At present, this website is sustained by me, Miki Kashtan, and by volunteer content curators who are versed with my approach.

As such, everything said here is biased and affected by my perspective, including the choice of what to focus on in terms of the people and events that have shaped the formation of this website, its philosophy, and the choice of names, resources, and events to include.

History

The efforts and activities that have led to this emerging synthesis include the work of many individuals over at least 17 years, since the BayNVC Diversity Project was created in 2000.

The project was founded by Nancy Kahn, Inbal Kashtan, Miki Kashtan, and Jeyanthy Siva. From the start, we worked both externally and internally. Our “Connecting across Differences” workshops showed us how far and deep the work needs to go, and our internal conversations exposed and worked with the differences amongst us: A Black-Jewish woman, two Jewish sisters from Israel, and a Sri Lankan. Our work went on for a few years, and was a pivotal seed planting effort. Eventually, Jeyanthy went back to Sri Lanka as an NVC trainer, continuing to learn and contributing locally in Sri Lanka and globally to the NVC network. Our work shifted and was eventually taken over by the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice team.

Since then, much of the work that this website is based on was created by and in ongoing dialogue with the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice past and present leadership team: Alicia Garcia, Nancy Kahn, Roxy Manning, Kristin Masters, Edmundo Norte, and Marina Smerling. Roxy and Edmundo in particular have been consistent thought partners since 2005, when they both participated in the BayNVC Leadership Program which Roxy now leads. Together, this team has pioneered bringing people together to live and experience the merged focus that forms the basis of this website.

Since 2015, there’s been an ongoing conversation on the topic of power and privilege on the email listserve of the NVC certified trainers worldwide. Jeyanthy Siva, one of the original founders of the BayNVC Diversity Project, has been instrumental in shaping this conversation. Jeyanthy navigates multiple positions in terms of her own access to privilege, both marginalized positions and positions of high status. More than anything, in this conversation, Jeyanthy has shown me what it takes for a marginalized person to speak up in a group of dominant culture people. This conversation has been extraordinarily challenging and illuminating. It has brought some of us together for companionship and a deepening quest for crossing lines of differences to be able to reach those who don’t see their own privilege or its significance, or would rather use others words. These conversations have sharpened my lens and deepened my resolve to make a dent.

In addition, conversations with the following people have had a lasting effect on the emerging framework that this website and the Facing Privilege calls are based on. For each person, their unique contribution is noted:

Arnina Kashtan — an excavator of our deepest structures of thought, my sister Arnina has been my foremost partner in exploring our shared most painful privilege: that of being Israeli Jews in relation to Palestinians. Being able to apply the framework of this website repeatedly to our own experience has contributed immensely to my trust in the ideas presented in my blog.

Caroline Blackwell — a veteran social justice activist in Nashville and Washington, DC, Caroline planted a deep seed in me for bringing the topic of power and privilege to what I now call the “involuntary” race conversations and to any focus on leadership.

Dominic Barter — a systems thinker and the first to apply NVC principles systemically when he initiated Restorative Circles in Brazil, Dominic and I have shared a relentless pursuit of understanding structural effects on individual behavior.

Inbal Kashtan — a visionary, clear thinker, and social justice educator since 1989 and until her death in 2014, my beloved sister Inbal accompanied this project for as long as she could, co-creating with me every step of the way the perspective on power and privilege that shapes this site.

Jihan McDonald — trainer, educator, activist, thinker, Jihan has contributed to my thinking by both affirming and challenging my perspectives on privilege and supporting me in getting stronger to bring it publicly.

Olga Nguyen —  An NVC trainer from Russia and Vietnam, Olga’s capacity to describe her experiences and to demonstrate the global pervasiveness of the disparities of race has brought deep heart and clarity to my understanding.

Sarah Peyton — a synthesizer of interpersonal neurobiology with NVC, Sarah has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of how power differences work through trauma and body effects to increase disparities between people.

Uma Lo — whole-systems thinker, organizer, and facilitator, Uma has been my most consistent co-creator in this area when we both thought about and worked on power and privilege content for my Leveraging Your Influence retreats in the East Coast and elsewhere. It was the most painful and most fruitful laboratory I could imagine. Uma and I continue to collaborate to this day.

Victor Lewis — social justice educator, radical resilience innovator, critical iconoclastic thinker, Victor thinks with me about everything I do, and our conversations are the backbone of my courage to speak publicly.

Ya Ping Douglas — a community activist and committed student of critical race theory, Ya Ping worked hard over some years to give me feedback and shape my thinking in this area. Ultimately, our paths diverged, and yet her warm and courageous attempts have contributed immensely to my capacity to make mistakes and keep going.

I am naming all the individuals involved because I want to counter the trend of making people invisible and letting work appear to be the sole creation of an individual, itself the result of privilege.

Many others have contributed through asking questions in workshops and on calls, and through their responses, grief, celebrations, resistance, and openings. The feedback I have received over the years from those who have loved what I have done and those who have had bitter opposition to it and anywhere in between has been the richest and most challenging source of learning and growth for me.

I hope to keep updating this page with relevant information that might inspire others to recognize what it takes to develop a body of knowledge.