Responses to the 2014 GC Process

We Welcome Your Voice:

The Waking Down Community Network (WDCN) has decided to take a step towards supporting healing and recovery from the Grievance Committee (GC) Process that took place during the first half of 2014. The outcome of this process is that the Waking Down Teachers’ Association (WDTA) and the Waking Down founder, Saniel Bonder, decided to “part with mutual blessings,” and have been participating in legal negotiations to create an agreement whereby the WDTA will be the sole licensee of the Waking Down and Waking Down in Mutuality trademarks. The Next Steps Team, consisting of Saniel Bonder & Linda Groves-Bonder (and the Human Sun Institute), and Max Goler and Michael Grossman, of the WDTA, have been working hard with legal counsel this past year to create a licensing agreement that satisfies all parties. As of June 2015, the agreement is still in the works, and the Next Steps Team has respectfully requested our continued patience.

The WDCN appreciates how difficult the negotiating process is and must be (actually, those of us who aren’t directly involved probably can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it is…), and yet, as an organization committed to responding to community needs – not to suggest that teachers aren’t part of the community! – we are also acutely aware of unresolved tensions that many community members have been holding for nearly a year and a half now. In addition, it is our understanding that the WDTA is, or will be, assembling a team assigned to review and revise the GC process.

Therefore, we are planning to write another Open Letter to the WDTA in which we organize and submit the community’s response to the GC process. The WDCN would like to invite the community’s experience and collective intelligence, and to present heartfelt and constructive feedback to the WDTA and the GC revisions team.

Timing-wise, we’re looking towards the fall to start working on this in earnest.

However, for those of you who were part of last year’s GC online Forum, and/or directly affected by the GC process, we are creating a way to begin receiving your feedback now.

If you are feeling unresolved tensions, we want to hear your thoughts and feelings! We also want to hear constructive ideas for healing and moving forward. Here is how we’d prefer to have your input:

Please send us an email to WDCN@mutuality.net and in the subject line make sure you write “GC process feedback.”

And, as a way of making your feedback something that we can weave into an effective Open Letter, we would love for you to keep the following 5 questions in heart, mind, and spirit:

  1. What did you perceive?  (describe the concrete events, facts, as you perceived them)
  2. How did you feel?  (what emotions arose for you? If you felt anger, can you describe the emotions beneath the anger?)
  3. What are your concerns?  (what are you most afraid of, or worried about?)
  4. What are your needs?  (e.g. need for safety, need for connection, for respect, for communication, etc.)
  5. What are your suggestions or requests?  (based on your needs, what actions would help meet them?)

Please note that this Open Letter is just one step in healing from the GC process. There are other things that will need to happen, such as live group conversations, to continue and complete this process. Our intention with this Open Letter is not to invoke unnecessary upheaval and reactivity, but rather to create a safe space where people can release some tension and have their truth heard, and where some constructive next steps can emerge. We also want to provide a way for community heart and intelligence to contribute to the modification of the GC process.

We welcome your voice! Feel free to contact us if you have comments, questions, or concerns, and we look forward to hearing from you.

In loving service,

Eric Grace, Margit Bantowsky, and Richard Shapiro