Launched in 2017, the Network Weaver Learning Lab was an 18-month program that created a space for leaders to develop their thinking and practice, and to explore and experiment together on ways to advance the movement to end relationship-based violence.
Co-created by sixteen California-based network leaders, along with the lab designers, the lab has been a place of challenging, collaborative, fearless, alive, open and loving exchanges that get to root causes, while maintaining a radical systems-perspective—one that embraces the past without being constrained by it, one that deepens and amplifies all the transformational work already taking place.
It was not about imparting a set of skills and lessons that are predetermined and prescriptive, but rather cultivating the synergy that comes from bringing together network leaders’ strengths, and creating opportunities for them to draw on each other to build and amplify their work. It supported participants in centering relationships, holding an experimental stance, and deepening their capacity to work in emergence. The lab featured four in-person convenings, personal and group experiments, coaching, and other supports.
Sharing the Lab’s Learning
The lab’s art brigade created a medicine deck and companion healing cookbook in partnership with other justice-minded artists in California. The lab has also developed an evaluation and a feasibility study to offer its learnings to the field including leaders working across a variety of movements and funders interested in supporting movement networks.
The Network Weaver Learning Lab Weavers
Lab members were referred to as “Weavers,” people who facilitate, connect, and support coherence among networks working towards a broader collective goal or movement.
Paul Bancroft, Jennifer Chen Speckman, Cristy Chung, Cibonay Cordova Jimenez, María Domínguez, Trina Greene Brown, Laura Jimenez, Lyia Ong Jalao, Ada Palotai, Dia Penning, Vincent M., Melissa Powless Chacon, Mary Martinez, Marciela Rios-Faust, Sharon Turner, and Monna Wong.
Design and Facilitation Team
Sharon Bridgforth, Aja Couchois Duncan, Michele Gislason, Alison Lin, Tracy Nguyen, Lupe Poblano, and Elissa Sloan Perry.
Cristy Chung, Monique Mehta, Stephanie Medley, and Mari Schimmer.
Paul Bancroft, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, Patty Bennett, Hahn Cao Yu, Jennifer Chen Speckman. Kalyne Foster, Monarch Services. Matt Huckabay, The Center for Violence-Free Relationships, Surina Khan, The Women’s Foundation, Jean King, One Safe Place, Tracy Lamb, NEWS, Jacquie Marroquin, CPEDV, Mary Martinez, WOMAN, Inc., Aiko Pandorf. Jesenia Santana, Novo Foundation, and Kad Smith, CompassPoint.
Video Credit: Compass Point Vimeo