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

Responding to the Call of Our Times (part 1)

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  01:00 hours:minutes
Enjoy listening to Miki make the distinction between leadership as a position and leadership as an orientation to life. The theme: when is it time to actively step into your vision?! Check it out.
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The Power of Difference: Work Challenges

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  00:05 hours:minutes
How do you bring empathy and authenticity to uncomfortable work situations when there are so many layers of difference – especially if your primary reason for working is to feed your family and pay your bills? Listen in as Roxy opens participants' eyes to some of the many layers of difference we all deal with on a daily basis.
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Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past: Social Change and Nonviolence (Session 1)

with Miki Kashtan
Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  01:00 hours:minutes
Want things to change in your community, but feel frustrated or don’t know what to do? Miki’s intriguing overview of how to apply the principles of NVC to social change movements may have the exact blend of inspiration and ideas you’re seeking!
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How Privilege / Lack of Privilege Affects White People

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Video  •  01:18 hours:minutes
Jeff Brown moderates a fishbowl discussion discussing why it's uncomfortable for them to talk about privilege… what they're doing to be aware of / combat racism… and the role of empathy and NVC around privilege.
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Responding to the Call of Our Times (part 2)

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Intermediate Skill Level  •  Audio  •  01:11 hours:minutes
Listen as Miki works with participants. Topics: how small requests serve interdependence; NVC process vs purpose; how to respond when empathy is used to create distance; coping with verbal aggression, and more! Check it Out.
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Connection Central: Nonviolent Communication Articles (NVC)
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