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Paul Hillman

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ASU DP campus Humanics Retreat Workshop @ Camp Geronimo, Payson, Saturday, September 12, 2009

American Humanics, Arizona State University,

Vision Mapping as a Means to Set Intentions (Purposefulness of Focus) & Creating an Honoring Space as a Reminder of Those Intentions, facilitated by Caitlin Gizler, Alumni of the American Humanics’ course of study, and judy butzine, Cultural Arts Coalition

Caitlin is also a Management Intern, Professional Development Education, Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, ASU

A. Vision Mapping: Purpose
To "discover" possibilities for a shared vision or solutions for a shared concern by identifying meaningful images and words (phrases) that communicate collaborative intentions for the future. This particular workshop activity is a communal means to examine and explore one’s intention for the future work one will do in community settings upon graduation.

Participants were asked to go through magazines and respond to symbols, images and/or phrases that stimulate and represent answers to all of the 3 questions. This process allows for responses from a more intuitive state of being.


1. Why did I decide to pursue this degree of study?

2. What are my strengths for doing this work?

3. What is my vision for the community work I will do?

Finally, there is facilitated dialogue through the act of placing of one answer from each participant (concerning one of the 3 questions) onto a canvas for display later in a public space at ASU DT Phoenix campus. This is a thoughtful time to reflect and dialogue with everyone in the room. It is an egalitarian means to hear everyone’s voice on this subject and give respect to them and their point of view.

B. Honoring Spaces can be physical forms, reminders of those Reflected Intentions: Beads are associated with linking people together in communities, and with making immediate statements about values, ideas and beliefs. They were utilized as a means to communicate concepts of abstract thinking predating language over 50,000 years ago.

Beads are clearly an expression of symbolic activity. What exactly that symbolic activity may be varies by culture, and is contextual to a people, time and place. So I would be a bit more guarded about suggesting universals about the meaning of beads. Our main concern is that they are a clear indicator of symbolic thought, and such thought is mandatory in language." Dr. Curtis W. Marean, Professor, Institute of Human Origins, ASU Department of Anthropology, Tempe

The second component of this workshop will be to select those beads that best represent the answers to individual questions, answered above. They will then be kept in a visual place as reminders of today’s dialogue and one’s intentions (purposefulness of focus) for future community work.

The beads may be selected symbolically to represent a thought or intention due to color, texture, material or design.

The beads can be strung on elastic and worn or connected onto a colored wire and left in a visible location.

Thank you for your participation in this process. If you have any questions please contact me at or call me at (602) 375-9553.

ASU Professor Ariel Rodríguez took the time to observe this process and talk with the students. Dr. Rodriguez is a professor in thex ASU School of Community Resources and Development advances the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of local and global communities through instruction, research and service. The School provides nationally recognized interdisciplinary research expertise and innovative academic programs in nonprofit leadership and management, parks and recreation management, tourism development and management.

The process of engaging community in issues that reflect their own concerns through an act of creative expression notes that we are all interconnected like the environment where this workshop occurred. That each one of our voices matters and all the experiences that reflect our points of view have been formed through diverse experiences. By providing a thoughtful means to express our responses to problem solving we give honor to each person and hear each person’s story as a means to truly bring resolve to an issue of conflict and tension that drive us apart.

Aguila Symposium held at ASU West Campus - June 25-27, 2009, An example of how this process was utilized with over 150 Latina(o) high school youth this summer. Enjoy...