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Witness: Reclaiming Our Stories for Connection

Today’s current political, cultural and social environments are wrought with anxiety, fear, and polarization. As minority communities, we mostly live within a larger narrative created by others often with few places to explore, find and share our voice.

In this two-part workshop for anyone who is a member of a historically marginalized or oppressed community, we will use the Radical Engagement / Get Empathy storytelling process to dismantle the dominant narrative structures that limit the validation, telling and listening to these stories.

The goals of the Witness: Reclaiming Our Stories for Connection workshop are to:

  • Provide space and a structured opportunity for individuals to create coherent narratives of their challenges.
  • Dismantle the dominant narrative structures that separate ourselves from our own stories while increasing our capacity to include diverse perspectives and experiences within our communities.
  • Build Bridges through the use of resonance practice to solicit support and understanding while building deep empathy.
  • Empower the community to share the leadership by building solidarity and resilience.

Presenter: After growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Kauser Razvi went to college in Boston and has been an urban dweller and city lover ever since. Love of cities and their complex problems and all their exciting possibilities led her to study sociology, journalism and urban planning. A career spent untangling complicated systems, processes and projects in the public and nonprofit sectors, has led her to be even more passionate about citizen engagement and collectively solving social issues. Kauser is currently working with College Now of Greater Cleveland, focusing on program innovation and performance management, exploring how to better engage students in the pursuit of postsecondary credentials. Over the course of the last decade, she has taken courses at the Gestalt Institute to improve her leadership and community engagement skills; is trained in Appreciative Inquiry from Case Western; has taken numerous online courses and uses the concepts of Human Centered Design from IDEO and the Stanford Design school to support her work in community building. Over the last two years, since she has taken the Radical Engagement/Get Empathy workshops at the Gestalt Institute, she has led work with high school students in the practice at Lincoln West High School, trained others at the Gestalt Institute through the Radical Engagement workshop (train the trainer model), and recently trained 10 people in the Gear Up Ohio education program to use the techniques for storytelling, team building and working with schools.

Details: Witness: Reclaiming Our Stories for Connection takes place Mondays March 7 & 14 from 6-8pm remotely online via Zoom. 

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NEW: As part of our ongoing efforts to make programs and classes more inclusive and accessible, we are now collecting voluntary demographic information during the registration process. The following information is entirely voluntary and will remain anonymous. It will only be used in aggregate to assess and improve services and inclusive practices to ensure we are serving our entire community equitably. Thank you!

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