G20 Summit - November 21-22

How to Lead Listening Circles


Online Workshop

Sunday, November 22

10:00 — 12:00 GMT
5:00 — 7:00 AM EST

Followed by optional support group

In English, interpreted into Hindi

For Zoom event


UER Logo.jpg

Listening circles are a powerful way to build a strong, united climate movement. Facing climate breakdown and global injustice brings up many emotions, including anger, discouragement, and grief. If we continually push our feelings down, they can interfere with our thinking, which makes our activism less effective. Taking turns listening gives each of us more space than usual to express whatever we feel. Then we think more clearly.

In this workshop we will do the following:
★ Offer guidelines for running climate listening circles
★ Listen to each other in groups and pairs with undivided, respectful attention
★ Learn the approaches used by Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism to heal from the emotions we experience in reaction to the climate crisis, increasing our effectiveness in the climate justice movement and preventing burnout
★ Learn tools to take back to our home communities and organizations to help others notice, feel, and release emotions

The Work of SAL and UER

It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. The impact of environmental destruction and climate change falls most heavily on the groups targeted by these oppressions, and on other vulnerable populations (including populations of people who are elderly, disabled and very young).

To build a movement powerful enough to resolve the climate crisis, SAL and UER believe that the following barriers must be overcome: (1) longstanding divisions between nations and between groups of people caused by oppression (especially by racism, genocide of Indigenous people, and classism), (2) wide-spread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) a too-slow response to the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system.

We have found that these barriers are most quickly overcome as people heal from the mental and emotional harm caused by oppression. SAL and UER events provide opportunities for people to take turns listening to each other while encouraging emotional release. We become better able to think, speak out, organize, unite, and lead others in building a sustainable world.

SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.