Acting on Issues You Care About Through Dialogues

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The world is full of challenges facing people, other animals, and the environment, but at the same time, there are so many opportunities to grow understanding and action! In order to grow better understanding of the issues you care about, engage in constructive dialogues, and take action, here are some ways to reflect on your own accountability and boundaries with some SELF DIALOGUE.  What do you care about? What have you experienced? How do you communicate these things and listen to others? Answering these questions will help you develop an open mind and new understandings for how to address important topics by 1) Having respectful, productive conversations, 2) Expressing your feelings and/or 3) Being considerate of others and their perspectives. 

To be the best change-maker around, you can use this self-dialogue to grow Roots & Shoots Compassionate Traits like Empathy, Communicating Openly, and more! Take the quiz here to find out what traits are your strongest.

Pick the topic that is MOST important to you right now (you can always come back to others later!).

Answer the questions below:  

  • What have you experienced on this issue?  
  • How does it make you feel? 
  • Consider solutions – what outcomes would you would find positive, good for your well-being, painful or harmful? 
  • Where did you learn to think about and understand your chosen topic?    
  • What boundaries do you want to create around this subject? (see more explanation on boundaries below) * 
  • What would be a helpful way for others to support you on this issue? 
  • What do you need to find healing/resolution? 

    * These questions and more are part of an exploration of accountability by award-winnning educator Bianca Laureano. 

Setting boundaries is another crucial part of self-care and growing communications, community, and compassion. Boundaries help to establish all the ways you can protect your emotional well-being, like saying, “I need some time to myself when I get back from school,” or ” This topic is difficult for me to discuss in a group, I would prefer to talk to you about it one-on-one.” 

Active Listening is another essential part of dialogues. This includes “attentively seeking to understand a speaker’s message, rather than passively hearing the words that a speaker says.” (Storycorps)

Tell us how you’re using these tools and creating constructive dialogues by sharing on social tagging @rootsandshoots #rschangemaker. Explore more of the actions in our Peace Day Challenge here.


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The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Associate Director of Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is currently a Master's of Science Candidate for Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including nearly 10 years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking programs, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to change hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.