Please join NTI for a very special 2-day conference featuring Vikki Reynolds and members of our community sharing influential stories of their lives and work!
Folx Tales will be a two-day immersion into narrative therapy and community work where attendees will get to live the rich experience of being in narrative conversations while simultaneously developing their narrative skills and preferred ways of bringing the narrative worldview to their lives.
With this event, NTI is re-imagining what a “professional” conference can be. This gathering is purposefully not shaped by the normative assumption that outsider, “expert” knowledge is inherently more valuable than the diverse local knowledges found right here in our community. Instead, we’re organizing this conference around a key narrative belief: that every community has vast, rich, valuable knowledges that are deeply precious and worthy of sharing. All we need to do is bring our genuine curiosity and willingness to be moved to new, unpredictable places.
At Folx Tales, attendees will have the chance to hear from members of our own narrative community — therapists, community activists, poets, artists, organizers — who will be sharing important stories of their lives and work. These storytellers are not necessarily “professional presenters” — but this is exactly what has us most excited about this gathering. These are people we admire greatly and who regularly inspire us with their ways of being and relating. They are people living and working hard every day in ways shaped by narrative ideas and ethics. They include a variety of folx who reflect some of the diversity of our growing community. We believe their stories will provide a rich reflecting surface for us all to think about our own work, hopes, intentions, and achievements.
Attendees will have the privileged opportunity to listen to these stories within the narrative tradition of outsider witnessing. In this way, we will be honing our skills at bringing stories to life by becoming attuned, respectful audiences for each other in thickening preferred identities. We believe this is at the heart of narrative practice. It can contribute enormously to new possibilities in attendees' own lives and work.
There will be more details to come soon about these fabulous people who have agreed to share at Folx Tales 2024!
Each morning will begin with a "key-note" event. These key-notes will be energetic dialogues, not monologues, with opportunities for spontaneous responses from attendees. The first day key-note will center a Steve Gaddis roundtable conversation, and the second day will feature Vikki Reynolds, who will be joining us in person both days. For those of you unfamiliar with Vikki, she is an activist and therapist who has worked passionately for decades to challenge the de-politicizing of problems and to develop and highlight practices of justice-doing, accountability, and solidarity. We are thrilled she can travel to Boston for this event, and we encourage you to explore her work, which she offers for free on her website.
Vikki's "key-note" is titled, "Collective Care, Solidarity & Justice-Doing in Therapy & Community Work." Her work has deeply influenced many of us at NTI over the years. Her ideas and stories help us be very clear that responding to people in respectful, dignifying ways is possible in all helping contexts — even in the face of the most insidious problems and unjust oppressions. Click here to learn more about Vikki, how she is preparing for Folx Tales, and how she will lead us in establishing an ethical frame for our work as helpers and people in our communities.
Following these "key-notes," attendees will head each day to breakout rooms where they will witness Storytellers sharing precious stories. NTI will then facilitate an outsider witness process where storytellers and participants can engage in a two-way, mutual meaning-making practice. We believe this process has immense potential for opening up new, yet-to-be imagined possibilities for how we work and live.
This is a conference born from a hope to relate to each other and to our work from our hearts, not only through academic ideas or prescribed therapy methods. Our dreaming has led us towards a spirit of Solidarity and Celebration, so in addition to the featured stories and keynotes, we will be weaving in music and poetry throughout the gathering, along with an exciting community art project that all participants will all have a chance to contribute to.
Re-imagining what a conference might be allows us to play with the phrase "learning objectives" and what that means. Everyone will likely leave with very different, unique, and particular experiences of what was meaningful to them and why. However, our collective hope is that we all might leave with:
- A deepened, richer experience of the Narrative Worldview
- Experiences of communities of solidarity of shared ethics and values
- Reminders of what we already know that generates new ideas of how to relate to people
- Deeper appreciations for what becomes possible with a more relational approach to meaning-making
- Fresh, personal experiences of listening traditions that stand against judgment and evaluation in favor of resonance and transport
Our greatest wish is that everyone who attends will leave with a richer story about why they value doing work that can be so incredibly challenging and difficult. We hope this gathering opens up fresh new possibilities for reflection, understanding, and action. Our dream is that it nourishes and re-energizes participants so people might leave clear-eyed about the ways they are living intentional purposeful lives.
We invite you to join us and make this a profoundly precious memory for everyone attending.
Also, if you would like to celebrate with us all week, please consider joining this other narrative training held on April 23 & 24 at the NonProfit Center: