The world needs healing.
Healing is a critical stage of sustainable, transformative justice work. Yet so often, we feel pressured to rush the process of healing in the name of getting things done or “fixing” what seems to be broken or not working. Or, we totally overlook the process of healing altogether, unaware that healing is not a privilege--it is a necessity for sustainable change.
In this course, we will explore healing as a stance, not as a fixed end goal. Like the concept of resilience, healing involves being able to adapt to our world, to take in new information, to restore, to repair, to reconcile. In its most basic sense, we understand healing to be about restoring relationship--with ourselves, each other, and our world.
We are remarkably resilient, capable of recovering from change and to restore and repair ourselves. Numerous factors support this resiliency: researchers have found that ‘resilient’ individuals are those who: 1) find deep, meaningful connection with others (LOVE); 2) maintain a curiosity about the human condition (SEE); 3) maintain a sense of hope, even in dark times (ENVISION); and 4) maintain a strong moral conviction (ACT). We are committed to helping people deepen these capacities.
In his book, Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace, John Paul Lederach--a scholar on conflict resolution and mediation--writes that all social justice is conflict work, and that healing conflict and building peace requires that we generate, mobilize and build the "moral imagination". He and all change work requires learning to help people keep one foot in this world (and stay in touch with what is), while also placing one foot in another world (and get in touch with what could be). This is one of our main practices at Courage!
In addition to mobilizing the "moral imagination", Lederach outlines four other capacities central to effective change work, based on decades of experience working in conflict zones. These are: 1) building relationships, even with our so-called enemies (LOVE); 2) embracing complexity and paradoxical curiosity (SEE); 3) providing space for the creative act (ENVISION); and 4) the willingness to risk (ACT).
We are struck by the ways in which both resilience and peace building capacities align with our model of LOVE, SEE, HEAL, ENVISION and ACT. This course therefore is designed to help us deepen in these modes, through the lens of healing.
Working on this course has served as a source of healing for us. We hope you find similar benefit and inspiration!
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 Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies and Cognitive Science from Emory University, an M.A. in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from Columbia University and a B.A. 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.