Experiential Democracy Project: An “I-Thou” Dialogue on Racism and Policing

This video captures an application of what I call the “Experiential Democracy Project.”  I conceived The Experiential Democracy project several years ago as a way to enlarge and deepen the democratic process of deliberation.  Drawing from the principles of existential-humanistic therapy and “awe-based” consciousness (see The Rediscovery of Awe and Awakening to Awe; also see my blog on experiential democracy at the Mad in America website), the Experiential Democracy project promotes “whole person” to “whole-person” or “I-Thou” dialogue between community leaders, such that a deepened understanding between parties can lead to a constructive form of social action or policy.

In this example, I facilitate a dialogue between a community activist, Nathaniel Granger, and a police officer, Rodger Broome, to provide an illustration of how the experiential democratic process can proceed.  My hope is that the apparently powerful results of this encounter can be used to promote similar dialogues both in communities and governments.

This presentation was recorded at the 2016 Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference in San Francisco, CA.



Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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