On October 18th, I gathered together eight of my activist friends to make a PowerPoint presentation of "The Caring Economy Movement" and to have a rich conversation about the material. The picture above is what we saw out of the window where we were holding the presentation. Though I was certainly preaching to the choir, as the participants were all fellow activists and teachers (caregivers), I also knew that they would be great people for feedback in terms of what would work best in the future as I advocated for the Caring Economy Movement with different groups of people in my community. I was not disappointed. There were two significant remarks:
1) There was amazement at how well the presentation pulled together multiple sectors of concern that we all cared about in our current volunteer efforts in multiple fields of education, poverty, healthcare, family leave practices, elder care and the political arena. Whereas we have all felt isolated at times in our own specialty areas, it was great to see how we could work together in manifesting a Caring Economy and address all issues in the process. The presentation validates so many people in their fields of caring work and that pulling us all together for shared cause did not go unnoticed.
2) Applause was given for the emphasis in our presentation that caring is a human value no matter whether it is women or men who deliver the action of care. My friends were pleased that we were moving beyond emphasizing the rankism of men over women of the past, and that we were focusing on visioning caring as a human value - supporting both men and women in taking caring actions.
One conversation about the domination/partnership model was particularly poignant. It was fascinating that all attendees were women who were schooled to be domination leaders in order to be considered successful in “market economy eyes”. Each had their story of how they experienced the exhaustion of the domination end of the continuum in trying to sustain a power over and control way of working with people. That experience created great empathy for all leaders, and men in particular, as well as it fueling their greater determination to move toward the partnership end of the continuum through their own modeling in the leadership positions they hold today.
As a conversation leader, I have the following goals and intentions:
1) To attend the local “Caring Economy Movement” group that meets once a month at the local Unitarian Church in Albuquerque.
2) To seek out friend’s homes, and /or groups where I can make a similar presentations at least once each quarter of a year.
3) To create a book study series on the relationship types mentioned in Riane’s book “The Power of Partnership” and offer it through the Institute for Relationship Education where I work.
4) To read more of Riane’s books and take the “Power of Partnership” class online with Sarah.
As I will be offering many different classes on relationship education online, please feel free to go to www.instituteforrelationshipeducation.com to view the offerings which will begin in 2016.
I look forward to connecting with and sharing many stories with other conversation leaders in the years ahead.
Namaste - Wendy of Bee Cohort - Fall 2015