BayNVC is home to a number of projects and groups working under the same umbrella to apply and promote the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication. Most of these are operated and run by BayNVC staff and trainers; these include private sessions, classes, organizational services, retreats, and a variety of projects designed for social transformation. BayNVC also provides fiscal sponsorship and financial services to other relevant projects by request.

BayNVC Projects

Minnesota Child Custody Legislation

Diversity Project

Safer Communities

Overview

 

When Miki Kashtan and the late Inbal Kashtan founded BayNVC (along with John Kinyon and the late Julie Greene), one of their hopes was that having an organization would allow them to pursue their dream of transforming social systems as well as individuals and groups. This dream, also inspired by Marshall Rosenberg’s own vision, remains core and central to the work of BayNVC.

 

Our work in this area proceeds in several directions:

NVC for Social Change

Asking challenging questions

 

Miki Kashtan in particular and other members of the BayNVC extended community often lead the way in conversations that aim to increase our understanding in the following areas:

 

1. What is the difference between collective personal transformation and systemic change?
2. What are the unique contributions that NVC can make in the area of social change?
3. How is the practice of NVC different in the context of power differences?
4. How can we envision a world and a set of social systems with needs as an organizing principle?
5. What is the relationship between NVC and the larger field of nonviolence?
6. How can the study of NVC support our capacity to rethink leadership?
7. How does our understanding of power and privilege shift when we apply an NVC lens to our inquiry?
8. What’s the role of society in shaping our actions and thoughts?
9. What happens when we aim to integrate NVC into social activism?
10. What do organizations look like when the principles of NVC shape all systems within them?
11. Why is working on parenting significant from the point of view of changing systems?
12. What makes change possible and how can NVC support people in creating intentional change within and around them?
13. How can NVC support us in maintaining openheartedness when engaging with people who we believe have done or are still doing enormous harm?

 

If you are interested in any of these questions, we recommend that you sign up to read Miki Kashtan’s blog and her book Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working Together to Create a Nonviolent Future, which touches on all of the above questions. You also may want to join the NVC-Social-Change listserve which brings together people from around the world who are interested in the intersection between NVC and social change work. You can sign up for it here.

Projects and programs

 

Because we believe that social change requires something beyond supporting many individuals in going through personal transformation, we are also taking on a variety of projects that are designed to create transformation in other ways:

 

Safer Communities Project

This project started in 2002 with teaching classes to people incarcerated at San Quentin, and has extended to XXX. You can read about the work being done by our Safer Communities team here.

 

Diversity Project

This project started in 2001 when four of us began a commitment to grappling with the challenge of having fruitful conversations about race, power, and privilege. Over the years the people and the specific programs have changed considerably, while the original commitment remains strong. You can read here about the variety of undertakings that current members of our Diversity Project team are part of.

 

Minnesota Child Custody Legislation

This project started in late 2012 when Miki Kashtan was approached by people from Minnesota after their governor vetoed a bill on child custody and expressed a strong interest in a collaborative solution. Miki has been working with the group since then. Collaborative legislation has already been passed in May 2014, and a much larger package is now being addressed by the Minnesota legislature. You can read more about this project here.

Experimentation

 

We believe that the commitment to creating systemic transformation includes massive and ongoing experimentation in small and large labs. We engage in such experiments within BayNVC and are also committed to supporting other communities and organizations that are striving to model collaborative approaches.

 

BayNVC: Gift Economy Experiments

As of March 2014, Miki Kashtan has been engaging in an ongoing and growing experiment to uncouple giving from receiving in her public offerings. She created a Circle of Support for those who want to support the experiment, and has been offering more and more of her public workshops as pure gifs to the community. Her long term goal is to have all of her public offerings on a pure gift economy basis, supported by people who contribute on a monthly basis regardless of attendance at events.

 

BayNVC: Experiments in Collaboration

Since June 2012, when a financial crisis resulted in shifting our operating model, BayNVC’s trainers have been operating on a collaborative basis. We are experimenting with a variety of ways of making decisions and allocating resources, continually learning about what works and what doesn’t as we shift into that new mode.

Supporting Others’ Efforts

 

Part of our commitment to using NVC for social change purposes leads us to offer our skills and capacity to other groups and organizations modeling or working towards change. By and large, such work is done on a pro bono or very low cost basis.

 

The Peace Alliance

Between 2005 and 2009, Miki Kashtan supported the Peace Alliance with monthly coaching calls for their staff and volunteers. The purpose of these calls was to assist the group in modeling their principles of peace in how they work for creating a department of peace in the US federal government.

 

Canticle Farm

A small group of individuals formed Canticle Farm a few years ago as an intentional community and urban farm in one of Oakland’s low income neighborhoods. Since 2013, Miki Kashtan has been supporting this group on a monthly basis in establishing agreements and creating decision-making systems and others that are aligned with their values and mission.