“Year of the Area”

When I first became Regional Reference Person (RRP), I decided the key thing was to build relationships with my Area Reference People (ARPs). This included regular Co-Counseling sessions, monthly meetings, and establishing relationships with folks from their Areas. This worked well for me as a newly arrived RCer and RRP (I had recently moved to Seattle from Washington, D.C., USA where I had been the RRP). This is what I mostly did for my first few years as RRP.

Once our relationships were solid we identified a major obstacle to people identifying with their Areas and being connected with each other as Area members. There were many Regional RC activities happening, as well as events led by staff at Re-evaluation Counseling Community Resources (RCCR). People were not looking to their Areas for their major involvement in RC.

We came up with* a project we called “Year of the Area” (YOTA) (which actually went on for two years). The idea was to make the Areas come alive—to get Co-Counselors more connected and committed to their Areas, and to encourage the Area leaders to be more active and to become more skillful as leaders and counselors. We drastically cut down on non-Area activities and required people to prioritize Area-based activities. This meant that Area leaders had to schedule Area activities on a regular basis, which would result in their taking more leadership and making faster progress in their own re-emergence. Leaders also had to get better at tracking Community members and interrupting a northwestern United States pattern of reserve (leaving people alone).

One of the many results of this initiative is that people now have a much stronger sense of belonging to an Area and identifying with it. More Co-Counselors are now Community members—they take active responsibility for building their RC Community.

We are about to embark on another two-year YOTA project. We will focus on Community growth, on reaching out—especially to people targeted by racism and genocide—and building on and deepening our earlier successes.

Dvora Slavin
Regional Reference Person for South King County,Washington; and Hawaii (USA)
Seattle, Washington, USA 


* Came up with means thought of, decided on.

 

 


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00