Authentic Leadership in Action Module

April 30, 2015 Community, Conversation, Featured

Thrilled to be a member of the faculty at the Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) event in Tacoma, WA. Learn more about the conference at

Building Containers for Community Resilience

with Aftab Erfan

Community resilience is the capacity to respond positively to adversity at the level of families, communities and larger societal systems. The resilience of many cultural and ethnic communities are compromised by the histories of colonialism, oppression, discrimination and conflict throughout the world – yet many continue to strive to survive. The stories of Indigenous people, of communities of colour, of Jewish and Armenian communities, and of Palestinians within the occupied territories are notable examples. In the context of the diverse societies many of us now live in, the resilience of a these cultural communities is tied to the health of the social fabric of societies in which they are embedded. A central question for leaders in intercultural settings is how to build social bonds between theses communities and others surrounding them as a way to enhance their resilience and promote peace. This module reflects on our engagement with cultural and ethnic conflict in North America. Drawing particularly from the South African lens and methodology of Deep Democracy, we discuss what it takes for a leader to build and hold container for these difficult conversations, while retaining his/her personal resilience as the heart opens to the world’s darkest conflicts.