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  • To identify characteristics of spirit-based activism and obstacles to it.
  • To explore how we can stay true to the promptings of love and truth in our hearts.

Time: 60 minutes
Materials: Flipchart, markers, tape, paper, pens. Handouts with a list of the questions.
Related tools: Violence and nonviolence spectrum.


This activity works best with groups that have a faith or spiritual basis for their social change work. The questions are generic, but you may want to replace “spirit-based” with something more specific to the group.

Print a list of the questions (below), one copy for each participant. Write the questions on flipchart paper, one question at the top of each page so that responses can be added.

  1. What would you say are the key characteristics of spirit-based activism?
  2. Which of those is strongest in you?
  3. What are the obstacles/challenges for you as a spiritually-based activist?
  4. What support do you need to be more effective in your spirit-based activism? How could you get this support?


Explain the purpose of the session and how it will work. Divide the group into smaller groups of 4.

Read the questions aloud and hand out the printed copies, one each. Invite everyone to reflect individually on their own answers. Allow 2 minutes for this reflection.

Ask each group to split into two pairs: the A-pair and the B-pair.

A-pairs first: separate and each choose a different B-pair not in your group, where you’ll team up with an A from another group to interview a B-pair. A-pairs ask the questions, you might want to take turns it in turns, Bs answer. Allow 5 minutes for the interview.

Ask the A-pairs to return to their ‘home group’ and report back their findings. Allow 10 minutes for this conversation.

Now, repeat. This time, the B-pairs choose an A-pair not in their group. B-pairs ask the questions, listen and take notes, and A-pairs answer the questions. Allow 5 minutes for the interview to take place.

Again, ask the pairs to return to their home groups and report back what they have found. Allow 10 minutes for this conversation.


Return to the whole group.

Take the flipsheets with the questions on. Ask:

What came out of your conversations?

Make notes on the responses to each question.

When you have collected responses to each of the questions, ask the group:

What can we say as a group?

How does this help us?

What will we do?

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