ALF No Joke Project

What is No Joke, and why should I be interested?

In our world, country, and communities today we seem to have lost our ability to deal with differences of opinion in ways that produce understanding, growth, compromise, and change that positively impacts all involved.

Wedges are being driven into every issue—Religion (Islamophobia vs. National Security), Race (Black vs. Blue Lives Matter), Immigration (The Wall vs. Sanctuary Cities), Politics, Poverty and Homelessness…the list seems endless.

In each instance, both sides are so firmly entrenched in their own communities of belief and supporting media sources that the limited “dialogue” that now actually takes place normally consists of shouting matches and finger pointing as both sides seek to drown out the other and “win”…where “winning” now means that the other side must lose…completely.

What if there was a way past this?  A proven, repeatable methodology that allows people to “sit with difference”, broach their deep divides, and find common ground?

No Joke—there is!

No Joke was created when an Imam, a Rabbi, and a Pastor simply walked into a restaurant and miraculously formed a friendship that transcends all of their differences.  And the No Joke methodology they perfected—as profound as it is simple—is based upon three core steps/practices that anyone can use:

Step 1:  I’ll practice being unusually interested in others.

Step 2:  I’ll practice staying in the room with difference.

Step 3:  I’ll stop comparing my best with your worst.

Kind of funny isn’t it that this simple wisdom is framed in a way that you would think it’s the opening line of a joke?

The ALF Great Valley Chapter’s intention is to lay the foundation for our region to have the knowledge, skills, leadership and commitment to bring the No Joke Model into the fabric of the community, and to develop active engagement of dialogue and discussion of pressing issues that have divergent perspectives that can create conflict and division rather than collaboration and solutions.  We want our communities to be able to disagree in a healthy way and build partnerships that build bridges and solve problems rather than discord and issue exacerbation.

The ALF No Joke Project will include hosting a No Joke event in the Fall of 2018 in each of the counties that make up our chapter: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced.  The event begins with an evening large audience session that lasts approximately 90 minutes and provides the fundamental approach of the No Joke Three Practices.  The following day(s), small group sessions will be held, designed to be practical application, with hands-on modeling for the “How.”  No Joke books and DVDs will be provided to participants to ensure active participation and reinforcement of the No Joke practices.

No Joke is also a way for our ALF chapter to enlist the help of our community friends and to get outside the ALF network and create positive change.

Why should you be interested?

1.  Because No Joke addresses core issues plaguing our communities and nation.

2.  Because No Joke gives ALF a golden opportunity to tell the ALF story to all three counties.

3.  Because No Joke will make the lives of your friends and community members better.

To learn more and understand how you and/or your organization can be involved in this great project, call or email Leng Power at leng@greatvalley.org or 209-522-5103.