By Sidewalk Talk, Special for USDR
Sidewalk Talk is a community listening project started in 2014 by two San Franciscopsychotherapists. On October 21, 2016 Sidewalk Talk will join with listening projects, psychotherapist and volunteers around the globe from US, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia and collectively we will all be available in a public space, on city streets and online to listen to strangers empathically. By coming together as a collective we can change the dialogue from one of one of division to one of connection. (See live footage from our Oakland, CA listening event.)
Traci Ruble, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sidewalk Talk and CEO of Psyched in San Francisco believes that in this turbulent time socially and politically, listening is the purest form of activism. She said, “When we are listened to and met with human empathy we calm inside and feel a sense of belonging. Belonging and mattering are at the root of mental wellness and at the root of effective problem solving the problems we are facing in our world today. In this political and social climate we need empathic listening more than ever.”
Brooke Dooley, Film Producer for the Feature Length Film, Listen, and LA City Leader said, “I really thought I knew what it meant to listen to others. But, it wasn’t until I mustered up the courage to go out on the sidewalk and listen to strangers that I realized I had so much to learn. Listening takes awareness and practice. I’m grateful to have found Sidewalk Talk because it’s teaching me how to truly listen.”
Esther Boykin, CEO of Virginia based Group Therapy Associates and Sidewalk Talk DC leader said, “Listening is like magic fairy dust. It’s so simple that anyone can do it and yet it has the power to profoundly change someone else’s day, or even their life, for the better. ”
Dr. Candice Ackerman, CEO of Austin, TX based Flourish Counseling Center and Sidewalk Talk Austin City leader said, “Compassion starts with listening.”
Lisa Abdilova, CEO of Well Connected Now and a proud Sidewalk Talk sponsor said “Sidewalk Talk creates these cleverly integrated safe spaces for people to talk through their stressors privately with trained listeners and therapists on their way to work.”
Sidewalk Talk wants to change hearts and minds and spread the idea that belonging and human connection make us well through empathic listening. Our volunteers listen monthly in cities across the world. We are always recruiting more cities and volunteers to grow this project.
Sidewalk Talk is a 100% volunteer based non-profit. To date, we have over 600 volunteers and 1000 people have been heard and 100 have been referred to mental health support services. You can find out more about volunteering or donate online at our website: www.sidewalktalksf.com.
SOURCE Sidewalk Talk