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.

         ~ Christopher Grapentine, participant in two-week intensive training in conflict transformation ~

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:

Rwanda:  Twenty Years Later

I would like to share with you comments I sent to Anna Maria Tremonti following her interview today on the topic of the twentieth anniversary of the first of 100 days of the Rwandan genocide.

Dear Anna Maria,  Recently I attended a multi-lateral meeting in Costa Rica on the topic of mass atrocity crimes.  Fifty-six states were present (Canada notable by its absence, giving free rein to ‘What gives with Canada these days?’ sorts of conversational entrées) as well as a handful of civil society organisation representatives like me.  Present at the meeting as well were dozens of those employed in the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ industry.  It was our own Lloyd Axworthy who, following Rwanda and the return of the battered and traumatised Roméo Dallaire, who took a lead in urging the world community to figure out where we went wrong.  Out of the 2001 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty issued ‘Responsibility to Protect’.  The doctrine of ‘R2P’ was adopted unanimously in the UN World Summit  Outcome Document of 2005, mandating international action to "protect a state's population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing".  Click here to read more...

Getting Personal...  

...Looking Back at 2013, Looking Forward to 2014

I had often been to the family graveyard with my parents, cousins and siblings, trimming, pruning, watering, planting new flowers around the gravestones of forebears and infants, born and died.  As the years passed, the party of those doing the gardening had shrunk while the numbers of gravestones had grown:  grandparents, my brother, my father, aunts and uncles. 

As my mother would dig a row of neat little holes in the hard soil, ready for marigolds, my father’s favourite, I would close my eyes a bit, squinting at the stone with my parents’ names inscribed, focussing on the blank next to '1927' and the hyphen that followed, trying to figure out what numbers we, her children, would chisel into that blank spot.  I, of course, wanted it to remain blank forever. Not to be:  09 October 2009.

Click here to read more!


Partera's Year-End Greetings to all our friends and supporters!

Getting at Hate and Fear

It’s difficult at a year-end party to sum up in a few words a new friend's question, ‘So what does Partera do?’  Sometimes I find myself getting lost in the details – the ones that fascinate me but get lost in translation. 

People like short, so how about:  we try to get at hate and fear - whatever the nature of the ‘conflict zone’ in which we live, work or play! – why are we afraid, why do we hate and bully and kill? how and where did we learn to do so? And once we figure out that we have choices – to love rather than hate, to risk rather than run; to unlearn learning, dismantle privilege, question fears – something else becomes possible.  Families thrive, workplaces hum, communities prosper, weapons of all sorts are set aside. That’s what we do!

To all of Partera’s Facebook Friends, thank you for your support that took so many forms in this past year! For 2014, we have another list of invitations from partners with creative ideas for interrupting violence and building peace:  Pakistan, the DRC, North East India, Mindanao, South Sudan - as well as a two-week intensive training in conflict transformation in the U.S.! 

All of it possible – with the support of donors, who are the wheels and spirit under this good work.  So get your 2013 donation in (details here) – postmarked before midnight tomorrow – or online here.


Read about BPFNA-PI's first annual Training of Trainers in Conflict Transformation here.

‘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.’

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.

See About for more details. For further information, be in touch:


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