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Dominant groups control the conversation, excluding those who disagree. This is exacerbated with social media. It is difficult enough to present one’s  ideas through civil dialogue, let alone in 240 characters, in a Facebook post, and even on a blog. This raises interesting and eloquent questions about how we bring about meaningful, equitable, and sustainable change. How do we encourage others to come into the light and share their stories from the margins? How do we include the most vulnerable in our communities by making ourselves vulnerable? Each day, humans, with little, reveal courage as they engage a world that seemingly turns its back on them each day.

It is not enough to tolerate and merely see differences. We need to recognize them as we enact tranformational and sustainble change, closing the gap between those without by holding out a hand to help lift them up. This take acts of trust and courage. It would take vulnerability and courage as we each expose our self in ways that take us to the margins of our comfort zones.

In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman encouraged the non-routine as we each sing out and question the imbalances of our world in civil conversation: “Not words of routine this song of mine, but abruptly to question, to leap beyond, yet nearer bring”

(In)just living,

Revealing courage,

Being vulnerable.

Affirming as human,

Expanding boundaries–

(En)couraging, rather than (dis)couraging.

Making visible,

Seeing humans in their fullness–

Naming each other.

Creating dialogic spaces;

Where agreement meets

Welcoming the other fully.

I leave you with this video.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

15 responses »

  1. This, my friend is a HUGE problem when MEN join in at a woman’s group and stop women from speaking at their own FUNCTION. So really, it’s been happening to us from the beginning. They walk in, and take over. It used to be worse, because now women kind of fight back, but they don’t even think about the fact that they aren’t in charge, maybe not even invited. THEY OWN EVERYTHING, and just demand to be heard. That’s why some things need to be closed to men, so women can speak. Otherwise, they often have no voice. This also happens in a lot of homes, or anywhere where men are. I think that’s something that should be addressed. It’s when men are silenced that red flags go up. Women have been silenced from the start.

    • I agree. It is a huge problem, There are times where women need their space to speak and listen to one another. It is often denied and that cuts across cultures, as bell hooks so aptly states it.

      • I love bell hooks. I’ve read everything she’s written. Wonderful woman.

      • I remember the first time I read her work vividly. It was quite disconcerting and I must have been showing my discomfort as Kathy asked me what the problem was. As I read her more and more, I realize she is telling each of us we are part of the solution to bring justice and equity to the world. This is particularly challenging for an aging white guy, but I work at it.

        We are working on a Futures Studies article for publication and I am looking at Riane Eisler’s wonderful work on particpatory society, which is much more matriarchal and cooperative than the current patriarchal dominator society.

  2. Expanding boundaries–

    (En)couraging, rather than (dis)couraging.

    Making visible,

    Seeing humans in their fullness–

    Naming each other.


  3. i rather hope that’s what my blog is doing! great questions, these of yours!

  4. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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