Access, Inclusion and Equity in the NVC Network - v2
Alternative : Access, Inclusion and Equity in the NVC Network
“If I use Nonviolent Communication to liberate people to be less depressed, to get along better with their family, but not teach them, at the same time, to use their energy to rapidly transform systems in the world, then I am part of the problem. I am essentially calming people down, making them happier to live in the systems as they are, so I am using NVC as a narcotic.”
-- Marshall Rosenberg, PhD Social Justice Retreat in Switzerland, June 2005
Access, Inclusion and Equity in the NVC Network[edit | edit source]
(see announcement e-mail)
Who we are[edit | edit source]
We are a group of 118 NVC trainers from 32 countries. We are committed to expanding the capacity of NVC to create a world that works for all. We aim to expand access to NVC globally.
Our concern[edit | edit source]
We believe one of the key obstacles to much wider access to NVC globally is the way that domination systems operate within ourselves, within organizations and societies, and in the world. In the simplest terms possible: we seek to increase awareness of how power and privilege affect our ability to fully connect with one another. We believe this will help us create the world we want to live in.
To do this, we want to develop strategies for trainers to examine how domination structures operate in three different contexts: within ourselves, with our colleagues, and in groups we facilitate. In particular, we want to look at our own organization, CNVC. We hope that doing this will increase the diversity of leadership and support us in living our values of inclusion and full care for all. This will also help us increase understanding of ourselves and our impact on others. Then we can become more strategic in applying NVC to social change.
Structural differences in social rank, economic or political power, cultural norms, or other factors, can lead people to feel less empowered or able to speak with full honesty. This can consciously or unconsciously inhibit authentic expression and connection. Because of this, we believe it is necessary to learn about and acknowledge these differences, and to find ways to cross the gap they produce. Otherwise, even with much care and loving intention, we may undermine our connection. Without knowing that we are doing it, we may, instead, increase separation, violence and inequity in the world. We might not hear from the voices that we need to hear from the most to learn about the differences. We run a high risk of making decisions that reinforce systems that silence some voices.
For example, some people in our network believe NVC equalizes power dynamics and evens out the playing field. This belief does not match our experience. We have noticed that socio-economic power and the influence of the cultural norms of the dominant group create an uneven playing field. Lack of awareness of this is not neutral or benign. People from the dominant group are not likely to notice that some people from non-dominant groups might not speak up because of a need for security, acceptance, belonging, dignity, and/or because of the enormous burden that living under current conditions puts on them. This is one way silencing can happen without intention.
“To recognize one’s own role in the oppression of others is not about blame but about opening our eyes to see how power works and how we can redirect it so it doesn’t diminish us all.” -- Shona Jackson
Our Intention[edit | edit source]
We send this message to the certified trainer list with the intention of increasing our collective effectiveness in creating a world that works for all. Within this intention, we have a few goals:
- Increasing awareness of the role of power and privilege within our network
- Creating systems within our organization that build on this awareness
- Supporting NVC projects to be more effective and aligned with the values we teach
- Developing strategies to shift existing patterns of domination structures
In this message we aim to move towards these goals by exploring four areas:
- How we talk about power and privilege
- How we teach NVC
- How we address differences in power and privilege within the network
- How we relate our actions to Marshall’s legacy
In each of these areas, we describe what we see and what we want to see, and provide proposals for what we can do as a community.
How we talk about power and privilege[edit | edit source]
In addition to some confusion about why attention to power and privilege is so vital, we also face another challenge within the NVC community: the objection some people have to using the word privilege.
Especially for those who are in positions of privilege, the word itself can trigger thoughts of blame and stimulate anger, guilt, and shame. We are aware that the conversations on the trainers list have not reached full mutual understanding. Most specifically, we recognize that some people continue to be deeply concerned about the use of the word “privilege,” seeing it as endangering the integrity of NVC.
Given our commitment to social change, we are concerned about continuing to put priority on this conversation, or leaving it in its current unresolved state. We ask those who are troubled by the use of the word “privilege,” to join with us in an experiment, at least temporarily. Instead of continuing to take issue with the words being used, we ask for a stretch: that you make yourselves available to engage with the content even though the words we use may be unsettling for you. In this way, there will possibly be the opportunity to hear from people who continue to experience that issues of importance to them are not being addressed in the network. This experience of concerns not being addressed can deepen if we respond with objections to the words without responding to the content.
