Cities Rising Email to CB From Lesley
CB expressed concern that this event be designed to be useful to the current economic struggle people in cities are now facing post 2020. CB wrote:
I've been looking through the Overview and info on Cities Rising Week. My initial response is that it seems it's coming at the subject from the perspective of an economically privileged demographic, not acknowledging the level of desperation, fight for daily survival and impending chaos soon to descend on many city dwellers due to the collapse of critical economic support systems for demographically challenged populations, in particular, working whites and people of color.
I hope I'm missing something here, and that the participants will be taking a deeper dive into the challenging reality that is contemporary urban life for many folks.
Here is Lesley's reply to him calling for open mind and will to include the current challenges so many of us DO face in our lives.
From Lesley Southwick-Trask
Subject: Transition Milwaukee
Thanks CB for following up on our upcoming Cities Week. We are not presupposing any assumptions on race, economics, social dynamics etc. The sessions are designed to offer reflective practices and skills that will enable participants to “see” their city in its emerging reality. Our premise is that the way we perceive the challenges and opportunities facing the place in which we live, reinforce / inform their existence. Shifting perspectives opens the doorway to “seeing” with new eyes, and with this, new pathways.
This is not an intellectual exercise to be undertaken by the privileged elite. It is an impassioned quest by folks from all over the world who are willing to push beyond their comfort zone to dive into the dynamics that are shaping their city, as they are experiencing it, and with this, the identification of new ways of perceiving and taking civic action. Our approach is based on the awareness that the way a dynamic is described, determines the action that is taken. The polarization evident In cities experiencing deeply entrenched socio-economic disparity, systemic racism, environmental short-sightedness, power inequality etc. is more often-than-not further entrenched by the manner in which (well-meaning) people view and respond to these issues.
We are hoping to crack open a fresh awareness in how we are showing up personally and as a collective (as citizens) in a manner that can regenerate the place in which we live. Our invitation is to any and all people who are willing to experiment with techniques and practices that will open their eyes, hearts, will and spirit to take the civic action that will help to regenerate their city.
We will be offering “project” breakout rooms on Days 2, 3, 4 and 5 where people with a specific focus (such as Milwaukee) can invite people to apply their new lenses, practices and techniques to their situation. Since these will only be approximately 20 minutes in length (each day) - it will be important to have a very succinct description of the issue/topic you are inviting people into, as well as a willingness to deeply listen into what people are offering in terms of their ideas. If you would like to host a project room regarding Milwaukee – let me know, along with your invitation, so that we can create this opportunity for you. You could have a breakout session for all 4 days.
I hope this helps in terms of your concerns. In the spirit of Radical Collaboration;