We Were Made for this Moment
In this time of tumult, fear, and hatred, the world needs the gifts that you were born to share. You may not be sure where to use them. You may not know how to use them to greatest effect, or even if you can make a difference at all, but you know you need to do something to work for a more just and loving world. You are not alone! The purpose of this online course is to help you to meet this moment.
What is unique about this course is that it will blend three types of teaching: social change theory, spiritual discernment, and personal empowerment. For example, you will learn about different social change roles and what makes them effective. Then you will practice the tools of inward listening to access the wisdom already within you about what role you are meant to play. Finally, you will explore what gets you stuck and learn tools to help you take action even when you are afraid. These three types of teaching will be woven together, accessing our hearts, minds, and spirits for the work of creating a more just and sustainable world. Recordings of the class sessions will be available in case you can’t make every one.
The next session of this course will begin Monday, June 5 and run the four Mondays of June from 7:30 to 9:00pm EST. The cost is $99, $79 if you register by April 30 or recruit a friend. (The recruit a friend discount is on the honor system and goes to the person who did the recruiting.)
I’ve been involved with environmental and social justice activism for nearly thirty years. During that time, I’ve explored a variety of tactics, from letter-writing and peace vigils to nonviolent campaigning that includes civil disobedience. I’ve also been a spiritual writer and teacher for twenty-three of these years, so I’ve thought a lot about how we can integrate inner and outer change.
Five years ago, a strong call to work for climate justice led me to Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), a group that combines smart strategy and spiritual grounding. (See my memoir Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope for the story of how I tapped my gifts more fully through this work.) As I took on leadership in EQAT, I found I had to work through some internal barriers, particularly my gender conditioning. I also watched others go through a similar process, finding more courage and confidence themselves through their work for climate justice.
Why am I offering this course now?
As board leader of EQAT for over three years, I’ve gotten an increasing number of requests from people who want to make a difference but are not sure how. After hearing the same questions and hesitations a number of times, I started imagining an online course that would combine what I have learned working with EQAT with what I learned from years of teaching “Discerning Our Calls” at Pendle Hill.
On the morning after the election, during silent prayer, the feeling came to me strongly that it was time to offer this course, with follow up available for those who want it. The reaction to my original outreach has confirmed my sense that there are many people willing to step forward in new ways, but they need guidance and group support to do so effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I can’t make every class?
No problem. Each class is recorded, and I usually send out the recording within 24 hours.
How does an online course work? What equipment do I need?
We will be using the Zoom platform, which is really cool and pretty simple to use. Each week I’ll send out a link, and you can join the group through a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Most devices today come with everything you need, but if you are using an older device and want to test it or your Internet connection, you can do that here. You can also call in from an old fashioned landline, but you’ll miss the class visuals.
I see you have two online classes. How do I know which class I should take?
We Were Made for this Moment is a basic introduction to how social change works and how to find your place in it while staying grounded. If you feel you need to do something, but you’re not sure what, this course was designed for you! Building a Nonviolent Direct Action Campaign is for those who have already decided that they want to use direct action tactics, as opposed to phone calls and letter writing. You do not have to take my introductory course before taking the campaign course.
What if I can’t afford it?
I want to make the empowering material in this course available to as many people as possible. If you are an individual for whom cost is a barrier, please click here to apply for financial aid. Whether you are an individual or a group, you may have resources in your community that can support you, which will also help your community become more invested in what you’re doing. Groups in particular might consider doing a Kickstarter campaign or other type of fundraising event, both to defray the cost of the class and to help you identify future potential supporters.
Why do you charge for this course? Shouldn’t social change work be free?
After the election I felt called to put aside some of my other work to help people meet this urgent, historic moment. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to do that for free. Even if I were, I would suggest that it’s important for us to value the skills involved in effective social change work, the way we value other kinds of services and training. For example, if I had a bad day and needed a friend to listen to me after work, I would not expect to pay them, but if I went to a professional therapist for sustained and skillful support, I would expect to pay them for their time and expertise. In fact, I would welcome it because I think the world needs more people able to sustain themselves by providing that service, not fewer.
If you need financial aid to participate, please visit my financial aid page.
If you’d like a flyer to promote this course in your community, you can download a Made for this Moment Flyer here.