Share What We Know, Learn What We Don’t Know
Our model represents over 25 years of experience and has been a critical component to our success. Our primary objective is to support organizers, movement-builders and organizations to use what we have learned and adapt our framework to their specific needs. We also recognize that we have a lot to learn and seek to understand the many healing modalities out in the world. We know that our model can compliment, add to and and reinforce other practices.
Strengthen Social Movements
Our model is replicable and adaptable, and we seek to support movements to address threats to our work like leadership burnout, interpersonal conflict, lateral and internalized oppression, attacks & splintering. We know that over the past few years these challenges have intensified and will prevent us from winning our campaigns if we do not center listening, relationship-building and collective healing.
Build Broad Power In Order to Win
Healing doesn't just belong at the center of our organizations but at the center of the communities we are trying to organize and activate. The Action & Support model offers an effective framework for bringing the tools of listening, vulnerability and relationship-building to communities through community engagement tactics like Deep Canvassing, Listening Projects and Community Healing Circles. These tools can be used to deepen an organization's community engagement and recruitment and to build solidarity across social and political difference.
Mobilize Philanthropic Resources for Healing Justice
We know that philanthropy must recognize the importance of healing in our organizing and advocacy work. They have to experience it to understand it, which is why our project aims to reach the funders and philanthropic partners of our social movements. Through funders meetings and briefings and inviting funders to join us for trainings and convenings, we create spaces for strengthening relationships and building buy-in and commitment to the critical healing justice work we and our partners do.
Learn More about ListeningWorks!
Check out our webinar, ListeningWorks: Transforming & Connecting Communities Through Radical Listening & Vulnerability!
Read about the ListeningWorks Model of Action & Support and download helpful resources.
We also provide trainings and technical assistance through ListeningWorks! To see what you may need assistance with, fill out this quick assessment of your organization. For more information, please contact us at 617-623-9900. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ListeningWorks Trainees & Partners:
Seven Wild Dreams
Tewa Women United
Black Lives Matter Boston
United We Dream Network
Padres y Jóvenes Unidos
Boston Student Advisory Council
Student Immigrant Movement (SIM)
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
Martinsville/Henry County, VA CDC
"Because the [Action & Support] model is rooted in human connection and relationships, the ability to listen, empathize, and think about each other as human beings, first and foremost, has yielded stronger relationships.
SIM is more resilient, better able to handle conflict, and have a better understanding of human beings and how to reach them with our message."
Former Lead SIM Organizer
About ListeningWorks Staff
Esteniolla Maitre & Carlos Rojas Alvarez
Collectively, Esteniolla and Carlos have 20 years of experience in community organizing in immigrant, racial and school equity justice. The core of their work has always been Action & Support, a model created by Youth on Board that places mutual listening, healing and self-awareness as key to mobilizing communities. They were first trained in the model as youth organizers in the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC), which is a group of young leaders who advocate for the rights of students, Youth on Board’s co-administers BSAC with the Boston Public Schools,
ListeningWorks is Youth on Board’s national healing justice project founded in 2016. ListeningWorks transforms the culture of social movements from one of toxicity, burnout and pain to one of community, joy and healing using our signature Action & Support model. To date, we have trained, coached and supported over 600 movement-builders and community organizers from over 20+ states.
Since 1994, Youth on Board has recognized that healing must be at the center of organizing and movement-building. We know from the history of youth-led social movements that we are more effective, more sustainable and more powerful as change agents when we feel listened to, supported and can engage in effective and communal healing practices.
Our healing-based organizing model draws from over 25 years of experience in building movements and practices like social emotional learning, restorative justice and peer counseling. Utilizing deep listening, radical vulnerability, appreciation, laugh & play, and anti-oppression theory and grounding, we support organizers to transform trauma into resilience and power. In that way, our healing model is unique, It can be used to:
1) strengthen organizational and movement cultures,
2) grow a committed base, and
3) build political power to win.
WHY IT WORKS
At the core of our model is human connection and safety so that we can practice and reciprocate radical listening and vulnerability. We recognize the body and mind’s built-in ability to help us heal from our experiences and our trauma through emotional release. Our framework helps the individual reclaim that ability which has been stolen from us by oppression. We believe that the loss of this ability is one of the major reasons why oppression continues to exist.
Our model can stand alone, or it can be incorporated to strengthen, deepen and complement other healing models.