Proposal for live dialogues[edit | edit source]
We propose a series of live dialogues, moderated by people who are committed to empathic understanding. In these dialogues, our intention is to create mutual understanding and to discover if there might be a shared commitment to talk about power and privilege. We hope that by having these dialogues we can keep learning how to improve our capacity in bridging differences over time.
We have significant concerns about what happens when we don’t name the social dynamic of “privilege.”
- Those who are negatively impacted by power differences receive a painful message when language and frameworks that are common in the social justice world are discarded, for any reason. This minimizes their experience and reenacts the trauma of repeated experiences of being discounted in life because of their group membership.
- Without the use of words like “privilege” and “marginalization”, we may be missing out on the crucial information of patterns. These patterns are clusters of observations that are extraordinarily difficult to point to without naming a long list of specific incidents. They are completely part of “normal” life, and are very difficult for those on the margins, yet invisible to those from the dominant culture. Finding ways to talk about them, openly and courageously, is a path to creating enough shared reality to address these patterns. This would include what we do in workshop settings, how we describe our social change vision, how we compensate for these patterns, how we change the structures within CNVC, and in many other ways.
- If we talk only about “marginalization”, without also talking about “privilege”, we may miss out on ways of expressing and seeing that everyone plays a role in the patterns. It is not just those who are most adversely affected, or those who consciously intend to “put down” others, who play important roles. The patterns would be much weaker, and likely could not persist, if it weren’t for the beliefs and actions of people who sincerely believe they are not participating in these patterns at all. Having a term like “privilege” offers a way to refer to and talk about the (usually unintentional, and tragic) contribution to these patterns by people in the mainstream.
By its very nature, privilege is almost always invisible to those who have it. As a result, we form unconscious norms. It can be difficult to recognize how those with less privilege adjust their behavior to those with power, as people unintentionally reinforce the power dynamic. So we are seeking a shared commitment within our network to examine where we have privilege in our lives, including, but not limited to:
- as higher caste or class people in relation to lower caste or class people
- as people associated with a dominant ethnicity, in relation to those associated with other ethnicities
- as lighter-skinned people in relation to darker-skinned people
- as people who resemble those from colonizing countries, in relation to people who resemble those from colonized countries
- as males in relation to females
- as heterosexual people, in relation to people with other sexualities
- as people identifying with their assigned gender and perceived gender identity, in relation to people who do not find themselves in the social definition and meaning of the gender assigned to them
- as able-bodied people in relation to people with disabilities
- as people with sufficient resources to feed and clothe ourselves in relation to people who are impoverished
- as adults in relation to children or the elderly
- as people fluent in English in relation to people with little or no English language skills
- as those with higher degrees of education in relation to those with minimal education
- as elders in the NVC community in relation to newcomers
As a result, some trainers gain more legitimacy and power in the network because they have the resources to travel, volunteer, go to training, network, take leadership roles, and become an integral part of the organization. Being able to travel on short notice, or having the leisure time to be on the ground level of new initiatives can give people access and visibility that accumulates, while others with fewer options struggle to be seen as contributors and cannot “catch up”.
We seek out opportunities to learn about the significance and effect of our privilege. We want all of us, as NVC practitioners, to increase our capacity to listen, be present to, and address the issues at hand with full commitment to nonviolence. We do this even if the journey stimulates discomfort or a sense of loss.
We believe that delving into this work is necessary to more deeply understand ourselves, to understand others, and to create sustainable relationships, communities, organizations, and the world of our dreams.
How we teach NVC[edit | edit source]
We seek to bring our attention to four aspects of how we teach NVC:
- A core aspect of the vision of NVC includes shifting from “domination systems” to “partnership systems”. A key aspect of this shift is recognizing how historical patterns of power and privilege affect relationships. This also matters for people in groups who practice NVC. For an example in the US context, Tim Wise’s movie White Like Me has provided some of us with the context for the depth of historical research and emotional work we needed to excavate and understand such effects.
