Transformative Listening Event | Peace Through Action USA

Transformative Listening and Other Essential Skills for Facilitating Civic Dialogue | May 2022

Event Description – Transformative Listening and Other Essential Skills for Facilitating Civic Dialogue combined lecture, experiential exercises, and resource sharing for people interested in engaging in more meaningful conversations in their everyday life. Participants  learned the art of listening and more specifically, what reflective listening is and how to be an intentional listener. They had opportunities to practice this skill with other participants. Participants learned about the facilitator’s role and how to support good conversations no matter the topic. Participants walked away with new listening skills, and resources, and gained skills for facilitating conversations in their communities.

Presenters Biographies

Sheri Tardio, PhD, is the executive director of the Community Mediation Center of Calvert County (CMCC). CMCC provides conflict management and education to empower people to create their own peaceful solutions to conflict. Dr. Tardio has been a mediator at CMCC since 2012 and executive director since 2018. Dr. Tardio holds a Master Mediator certification in transformative mediation. Dr. Tardio has expanded CMCC’s services to include circle processes and Restorative Justice (RJ) practices for youth and adults. She is passionate about bringing mediation and RJ practices to Calvert County Public Schools and to the court system.

Dr. Tardio holds a Master of Education in school psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical/school psychology from the University of Virginia. Dr. Tardio completed a post-doctoral program in clinical/community psychology at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute in Columbia, SC. She worked for several years at a community mental health center in Columbia, SC. Upon moving to Maryland, Dr. Tardio worked as a school psychologist for St. Mary’s County Public Schools. She worked with the Calvert County Health Department to design and present a school-based program for teen mothers. She has volunteered as a youth educator for the Calvert Nature Education Society and as volunteer for Calvert Hospice.

Jessica Harding, LMSW, was a peace agent with Peace Through Action USA. Jessica was responsible for organizing and delivering the Calvert Peace Project, a civic and social engagement project for youth and adults in Calvert County, Maryland. Prior to joining Peace Through Action, Jessica served as an organizational development consultant for Capital NVC, which trains people in the Washington DC metropolitan area on nonviolent communication. Previous positions include clinical case manager, program coordinator, group facilitator, and teacher for various public schools and nonprofit organizations.

Jessica served two terms as an AmeriCorps member with organizations in Baltimore and then later served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. Jessica is an active volunteer in the Maryland prison system through a program called Alternatives to Violence Project. Jessica received a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Master of Social Work. She is passionate about teaching others about peace, social and emotional intelligence, and civic engagement. She is dedicated to building peace through intentional action, service to others, and creating spaces for people to connect and feel seen and appreciated. Jessica aims to embody the aphorism, “think global, act local.”

Learning Resources

  • Transformative Listening Event Information Sheet
  • Transformative Listening Event Recording (01:14:13).
  • Transformative Listening Event Presentation
  • Peace Through Action Featured Peacebuilder: Sheri Tardio, community mediator
  • Peace Through Action’s “Listening Matters: Bridging Across Differences Through Peaceful Dialogue” event (43:41)
  • Peace Through Action Featured Peacebuilder: Graham Bodie,  listening champion
  • “Tes Zakrzewski explains how to create and hold the space for Transformative Listening” YouTube video (3:25)
  • “Active Listening Katie Owens at TEDxYouth@Conejo” video (3:18)
  • “What is Reflective Listening: Explained in 2 min” video (2:13)
  • “Transformative Listening: Marian Dolan: TEDxCoconutGrove” video (19:47)
  • “Active Reflective Listening” video (5:53)
  • “Reflective Listening: Relationship and Communication Skills- Your Therapeutic Superpower” video (8:34)
  • “Listen Better: 5 Essential Phrases for Active/Reflective Listening” video (7:10)
  • “Reflective Listening” video (4:32)
  • “Chris Voss’ Tactical Empathy: 6 Reflective Listening Skills Combined” video (10:10)

About Peace Through Action Events 

Peace Through Action Events gather youth and adults of all ages to learn about civic and social topics with a focus on peace. Using delivery methods of subject expert lecture, skills training, film discussion, artistic presentation, reflection, and experiential activities, Peace Through Action Events participants gain knowledge on compassionate living, peaceful practices, and social justice concerns.

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