Become a More Effective Agent for Social Change and Learn Strategies for:
- Creating Effective Actions
- Grassroots Organizing
- Facilitating Groups
- Developing Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
- Mediating Conflicts
Join us for a three-day transformative opportunity to dialogue, share, and celebrate our collective energy related to social justice while learning effective and sustainable ways to nurture and invigorate our advocacy practices. In today’s complex world, we are continually being asked to move beyond complacency and act. The work of social justice practitioners, activists, community organizers, and human rights defenders, however, is challenging and can lead to burnout, frustration, and anger. To ensure that we do not perpetuate the injustices we seek to change we can learn to engage in mindful and intentional ways. Developing compassion for ourselves can make us more effective at helping others and working for change in the world.
Compassionate and mindful advocacy involves the courage to step outside our familiar reaction patterns to enlist approaches that can shift the divisive dynamics we face. Social justice advocates consistently report that mindfulness-based practices help them address the challenges of their work and contribute to the effectiveness and sustainability of their projects and organizations. Mindful advocacy strategies transform the ways in which people work together with a great potential to enhance the impact and effectiveness of social justice movements.
Who should attend?
Activists, practitioners, and change agents who seek compassionate and sustainable ways to engage in social and environmental justice work. Counselors, public officials, community leaders and organizers, faith leaders, students, environmental/social activists, social workers, educators, volunteers, allies, parents and others who wish to co-create a more humane, just, compassionate, and effective advocacy approach.
The preliminary schedule for each day of the conference is listed below. There will be continual updates of workshops, presenters and ceremonies. Please continue to refer to the conference web page for updates.
Day 1, June 6: Exploring the Meaning of Social Justice
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann
In both our personal and professional lives, we are called to transform systems that continue to marginalize and disenfranchise people of color, women, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer/intersex /questioning (LGBTQIQ) individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants, non-English speakers, non-Christians, those living in poverty, and others. Additionally, protecting the natural environment from destructive practices and policies has become increasingly critical. In many ways, these twin domains of social justice and sustainability intersect, and call on us to pursue a combined agenda. Our work can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Through interactive sessions, inspiring presentations, lively dialogue, and a sharing of narratives, discover a deeper meaning of your personal Social Justice mission.
- Develop effective approaches to defining and pursuing advocacy
- Discover ways to confront oppressive systems of power and privilege in both personal and professional interactions
- Develop an understanding of intersectionality and how it can create unique forms of oppression for other individuals
- Connect to a deeper personal and professional social justice mission to sustain your advocacy work
Day 1 Keynote: Dottie Morris, Chief Officer for Diversity and Multiculturalism, KSC
As the Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism (CODM), Dr. Dottie Morris is a member of the Keene State College President’s Cabinet. Her main foci are providing support and direction to the Executive, Academic, Student Affairs, Advancement and Finance and Planning divisions of the college as the institution works to fulfill its commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. For years, Dottie has worked with undergraduate and graduate students in the capacity of counselor, teacher, academic advisor, and advisor of student groups. She has demonstrated a consistent and persistent dedication and devotion to diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice over the past two decades. Prior to her position as Chief Officer for Diversity and Multiculturalism at KSC, she served as the Associate Dean for Student Learning at World Learning School for International Training Institute (SIT) in Brattleboro, VT, the Director of Student Affairs for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Antioch University New England in Keene and staff counselor at the Colorado State University Counseling Center and the Coordinator of the Employee Assistance Program
Day 2, June 7: Effective Advocacy Strategies
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Advocacy involves putting the ideals of social justice into action. We are called to distinguish those problems that can be resolved through social action, identify avenues for addressing these problems, seek and support allies for change, and develop plans for social movement campaigns. Without knowledge of effective advocacy strategies, we can feel helpless and defeated. On Day 2, we will learn about effective advocacy strategies, learn from those who have successfully launched social justice movements, and provide the tools necessary to achieve transformative understanding, action, and hope in an unequal and increasingly interconnected world.
- Develop an understanding of advocacy concepts including spheres of influence, the decision funnel, three essential questions of effective advocacy, and finding your people
- Explore examples of successful Movement Action Plans for social movement organizing
- Understand the four roles of activism and identify the role/s in which you feel most comfortable engaging
- Learn about the wellness benefits and response efficacy of activism
- Develop strategies to effectively engage with policy makers and their staff members
- Understand how to effectively collaborate with vulnerable/marginalized populations
Day 2 Keynote: Mason Dunn
Mason Dunn is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Mason came to MTPC with over 10 years of experience as a trans rights advocate and activist. Originally from California, Mason graduated from Western Oregon University, before moving to New England. During his time in New Hampshire he was on the steering committee for Transgender New Hampshire and an organizer with the New Hampshire Coalition for Transgender Equality. An educator and activist, Mason is also an adjunct faculty member in the communications department at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, where he specializes in LGBTQ images and perspectives. Mason graduated from the University of New Hampshire School of Law as a member of the Daniel Webster Honors Scholar program in 2012 and holds a BA in Criminal Justice from Western Oregon University. He is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association. When Mason is not working for social justice, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Lauren, and backpacking, kayaking, and pursing his more geeky interests.
Day 3, June 8: Mindfulness Approaches: Maintaining Compassion for Ourselves and Others
“Doing no harm comes from the value of hope, and if you lose it, you lose everything…” Kathy Kelly
To ensure that we do not perpetuate the injustices we seek to change we must first develop compassion and care for ourselves. Taking time to rest, heal, and connect provides us with the inner peace and clarity needed to navigate the difficult challenges of advocacy work. Day 3 will focus on mindfulness-based practices to develop self-compassion, heal emotional pain, improve our ability to connect with others, and promote harmony in our organizations. On this day, learn effective practices that put you in touch with your deeper values and transform self-limiting beliefs, habits, and reactions into resources for healing and connection.