- Incorporating attention to the impact of unconscious power and privilege into the teaching of NVC supports comprehensive nonviolence in our use of language.
- Relating to our students in ways that support care and connection for all is not enough. Especially when trainers from the dominant culture do not have the lived experience nor understand the perspective or pain of those who are marginalized, we need to take an active approach to understand what is not visible. Taking into consideration our structural power as trainers, we need to cultivate cultural humility to move our groups toward both nonviolence and social justice.
- If we become aware of dynamics which disproportionately alienate members of nondominant groups, we can interrupt these behaviors.
We want to include education about the unconscious effects of power and privilege in our NVC teaching, to support well-being for all. Otherwise, we run the risk of perpetuating violence which impacts the health, immune systems and life expectancy of non-dominant groups.
We want all of us who share NVC to continuously deepen our collective awareness of issues related to power and marginalization. This is one of the ways we can move from “domination” toward “partnership,” and create a world that works for all.
[edit | edit source]
To increase effectiveness when we share NVC, we recommend the following strategies, which we believe will make it more likely that we can reach and retain people from non-dominant groups and those who work in the social justice field.
- Adding a 5th “D”: We recommend that “Discounting” be added to the list of the “Four D’s of Disconnection”: Diagnosis, Denial of Responsibility, Demand, and Deserve. By “Discounting” we refer to any use of language which denies either individual experience or the ways individuals are affected by systems. This may involve denying differences, which can invalidate individual experience. It also may involve framing reality only at the individual level without acknowledging a systemic dimension. Or, it may involve seeing a person only as a representative of a category of people, as in the case of “micro-aggressions.”
Just like the other four, this added element of what Marshall Rosenberg referred to as “life-alienating communication” runs the risk of creating disconnection. “Discounting” risks making the reality of many people’s lives and work invisible.
- Inviting, hearing and saying “no”: Words that might be heard as a request, when spoken between those with similar power, may be heard as a demand, when spoken by someone with more power to someone with less power, since hearing a request requires trust that one can say “no.” We recommend that all of us continue to deepen our understanding that shifting from demand to request requires a deep understanding of cultural differences as well as power differences, as saying “no” is more or less challenging in different contexts. If we want to teach NVC effectively in collectivist cultures, or cultures that are deeply authority-based, we need to make it easier for people with less power to say “no” to us as trainers and to say “no” to people in positions of more authority without appearing disrespectful.
- Learning and sharing key concepts about power and privilege: We recommend that as NVC trainers we continuously educate ourselves in the field of social justice, to engage effectively with a wider range of individuals and groups. The New Future Plan includes a commitment to develop curriculum and materials. While this work continues to progress, we ask our fellow trainers to delve into these topics. A preliminary list of concepts, programs and resources can be found here, both for our own learning and in support of our teaching of NVC. We see this as supporting CNVC’s vision, which commits the organisation to a world “where the systems and structures we create in economics, education, justice, healthcare, peace-keeping and other areas across our global interdependent community reflect (NVC) consciousness and evaluate their actions against their contribution to life and the human needs they ultimately serve.”
We encourage all trainers to share learning, especially how we teach NVC and frame power and privilege within a needs perspective.
How we address differences in power and privilege within the network[edit | edit source]
The work of creating a world that works for all and of transforming domination systems into partnership systems is both external and internal. We assume that we have all been socialized to play our part within systems of power and privilege. So we are seeking companionship to examine and transform any beliefs, strategies, or structures that perpetuate domination systems.
Our hope is to co-create an environment that allows us to model living in a world that in reality works for all, on whatever scale we act. In particular, we want to develop systems that are aligned with the future we want to create. Here again, we see this as supporting CNVC’s vision, which includes a focus on “the systems and structures we create.”
Towards that end, as a global community, we hope to contribute to the following:
- Individually: to support regular discussion and education for CNVC trainers to become aware of our own rank, power, and privilege, and how we impact communication, as well as to develop an understanding of systems that may be at play, so that we may live and speak as nonviolently as possible.
