I’m so pleased to welcome to the podcast, Aftab Erfan, Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement at the University of British Columbia.
Aftab is an experienced facilitator and longtime trainer of the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy.
When you watch the video clips at the top of the DeepDemocracy.ca website, you can see me standing behind her business partner and co-facilitator, Sera, who is speaking animatedly. She’s “amplifying” Jeremy – one of the tools used in this facilitation method to quickly get to the heart of a matter. My face is cropped, I’m wearing a white blouse, hands in pockets. My posture pretty much says everything about what I think of “hope” in the context of the Is Hope Bullshit? Civic Dialogue they convened. I’m…non-plussed. But my feelings about hope have evolved a bit since then. It was a life-changing day. Myrna Lewis, (co-developer of the Lewis Method), is just to the left of screen wearing taupe, hand on her necklace.
The book Aftab references in this episode is called Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair by Sarah Schulman. Sounds like essential reading.
Along with Jessie Hemphill (my guest on TNP65), Aftab co-facilitated a Civic Dialogue I convened in my hometown called Yes, I’m Privileged. Now What? I received a lot of feedback from that event, all of it positive. Since then, I’ve seen it galvanize members of my community around social justice in a way they didn’t before. Many have told me it was the experience they needed in order to show up and speak up and put their privilege to work on behalf of marginalized populations.
If your organization has the funding and desire to tackle hard topics in order to move forward together, you should definitely reach out to her.