Client comments...

I am amazed at all that I learned about myself (and others) through the many exercises.  The exercises weren’t just information or tools to learn for the future but experiences I will treasure for what they gave to me and created in me.  In these two weeks, I witnessed the creation of a cohesive, confident team of activists committed to non-violence no matter what!  

I have no doubt that I leave here a changed person and that this training will be a part of me and be used for the rest of my life.

         ~ Christie Grapentine, participant in two-week intensive training in conflict transformation Asheville, North Carolina ~

The Health Equity session was extremely powerful and left a lot of people talking (in the hallways, in their cars, in the staff room, in the kitchen, in the offices)!!! That’s a HUGE outcome that can be measured by the engagement of staff today… and is amazing since the conversations were long overdue!!  Thank you!

         ~ Diversity and Equity Officer of an Ontario Community Health Centre ~



Partera News:

What's on your mind, eh? OR Finding the right gift for the Tory in your family

I am on Facebook; What's on my mind? it asks. Well, I am reading three books at the moment: Naomi Klein's stunning This Changes Everything, Michael Harris' brilliant Party of One and Thomas Picketty's Aha! moment, Capital in the Twenty-first Century. I like this kind of stuff so much that I bought both the hard-covers AND the talking-book versions of each of these doorstops. I am wondering what this says about me (for example: my taste in bedtime reading and the possibility that any claim to poverty is dubious). Hmmm... I am not sure. 

I do know that when I was driving my fossil fuel-fuelled vehicle home from the post office where I deposited my Christmas-and-other-sorts-of-greetings cards and appeals, I had to pull over when Naomi Klein's talking-book Yankee doppelganger told me that Louisiana shrimp fisherfolk put out of business by BP were offered, by BP, the opportunity to renovate their boats into cleaners, you know, to boom and collect and dispose of BP's crap. They accepted the offer, well, because, nobody else was offering anything else. 

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Extreme Everything:  Postcard from India

After two weeks here in Northeast India, I am feeling the exhaustion of the roller coaster ride – or perhaps it’s a collision – of extremes, of joy and sadness, of gratitude and anger, of confusion and clarity, of beauty and ugliness.

This part of India is an odd place, isolated out here, at the end of the ‘chicken neck’ piece of land left over following the independence of Bangladesh, its indigenous peoples ethnically Mongolian and divided amongst 450 tribes and countless dialects.  Until recently, it was difficult-to-impossible to get into Nagaland, given decades of internecine violence.  The century-long movement from head-hunters to an anomalous Christian majority up here has been rocky. Insurgency movements proliferated following Nehru’s reneging on a promise of autonomy for the Nagas.  Conflicts between tribal groups continue to produce tens-to-hundreds of thousands of internally displaced, razed villages, killings.  Migration across porous borders from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh add to the tensions – whose base is, as is virtually always true, about scarce resources, economic policies and funding distribution driven by nepotism.  The increasing wealth in this country is not making its way to the base – with heart-breaking poverty and crumbling infrastructure still marring the beauty of this land...
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Welcome to Partera! 

It means midwife, in Spanish. But there are no babies delivered here. Other things, however. Change. Solutions and resolutions. Plans. Tools. Whether equipping for working well together, living well, planning your organisation's future directions or intervening for the purpose of building and creating peaceful societies, the methods employed by Partera assume the wisdom and inherent strength of the participants in any process towards change.

And it’s an apt image for a kind of education – or training or facilitation or planning or intervention – that assumes that participants are not empty vessels but human beings pregnant with your own futures.

So, come on in. Partera is part of a global network of trainers and facilitators with a wealth of experience and expertise. Visit our links, browse through the articles and gallery. Read and comment on our blog posts. Participate in the work as a contract partner, a donor, an intern or contributing writer.

Partera brings more than twenty years of experience in facilitation, training, mediation, strategic planning and third-party non-violent intervention in a host of situations around the world on four continents.

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What You Honour Tonight

In November of 2010, Lee McKenna was awarded the YMCA Peace Medallion in recognition of her peacemaking work in war zones.  Her acceptance speech provides a snapshot of her work.  The script can be read here.

Lee McKenna YMCA Peace Medallion

'Taking our fear for a walk'
Confronting Global Crises:  A Non-violent Perspective

In November, 2011, Toronto was the site of a conference entitled 'Confronting Global Crises'.  Lee McKenna presented the closing keynote address on the topic of the importance of critical consciousness - for both accurate analysis and fear-dismantling - in the confronting of multiple and overlapping global crises.  The script can be read here