- Leadership: to support shared leadership that includes all voices, particularly voices or people from underrepresented groups. Without a study of unconscious biases and privileges, research shows that we will consistently not get to hear certain voices.
- Systemically: to examine and transform the ways that agreements on power operate within our network. We also want to align ourselves with other organizations who use nonviolence as the soul force for healing relationships and community, for shared understanding, alliance, and synergistic effect in the social justice world.
We offer below two specific proposals while recognizing that this is an ongoing process that is likely to continue to unfold within the network over the years to come, and that our proposals are not as structural as we would like them ultimately to be.
Proposal for addressing structural power within the network[edit | edit source]
We ask those in positions of structural power within CNVC to put attention on these issues so that we can continue to be a generative force for social justice.
There are three main areas where power is held in the systemic world of NVC:
- Certification: the certification process, assessor selection, and more
- IITs: where and how IITs are run, selection of IIT trainers, and more
- Operations: strategy, policy, budgets, use of CNVC funds, and more
To increase integrity at the personal through systemic levels, it would serve our organization to review and revise the ways power and privilege accumulate in these areas.
Here are some examples:
- Review the process of certification to identify and transform ways that criteria for certification may implicitly reaffirm the norms and experiences of modern European cultures and question norms and experiences of other cultures. Here are three examples from the NVC network:
- Many cultures encourage more visible emotional expression, but many assessors come from emotionally-reserved cultures. This can result in people being told they are not “ready” when in reality they are simply displaying their own cultural norm.
- When people speak about systemic issues of power and privilege that affect their certification, they have sometimes been told they are not taking responsibility for their experience. However, we believe addressing systemic issues requires a willingness to acknowledge multiple factors in causing experience (systemic influences, and individual processing of experience), and multiple types of responsibility (responsibility for our own experience, and responsibility for the impact of our actions, regardless of our intentions). We would like all candidates to be supported in both acknowledging systemic influences and being aware of choice in how they process their experience. We would like to have taken into consideration that the presence and power of systemic influences might be not obvious, for people who occupy a different social position in a system. So we would like to foster openness to expressions of pain that include references to power imbalance. We would also like candidates, particularly those who may belong to dominant groups, to be supported in being aware of and acknowledging the effect of their actions, regardless of their intentions.
- CNVC is a western organization within the global north that goes into the global south to offer certification. We are concerned that it may be easy to do this without full awareness of power, privilege, or the history of colonialism, nor with sufficient understanding of the cultural context. In those circumstances the process can easily end up dividing people rather than uniting them. Specifically, CNVC is exporting a certification process, that is individualized and requires significant access to resources for anyone to complete it, to community-oriented or collectivist cultures, many of which are lacking material access to resources. When such cultures are also structurally hierarchical, we are concerned that the certification process as it currently stands may result in separation, feed competition, and reinforce existing power differences even while the values and intentions are to contribute to transformation of those very structures. (For an expanded description and examples of unintended consequences caused by lack of awareness, click here.)
- Review the selection process for positions of authority (in any of the three bodies: certification, IITs, operations) to increase diversity in leadership by increasing membership of those from groups currently underrepresented in the NVC community, with special attention paid to aspects of social location such as class, caste, education, gender, or country of origin.
- Develop methods for feedback and input from non-dominant groups to be taken seriously and affect decision-making and policies (in any of the decision-making bodies)
- Align the functioning of any decision-making body within the NVC network with the New Future Plan. This will include decision-making methods, transparency in operations, and more. In particular, as it relates to the topics of power and privilege, it would mean including in the group a member with an “access” role: someone who will help the group become aware of, and address, any issues related to accessibility. This person would work to ensure people from underrepresented groups have greater access to leadership roles, training, scholarships, mentors, airtime, allies, support team, and more. The “access” person would be someone with knowledge, or a commitment to learning, about issues of power and privilege that may inhibit access. The role would ideally involve partnering with people playing a similar role in other NVC groups.
Proposal to address dynamics of privilege within our network[edit | edit source]
If we follow the NVC tradition, we empathize first with those who are in the most pain. However, research shows, for example, that in groups where people have different skin colors, more attention is given to people of lighter skin color than people of darker skin color. In this way, people with darker skin may not experience full empathy for their social and historical pain. We would like people to be aware of the unconscious way that privilege can shift our attention toward people with more privilege.
