Developing Owl Vision: Facilitation Skillshare Report

on January 30, 2016

In mid-January, the Hive organized a facilitation skillshare–a chance for people with a range and variety of skills and experiences in facilitating groups to learn from each other and increase our knowledge and confidence. We focused on facilitation skills for use in non-hierarchical groups whose aim is mutual support or learning.

Malaika and Calvin facilitated the skillshare, and 16 participants from Brattleboro and neighboring communities (including Northampton!) showed up to share their wisdom and questions.

Part of the skillshare included a group brainstorm around facilitation tools that participants had used or heard about. Here’s what we came up with:

Have a backup plan
Create a signal for attention
Allow for silence (intentionally)
Check in with group
Set limits
One-on-one support from one member/facilitator
Structure time sharing w/hourglass
Temperature checks w/thumbs
Fist of five
Create different formats/sizes for inclusivity
Break-out groups
Don’t talk
Talking piece
Space for non-verbal ways to participate
Owl vision
Prioritize space for survivors
Ask about accessibility 1st]

At the end, we took some time to debrief, and facilitators asked for feedback: in the left column, what worked well (+), and in the right column (delta), what could have been different.


Kinesthetic activity
Popcorn speaking
Started a conversation
Open to feedback
Worked well together
Reached an awesome audience


More time
Dry erase markers
More specific focus
Florescent lights/lights darker
Ask about accessibility first

We hope to have a followup event in the spring in order to build on the conversation and allow for other facilitators to step up. Please be in touch if you’re interested in facilitating or participating in future skillshares.

Thanks to the Root Social Justice Center for hosting!

Worker Bee Minutes – January 2016

on January 22, 2016

Read notes from the last meeting of the worker bees HERE. Welcome to our new bee, Dylan!

Coming off Psych Drugs HIATUS

on December 26, 2015

Due to scheduling issues and recent low turnout, Coming off Psych Drugs peer support group will be on hiatus after January 12. We hope to restart it if/when we get our own space and will consider changing the name/scope of the group to be more inclusive of a range of relationships to psych drugs.

Worker Bee Minutes – December 2015

on December 26, 2015

Minutes from December’s worker bee meeting are online! One major update: Coming off Psych Drugs will go on hiatus after mid-January. Also, we are going to create business cards, for real.

Worker Bee Minutes – November 2015

on November 22, 2015

Minutes from November’s worker bee meeting are now available. Highlights include plans for a Buzzline planning meeting, and Humans Anonymous being temporarily located at the Turning Point Center. Interested in joining these meetings? Bee in touch.

Duct Tape and Kazoos

on November 13, 2015

Here’s a somewhat belated update from some busy bees. Hive members participated in the Wellness in Windham health fair in Brattleboro on September 19. A handful of us designed and staffed a table with brochures, flyers, and an email signup-sheet.

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Also on the table were pre-printed “prescription pads,” with which attendees were invited to diagnose something other than an individual–for example, a system or part of our culture that is harmful or inequitable–and prescribe a solution or change.

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Some wrote prescriptions for affordable childcare, others for respect and autonomy for psychiatric and medical patients, and others for alternative economies like the Time Trade. One attendee wrote a prescription calling for more tie-dye. Because, you know, Vermont.

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We each brought a yellow T-shirt and helped each other apply strips of black duct tape to make stripes. Kazoos completed our bee personae, and we took turns buzzing around to the other tables, handing out flyers and meeting the other participants. We were also joined by an avocado, because why not.


Look for the alternative prescription board and buzzing bees to swarm at another event near you in the future.

Worker Bee Minutes – October 2015

on October 21, 2015

Minutes from October’s worker bee meeting are now available. Highlights include plans to cultivate and support facilitators for the monthly gatherings, continuing the search for our own space, and posting the request for proposals to develop the Buzzline.

Worker Bee Minutes– September 2015

on September 11, 2015

Check out what’s in the works!  Here are the worker bee minutes for this month.

Worker Bee Minutes- August 2015

on August 04, 2015

The worker bees have been busy and lots of exciting things are in the works!  Check out the minutes from our August meeting!

Special Event: Cell Mixer!

on July 13, 2015

Join us for our monthly potluck gathering Saturday July 18th from 5-7 pm at The Root Social Justice Center (28 Williams St) in Brattleboro!  The goal of this month’s gatheringg is to meet other potential cell members, found out more about how cells are formed, and have the opportunity to join one.  You can learn more about cells here but in short a cell is a closed group of 4-5 people who will support each other however that group decides.

Feel free to bring a dish to share if you’d like–we’d rather have you come empty-handed than not at all.

If you aren’t able to make it to this event but would like to get connected to a cell, feel free to complete this survey anytime in the next couple weeks!