Be Present Empowerment Model

Know Yourself Outside the Distress of Oppression

Listen to Others in a Conscious and Present State

Build Effective Relationships and Sustain True Alliances

Because of the way we have been oppressed and the way oppression is internalized, people initially talk about their lives within the context of their oppression. The facilitator encourages each person to tell their story to guide them to a place where they can see, not only their own hurt, but that part of themselves that is whole and well despite it. As each person identifies issues that are barriers to fully being oneself, the person gains insight into how they have internalized their oppression and how that plays out in their life. Through this process, people find their true voices and develop a sense of self-worth.

Listening to others outside of one’s hurt, despair, and fear is a skill learned by experience, and analysis and modeling by the trainers. Often, people are unable to respond effectively to the issue at hand because they are distracted or confused by their own feelings. As people identify and begin working through their own barriers, they can listen to and really hear what another person is saying and consider what is being said.

Once people have developed some level of skill in knowing themselves and being able to listen to others, the possibility for building new relationships and alliances emerges. By using the skills developed in support and organizing groups and through training, people are able to create the safe spaces vital to the development of better, more creative working relationships. These authentic relationships establish a solid base for developing better leaders and building a true community.

Be Present Empowerment Model® Training

The Be Present Empowerment Model® Training is the core training for all Be Present programs. It provides a safe environment where people can explore how their personal histories and the social contexts of issues such as race, gender and religion influence and affect our attitudes and behaviors toward each other. The trainings support the analysis of how these behaviors manifest in relationships, communities and institutions and create the systems in which we live.

The Be Present Empowerment Model® Training takes people through three realms, or steps, to gain insight and understanding of how these systems influence all of us:

  • Know Yourself Outside the Distress of Oppression
  • Listen to Others in a Conscious and Present State
  • Build Effective Relationships and Sustain True Alliances

These leadership realms build resilient leadership on three levels:

  • On the individual level, people develop competencies for inner resilience – including strengthening self-knowledge (self-determination and self-direction); bringing their voices to the table; asking questions, connecting and advocating; thinking creatively and reflectively; and taking positive action.
  • On the intergroup level, people build skills for effective collaboration – including dismantling stereotypes; engaging in difficult dialogues; transforming conflict; building trust; and creating lasting partnerships.
  • On the community level, people strengthen the capacity for outer resilience and larger-scale change – including building civic capacities and community infrastructures; increasing access to opportunities; building political will to attract and sustain community investments; and moving society in more sustainable directions.

Click here to watch our youth elders talk about the Model!

For more information on opportunities for practice, view our Upcoming Training Opportunities.

Watch a 2-Part Video on the Be Present Empowerment Model® Training