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Family Activism


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Table of Contents

Part I: The Family Perspective
1. Make Family Your Cause
Family Activism Changes Lives (The Backyard Ceremony)
Discovering the Obvious Sometimes Takes Time
What is Most Important to Us?
Activists are People Who Care
2. Make Transformation Your Vision
Vision Inspires Energy for Change (Our New House)
Healthy Families and a Society that Works for All
Have You Heard of the Great Turning?
Transformation Begins with Your Family
The Five Family Principles
3. The Familia Approach - You Can Do This!
Family is Being for All Your Loved Ones
It's All About Teaching Love
Developing Your Family Power is Essential
Living the Family Approach (Moving In with Mom)
Our Strategy is the Familia Approach
Part II: Tools for Family Power
4. The Family Council: A Story of Transformation and
Organizing Our First Council
The Family Retreat
Developing Our Family Vision
Using Council to Become More Familia
5. Preparation & Grounding: Get Your Act Together!
Connect with Spirit
Know You are Porvida
Discover and Evolve Your Purpose
Living Your Purpose
Your Personal Success Path
6. Create Family Connection
The Unity Principle
Doing Conocimiento
Facilitating Group Connection
Creative Connecting
7. Co-Powering to Battle Negativity
Our Worst Enemy: EL NO
Transform EL NO
Principles for Co-Powering Communication
Patience and Perseverance
8. Love the Children: Communicate
Start Communication Early
Make Communication Meaningful
Be the Uncle or Aunt to the Many (The Godchildren Retreat)
It Is Never Too Late
9. Communicate & Teach
The Four Big Reasons to Communicate
To Connect
To Convey Love
Communication and Teaching
Bring Home the Story Tellers
10. Be the Facilitator to Ensure Quality Family Time
Make Meetings Happen!
Convening with the Talking Stick
The Family Council (Meeting to Support Dad)
Wisdom for Great Councils
11. Unity Circles: Every Gathering Can Inspire
Serve as the Circle Maker (Mario's 30th Birthday)
The Traditional Unity Circle Design
Principles to Guide the Circle Maker
Honoring the Dead (Maria's Memorial Service)
12. Powerful Family Gatherings
The Family Improvement Plan (John's Family Meeting)
Creating Family (The Ceremony to Recognize Godparents)
Unity Circles Creates Miracles (Ceremony for the Young Men)
Part III: Community Action
13. Mobilizing Your Family and Community
From Friends to Being an Activist Family (The Parents Association)
Transforming an Institution (The Oakland Museum of California)
Mobilizing for Peace (The Oakland Family Network)
A Retreat Center for Activists & 2000 New Voters (The Dana Street Family Network)

About the Author

Roberto Vargas, principal consultant for New World Associates, is an educator, planning consultant, and ceremony leader. Nationally recognized for his skills in meeting facilitation and leadership development, Roberto has more than twenty-five years of experience providing consultations on community problem-solving, multicultural team-building, and strategic planning throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden. His focus is assisting proactive organizations to become their best, and his clients have included colleges, corporations, public institutions, Native American reservations, and more than 150 agencies and organizations dedicated to community service.


"Roberto Vargas reminds us that the qualities that we most want to see in the world begin very close to home. By sharing parts of his personal journey Roberto Vargas provides us with important facilitation tools and insights that we can all use to create more caring, compassionate, and engaged families and communities."
--Danny Glover, activist and actor

"I know from experience that Roberto Vargas's is a wise and compassionate leader. His path of family engagement will save lives and help families to know true 'family values, ' which start with love and support at home and spread to community involvement and social change."
--Don Hazen, Executive Editor, AlterNet

"Family Activism deepens our understanding of practices to inspire and support those closest to us to be better agents of love and change. The communication, ceremony, and facilitation tools that Roberto Vargas shares can make us all more loving family members and better activists and leaders within any of our organizations and communities."
--Akaya Windwood, President and CEO, Rockwood Leadership Program

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