“Overcoming Division Through Curiosity, Compassion & Courage” pt. 2, Episode #118

In Episode # 117, which aired May 28, Tom Fishman, CEO of Starts with Us shared some insights and tools for bridging divides, including how each of us can affect positive change and influence social norms simply by how we show up each and every day. He also discussed new ways of building towards common goals with online technologies. If you haven’t yet heard that episode, I encourage you to give it a listen.

This week, I continue my conversation with Tom. Highlights you won’t want to miss include:

  • Seeking diverse perspectives in critical thinking
  • The importance of intentionality
  • The relationship between behavior and values
  • Balancing media consumption and coverage
  • Starts With Us’ exciting plans for program expansion

Tom Fishman, CEO of Starts with Us is wired to be in “build mode” and much prefers answering the “why?” and “how?” vs. “what?” He’s at SWU because he believes media and technology can be harnessed for good. Alongside so many of us, he is eager to give a home, a voice, and real momentum to all of the people who believe it’s time to end the culture wars and make curiosity, compassion, and courage the dominant values in our society. In his words, “If no one builds it, it won’t happen.”

To learn more about the fine work that Starts With Us is doing, go to http://startswith.us.

Other organizations Tom mentioned in Part 1 that you may want to learn more about are:

I also want to tell you about a wonderful event coming up on July 1. You may recall that in Episode #103 – “Empathy: The First Step to Peace” we learned about the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. On Jul 1, the Empathy Center in Santa Barbara CA is hosting it first in a series of ½ day online Empathy Summits. The Empathy Center emerged from the Center for a Culture of Empathy founded and directed by Edwin Rutsch. 

The first summit is a general overview and will explore how mutual empathy, listening and dialogue can improve your relationships, decrease polarization, constructively approach conflict, and build stronger communities.

July speakers include husband and wife team, Merveille Gakuba, a Rwandan mental health counselor and genocide survivor, and Jeremy Solomons, Leadership Consultant and Peace Activist. Merveille and Jeremy will speak about Empathy in the Peace and Reconciliation Process from a Rwandan perspective. 

Other speakers include Courtney Breese, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation who was a guest on Co-creating Peace in Episode #66, Victoria Coleman, Executive Director of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, and more.

You can find more details at www.EmpathySummit.com. Click on the date hyperlink in the top right corner and click on Jul 1. You can also see dates for future summits when you click on the date hyperlink, including one I’ll be hosting on November 4th. We’re still developing that summit, so check back on the site and stay tuned to Co-creating Peace to learn more as our roster of speakers develops. Registration for all the Empathy Summits is free and you can attend each one for one hour or all four.