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:

Managers' Boot Camp: Swimming Lessons at Last!
Friday 21 November 9:00 - 5:00
Downtown Marriott Eaton Centre - 525 Bay Street, Toronto

When I first found myself in a management position in a national organisation a couple of decades ago, I had no idea what I did not know.  Perhaps it was only in retrospect that I realised that I had been tossed into the deep end without swimming lessons.  With that insight came a second:  the list of things I would have done differently was distressingly long.  Managing down came relatively easily to me; I like to work in a team and I am a consensus builder.  Managing sideways and up – that was a challenge.

All of these thoughts come flowing back like a tidal wave as I have become involved in preparations for an event called Managers’ BootCamp.  Some of my favourite people in the Community Health Centre sector and others who are new colleagues for me are going to be presenting on a wide range of topics of interest to those working in community health, social services or non-profits of all sorts –

  •  Knowing and appreciating your own management style (there is no one ideal management ‘intelligence’ or style!)
  • Learning how to manage the tools of your trade – budgets, meetings, reports and presentations – while encouraging and inspiring your team to growth and excellence,
  • Setting priorities, managing workloads – your own and that of your team, figuring out whether you are a filer, piler, tosser or dropper on your way to taming your virtual and actual work environment,
  • Managing up, down and sideways – getting a handle on yourself and your work, being the manager your team needs to buy in, persevere and grow, building a relationship with the manager’s manager that works for both,
  • Self-reflection as an act of leadership,
  • Keeping the dust off your strategic plan,
  • Having difficult conversations at work – seeing conflict as an opportunity for growth and self-awareness – as an organisation and as individuals and teams;
  • Creating a human resource strategy that inspires staff resiliency, trust, confidence and collaboration and individual, team and organisational performance excellence.
  • And so much more.

It also occurs to me that a good bit of what will be on tap that day are about life, getting the best out of all relationships, all tasks – and not just the ones associated with the workplace.  

Don't miss this opportunity! 



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