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      For the Love of Compassionate Service: Maintaining Joy & Hope in Dark Times in Madison

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      October 12, 2019

      Saturday   9:00 AM

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      For the Love of Compassionate Service: Maintaining Joy & Hope in Dark Times

      About the Workshop We are committed to supporting all who care about our world—educators, parents, social workers, medical professionals, human rights activists, eco-justice activists, caring citizens and so on—find the strength and hope to sustain in their work in life-giving ways. Too often, those in social change work or caring professions put their care for others before their care for self. It is no surprise that we are witnessing a crisis of overwhelm and burnout among some of our most committed leaders. Our team at Courage is committed to helping all of us on the front lines change work tap into a wider, relational web of connectedness and care to support and sustain us all for the long haul.  Those of us in caring and social change professions are often also well aware of systems of oppression and possess a keen sense of the imbalance in structures in the world. Often times, however, we end up focusing on what is broken and forget that there is also love and beauty around. While we need more folks who can do the truth-seeing and truth-telling, the single focus on suffering can create energetic imbalance inside ourselves. We must work to counterbalance our awareness of pain, stress and suffering in the world, with our inclination to celebrate and center life-giving qualities of joy and pleasure. This is not a call to put on rose-colored glasses, but to help us remember there is always more than suffering here. This workshop therefore is designed to help all those with an active commitment to healing and improving our world to ritualize the connection to something beyond this moment, and in so doing, to unlock untapped joy and creativity. We do this by helping us all collectively learn to: LOVE in more nurturing, joyful ways; SEE the profound interconnectedness of all things and develop a greater appreciation of our agency and potential to effect change;  HEAL from burnout, secondary trauma, hopelessness and despair and reconnect to fundamental sources of joy;  ENVISION the beautiful world we know is possible by reclaiming our capacity for hope, imagination and creativity; and ACT in responsive, life-giving ways that affirm the beauty and sacredness in and around all of us. The day will include guided somatic and contemplative practices, movement, art, song and dialogue. We hope you will join us! About Courage of Care We launched in 2016 in order to provide a community and platform to help social service and caring professionals, activists, community leaders, parents and all others who care about our world deepen their profound capacity for compassion and creativity and also to learn ways of critically assessing, navigating and transforming complex systems within which they are embedded with a strong sense of purpose and agency. We see the integration of contemplative training, critical pedagogy and systems thinking as critical to our project of collective liberation. We know that contemplative and spiritual development is central to helping us not only reconnect, but to survive and flourish. We also feel strongly that transformative social justice requires more than just personal transformation. Our liberation is contingent upon our ability to understand structures and systems of oppression, domination, and inequity that inhibit our capacity to realize a more caring, just world. If our contemplative training is not coupled with a critical social and systemic analysis, we may not only fail to transform oppressive systems, but we may end up reproducing them.   We therefore developed an integrated model that weaves tools for both personal and social transformation to help us all develop the courage and skills necessary to realize and sustain our shared visions. Our diverse, interdisciplinary, intergenerational and interfaith team—with years of experience in education, health care, social work, trauma-informed care, contemplative studies, and social activism—offers education, training, consulting and advocacy services across the country to help individuals, communities and organizations realize their courageous, caring potential.   Learn more about us About the Facilitators Brooke D. Lavelle, Ph.D., is the Co-Founder and President of the Courage of Care Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating personal and social transformation through relational compassion training, anti-oppressive pedagogies and systems and community organizing tools. Brooke holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies and Cognitive Science from Emory University, an MA in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from Columbia University and a BA in Religion and Psychology from Barnard College. Her academic work focuses on the diversity of contemplative models for cultivating compassion and mindfulness. She is a consultant to the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies AMA Project in Potsdam, Germany and is co-developing curricula and pedagogy to support sustainable systemic transformation. She served as a lecturer at San Francisco State University for several years where she taught a contemplative-based course on compassion and social justice. She also served as a consultant to Teacher’s College, Columbia University's new initiative on Spirituality and Education and was the Senior Education Consultant to Mind & Life's Ethics, Education, and Human Development Initiative.  Brooke founded a compassion and equity learning community in the Bay Area and was a member of the Initiative for Contemplation, Equity and Action (ICEA). She previously consulted for the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University and the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at UC Berkeley. Through her work at Courage, Brooke regularly leads compassion-based, anti-oppressive trainings and consultations. In addition, Brooke co-developed a relational model for training compassion, called Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT). She is also trained in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and has taught and adapted these programs in a variety of educational and clinical settings. Brooke now splits her time between Berlin, Brooklyn and the Bay Area and travels regularly to lead compassion-focused workshops and retreats in the US and abroad. Abra Vigna, Ph.D., is an Action Researcher and Evaluator in the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this role she provides training, technical assistance and consulting related to community change efforts regarding health equity and offers expertise in transformative education, relationship-building and applied research.  A long-term practitioner of contemplative practices, she infuses her capacity building efforts with compassion building practices. Prior to earning her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison she worked as a crisis counselor and youth development specialist at a local Runaway and Homeless Youth agency.  In addition to providing weekly life skills development programming for LGBT youth, crisis counseling, case management and youth mentorship, Abra has extensive experience supporting youth service providers on the journey toward transforming their organizational infrastructure and personal practice to be more inclusive and explicitly anti-racist. Known for her engaging leadership style and disarming approach to capacity building among individuals and within organizations, she has empowered over 1200 marginalized young people and over 900 professionals in self-reflective praxis regarding their role in social change and the importance of targeting power. Both Abra’s masters and doctoral research focused on the relationship between different forms of empowerment and engagement in health risk behaviors such as intimate partner violence, substance abuse and suicidality. She is particularly interested in the role that intra-individual level resilience factors- such as self-compassion- play in supporting long-term change efforts.  

      Categories: Religion & Spirituality

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