The Sacred Inclusion Challenge

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Broaden your circle of inclusion. Become a better ally. Learn practical skills for collaborating across barriers that divide us.

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Interested in broadening your circle of inclusion and taking a look at what keeps you trapped in a place where everyone you meet looks, thinks or talks like you?

Then participate in the Sacred Inclusion Challenge!

The Sacred Inclusion Challenge is a dynamic six-week interactive course designed to help you reverse-engineer the factors that keep you living in your bubble. We meet Thursday evenings and take part in discussions and interactive challenges between weekly sessions. During each of the six weeks, you'll take a look at factors that shape our perceptions about others, then craft a way to broadening your circle of inclusion. We'll do this in community, with the aim of transforming ourselves and breaking the cycle of polarization.

Were living in an age of intense polarization, where people not only disagree, but judge and loathe people who look differently or profess contrasting beliefs. Many of us live in silos, in which everyone shares the same point of view and sees outsiders as "Other" and less than ourselves.

We all pay a toll for this polarization. It effects our physical, emotional and societal health. Studies show, for example, that individuals who harbor racial prejudices and fears experience elevated levels of stress and other physiological responses that, over time, can wear down their muscles and damage their immune systems.

The good news is that there are well-known ways to heal these divides. As Harvard social psychologist Gordon Allport demonstrated as far back as the 1940s, people can learn to overcome intergroup biases. They can do so through the simple strategy of increasing exposure to out-group members, which in turn will improve attitudes toward that group and decrease prejudice and stereotyping.

In the six-weeks of the Sacred Inclusion Challenge, we'll put Allport's theories to the test. We'll gather together, gently examine our perceptions of those who are different from us, and create weekly personal activities to broaden our circles of inclusion.

Each class will begin with a short overview of a challenge subject, followed by an illustrative video, and experiential discussion on how the challenge subject relates to how we live our lives. During the time between classes, each participant will engage in one of the suggested experiential challenges or create their own, then post their progress in the Sacred Inclusion Networks community site.

The challenge will be facilitated by Bill Kelly, a former UCLA professor of intercultural communication and Angelo John Lewis, the founder of the Sacred Inclusion Network.

Bill Kelly taught communication studies at the University of New Mexico, UCLA and California State University, Northridge. In his post-academic career, he's written frequently about relations between Asia and the West, domestic US racial, cultural, and political issues, and historical trends. He lives north of Los Angeles, California.

Angelo John Lewis the originator of the Dialogue Circle and Sacred Conversation methods, and the author of Notes for a New Age. He is also a facilitator, coach and consultant whose work with individuals and groups emphasizes challenge, risk and discovery. As a coach, he specializes in working with leaders and people in transition. As a facilitator and consultant, his work focuses on team effectiveness, group problem solving and community building.

There are two ways to pay for the course. You can pay the sticker price of $60 or by donation or whatever you like.

We invite you to participate in the Sacred Inclusion Challenge!

Please note that you are registering for a six week course that meets Thursday evenings, beginning May 20th and ending June 24th. The Challenge occurs online between the weekly events.

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Organizer Sacred Inclusion Network

Organizer of The Sacred Inclusion Challenge

The Sacred Inclusion Network is a network of people who, as one of your members put it, "act from the knowledge that our spirit is connected to all life, all people, all time, all dimensions."

Our foundational principles are embedded in our former name, the Diversity and Spirituality Network. True to our roots, we honor all expressions of the sacred without discrimination, with a bias towards accepting as truth what was best expressed by Sting's The Police, back in the day: "We Are Spirits/In the Material World."

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