“Can I Help You With That?” An Invitation to Hold Each Other Under the Crushing Weight of the Universe’s Moral Arc
By Delma Thomas-Jackson
“We have fought hard and long for integration…But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house…. Let us not stand by and let the house burn.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“[I]f the Masters house caught on fire, the House Negro would try to put the fire out. On the other hand…the Field Negro would pray for a strong wind to come along.” -Malcolm X
Exactly one year ago, I gave an MLK address titled, “Make America Great Again for Whom?” The title, obviously a play on Trump’s campaign slogan, begs questions as old as the country itself—namely: which America do you experience? Is your America a meritocracy, wherein hard work alone shapes the destiny of citizens? Or, is your America a kleptocracy, wherein the elite grow wealthy by gorging on the productivity of the proletariat? Is America a “city upon a hill,” protecting freedom and democracy all over the world? Or, is America a global police force, simply promoting its political interests?
By Mohamad Chakaki
I’ve been reading a 17th century Muslim prayer-poem from Morocco entitled ‘The Prayer of the Oppressed.’ In his introduction to the English translation, Hamza Yusuf, a prominent American Muslim teacher and scholar, asks his readers to consider whether they could possibly be ready to wield social power if they’re not ready to accept that there will always be matters over which they are powerless. That gave me pause.
There is so much that I would like to see change in the world, even as I have to admit that there’s also so much of my vision for progressive social and environmental change that I am painfully powerless
By Kristin Rothballer
These are wild days indeed.
From the killings this week in Aleppo, to reports of Russians hacking the US election, to the water protectors at Standing Rock, to the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, to the President-Elect’s unfathomable Cabinet nominees, reality has become difficult to stay fully present to. Grief and overwhelm arrive on the daily. I am generally oriented towards hope, but it’s taking deeper and deeper work to source it. I have been turning to love and prayer, not as passive or sentimental acts, but as practices that root me in true power. The reverence I have for the earth and the resiliency of life help me find hope.
By Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
The Buddhist strategy of liberation finds its foundation, on one level, in the strategic tension between concentration and mindfulness, which is to say the relationship between suppression and investigation, control and exploration—dynamics that are equally fundamental to our work for social change.
By Ginny McGinn
The darkness of winter has arrived in Vermont. This is the season of turning inward, reflecting and gathering ourselves in preparation for the year to come. For those of us in the nonprofit world, this is also the time we extend ourselves outward, seeking the support of our community. At CWC we are taking this time to reflect on the theme “there are no shortcuts” as we invite your partnership and generosity in making our work possible.
We are excited to welcome a group of 20 artists, designers, facilitators, professors, visionaries, and changemakers from all across the country for our Whole Thinking in Practice Retreat from Oct 14-19, 2016 in California.
Working in fields as varied as environmental justice, education, cultural competency, performing arts, youth empowerment, and coaching, these thought-leaders will unplug and spend 6 days in the beautiful oak-madrone forested hills of Boonville building relationships and dropping in to our core Whole Thinking Practices: awareness practice, dialogue, story-telling, creativity, and working with difference.
Whole Thinking in Practice Oct. 14-19 2016 in California
For over 10 years, Center for Whole Communities has equipped individuals and organizations with the courage, creativity, and resilience required to address some of the most complex social and environmental issues of our time. Read more
Whole Thinking in Practice Oct. 14-19 2016 in Boonville, CA
Here’s your opportunity to spend 6 days in the company of other activists, artists, visionaries, changemakers and leaders working on the front lines of environmental and social change. 6 days to slow down, reconnect, re-inspire and nurture yourself within 600 beautiful acres of northern California hills. Read more
Here in Burlington, Vermont, the snow is on the ground and we are in the dormant time, resting and readying ourselves for new growth. This website represents our first new shoots of the year, a work in progress with room to grow as we work in communities across the country, supporting new and established leaders, urban, suburban and rural communities, and people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Together we are cultivating new ways to engage around the pressing environmental and social issues of the day.
This blog will be our space for sharing updates, new ideas, and opportunities with you. We welcome your feedback and conversation!
Here’s to a rewarding and productive year ahead!
In 2010 our board and staff put into motion a three-year Breakthrough Campaign (2010-2013) during which we raised $500,000 to intentionally enhance those parts of our work that have always been strong and transform that work to break new ground.
The Breakthrough Campaign support our efforts to:
- Build new relationships with organizations in cities to model collaborative leadership and co-create new home places for whole communities work.
- Invest in staff, board, and faculty training to transform into an effective intercultural organization and challenge our alumni with what we learn in the process.
- Ensure that all the places we work are welcoming and inclusive to a diversity of people.
- Identify and cultivate new faculty to help us deepen our support of alumni, and strengthen long-term impacts of our work.
- Create entirely new formats for delivering our most sought-after programs to many more people and organizations.
- Develop a fundamentally new approach to generating revenue that allows us to sustain all of the above long into the future.