By
Ashley Muller
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23 May, 2017

 

On Wednesday, 29 March 22 people attended the Initiatives of Change Listening Roadshow Workshop at the East Oxford Community Centre. Half the participants were of foreign ethnicities, mainly European. The workshop was facilitated by Ashley Muller and Peter Riddell as part of the national initiative being rolled out across the UK.

The aim of the workshop was to create a safe space to discuss fears and opportunities from the change in our nation's circumstances by drawing together people from different backgrounds, to listen and to be heard effectively.

Discussion and activities were designed around Steiner’s three levels of listening: thinking, feeling and willing. Working in groups of four, one person shared and the other three listened on these different levels. Individuals spoke for four minutes on how they feel about the referendum. Listeners took notes and fed back to the speaker what they observed. This, along with times of quiet, served to help facilitate a time of personal reflection, processing how community members have been affected by the referendum.

Some time was allotted for people to share key learnings and insights from the session.

Many participants had feelings of shock, loss and detachment from the majority of the UK population. People expressed that there were a lot of lies from our leaders, and that this has exposed an underlying racism in the UK. Many felt powerless, a sense of loss, and frustration, concerned with what Britain’s role would be in global affairs such as the refugee crisis. Some expressed desire to campaign to maintain close European ties, and to develop ways of communicating people’s feelings going forward.

People thought it was a really useful space for interaction, timely and necessary. Some suggested that it would have been good to get more native Oxonians and maybe have a broader topic, wider than just Brexit.

The Oxford team is currently planning a second Listening Roadshow mid-June.