Our proposal calls for us to collectively learn how this unconscious bias in empathy operates, and to devise ways to interrupt these patterns and consciously prioritize empathy for those on the margins even when they do not speak up.
Here are some real examples from the NVC network, of where the focus often goes, rather than toward people from non-dominant groups:
- Empathizing with upset and bewildered reactions to the word “privilege”
- Addressing the shock and hurt of people who consider themselves “one of the good people”
- Moving toward stating what is thought to be a shared reality without understanding how much power differences advantage some and disadvantage others
- Claiming that matters of power and privilege may be ‘extraneous’ to NVC, even though we understand all our interactions as humans to be embedded in this context of power and privilege, and these factors affect connection.
- Understanding the phenomenon of global inequity but disputing the language and framing. (In addition to shifting focus, this is likely to be experienced as invalidating or silencing, especially when objections are named without demonstrating any powerful alternative language and framing that those most concerned about the issues agree can successfully address the same concerns.)
- Putting attention on the anger, fear, guilt or other feelings of people in the mainstream; or their behaviors such as arguing, retreating into silence, or leaving the room.
To transform these habits, we need continuing education for all NVC trainers to develop competence in interrupting patterns of domination. We welcome suggestions (at []) about specific ways to move us in this direction.
Since power dynamics impact every relationship in every group, we can ask ourselves these questions:
- What are the advantages or disadvantages of having power differences in our NVC community?
- How can we assess the impact of power differences in our groups?
- How can we support each other to recognize our own power-over conduct?
- What do we do as a community and as individuals when we notice power differences?
- How can we move our NVC projects forward and at the same time help every new member to be taken as seriously as the trainers with most experience in the network?
- How can we support members to step out of a habitual power-under position?
- How can we deal with members when we perceive them as not willing to share their power, or when they claim to share while other members experience them differently?
How we relate our actions to Marshall’s legacy[edit | edit source]
Marshall defined NVC as a consciousness which includes our thinking, our use of power, our language, and our actions in the world. As a white male with a PhD, vast experience, strong presence, and an acting background, much authority was automatically given to him in the second half of his life. As we know from him, and the culture in which he grew up, coming from a Jewish heritage was not considered white by mainstream Anglo-Saxon America until the civil rights movement began to seriously challenge it. He also very consciously decided to leave the mainstream life of academia and drive a taxi to keep going. This early experience of prejudice, and the following experience of voluntary ‘class suicide’, were key to his work and his understanding of privilege. He regularly shared stories of how he was schooled in feminism during the civil rights movement and in his workshops by three women who used to sponsor him. He very much understood power dynamics. Although he often modeled this understanding, he didn’t explicitly name it or teach it. We believe this is why it was seamless and invisible to most people.
Marshall referred to books and teachers that helped form his ideas, such as Walter Wink, Carl Rogers, Riane Eisler, Paulo Freire, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. He often chose not to jump into arguments, empathize, or offer his opinion when someone else was presenting an idea, even when asked. When people asked him why, he would say that he definitely had an opinion but if he spoke, people would think that what he said was the answer because he was the one leading the workshop. He often acted in ways designed to bypass cultural barriers and told jokes which added to people's ease — these helped to bridge any separation that might have otherwise been present due to his status as an authority figure.
If we do not include discussion about the unconscious effects of power and privilege in our NVC conversations, we are neglecting the entire field of social justice work which was so dear to Marshall Rosenberg. Avoiding this topic is one of the reasons why many social justice organizations do not embrace NVC. Many people in social justice work experience that NVC is only useful in interpersonal situations and that NVC favors those with privilege. The tools of NVC are only as effective as the consciousness from which they come. That is why we want to find ways of working with NVC that bridge the gap of language and perspective. We truly hope to strengthen connection and collaborate more effectively towards our shared long-term visions that are inspired by Marshall’s teachings.