- Apply specific compassion practices for emotional regulation during challenging encounters
- Understand the neurobiology of compassion and how to remain socially engaged in the presence of threat.
Day 3 Keynote: Tim Desmond
Tim Desmond is a practicing psychotherapist, author, faculty at Antioch University, and student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Co-founder of Morning Sun Mindfulness Center, he lives in Alstead, NH, and teaches mindfulness and self-compassion practices to professional and popular audiences around the world. He has presented at hundreds of conferences and seminars, including at Yale Medical School, the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, and the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. His publications include Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy (W.W.Norton, 2015) and The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook (W.W.Norton, 2017). As one of the co-facilitators of the Spokes Council of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Tim has extensive experience in a compassionate and sustainable advocacy approach.
Abigail Abrash Walton, PhD
Abigail is a seasoned mission-aligned change leader, with experience at multiple scales including organizational, municipal, state, federal, and international. She serves as faculty in Antioch University New England’s Department of Environmental Studies, where she directs the Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s degree concentration and co-directs Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. Her public engagement, research, and teaching focus on change leadership and translating values into effective action, particularly regarding environmental and social performance. She enjoys the spirit and practice of innovation and has played a central role in piloting AUNE’s Conservation Psychology Institute and Translating Research to Inform Policy workshops and in catalyzing a national-level working group to build the capacity of scientists and researchers to engage with the public policy process. Her doctoral dissertation, Positive Organizational Leadership and Pro-Environmental Behavior: The Phenomenon of Fossil Fuel Divestment (2016), explores the mission-aligned leadership of U.S.-based foundation leaders and their readiness to pursue fossil fuel divestment by their institutions.
Previously, she served as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. One of the most transformative experiences she has had was serving as a founding board member of Berkeley-based Project Underground. Abigail delights in making sense of challenging situations, and has brought this capacity to serving as a commentator for The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now!” and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” among other media outlets. Her publications include “Conservation through different lenses: Reflection, responsibility and the politics of participation in conservation advocacy,” in the journal Environmental Management, “The Amungme, Kamoro and Freeport: How indigenous Papuans have resisted the world’s largest gold and copper mine,” in F. J. Lechner & J. Boli (Eds.) The Globalization Reader, “Let freedom ring: Recharging and consolidating ‘Inside the Beltway’ activism,” in M.A. Tetreault & R. Teske (Eds.) Partial truths and the politics of community: Feminist approaches to social movements, community, and power, and “The victims of Indonesia’s pursuit of progress,” an invited The New York Times opinion piece. Abigail holds a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, a M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.
Cathy Lounsbury, Ed.D., LCPC
Cathy Lounsbury is a seasoned counselor, educator, and leader in the study and practice of trauma, wellness and resilience. Cathy has been a clinical mental health counselor for over 25 working with both children and adults, specializing in those who have experienced trauma. Currently, Cathy serves as an Associate Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and Chair of the Applied Psychology Department at Antioch University New England. In this role, she founded Antioch’s Institute on Wellness, providing consultation and training nationally on the mitigation of secondary traumatic stress. Within the Applied Psychology Department at Antioch, Cathy has developed training opportunities for students in trauma-informed, strength-based approaches, including an international clinical training opportunity working with children and teens in Peru. Additionally, Cathy has provided expertise in psychological trauma and resiliency to multi-disciplinary teams exploring the effect of climate impacts on youth and families. As the former Clinical Director of the Maine Psychological Trauma Institute, she has provided consultation, training and supervision to schools and communities throughout New England on Post-traumatic Stress Management, Fostering Resiliency in Children, Mitigating the Effects of Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Promoting Positive Youth Development. Cathy believes strongly in building natural resiliency supports for those who have experienced traumatic events. To this end, she has served on both local and national community trauma response teams following national disasters, terrorism, and other traumatic events and was the founder and director of the IMPACT Team, a youth –focused community trauma team, consulting on 200+ incidents. Cathy has also advocated for policy and environmental changes to support youth and has led several federal initiatives, including Safe Schools Healthy Students and Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, to create better systems to support youth and families. To this end, Cathy was able to secure over $7 million in grant funding to support the youth of Maine.
Holiday Inn Express-Keene
175 Key Rd, Keene, NH 03431-3926
- 35 minute walk to AUNE on main streets
- 20 minute walk to downtown
- 7 minute drive to AUNE
- Continental breakfast included
Courtyard Marriott Keene
75 Railroad St, Keene, NH 03431
- Situated in the heart of downtown Keene
- 24 minute walk to AUNE on main streets
- 5 minute drive to AUNE
Colony House Bed & Breakfast
- 104 West Street, Keene, NH, 03431
- 12 minute walk to AUNE
- 2 minute walk to downtown
- Buffet Breakfast (cereal, ham, cheese, fruit…no eggs) at 7am each morning
- NOTE: To book, please call Joslin at (603) 352-0215
Best Western PLUS Sovereign Hotel
401 Winchester Street, Keene, NH 03431-3913
- Hot, full breakfast included (starts at 6am)
- Not within walking distance to AUNE or downtown (across a main highway)
- 5 minute drive to AUNE
- NOTE: To book, please call hotel at (603) 357-3038
Fairfield Inn & Suites
30 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431
- Situated in the heart of downtown Keene
- 22 minute walk to AUNE on main streets
- 5 minute drive to AUNE
- NOTE: To book, please call hotel at (603) 357-7070
QUESTIONS? For information regarding any of the hotels listed above, please contact the hotel directly at the phone number listed.