5th Annual International Conference on “Engaging The Other:” The Power of Compassion

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2010 ETO Program

5th Annual International Conference on
“Engaging The Other:”

The Power of Compassion

November 19-21, 2010
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California USA

Sponsored by:
Common Bond Institute,
International Humanistic Psychology Association
Sonoma State University Psychology Dept.
Supported by:
Meridian University
A Partner of:
the “Charter for Compassion”
and “Parliament of World Religions “
Endorsed by:

Over 100 cooperating organizations and universities

Registration is Open To All

2010 Presenter Biographicals and Photos
2010 Print Version of Program (6 pg. pdf)
Program Overview

Friday, November 19

9:30 am – 11:30 am

Greeting, Mission, Announcements
Steve Olweean
, MA 

Keynote and Special Acknowledgement:
Huston Smith
, PhD

Charter for Compassion: The Next Steps

Four Years. Go
Mark Dubois

All-Conference Interactive Dialogue Experience

~ Lunch ~
11:30 – 12:45 pm


Workshops and Roundtables
Afternoon  12:45 – 2:00 pm

A 1: “Compassionate Listening: Healing Our World from the Inside Out”
To encounter The Other with compassion we must embrace the other within ourselves, cultivate self compassion. and then open our heart and listen with ‘spiritual ears’ – discovery that an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard. You will be introduced to Five Core Practices of Compassionate Listening:
– Cultivating Compassion for ourselves and others;
– Developing the Fair Witness by remaining open in conflict situations;
– Respecting Self and Others by developing boundaries which protect yet include;
– Listening with the Heart – allow divergence and find a deeper point of connection;
– Speaking from the Heart with language which reflects a healing intention.
Susan Partnow, MA, Leah Green, MA,

A 2: “Inclusion: The Role of Ceremony and Compassion in Preserving Indigenous Wisdom Traditions”
Examines core values in Indigenous cultures threatened with decimation – and how creating a ceremonial space for healing has had far-reaching effect. Featuring traditions of the Hopi, Lacandón Maya and Quechua peoples, we seek to dissipate the illusion of “Other” and extend a blessing toward “Inclusion.”
Carla Woody, M.A. Harold Joseph, M.B.A


Workshops and Roundtables
Afternoon  2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

B 1: “LAP-In@ Engaging the Other: Running LAPs around the Power of Compassion”
LAP is a language and process for circling up and fulfilling needs and aspirations in ways that enhance the chances for next generations. LAP-In is Open Invitation to Open Heart Open Mind Open Space Open Source Open Game. We will LAP it up
Max Gail, Chris Kaul

B 2: “The Ecology and Economics of Compassion”
How compassion and empathy-based disciplines and professions can use a Triple Bottom Line model to address contemporary ecological, cultural, political, and economic crises. The format will combine Keynote presentation of basic concepts with interactive dialogue and discussion.
Arthur Warmoth, Ph.D., Skip Robinson, Ph.D.

B 3: Reclaiming ‘Others’, and even Ourselves, ‘AS IS’, + Countering Stereotyping, especially Islamophobia
We often disown ‘Others’, as well as parts of ourselves. Exploring appearance-ism (appearance-based judgments of ourselves and others), Anya shares strategies to become allies, even to ourselves, and cross barriers into one another’s lives and living rooms, with emphasis on overcoming today’s anti-multiculturalist, Islamophobic climate
Anya Cordell


Facilitated Dialogue Groups
(Conference-wide break-out groups)
Afternoon  3:45 pm – 5:00 pm
(All participants self-select one of several concurrent dialogue groups)

Opportunity for all participants to engage in open agenda dialogues to process the conference, share learning, explore concepts and related issues, network, and brainstorm practical applications and collaboration. Dialogue groups are viewed as the engines of the conference experience where collaboration and application most emerge. In addition to facilitators, scribes in each group record content highlights. Information is compiled and posted to CBI’s web blog, allowing participants an evolving overview of what is brewing in the community from day to day to promote deeper dialogue as the conference progresses. The information is also included in conference proceedings and outcomes, and utilized for future cooperation and planning.

~ Dinner ~
5:00 – 6:30 pm

and Dialogue Cafe

6:30 – 8:30 pm

“The Role of Compassion and Empathy in Cultural Transformation”
Maureen O’Hara, PhD, Barry Spector, Shepherd Bliss,D.Min., Larry Robinson
Moderator: Aftab Omer, PhD
Cultures transform through engaging otherness. During cultural crises, the challenges of engaging otherness are urgent and critical. Panelists will explore, from different perspectives, the facilitative role of empathy and compassion within the crucible of cultural transformation.

