An "I-Thou" Dialogue Between a Police Officer and Activist

An example of "experiential democracy" in action

Posted Jun 13, 2016

The below video provides a model application of the "Experiential Democracy Project." I conceived The Experiential Democracy project several years ago as a way to enlarge and deepen the democratic process of deliberation. Drawing from the principles of existential-humanistic therapy and "awe-based" consciousness,  the Experiential Democracy project promotes "whole person" to "whole-person" or "I-Thou" dialogue between community leaders, such that a deepened understanding between parties can lead to a constructive form of social action or policy.(See my books The Polarized Mind, Rediscovery of Awe, and Awakening to Awe as well as blog entry on Experiential Democracy at the Mad in America website for elaborations on the latter). In the below example, I facilitate a dialogue between a community activist, Nathaniel Granger, and a police officer, Rodger Broome to provide an illustration of how the experiential democratic process can proceed. Although these two participants have some prior knowledge of each other and have advanced degrees in psychology, my hope is that the apparently powerful results of this encounter can be drawn on to promote similar dialogues both in communities and governments. I also hope that this dialogue can provide a basis for further research into the Experiential-Democracy process, as one among several approaches to conflict mediation in our conflict-riddled society. Finally, I am grateful to the participants for their courageous engagement in this evolving process of encounter. 

This presentation was recorded at the 2016 Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference held at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, CA.