Activism As a Spiritual Practice:
A Latinx-led leadership event
Online Group Relations Learning Event
400 years Timeline
This timeline follows the history of African Americans, women, Native Americans, and working people. It was composed through the research of students in the 400 Years of Inequality class at The New School, taught by Mindy Fullilove, in Spring and Fall of 2017. The images and text are drawn from multiple sources and have been composed here by the timeline designers for public education purposes.
While workshopping the timeline through multiple design stages, we observed that great progress in the fight against inequality has been achieved by coalitions. We hope you see the same history when you and members of your team review it, and we offer this downloadable pdf for you to share and use as a free educational tool.
A message from the director
If activism without spirituality (i.e., love) is just an angry mob, and love without action (i.e., activism) is meaningless, consider Lilla Watson’s consultation:
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
The incomplete timeline above speaks to our national history of struggle between colonization and social justice. It speaks to activism as a spiritual practice and angry mobs. It points to an evolution towards intersectionality and simultaneity and
As we are active participants of our evolving story, we invite you to this online group relations conference to explore the complex issues that confound and appear to divide us as a country: racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, to name a few that have been exacerbated in the context of a pandemic. This conference will incorporate traditional elements of group relations work, as well as innovative events that are intended to lead to concrete application steps. As the title suggests, we assert that spirituality is the core force that manifests its meaning in activism or social application towards
Rev. Jaime J. Romo, Ed.D.
Director and Consultant
Hospice Chaplain, Kaiser Permanente | Trauma Incident Reduction Facilitator, Private Practice | Past President, Child Friendly Faith Project | Member, Grex | Certified Consultant, AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems
Yaro Fong-Olivares, M.S.
Director in Training and Consultant
Director, Corporate Education, Bentley University | Organizational Development consultant with a focus on racial justice, equity, and inclusion | President, Executive Committee, New York Center |Member, Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems |Consultant-in-training, AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.
David Luna, JD
Associate Director and Consultant
Owner, Luna Consulting & Coaching | Member, National Lawyers Guild | Member, Circle of Stillness Sangha | Co-Creator, Group Relations International | Member and Conference Director, Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations | Certified Consultant, AKRI | Past-President, National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives
Tom Butler, M.Div.
Associate Director for Conference Administration
Member, certified consultant, and mentor | AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems | Founding member and Past President, Chicago Center for The Study of Groups and Organizations | Past Board member of AKRI.
Limor Vink, B.A.
M.A. Student, Clinical Psychology | Member, AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems | Member, Grex - West Coast Affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute
Jack Lampl, B.A.
Associate Director for Conference Technology
Jack Lampl, B.A - Organizational Consultant | Credentialed Mediator | Visual Artist | Past President and Fellow A K. Rice Institute | Associate Director 2017-2019 A. K. Rice International Group Relations Conference | Lead consultant for multiyear training and application work with the College of Pastoral Education and Psychotherapy | Past President Threshold Foundation | Founder of Subjective Technologies Inc. a too early stage virtual reality startup | Grex member | Co-Creator GRI
Diana Castañeda, MA, LCPC (she/her/ella)
Director of Youth and Crisis Services, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago | Fellow, Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis | Member, Chicago Center for the Study of Groups and Organizations
Joshua DeSilva, Psy.D., CGP (he/him)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice | Member, Virginia Latino Advisory Board | Clinical Member and Certified Group Psychotherapist, American Group Psychotherapy Association | Member and Consultant in Training, AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems | Member, Diversity Committee, Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists
Lt Col Rod Smith, PhD (he/him)
Assistant Professor, United States Air Force Academy | Lead Instructor for Air Force Officer Commanding Leadership Education | Co-Creator Group Relations International | Member, AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems | Member, Adaptive Leadership Network
Julia G. Katawazi, MA (she/her/ella)
Associate Professional Clinical Counselor | Research Health Science Specialist, VA La Jolla | Counselor Education and Supervision PhD candidate, Oregon State University.
Annysa Polanco, MSW
Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Penguin Random House | Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner Candidate (CCDP/AP), Cornell University | Trained Facilitator on Race, Power, Privilege, Cultures Connecting | Member, AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems
What is Group Relations?
Group Relations methodology is the study of complex social systems, and it emerged in the 1940s following WWII specifically to try and understand what happened and why, to better understanding how societies and organizations function and how to best solve social problems. Group Relations (GR) conferences are designed to foster leadership development while working creatively and adaptively in complex social systems. Towards that end, we don’t use a traditional conference format – lectures, formal didactics, etc.
Instead, a GR conference is an experiential learning method where members explore boundaries, authority, role and task in the context of small, large and self-organizing groups in the “here and now” of experience across a three-day weekend event. Ultimately, this allows conference participants to see how large systems work and most importantly teaches competencies and skills in how to organize collectively toward whatever goal(s) are set. This conference invites a national and international community membership.
This conference models and fosters Latinx leadership development, and provides participants access to a transformative experiential Latinx led learning environment designed to promote individual, interpersonal and social transformation.
This conference is designed as an integrated experience with each event building on the one previous. Participants should plan to attend all events.
Pending approval, this conference is offering 13 continuing education credits/clock hours for psychologists (all levels), social workers and mental health counselors.
A limited number of reduced-fee registrations will be available. Please contact the conference Associate Director for Administration, Tom Butler, at firstname.lastname@example.org for details before you register.
Fees can only be refunded (less $50 administration charge) if a written notice of cancellation (email is fine) is received before by 6 PM Eastern on April 9th, 2021.
Staff will not report the behavior of any individual member to anyone outside the conference.
Feedback from past events
"What a radical, challenging, inspiring and TRANSFORMATIVE experience this conference was. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn."
Kim Cabigon /CSUDH Undergraduate Student
"Thank you for presenting us with such an exciting, interesting, insightful event. Had tons of fun :)"
Aaron Street /CSUDH Graduate Student (MA Clinical Psychology)
Support for our 4th Annual Group Relations Conference “Leadership and Creative Expression”!
Gifts of all amounts to our Group Relations Experiential Learning Fund are appreciated and will support CSUDH as a center for group relations innovation and community education.
Your commitment means a great deal to our students, faculty and staff dedicated to this effort.