Spiritual Activism Training

“The Spiritual Activism training, in my view, is a vital step for building the world we value and reversing the world-wide slide into anti-democratic and even fascistic ways of thinking.”

– Rabbi Michael Zimmerman

Check out this video introduction to our training experience!


  • Millions of people have been mobilized in service of hate over the past four years
  • Membership in white supremacy groups is on the rise as are violent attacks by those who identify as white supremacists
  • We are facing environmental catastrophes of unprecedented proportions and the potential destruction of the life-support system of our planet
  • The gap between the wealthiest 1% of people and the remaining 99% continues to rise

If we are ever to have a government that actually responds to the needs of the majority of people in this country, we need much more than a change of administration and Congress. We need a fundamental change of consciousness.

We also need fundamental and systemic changes to our systems. Our systems are destroying us and our planet. The values and beliefs on which our country was founded  – imperialism, racism, patriarchy, and capitalism – are killing us, undermining our capacity to see each other as embodiments of the sacred, to celebrate the awe and wonder of our universe, and ultimately killing the life-support system of our planet on which all life itself depends.

And we need to mobilize people so we can support Biden’s positive policies, push back against Republican efforts to undermine his administration, and push him to be a progressive President for meaningful change.

Do you want to have a deeper understanding of how we got here and how we can help shift consciousness so we can significantly contribute to the kind of transformative movement that is so badly needed? If so, this training is for you.

We delve into:

  • How our cultural stories and the systems and structures of our society stand in the way of creating a just, loving, and sustainable future, and
  • Why our social justice efforts need to emulate the spiritual and ethical values of love, care, kindness, respect, and justice.

We know that when people aren’t taken care of, when they don’t feel respected, when their basic needs aren’t met, right-wing churches and movements step-in with stories about who’s to blame for their pain and provide welcoming environments that attract many people who are not inherently racist.

We at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives have been speaking and writing about this phenomenon as well as training people in how to address it for decades. To learn these skills:


“The materials you had us view and read and ponder were thoughtfully curated. They allowed us, as participants, to get a broad overview of what we’re going to be up to in these next several weeks. They are written/presented from a perspective of kindness and inclusion, while still remaining intellectually rigorous. I was moved to tears to be a part of this group – helping to turn our world around, by learning more about history, ourselves and how to listen/speak more deeply. I am grateful beyond words for the work you have done to create this most amazing (and so very necessary) course. Thank you for your vision, your work, your courage, and your ongoing commitment.” – Heidi Van Ert

Now is the moment to dream big and promote long-term systemic change that can truly address our social and environmental needs. We have witnessed the harrowing repercussions of an apathetic public. We know that our nation didn’t accidentally stumble into a violent white-supremacist insurrection. Fortunately, we can still build power to convey a vital message of revolutionary love to a society that has been deprived for far too long.

In this six-session training led by Cat Zavis (Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and Co-Editor of Tikkun magazine) and Casey Overton (NSP Program and Outreach Coordinator), we address how we can help heal our society after decades of indoctrination into an ethos of selfishness, power over others, and racism/othering.

Through interactive engagement, participants will gain skills in:

Deep listening and empathic insight and persuasion

You will learn and practice deep listening and restorative empathy principles, insight, and persuasion that will be critical for engaging moderate conservatives in ways that don’t shame, demean, or condescend. To build a mass movement that can bring forth the political power we need to create long-lasting systemic change, we need to not only win elections, we need to win people’s hearts and minds and help them envision a caring society – caring for each other and caring for the planet.

Psychologically & Spiritually-informed analyses of our political landscape

We take a critical look at our economic and political systems to understand how they got us here. We discuss what needs to be changed to create a society that prioritizes a life-affirming culture of love, empathy, compassion, and justice.

Visionary Proposals

We draw on spiritual teachings and wisdom traditions as guides for a vision of the world we want and, importantly, concrete proposals and strategies to get us there. This includes proposals for systemic change in all our institutions so they prioritize human life and planetary well-being rather than economic success and power.

Creating Caring Movement Spaces 

Progressive movements are wonderfully skilled at speaking about/to people’s needs for economic security and yearnings for political rights, but less skilled at addressing people’s hunger for belonging, meaning, and dignity. Conservative churches and white nationalist movements meet these needs for their community members. People feel welcomed, seen, and valued. They receive support and care when in need. We need to create caring social change movements that welcome people who lack the depth of self-awareness and social knowledge we desire, holding them with compassion and accountability as they learn and grow. We can respond to them with disarming empathy and bring them into transformative discourse. With enough people trained and committed to empathic praxis, we will shift the culture of social change spaces to connect the struggles for social justice with a concern for the hearts and well-being of those involved in this work. We will then become truly loving and inclusive.

Whether your focus is on creating conditions in which liberals and progressives can win incremental changes or on longer-term goals of societal and environmental transformation, if you want real change, this training is for you!

“The work you are doing here is bringing back a sense of hope and direction for me. I am so enjoying my conversations around this topic. We did a role-play together during week 3, which was based on how I thought [a family member] would respond. This past week I had the chance to test it out and really focused on empathetic listening. It was a powerful conversation and filled us both with so much hope. My husband and I own a small bike shop and although we do a good job of supporting our support staff, these sessions have filled me with so many more ideas on how to improve all of our lives. Keep up the important work. I’m looking forward to spreading this work.” – Amy J.

To receive updates about future training dates, please fill out the form below. If you have any questions about the training, please direct them to: info@spiritualprogressives.org