In addition to leading workshops, Benji Hart facilitates meetings, retreats, and circles for collectives and grassroots organizations. From drafting and editing mission statements to restructuring internal processes, they provide a menu of services to support open communication and present strategies for longterm movement building. Working directly with organizations, they draft agendas and oversee single or multi-day retreats, taking the burden of facilitation off collective members so they can focus fully on content and communication.
Some of their areas of experience include:
• Organizational development—Presenting a range of activities to aid in discussing, taking inventory of, and trouble shooting organizational stumbling blocks
• Community building—Exercises from poetry writing to theater games that help collective members get to know each other outside of their political work and build internal trust
• Drafting and editing mission and vision statements—Tips for clearly naming a collective’s guiding values and goals, and writing them democratically and efficiently
• Developing structures for group consensus—Supporting organizations in identifying and putting in place structures that allow for group decisions to be made concisely and collectively
• Planning for accountability—Helping organizations creatively map out processes for community accountability before conflicts arise, both internally and externally
“With Benji’s compassionate, yet firm, guidance, we were able to accomplish all of the retreat goals and got back on track as an organization. Benji’s presence…was welcoming and comforting; we were able to be vulnerable and open in ways that are not always possible at retreats.”
– Deana Lewis, co-founder of Love & Protect
Sample Agenda / Love & Protect’s Semiannual Retreat / Chicago
10am Review Agenda + Draft Group Agreements
10:10am Ice Breaker
• Mini Poetry Writing Workshop
10:30am Review and Rewrite Mission Statement
11:10am Revisiting Support Work
• How do we better support incarcerated survivors?
• What is our capacity for supporting survivors on the outside?
• Check-in around status of monthly support campaign
2:10pm Larger Political Vision
• What is our capacity for supporting larger political campaigns?
• How is our “squad” structure currently aiding our work?
3:30pm Reflection + Closing
4pm Clean Up + Head Out
“Benji has a special gift for facilitating generative discussions that are productive as well as nurturing and healing. They are a skilled listener who can guide a group in synthesizing diverse thoughts into a unified mission or trajectory. Their warmth, humor, thoughtfulness, and keen insights help to keep a group on track, while providing the flexibility to make changes as needed…I’ve emerged from every meeting, retreat, or workshop that they’ve facilitated with a deep sense of gratitude…”
– Sarah Jane Rhee, Love & Struggle Photos
Photo: Sarah Jane Rhee, 2018