Hope is an Extraordinary Story of You: Christine Hassing’s Workshop

December 13, 2022
Rachel Beal, COML (23)

Hope is reformative. When an individual has been dealt an unfair lot through systemic inadequacies and basic survival is in question, hope can seem unrealistic and unattainable.

Author Christine Hassing leads rejuvenating workshop showing participants how to reclaim their past and empowering them to share it, reestablishing the need for community and humanity. These workshops were organized by the Professional and Community Education office with the intent to give a Leadership Studies Alum the opportunity to make positive contributions to the community.

That rewriting of one’s story, she suggests, starts not with focusing on what life has dealt, but on what life has to offer. 

Hassing has master’s degrees in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga (2018) and Servant Leadership. She has published works related to survivors of domestic violence, and individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or in hospice care. Unconditional listening and acceptance are key, she says, to reestablishing others’ humanity and dignity.

Hassing’s workshops demonstrate empathy and resilience, often taking place locations serving people endeavoring to overcome social, economic and personal barriers, such as YWCA Spokane, the Gonzaga Family Haven, and Lumen High School, a public charter school for teen parents.

Hassing portrays vulnerability, holistic warmth and nurturing acceptance through these workshops. She shows that life is a struggle, but hope is realistic and necessary for rediscovery. Participants gain insight into a deeper awareness of others’ emotions through her storytelling and empathetic nature. She prompts them to dig deeper into emotions to understand our evolution, prompting us to search and define a new beginning.

How would Hassing define humanity?

  “We are each unique and extraordinary but under all of that we are all the same. Souls connected as one,” she says.

Her advice to those who believe hope is unrealistic? She quotes Vaclav Havel: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – 

Learn more about the Professional and Community Education office: