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Thu, Sep 24



Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times

Practicing Challenging Political Conversations with our Hearts Open and our Wisdom Intact, with Rachel Eryn Kalish and Susan Partnow

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Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times
Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times

Time & Location

Sep 24, 2020, 4:00 PM – Oct 15, 2020, 6:30 PM


About The Event

Thursdays, September 24 to October 15, 4:00- 6:30 pm PST

With violence increasing, many are feeling sad, scared, and horrified at the lack of vibrant, respectful, even illuminating political discourse that gets to the heart of our issues. If you are feeling skeptical—or cynical—about the challenges of engaging, yet your heart and soul long for another way forward, this workshop series is for you. People from all ends of the political spectrum are welcome.

As we see it, in this heated election season, we need skills, stamina and practice to foster healthy engagement. Whether you are planning to work on the election or not, if the conversations you have about it matter to you, this series will provide support and tools to maximize your effectiveness. We will help each other focus energy and activate democracy.

We will apply our core practices to these challenging issues and times: cultivating compassion for self and others; developing the fair witness; respecting self and others; listening and speaking from the heart. In these highly interactive sessions you will get to observe role plays and then dive in to practice with partners in the group, with time for reflection, new insights, and retakes.

We offer a pay-what-you-can-afford structure. The higher end supports the ongoing offering for all to participate. We don't want anyone who earnestly wants to attend to miss out because of finances: you can contact to explore other options.


Rachel Eryn Kalish, M.C.

San Francisco Bay Area

Rachel Eryn Kalish, M.C. has over 30 years as a certified compassionate listening trainer, certified mediator, facilitator and trainer in the field of conflict transformation. She has worked with a wide spectrum of business and nonprofit organizations, with families and within communities to increase their capacity to listen deeply, navigate differences, repair broken relationships, and create & implement effective, wise, collaborative decision-making strategies with recognized results. She works on multiple levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, political and spiritual, balancing visionary thinking with highly sensitive attention to details that can deepen or impede trust and collaboration. She was the facilitator and thought partner in the pioneering Year of Civil Discourse which changed the conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Bay Area Jewish and interfaith communities, inspiring other projects around the country. She is also a certified meditation teacher. Her life’s mission is to bring conflict transformation tools and spiritual practice into our world to increase our capacity for loving, honest, rigorous conversations while maintaining respectful, caring connections. She is a senior consultant and a writer for Blueprint of We California; the principal in Workplace Connections and the co-author of Challenging Conversations, a training program distributed globally by the Ken Blanchard Companies. She is former board president of The Compassionate Listening Project. 

Susan Partnow

Seattle, Washington

Susan Partnow, M.A., has catalyzed social transformation for 30+ years from Africa to Guatemala, Cuba to Japan and India. Co-founder of Conversation Cafes, Let’s Talk America, Global Citizen Journey and Seattle Restorative Justice, Susan especially enjoys transforming conflict using Restorative Circles, Open Space, World Café and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a mediator, facilitator, and coach. Author of Everyday Speaking for All Occasions and co-contributor to Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening. Passionately committed to inter-cultural understanding, peacemaking and community building, Susan deeply believes we can and must 'listen our way to wholeness' to find our essential humanity through connection, wise co-creation, and dialogue. She joyfully serves on the Board of Awareness, Courage and Love, dedicated to combatting loneliness and building meaningful relationships. Susan has been an essential part of Compassionate Listening from its earliest days, one of the very first trainers, co-creator of the core practices and the advanced training. Check out


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