Late last year, a group of our interns, work study students and volunteers presented a workshop on active listening. Our goal: a Listening Project that would create opportunities for us to learn about the working and economic lives of people in Tompkins County. Not only do we hope that this will open our eyes to some of the needs in our community but will also create relationships with lots of different kinds of people.
Many times when people call us or stop by to talk about a work situation, they express their thanks that we listened to their story. We can’t always help in terms of legal solutions to the problems we hear about but we can lend a sympathetic ear, assure the worried worker that they are not alone and offer a few strategies for dealing with their situation.
We need volunteers to tell their stories! The meeting is set up based on times and locations mutually convenient for the listeners and the Listened-to. Please call the Workers’ Center to learn more or to volunteer.
We trust that our Listening Project will expand our ability to help others. Next week, several of us here at the Workers’ Center will be traveling to a conference/workshop that will feature a day-long workshop with Marshall Ganz, a former civil rights and labor activist, now Kennedy School professor, who developed the model of organizing through sharing and collecting Personal Narratives. More on that when we return from the conference.
I’d also like to share a link to an interesting website about workplace bullying. Beverly Peterson, filmmaker, is compiling video stories of people who have suffered as targets of bullyers at work. They’re all riveting stories, some with tragic outcomes. Visit There Oughta be a Law to learn more.