Tectonic Leadership Workshop: Transforming Racial Divides

It is possible to harness the power of the tension that divides us. The tension that separates us holds the key that can connect us. Below is the email letter I received from Vanessa Harris. Her letter tells the story of how the Tectonic Leadership workshop lead to addressing the tension of white privilege and transformed relationships at her biracial church. It is a powerful message of an outcome that can bring hope to our community and others. – Brenda

“July 17, 2017
Harnessing the Power of Tension can bring healing and hope to our world!

My name is Vanessa Harris and my husband Freeman and I were working on a “Sensitivity Training Curriculum” for our church, and decided to attend the 9th Annual MI Response to Hate Conference in Lansing MI October 24, 2016. Our objectives were to attend, participate, gather information on possible contacts, and discover new insights that would help us. Consequently, I chose the afternoon course “Harnessing the Power of Tension” presented by Brenda Naomi Rosenberg

It was an enlightening and empowering class. Each attendee was given the book “Harnessing the Power of Tension” authored by Brenda and Samia Bahsoun. Attendees were asked to experience a “snippet” of the “tectonic leadership” process outlined in the book: 1. Identify a very difficult life situation which caused tension, 2. Pair-up, listen, respect, and care for one another, especially when beliefs are different than yours, 3. Find creative solutions that benefit ourselves and one another. I was captivated by the genuine passion and concern Brenda had for our society and world.

I left the conference inspired and determined to read the book in its entirety, research her background, to do whatever necessary to build a relationship with her and become a “Certified Tectonic Leader”. Well, that was “life changing” to say the least for my husband and myself.

I called Brenda, not only did she answer my call, but to my surprise we immediately arranged a coffee meeting, which turned into a personal home study: lasting over two hours of sharing life and professional experiences of women from diverse backgrounds, yet with life experiences emotionally and spiritually intertwined. We forged a dynamic relationship in such a short period of time that has impacted us and numerous others!

My husband and I, along with a “white couple” from our multi-cultured growing Christian ministry Brightmoor Christian Church of Novi, MI, asked Brenda to facilitate a two-day Tectonic Leadership workshop. The tension both couples identified was around “white privilege”. We had very differing truths. However, through intense listening, caring, and respect we found solutions to bring sensitivity awareness to ourselves and relationships that would benefit our church family.

The eight hours of training was an unbelievably enlightening, empowering, equipping, and encouraging experience. The training tools were embraced and included in our curriculum, as it is undoubtedly, “evidenced-based”!

Brenda has introduced us to many resources and opportunities which include: “Hate 2 Hope”, “Pathways 2 Peace”, the Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust (“ALPACT”), The Cornerstone School – High School Law Enforcement Program, Sanctum House – Human Trafficking Program, and most recently nominated my work, as I was honored and became a recipient to receive the award as “Diversity Champion” of the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force – Birmingham, MI.

We are on an incredibly phenomenal journey of hope, help, and healing for our world, thanks to
Gratefully Submitted,
Vanessa Harris, Director, PinPointing Hope, Inc.”