* Session will include dialogue breakout groups to involve all participants in processing this panel.
Dialogue Group Facilitator:
Susan Partnow

EVENING EVENTS (concurrent options)
8:30 – 9:45 pm

1)  Evening Open Mic & Performance:
Sharing Music and Song
Max Gail and Chris Kaul

2) Film and Dialogue
Film showing followed by a facilitated discussion
Ruth Broyde Sharone

Saturday, November 20

Morning Yoga Session
8:00 – 9:00 am
(bring your own floor mat)

Gabriella Yates
, MA



Workshops and Roundtables
Morning  9:30 am – 10:45 am

D-1: “Transforming Enemy Images with Nonviolent Communication”
We tend to have “enemy” images of others when our needs are critically unmet and when we don’t see the human expression in the other person’s actions. Connecting to another person with empathy humanizes them to us and makes it more possible to create connection.
Meganwind Eoyang

D-2: “Trauma and Resilience: Healing the Victim-Perpetrator Cycle”
Stanley Krippner, PhD., Tato Torres, PhD.,

D-3: “Media and the Truth Emergency: Understanding the Other”
In this panel, scholars from Political Science, Sociology, and Media Studies will roundtable on several facets of the “truth emergency” as related to portrayals of the other. Specific topics include media framing of global nonviolent struggles (in Burma, Palestine, and Iran), media portrayals of Muslims and Islam, latent (and not-so-latent) racism underscoring the “tea party” phenomenon and it’s enablers in media, and systematic disinformation about concepts such as freedom and democracy.
Cynthia Boaz, Peter Phillips, Mickey Huff, Lisa Maldonado, Tony Kashani, Michael Nagler


Workshops and Roundtables
Morning  11:00 am – 12:15 pm

E-1: “Unmet needs are the root causes of conflicts”
In our current modern life, we tend to fulfill our needs regardless of the “other’s” needs. Unmet needs often lead to a growing sense of injustice which leads to different kinds of reactions including violent ones. Bullying, bigotry and hate acts are all reactions to unmet needs. Transforming destructive relationships between and among communities in conflict to more constructive ones is possible. Adopting models of conflict transformation and facilitation to bring about an understanding of the root causes of violent behaviors and to change the dynamics of such behavior has worked in the past, now and will in the future.
Huda Abu Arqoub and Abraham’s Vision Students

E-2:  “Turning Towards The Necessary Conversation: Otherness And The Organizational Shadow”
This workshop will address the issue of how organizations and communities harm their members. Through an examination of cases, demonstration and experiential processes we will learn how to recognize the signs and engage with the paradox of virtue and malignancy in well intentioned organizations.
Maureen O’Hara, PhD, Aftab Omer, PhD


E-3:  “Transpartisan Upwising…A Grassroots Evolution!”
How can we create enlightening conversations that bridge political divisions? How can we keep our minds and hearts open when we hear strong views of ‘The Other’ that contradict some of our most deeply held beliefs? How can we transform emotions like anger, fear, sadness, helplessness and hopelessness into dynamic power for the good? Are there ways to unify around principle and not lose our individual or tribal identity? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this experiential session intended to confront your assumptions, stretch your worldview, give you practical tools for engaging “the other.”  You will hear the story of Transpartisan-Seattle’s year long experiment.  We hope you’ll leave inspired to go home and invite others into citizen experiments of political reconciliation and innovation in your community. 
Susan Partnow, Joseph McCormick, Franca Baroni

~ Lunch ~
12:15 – 1:30 pm


and Dialogue Cafe

Afternoon  1:30 – 3:30 pm

“Communal Wounds and Victim Identities that Contribute to Us & Them”
Grieving is a fundamentally necessary human process meant to achieve a final healing, reconciliation, trust, and renewal.
Do some of our most profound and revered memorials, heroes, and martyrs tie cultural identity and loyalty to tragic loss, retribution, and conflict that is transmitted from one generation to another, or do they nurture a consciousness of peace and compassion that can be shared with our tribe as well as humanity as a whole? If the former, how does this inhibit healing communal wounds and reconciliation with the world around us, perpetuate continuous victim identity and a slippery slope of just retribution that fuels negative images of Us and Them into future generations?
What does it take to see and acknowledge even The Other’s community in this shared dilemma of mutually reflected victim identity, and particularly when we represent the perpetrator identity to each other?
What are healthy alternatives individuals and a society can purposely create, and can we learn from and help each other along the way to make a better future for our children?
Gadi Kenney, Sulaiman Khatib, Huda Abu Arqoub, et el
Moderator: Steve Olweean, MA,

