2022-03-21 - Listen First Empathy Cafe

Event Details: See Video On: Youtube - Facebook

The ListenFirst Coalition and Edwin Rutsch, (Director Center for Building a Culture of Empathy, candidate for Congress and team) will host a series of ListenFirst Community Empathy Cafés. Take this opportunity to connect, share resources and build the community.

You are invited to:

    1. Experience, learn and practice the Empathy Circle process in small breakout circles.

    2. Network and build connections within the ListenFirst Coalition.

    3. Talk about a topic relevant to you and the community.

    4. Come up with ideas to implement.


  • Wolfgang Brötz

  • Cheryl Epps

  • Tamrina Matta

  • Cara Wilson

  • Megan Briggs

  • Larry Visser

  • Shanara Mercer

  • Dwayne Hearn

Are you part of an organization, and if so what is the name?

    • Empathy Events 24/7

    • Los Angeles City Attorney's Dispute Resolution Program. Also consultant with Police2Peace

    • Listening Inn

    • Taking CARA Business

    • Story Powerhouse

    • Dignity Dialogues

    • Move for America

    • Empathy Circle Facilitator (ECF)

What is the organization website?

Where did you hear about the Cafe?

  • In a Whatsapp Group

  • Lisa Broderick: Director, Police2Peace

  • edwin's emails

  • Citizen Connect / ListenFirst

  • Listen First

  • Email

  • I am an ECF.

I LIKE.... What did you like about todays Café?

1. I liked the shared intention that 23 people convened to learn and practice.

2. I liked sharing the space and exchanging how it felt to be heard, and also exchange techniques needed to participate/facilitate the circles

3. watching empathy work in a new group

4. The facilitator, Bill, did a great job modeling, holding space and making us feel comfortable when it was awkward at the beginning.

5. I liked seeing the model in action. There was continuity from round to round, showing that people were listening thoughtfully.

6. I love learning new skills, and the cafe introduced me to new levels of empathic listening and oral communication practices.

7. I liked the idea of partnering/collaboration. I would enjoy doing more of these intergenerational activities.

I WISH... What would you have wished for in the next Cafe? Are there any topics you would like to have? etc.

1. I appreciate both your topical suggestion as a "reling" and allowing to stay with what is alive in me in that very moment

2. Implicit Bias, Issues related to differences

3. no suggestions here

4. Maybe a lighter topic, but it was great to leave it open to talk about anything. Less than 2 hours, would have been fine. 1.5 hours total would have had the same intended purpose.

5. I wish the group of participants was more diverse and inclusive.

6. I enjoyed our autonomy to speak about the chosen topic of discussion or to elaborate on something of personal choice.

7. The role of self-esteem plays in helping people to connect with each other.

What other questions, comments, insights, etc. do you have about todays Empathy Cafe?

1.Sometimes, 2 hours is fairly long for me, particularly i live on CET in Europe. What about having some flexibility in requesting time preferences before the break-outs are arranged? I understand that some might miss the harvesting in the end. Even though, it might increase the number of participants.

2.Thank you for the opportunity to participate. I am a senior mediator with the Los Angeles Community Police Unification program, where I conduct mediations between community members and police officers, whenever a community member has filed a complaint. This empathy circle helps me to build on my listening skillset, so my mediation participants feel seen, heard and valued. Thank you for this forum

3.I like that we can link "listen first" to the facilitator being the first active listener - that seems unimportant but nice.

4. I Might be nice to ask everyone to be prepared to have their zoom cameras turned on. Two of our participants had their cameras off and that did not create the best most connecting zoom environment. Bill navigated that and the technical difficulties of one of our participants with such grace though that it was made to feel okay.

5. I felt like the topics suggested for today were very broad. Maybe make them more targeted next time. Maybe the Empathy Cafe needs a "menu" of topics to select from.

6. I made a few connections and I look forward to meeting more leaders who are interested in using empathy as a bridge building tool.

7.I think that it is important to do a quick introduction before participants move into small groups.