In this context we see NVC as an active, creative, dynamic set of principles and practices rather than a set of rules to follow. We recognize that Marshall’s work was only partially codified and that vast areas of his approach were left incomplete, especially his decades of study and application in understanding power and systems and working towards social justice. We are committed to maintaining and deepening the principles and practices of NVC in these areas with deep reverence for the principles already present. We expect the NVC community to develop new principles and concepts that build on his legacy.
For us, a commitment to social justice means first understanding what causes injustice and then working to transform it. We see injustice as a situation in which some people’s needs are systematically not met and other people’s needs are systematically prioritized. We see the work of social justice as a multi-stage approach that includes:
- Recognizing disparities and how they show up within systems, in organizations, in interpersonal relationships, and internally within all of us
- Developing language, principles, practices, and methods that allow us to transform deep-seated structural and cultural patterns
- Doing inner work to free ourselves individually from the effects of such divisions
- Working with others to create new systems, on all levels, so that everyone’s needs are truly included. This most often requires a period of time in which the needs of the non-dominant are proactively prioritized
Conclusion: where we go from here[edit | edit source]
Social Justice work goes beyond personal healing and interpersonal relationships to support structural change. It is structural change that makes it significantly easier for those who are least well off economically, socially and politically to have their needs attended to and their voices heard. Social justice is grounded in the values and ideals of equity, access, and inclusion for all members of society, particularly those who have historically and structurally experienced social inequities. Those who work for social justice seek out the underlying causes of inequity and call for systemic changes in institutions and policies. We call for socially upheld behavioral norms to be replaced by sharing of benefits and conscious choice that attends to all needs. Social justice encourages change to come from those communities that are most affected by social inequity, so that people who most understand the issues take leadership, work on the problems and make the decisions.
As an NVC community, our unique contribution to the field of social justice is the focus on human needs and on the capacity of people to work together across significant differences on the basis of mutual commitment to everyone’s needs.
That means coming together to recognize the structural forms of separation that we have not yet been able to name or address within our network and in the world. We are hoping that this document contributes to all of us standing together in our commitment to transforming the dynamics of systemic violence. We recognize that to do so means embracing some discomfort for many of us. We look forward to conversations and actions that will support us in doing so together.
In particular, we are anticipating discomfort with the following beliefs which are likely to be challenged. Those of us who have put years of study and practice into challenging such beliefs know that on the other side of them we found more freedom and life than we could have imagined, as well as rich connections with people very different from us. We conclude by sharing these beliefs and what we now believe instead:
Prevalent beliefs within the mainstream[edit | edit source]
- Talking about privilege or marginalization encourages a mindset of victimization and disempowerment. Ultimately, it does not benefit the people we are hoping to support.
- Focusing on connection inherently transforms systems, without a need to talk about or take action to attend to systems.
- NVC is about transcending systems, and talking about ideas like privilege and systems recreates the dynamics we are trying to get away from.
What we have come to believe instead:[edit | edit source]
- Talking about privilege gives people in non-dominant groups an experience of relief, empathy, and being seen. With that comes a sense of companionship and the possibility of not being alone in facing challenges.
- Connection that isn’t grounded in systemic change falls apart when challenging behaviors show up within communities that aim to create change. For example, many NVC communities have divided, and many NVC trainers don’t talk to each other, both of which are examples of reverting to punitive responses when faced with overwhelming conflict or harm. What we want to see instead are clearly articulated restorative systems for attending to conflict. System change can only happen from focusing on systems.
- NVC is about transcending oppressive systems and replacing them with collaborative and restorative systems. Talking about privilege and systems brings hidden aspects to the surface and moves us towards more honesty and care in creating the world of our choosing.
With humility and hope for a future NVC community we can all be part of,
(in alphabetical order, including 46 certified and 42 independent trainers)
- Adam Kusio Warsaw, Poland
- Agnieszka Rzewuska-Paca Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland
- Amal Mekouar Casablanca, Morocco
- Amanda Blaine Vashon, Washington, USA
- Amy Frey Tallahassee, Florida, USA
- Antoinette Wibbelink Haaksbergen, The Netherlands
- Arnina Kashtan (ארנינה קשתן) Ramat Gan, Israel
- Ascaldeia Mariana Catwall Prague, Czech Republic
- Astara Lieuw-On The Netherlands
- Aukje Byker Ontario, Canada
- Bob Reckhow Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
- Carlene Robinson Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Ceridwen Buckmaster London, UK
- CHI, Hin Cheong Hong Kong
- Christiaan Zandt Warfhuizen, The Netherlands
- Christophe Vincent Brasil / France
- Daniela Fuchs Nuremberg, Germany
- Darla Tenold Saskatoon, Canada
- Deepika Rana Kathmandu, Nepal
- Dhiviya Delhi, India
- Dian Killian Brooklyn, New York, USA
- Eliane Geren Princeton, New Jersey, USA
- Elkie Deadman Zaltbommel, The Netherlands / Wales, UK
- Emma Collins Portsmouth, UK
- Eric 'Sqwrl' Simon Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA
- Erma van dijk Den Haag, The Netherlands
- Eva Ebenhöh Hamburg, Germany
- Franca Onyibor Nigeria
- Fred Goff Jackson, Michigan, USA
- Gail Carroll Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Helen Adamson Barcelona, Spain
- Isabelle Montigny Paris, France
- Ivana Horakova Prague, Czech Republic
- Jai Wanigesinghe Sri Lanka / Germany
- Jamil Popatia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Janice Eng Seattle, Washington, USA
- Jason Stewart Pumsaint, Wales, UK
- Jean-Philippe Bouchard Montréal, Québec, Canada
- Jeyanthy Siva (ஜெயந்தி சிவா) Sri Lanka / Netherlands / USA
- Jim Hussey Portland, Oregon, USA
- Jim Manske Ha’iku, Hawai’i, USA
- Joanna ‘Asia’ Berendt Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
- Johan Rinman Stockholm, Sweden
- Jori Manske Maui, Hawaii, USA
- Kanya Likanasudh (กัญญา ลิขนสุทธิ์) Bangkok, Thailand
- Katherine Betts Accord, New York, USA
- Kevin Spangenberg Portland, Oregon, USA
- Kristin Masters Santa Cruz, California, USA
- Leif Stringer Gainesville, Florida, USA
- Lesley Weinstock Santa Barbara, California USA
- Liesbet Bickett Kings Beach, California, USA
- Lorraine Aguilar Seal Beach, California, USA
- Loretta Iris Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
- Louise Romain Montolieu, France
- Liv Larsson Mjösjöliden, Sweden
- Lucy Perry Virginia, USA
- Marcia Christen Poulsbo, Washington, USA
- Marina Smerling Gainesville, Florida, USA
- Martha Lasley Troy, Pennsylvania, USA
- Mary Mackenzie Long Beach, California, USA
- Megan Tyler Munk Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA
- Mika Maniwa Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
- Miki Kashtan (מיקי קשתן) Oakland, California, USA
- Myra Walden Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Olga Nguyen (Ольга Нгуен) Russia / Vietnam / Malaysia / UK
- Peggy Smith Lincolnville, Maine, USA
- Penny Vine Leeds, UK
- Pernille Plantener Rødvig Stevns, Denmark
- Rachael Van Rijn Ottawa, Canada
- Rena Patty Eastsound, Washington, USA
- Robert Wentworth Vashon, Washington, USA
- Roxy Manning Oakland, California, USA
- Sarah Dekker Cape Town, South Africa
- Sarah Peyton Vancouver, Washington, USA
- Sarri Bater Sri Lanka / UK
- Selene Aitken Ashland, Oregon, USA
- Shari Elle Sydney, Australia
- Simon Beck Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Sophia Tara Wellington, New Zealand
- Sue Holper Mountain Ranch, California, USA
- Susanne Kraft Bavaria, Germany
- Susie Spiller Bethells Beach, Auckland, New Zealand
- Tarek Maassarani (طارق معصراني) Washington DC, USA
- Teresa Speakman Lancaster, Ohio, USA
- Thibault Bouchette Paris, France
- Thomas Stelling Konstanz, Germany
- Verene Nicolas Glasgow, Scotland, UK
- Warren Hooley Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
(If these words resonate with you, and you’d like to add your signature, you can do so here.)