About Us

We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization originally founded as the Rural Southern Voice for Peace (RSVP) in 1982. Based within the Celo Community and mountains of western North Carolina, our initial focus was on finding and supporting new and effective strategies for social change in the southeast region of the U.S.  Now known as the Listening Project, our organization has worked with hundreds of national and international community-based organizations to overcome divisions caused by social and economic injustice, as well as ethnic, racial, religious and cultural conflicts. Listening Project training and resources can enable communities to find unity on issues of health, education, sustainability, and countless other forms of community strengthening and development.

Herb Walters, the founder of RSVP, started the organization with support from his wife Marnie, the Arthur Morgan School, Celo Friends Meeting, and other residents in the Celo Community and Yancey County, North Carolina. Herb initiated the first Listening Project in St. Marys, Georgia in 1986.

Here is what Herb Walters, retired founder of Listening Project, has to say about the work: