Message from Facilitator Dr. Terri Givens


Dear community members,

I look forward to facilitating the upcoming community meetings to discuss policing in Menlo Park. As the author of Radical Empathy, I bring a perspective that I believe will allow us to create a brave and safe space for community members to share their thoughts, ideas and perspectives. The focus will be on Menlo Park, although we are aware of broader issues around policing in California and the nation. We will be sharing the results of the district meetings in a final town hall meeting with Police Chief David Norris and the City Council.

Creating a brave and safe space:

  • Use “I” statements. Recognize intentions, ask about them. Recognize and explore your own, too. 
  • Humanize the other person. Try to understand intentions, their experiences. 
  • Ask curious questions, dig deeper! 'Tell me more about?', 'What did you mean by…?', 'Have you heard how some people interpret that statement?'   
  • It's OK not to be polished or perfect in your delivery. Everyone makes mistakes and we have to be prepared to provide a safe space for learning. 
  • Know that you don't have to understand to accept another's point of view/experience. Let others know that they don't have to either — and it's not your job to understand. A lot of times, you might not ever be able to. 
  • Out yourself as someone with similar thought struggles –"wow, I used to think like that, and someone told me, or I realized I was."  
  • Be patient - with self and others and ask for help when needed.

About Dr. Terri Givens