social changeIn the Spotlight: Social Change


Personally, I heard Marshall repeatedly speak of his vision and desire to see NVC as a form of social change (for examples, see the two interviews I conducted with him for The Cleveland Free Times and The Sun magazine). He also repeatedly referenced books such as Walter Wink's The Powers that Be and Rianne Eisler's, The Chalice and the Blade, both of which concern power in human society, how it has shifted over thousands of years, and how (in the case of Wink's book) civil disobedience is a nonviolent challenge of power and its "habits" and structures.

For Marshall, I believe the compelling question for him was: How can all people and all beings' needs matter and be held with care? As part of this (as illustrated by the book references above), he questioned and even challenged hierarchal structures, power over, and societal norms and expectations where power resided (his referring–with his characteristic humor—to corporations as "gangs" is one example of this). "Power-over" is a "label" or term that Marshall used repeatedly. This is what I see "privilege" referencing: "power-over" patterns on a societal level in how we relate to each other and all life.

That he decided to call the practice he developed "Nonviolent Communication" and saw NVC as a direct extension of Gandhi's principles, is the ultimate example of his views and intentions. I don't think I need to remind anyone that Gandhi was focused on civil disobedience, a radical way of practicing compassion to challenge power and power-over. Marshall saw NVC as an extension of these principles. In effect, NVC is Rosenberg's "experiment" in direct action every day, in each conversation and interaction.

—Dian Killian

It's not enough that we believe that if we purify the self, energy will radiate to take care of things. I agree... it's simply not enough. I remember 15 years ago thanking Marshall for creating this wonderful tool for personal growth and transformation. I remember his response, "I want NVC to be used for social change." I still vividly remember that conversation .. and how awkward I felt that I didn't quite grasp the vision he had. I still don't know if I do, but I feel much closer to it now though than I ever have.

—Rachelle Lamb

Becoming a Change Agent Everywhere You Go (Complete Course)

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  6 - 8 hours

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed – or locked into passivity? This course offers you a way out. Learn to change the way you perceive leadership, and you’ll help yourself respond more powerfully and proactively every day of your life – wherever you are – and whomever you’re with!

The preview session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy:

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Marshall Rosenberg's Vision of Social Change

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All Skill Levels  •  Article  •  Read time: 12 - 18 minutes

What could be, more often than not, overlooked when we think about or represent NVC or Marshall Rosenberg's work?  This article busts some commonly held ideas and approaches to NVC.  It challenges us to widen the lens of what it really means to be "life-serving", or speaking and hearing the "language of life".  And it also speaks to how thinking can deepen feeling and relatedness...

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Facilitate Change: Using NVC to Create Social Change

with Dian Killian and Martha Lasley
Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  00:51 hours:minutes

Listen to this newly remastered audio with seasoned Life Coach and CNVC Certified Trainers Martha Lasley and Dian Killian, to explore how you can "be the change" in your life, to live fully in integrity with your values in your work, community, faith and social action groups.

The introductory session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy:

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Power Relations and Connection Across Differences in US Society: An NVC Perspective (Complete Course)

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Advanced Skill Level  •  Audio  •  03:17 hours:minutes

Join CNVC Certified Trainers Inbal Kashtan and Roxy Manning, for a passionate and intimate exploration of how NVC can support personal and social transformation in the area of power relations and social divisions.

The first session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy:

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Acknowledging the Impact of Identity Within Social Change Movements (Part 1 of 2)

with Mary Mackenzie and Roxanne Manning
All Skill Levels  •  Article  •  Read time: 23-35 mins

In this transcript, clinical psychologist and organizational consultant, Roxy Manning, PhD, offers ways for us to increase our capacity to (1) See things that we otherwise wouldn't; (2) Bring more relevance to our groups, organizations and social change movements; (3) Talk openly about microaggressions: statements or (in)actions that (inadvertently) minimize, diminish or negate somebody's experience.  Also, NVC Academy's cofounder, Mary Mackenzie, speaks to how NVC helps us to find ways to bridge our differences in ways that value all of us.

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Leadership Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement

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All Skill Levels  •  Article  •  Read time: 6 - 9 minutes
When we have few external resources (money, time, health connections, etc), we can still empower ourselves and one another.  We can strengthen our internal resources, inspire people to join our cause, build solidarity, and influence others who have external resources to support us and our causes.
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All in: Committing to a Life of Nonviolence (Complete Course)

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  6 - 8 hours

How can we live life fully connected to the core values of nonviolence, no matter the circumstances, internal or external? Join Miki Kashtan as she shares the 17 core commitments that have served as a compass for herself and hundreds of others around the world as well.

The first session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy:

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How Privilege / Lack of Privilege Affects Women, Fishbowl Discussion

with Dian Killian and Mary Mackenzie
Beginner Skill Level  •  Video  •  01:22 hours:minutes
Join Dian Killian and Mary Mackenzie for a provocative fishbowl discussion about how privilege and lack of privilege affect women.
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Empathy in the Face of Powerful Structures

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 12 - 18 minutes

Here's an inspiring story of one citizen (the author) who faced a police officer and judge in court to contest a transit ticket... and inspired structural changes in the way one aspect of New York City transit operates. She inspires change with her application of empathy for self and others, acknowledgement, connecting requests -- and an inspiring vision of understanding, shared reality and living in a city where people have some trust in one another's intentions.

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Creating Peace and Change: A Multi-Level Approach

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 12 - 18 minutes
Why does NVC practice, and NVC training/coaching, appear to be not enough to bridge divides between people? This article takes a look at the trickle down effect of our societal conditioning, what we can add to our NVC lense, and what we can do "upstream" when NVC doesn't seem to be enough. Additionally, the article talks about unseen constraints that men, women and minority groups face in organizational settings...
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Connection Central: Nonviolent Communication Articles (NVC)
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