Having Peter present a fortunate opportunity, says BCACL
Wednesday September 21, 2011 — Camille Jensen
A best-selling author and thought leader will be presenting tools to create connection and community at an upcoming Vancouver workshop Oct. 6.
Peter Block, whose most recent book The Abundant Community is co-authored by John McKnight, is well known for using questions to shift conversations and ways of thinking about community, creating the conditions for authentic transformation.
The one-day workshop is hosted by the British Columbia Association for Community Living (BCACL) as a kick off to Community Living month in October. Danielle Kelliher, BCACL director of communications, says the association feels lucky to have Peter present after learning he was also facilitating a workshop in Calgary.
Referring to Peter’s workshop as a gift to all those who attend, BCACL is hoping to bring together diverse professionals and citizens interested in building more inclusive communities that value the abilities of all people.
“That’s what we are hoping to get out of our session here, to bring the larger community together and not just the Community Living sector people but everybody, everybody who is part of communities or who are not and should be,” says Karen De Long, BCACL director of community development.
Blending facilitation and teaching elements, Peter’s workshop will help participants learn how to discover the gifts of their neighbours, welcome strangers and build associations that shift the focus from need and deficiencies to engagement and possibility.
You can’t deal with the margins until you heal the centre is a saying of Peter’s and a shared purpose for the event, adds Danielle.
“A lot of people that are coming are health professionals, education professionals, consultants, but also our members, and so it won’t just be Peter teaching, it will be him actually questioning what leadership is and bringing people together to tell stories and connect and learn together,” she says.
The BCACL has taken special measures to ensure the physical environment is conducive for conversation and building community, a key factor that Peter writes about in Community: The Structure of Belonging.
Karen says the room has plenty of open space with no tables, pictures and art on the walls, and comfortable lighting and music. A visual artist will be creating a graphic representation of the discussions throughout the day. First Nations people have been invited and will be involved, adds Karen.
Registration is still open for the event. To learn more about Everyone Belongs: learning to lead authentic conversations that transform communities and include everyone, click here.
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