I have been working with the global social movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), on aligning means with ends since before it began its activities in October 2018. This has involved group coaching calls, training, individual coaching and feedback, facilitation, and project design in many parts of the movement. So far, every single thing I have done has been pro bono. Yet this is increasingly unsustainable. Simply put, I need to bring money into BayNVC to sustain its bills and salaries. This is why I am now turning to you, supporters of my work and of Extinction Rebellion, to ask whether you feel moved and are able to contribute to my efforts to support them?
Working with Extinction Rebellion is the kind of work I have been dreaming of since 1989: supporting movements and organizations working for a visionary world to do so in a way that has the highest possible integrity and effectiveness. It has been a labor of love and courage, truth-telling and listening, immense discomfort and great joy, grief beyond words about where we are, and obstinate faith that more is possible than meets the logical eye. I have worked against the odds of not having a formal role, of deep streaks of mistrust, enormous obstacles to collaborative functioning, and the total absence of resources. Yet significant shifts are happening, seeds are being watered, islands of faith and determination are growing, and projects are being born. To give you a sense, I have asked some people within Extinction Rebellion to speak to what my work has supported within the movement. I include their words below.
“Miki has brought an abundance of energy and critical thinking to the internal conscious of XR. She has supported some of our most visible leaders including myself to reflect on how our behaviours, feedback culture and collaboration efforts can contribute to growing healthy regenerative systems. Systems that herald a new era that is wanting to emerge. Miki’s incisive observations, questions and guidance have enabled me as person and body of colour to begin a more profound conversation with myself and others, supporting me, to connect and transform the trauma that it is to “feel less than or the ‘other’". In every single conversation, Miki brings me back to myself, to my heart and towards others; transforming and extending my capacity to hold tension with love. Her wisdom for the mechanics and subtle forces of convergent and integrative practice that she has so generously shared with XR, have deep effect in the organism every single day. I will be eternally grateful for the phenomena that are Miki Kashtan, the work of BayNVC and Nonviolent Global Liberation. This is work that is midwifing a paradigm shift.”
– Councillor Skeena Rathor, XRUK Visioning Circle Founder, XRUK Guardianship and Visioning Circle
“I was introduced to Miki in the summer of 2018 before Extinction Rebellion (XR) launched. I quickly came to value her insights and she has become one of the two people in my life I turn to when I feel stuck, an elder sister full of wisdom and practical advice. She has helped me on my journey of understanding how my access to power within XR can be used well or otherwise depending on my actions and supports me with a weekly coaching call. She gives me critical feedback in a loving way that I find invaluable. Since winter 2018 she has been offering twice monthly coaching calls to the whole of the XR movement. She has taught significant role holders convergent facilitation, supported us to develop thinking around an actions council based on sortition (for deciding about controversial actions) and helped a spin-off group develop a proposal for a Global Citizens Assembly. She has also provided advice to the actions team and for strategy development. Her positive influence within XR, the ripples of healthier thinking and healthier culture, are beginning to bear fruit at a time when it is most needed.”
– Gail Bradbrook, XR Co-FounderXRUK Strategy lead Operations circle, Money Rebellion, and spokesperson
“For me as a professional facilitator and activist with Extinction Rebellion UK, working with Miki has been doubly enlightening: Her empathy and thorough multipartiality, combined with her ability to extract and share the essence of intricate issues and conversations in very clear and relatable terms, have helped us move forward on highly complex and controversial topics. In these processes, I have also learnt a great deal about my own work as a facilitator – Miki's feedback and reflections, but also her presence and personal integrity have helped me rethink and adapt the way I see and conduct it inside and outside of XR UK. Working with Miki has been truly transformational.”
– Wolfgang Wopperer-Beholz, External Coordinator, XR UK Strategy Stewardship Team
“I started participating in Miki’s XR Coaching calls about a year and a half ago. These spaces of ‘Advanced systemic NVC for beginners’ have taught me more about how to helpfully approach this experiment that is XR than I could ever have imagined. Since then, through my coordination roles in XR Netherlands and later Global Support, I’ve come to apply my learning from Miki’s teaching in pretty much everything I do for XR. She helped me become clear about how you cannot have regenerative movement cultures without well-functioning internal communications, clear structures, plenty of skilled facilitators and much more. Miki’s style of highlighting bigger issues through an in-depth focus on specific, even seemingly small, examples makes it easy for anyone to pick up these ideas and start to put them into practice in their community. And the ways in which Miki continuously walks her complex talk shows us that it’s possible. Not to perfection, simply with lots of love and to the best of our capacity.”
– Mai Berry Dahl, XR Global Support regenerative Culture Working Group
“As a member representing the South East region on XRUK’s sovereign body, the Rebel Hive, I was aware of Miki’s work as the guru of Convergent Facilitation (CF) as her name had been mentioned by Gail Bradbrook in some of her talks, and I had made a note of it to learn more as I had no idea what CF was or who she was. I eventually got around to doing my research which included watching some YouTube clips around the process and seeing the value in what she was doing.
When the Hive reacted to the fact that at grassroots level the movement was creating 4th Demands in haste as everyone was responding to the murder of George Floyd, I knew that whatever we did in order to bring everyone together as a group would need excellent independent facilitation that could hold a space fraught with hurt, distrust, suspicion and anger in a way that would allow for individuals to express themselves in a 'held' space and also for a path forward to emerge...
When planning our project 'Justice within XRUK' I recommended that we ask Miki if she had capacity to support our project. I feel privileged to have been able to participate in the CF process, it was not easy, however the way that she facilitated all of our expressions of need was fascinating and reassuring. I do believe that the process is a gift and that all those who participate come out a different person at the end. In fact, after our process I had one individual call me in tears as the feelings that had been conjured up in her were alien to her and she couldn't understand why she was feeling the way she was... I was able to support her to explore feelings of vulnerability and thanked her for sharing with me. This has also brought us closer as we embark upon this journey – the destination of which we are uncertain, however knowing that the process we are following is solid we can do so without fear.”
– Michelle Charlesworth, South East region representative to the XR UK Hive
I do not have a specific fundraising goal in mind. I only know that over the nearly two years of engaging with Extinction Rebellion, I have put in an amount of hours that would usually have brought BayNVC around $120,000, based on the lowest rate offered to non-profit organizations. And doing this work means I am not available to generate income in other ways.
Now, given the uncertain economic times that we currently live in, I am concerned about draining more and more of BayNVC’s limited resources without any clear plan for restoring them..
So I am asking: would you be willing to give what you can in support of this work? Thank you.
Your financial contribution is tax-deductible if you file taxes in the U.S., as we are a public charity recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3).
Federal ID: 20-1329504