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Special Guests Graham Bodie & Erahm Christopher 8/27/20 12 p.m. PST for A Better Normal/Education Upended


"I have toured the country for the past 10 years to talk to our young people. 
I’ve learned that the biggest threat to our humanity is not guns, mental illness
our government. It is that everyone is talking and no one is listening.
Erahm Christopher, The Washington Post

Please join us on Thursday, August 27th as we host special guests Erahm Christopher and Graham Bodie to discuss the power of listening as part of our A Better Normal / Education Upended community conversation series. Graham Bodie will share about the Listen First Project of which he is the Chief Listening Officer. Erahm Christopher will share a clip from the film, Listen, which he wrote and directed, and how and why he has shared it with students, schools, parents, and communities. More details about Bodie and Christopher can be found below. 

Community Facilitator, @Lara Kain (PACEs Connection Staff), who is also the ACEs In Education community manager for ACEs Connection, will lead the discussion and be joined by @Gail Kennedy (PACEs Connection Staff), Community Facilitator and Operations Lead and @Christine Cissy White the Parenting with ACEs and Practicing Resilience for Self-Care and Healing Community Manager. @Jenna Quinn (PACEs Connection Staff) will serve as our facilitator.  

How to Register for this A Better Normal discussion: 

To Rent & View Listen: 

  •  The film can be rented for $4.99 if you’d like to watch it before our discussion. To watch the trailer go here. To rent and view the film, go here.  
    • Note: A short clip from the film will be shared during our event and while watching the full film before the event is is recommended it is not required.    

Erahm Christopher Machado of and Listen (the movie)
Erahm Christopher is a filmmaker, author,
 and speaker who creates content to bridge social divides. Christopher has provoked connections, healing and lasting behavior Erahm Christopherchanges in the most dangerous schools and diverse organizations across North America. Christopher launched his career in education when he wrote and directed the award-winning Teen Truth film series and Teen Truth Live experience. In 2017 he released his debut feature film, Listen, and developed a comprehensive mental health initiative that is presently being implemented in communities and schools across the nation. His work has evolved into collaborations with the federal government, state governments, non-profits, pro athletes, mental health organizations and corporations across the US, Canada, and Europe. Christopher possesses a passion for creative innovation and socially conscious change using projects focused on shifting perspective and changing behavior in a positive way. In addition to his filmmaking and program development he has written the children’s book “New Friends”, a book for teens titled Teen Truth, and for the Washington Post. To date, Christopher has reached over eight million people with his content and has personally presented to over a million people at speaking engagements around the globe. Before focusing on filmmaking, Christopher worked in the business affairs department of CBS Television and was the Senior Producer at a boutique design firm.

Film making

Listen was produced by Brooke Dooley and Erahm Christopher and written and directed by Christopher. Here’s a synopsis of the film from the Listen film website:

“With no support or respect, Kevin, a thirty-something high school counselor, is determined to save students poised to fall through the cracks: a teen whose only means to protect his family is violence; a scholar athlete desperate to connect with his emotionally stunted father; a new transfer who feels perfection is her only way to heal her scars; and a challenged boy who tries to understand why things go wrong in a world he thought was supposed to be right.  As they all run from the truth, every missed moment to connect and listen drives them each closer to a crossroads that holds either redemption or self-destruction.”

Listen 3

  • To view video responses to the film, go here. 
  • School initiatives may find this video helpful. 
  • The entire Washington Post essay quoted from at the top of this blog post can be found here.  

Graham Bodie, PH.D. and the Listen First Project:Graham Bodie, PH.D.
Graham Bodie describes himself as a Listening Educator and consultant on his website. He writes, “My research, teaching, and consulting center on how to improve listening for better relationships - with friends, family, co-workers, customers, clients, siblings, kids ... heck, even the cashier at the gas station wants to be listened to!  I truly believe in the power of effective listening for living more productive and fulfilling lives. Let me help you discover how to be a better listener!” For more about Bodie’s work, publications, and even his CV, please visit his website.  Bodie is the Chief Listening Officer of the Listen First Project. 

Listen FirstListen First Project
“Increasingly in America today, we don't just disagree. We dislike, distrust, even despise those who see the world differently. We’re withdrawing from conversations—eroding relationships and understanding. 75% of Americans say this problem has reached a crisis level. Experts say the solution is to cultivate more positive social connections. 
Listen First logoWe believe in the power of starting new conversations that move 'us vs. them' toward 'me and you’ to turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division. Listen First Project creates opportunities and teaches skills for conversations that tip the scales toward a stronger and more equitable future for our nation and better relationships in our daily lives.”

Here are 4 key principles of Listen First Conversations:  Listen First ConversationsRent & Watch Listen & Register for A Better Normal/Education Upended Discussion:

  • For those who want to watch the film before this event, please know it can be rented for $4.99 here
  • To register for this A Better Normal community conversation, go here:  


Images (8)
  • Listen First Conversations
  • Listen First logo
  • Listen First
  • Graham Bodie, PH.D.: Graham Bodie, PH.D.
  • Film making
  • Listen 3
  • Storytelling
  • Erahm Christopher: Erahm Christopher

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