety and confidentiality of these short “sessions,” people can access both past hurts and current upsets, including experiences of oppression and environmental injustice; and the burnout, discouragement, and stress sometimes felt in working against climate change. Participants will identify a partner in the class to have sessions with outside of class.
As part of the class, people will be encouraged to appreciate themselves, take pride in their accomplishments, and set goals for themselves and in their climate work. Those who gain mastery of these tools can apply them in their daily lives and in their activist work.