In June 2018, Academy Director Johnny Sears, visited with his friend and mentor, Parker Palmer, at the Palmer home in Madison, WI, and we were lucky enough to get to record it! Parker and Johnny talked about everything from vulnerability to what makes a good leader, to how to sustain the work of The Academy for the next 35 years. What follows is an offering from their conversation on safe space, Good News, and beloved-ness in a world that tends to distort all three. When Parker and Johnny talk about “safe space,” it is important to note that they’re really talking about transformative space or trustworthy space or even brave space. They do not mean safe as in protected from risk; rather, they mean “safe” as in “no harm done.” Safe space for Parker and Johnny is about creating places where the soul’s deepest imperatives are discovered and then finding the courage in community to act on them.

We share the following conversation, then, in hopes that their mutual dialogue about life, love, politics, work, passion, leadership, and spirituality might enrich your own lives and the conversations that comprise them.