* Session will include dialogue breakout groups to involve all participants in processing this panel.
Dialogue Group Facilitator:
Susan Partnow


Facilitated Dialogue Groups
(Conference-wide break-out groups)
Afternoon  3:45 – 5:00 pm
(All participants self-select one of several themed dialogue groups)
(* See full description in SESSION C)

~ Dinner ~
5:00 – 6:30 pm

Dialogue Cafe

6:30 – 8:30 pm

“The New ‘Problem Identities’: Implications of the Ground Zero Controversy For American Ideals Of Religious Freedom”
Harold Joseph, Anya Cordell, Sister Elizabeth Padilla BK, Guo Cheen
Moderator: Ruth Broyde Sharone

* Session will include dialogue breakout groups to involve all participants in processing this panel.
Dialogue Group Facilitator:
Susan Partnow

EVENING EVENTS (concurrent options)
8:30 – 9:45 pm

1)  Evening Open Mic & Performance:
Sharing Music and Song
Max Gail and Cris Kaul

2) Film and Dialogue
Film showing followed by a facilitated discussion
Ruth Broyde Sharone

Sunday, November 21


Workshops and Roundtables
Morning  9:30 am – 10:45 am

H-1:  “Let’s Get Real about Racism”
Examine the fears and stereotypes preventing us from having truly open and authentic conversations and relationships. Explore through guided questions what people of color can’t say and whites are afraid to ask. Learn to effectively and compassionately communicate cross-culturally.
Lee Mun Wah, M.A., M.S.

H-2:  “Abraham’s Vision”
Abraham’s Vision programs aim to create spaces for both personal and collective growth, helping students gain new understandings of the roles they play in international and national conflicts, and how this relates to their political and social identities. Moving beyond the stage of practical peace agreements, or “beyond bridges,” we challenge participants to look at long-term solutions to end inter-communal conflict, transforming societies into their true potential.
Huda Abu Arqoub and Abraham’s Vision Students


11:00 am – 2:00 pm

We will spend time in Open Space to reflect and integrate the learnings from the conference, consider action plans, develop networks, share resources and ways to collaborate, as we find ways to put the principles we’ve learned and considered into practice in our lives, our work, and our communities.
11:00 –   1:00: Opening Circle, Review of dialogue group materials,
Breakout sessions
, and Transition
1:00 –   2:00: Conference Closing Circle
Susan Partnow
, MA, Jeff Aitken, Lisa Floyd

Final Words Of Refection, Insight, Inspiration, and Farewell
Steve Olweean

(Lunch Follows)

~ Networking Late Lunch ~
2:00 – 3:30 pm
(a final time to break bread together
to explore networking, collaboration,
and next steps beyond the conference)


Maria Hess Max Gail
Jeff Richardson
Chris Kaul
Ruth Sharone Cuo Cheen

Special Features of the
2010 ETO Conference


Facilitated Dialogue Breakout Groups,

Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala Ritual –  a fascinating
spiritual, cultural, and artistic event, and a unique art
exhibit.  Geshe Gendun Gyatso

Final Open Space Process

Evening Social-Cultural Events, Film Showing,
and Dialogues

Morning Yoga Sessions
Internet Conference Blog
In-Process Internet Blog to post dialogue group content.
Rich Networking and Action Planning
Intentional Cross-Cultural Community
Displays (*Additional Display Space Available)

Guidelines For Dialogue

The ETO Conference strives to promote an inclusive, compassionate dialogue that honors different personal experiences, perspectives, and stories, while allowing for better expressing and listening to each other as we work together toward understanding and harmony. Our intention is to create an open venue where we can engage meaningfully and invite in a public dialogue that brings our collective wisdom to bear in exploring sometimes difficult issues that effect us all. We ask all participants to assist us by carrying and expressing this intent throughout the conference.

NonViolent Communication Guidelines:

Unique Assumptions—NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. It also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that all actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.

While NVC is much more than a communication model, the components below provide a structural concept of the process that leads to giving and receiving from the heart.

Honestly Expressing how I am and what I would like without using blame, criticism or demands

Empathically Receiving how another is and what he/she would like without hearing blame, criticism or demands

Whether expressing or receiving, NVC focuses our attention on four pieces of information:

Observations—Objectively describing what is going on without using evaluation, moralistic judgment, interpretation or diagnosis
Feelings—Saying how you feel (emotions and body sensations) about what you have observed without assigning blame
Needs—The basic human needs that are or not being met and are the source of feelings
Requests—Clear request for actions that can meet needs