The Art of Hosting

This is a compilation of email exchanges that happened in the Spring (May and June) of '11.

I am very new to the AoH theories and practice and have really enjoyed reading the global conversations that have been happening here. (on the emaillist)

I was curious to know if anyone has intentionally used AoH training/philosophy to facilitate work around anti-racism training.  I'm thinking about applying to a local mini grant that specifically focuses on how to reduce racism in my community.  I'd be interested in learning about resources or experiences that people have had facilitating these types of conversations with an AoH philosophy behind it.

Bryan Schachtele


Hi Bryan,

An interesting question, I am also intrigued in how we could use AoH to evolve the question of racial integration in South Africa. Sensing into that and the current movement in Spain, I feel some powerful potential.

I cc .... , a practitioner who has been involved in some interesting dialogue on this topic recently, and other Reos Partners in South Africa who I believe have this as a regular theme in their work.
I am looking into the Global Alliance Summit (for Ministries and Departments of Peace) in Cape Town this October, and would like to activate some AoH there with a focus on Appreciative Inquiry regarding racial tension.
Perhaps some fresh insights can be sparked by this thread.
Kind regards,
Nathan Daniel
Kelly McGowan, Tuesday Ryan-Hart and I were planning an Art of Social Justice workshop which would have happened in New York city this week, but it has been postponed.
Tuesday is very interested in this work, as am I, and Tenneson Woolf and I have also been exploring this work with our colleagues in the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, all of whom have practitioners who are exploring questions of racism and other social justice issues using participatory methodologies.
Chris Corrigan
And………to add to the pot
In the UK in June a small team of us are hosting a gathering of activists, community developers, anyone working with themes of belonging, identity, racial justice, neighbourliness, conflict, racism to come together across 2 northern regions for a day of collaboration, learning, connection and visioning. Its being convened by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
Happy to share what we have done so far or what transpires or maybe to get on a one off phone call between those of us who might be interested in this theme of work – let me know if you would be?
Love Linda Michell xx
This is very exciting!  All these initiatives sound just fantastic. I'm seated at my desk in Betty's Bay near Cape Town with a howling gale outside, but a patch of sunlight just reaching me inside, writing up my thesis on how to facilitate in contexts of social injustice, and in ways that are deeply attuned to social justice.  And then I receive your emails and the strands of the web that connect us are so very tangible.   As Nathan mentioned, Reos in South Africa has just taken itself off on a learning journey around racial justice, towards hosting some race conversations in August.   If there are South Africans on this list who would like to join these conversations (one in Joburg and one in Cape Town ... and more if there's interest) please let us know.

I'd love to learn more about the Art of Social Justice workshop and have forwarded your email, Linda, to a Reos colleague in the UK who I imagine would be very interested.

To continuing to thicken the strands of our web
Rebecca Freeth

Hi Bryan and Nathan,

Thank you for sharing the link to the Global Alliance Summit which I am sure will be an exciting place to be.

Allow me to introduce Joe White to you and vice versa as I think you can be of interest for each other. Joe (in cc) is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of a number of organisations, one of them I find particularly impressive which is the World Changers Academy  ( in Durban. To my knowledge Joe is not an Art of Hosting practitioner but holds many other magic :+)

Should you be looking for an co-host /co facilitator in South Africa please be so kind and take me into consideration as I am looking for opportunities.

Best wishes from sunny Brussels,
Terri-Andreas ter Woort


So good to wake up to this conversation this morning! 

After having done anti-oppression work (primarily race and gender equity work) in a number of settings for several years, I found AoH and am exploring what a my new activism looks like.  So...some of my questions (in conversation with Kelly McGowan and Chris Corrigan) have been:
  • What is the next conversation in social justice and equity that we are longing to have?
  • How do we work deeply and honorably in difference and not move to separation?
  • How do we integrate a strong analysis of race, privilege, and oppression into self-organizing systems and aspirational conversation?
And I've started to work on a new set of "stepping stones" for having this next conversation and work.  In short, YES I would love to join a call!
Kelly McGowan, Chris Corrigan, and I have been stirring on this together for about the past 9 months and hope to offer an Art of Social Change with practitioners, advocates and activists this fall.
And also, big "hellos" to you, Rebecca and Colleen! Would be great to reconnect with you on a call.
Hello All,
on the question of anti-racism and peace-building:

Please allow me to recommend the work of Dan Bar On and Sami Adwan. They ran a group "to reflect and trust" (TRT) as well in South Africa.
As well the work and experience of Vamik Volkan, reflected in his book "Blind trust", is most useful. Vamik is living in Charlottesville and in Cyprus.
In our network Welt der Kinder we have been working on these issues for about 6 years in our symposia on Childhood and Trauma, but these programs are only available in German on our website   "" .
In a film "childhood and violence" we try to give this overview - the film is partly in English with German subtitles, partly in German and French with English subtitles. The film is about the effects of trauma in the first and second generation with many stories told by Dan Bar On, Yassaman Montazami, Sheila Melzak, Hans Keilson, Trude Bogyi and others - the film is the result of 6 years of work, and a supportive and helpful basis for story telling work. I can send it to you if you wish.
Sheila Melzak and Shai Schwartz have lots and lots of experience with story telling in groups on these issues:

Is Richard Goldstone to be invited in the process in SA?
Or these people : ?

hope this serves someone,
Carmen Feuchtner
dear Tuesday, I am very interested in participating in your Art of Social Justice workshop in the fall...
for many years i co-hosted a "mindfulness, diversity, and social change" sangha in the Bay Area, where we regularly engaged in council circle practice, in addition to sitting and walking meditation.   We also served as a "leadership lab", by inviting participants to take turns hosting our weekly gatherings....
some of the gatherings had a particular theme, such as a video or brief talk on a particular social change issue, followed by the council circle... other evenings had "open dialogue" as a theme, for people to explore whatever was in their minds and hearts (this of course always being an option, to explore whatever arose, even in the "themed" evenings... )
i am no longer living in the Bay Area, but the sangha is still circling...
with all best wishes,
Rosa Zubizaretta
Greetings to this group -
Tuesday, I am coming to Columbus at the end of September to attend a conference called Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All, put on by the Disabilities Ministries Board and Mental Illness Network of the UCC. I have emailed Phil Cass in hopes of connecting with him when I am there. After a conversation with Tenneson a couple of weeks ago, an idea is percolating about bringing more of the AOH work into the work of this Disabilities Ministries Board as we move forward together in new ways with the Mental Illness Network. I have done some beginning sharing of the feel of this work, and folks are responsive. So I, too, am open and interested to join this social justice conversation. And if you are in Columbus at the end of September (27-Oct.2), perhaps we can also connect -
in amazement at the spirit manifesting in these days -
Peggy Dunn
Hello friends,
It's so great to see the interest on this!  Kelly McGowan, Chris Corrigan, and I have been holding an intention to host a gathering in New York City on AoH and issues of oppression since the stewards gathering last August.  And we're almost there!
We are closing in on dates for the (working title) Art of Social Change at the end of September and should be able to firm up the dates in the next two weeks. I'll send out a "save the date" to this list - and everyone who has expressed interest - as soon as we're clear on dates, but we're looking at 3 days between Sept 24-30.
Rosa and Peggy and Dave, I would love to talk with you more to hear your longings and thoughts.  I think Bryan Schachtele is setting up a call for a number of folks on this list who have expressed interest in working on issues of race and AoH.  (Bryan is cc'd on this call, so hopefully he can loop you in)
My dear Judith, I hope you'll also join this call for many reasons, not the least of which is that you were the first person who told me that I had something to say about all of this.  :)
Looking forward to talking to folks soon!  

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