Experiences from Prior Years’ Participants

Following are a few of the experiences Leadership Program participants have shared with us. We are including them here to contribute to understanding, connection, and inspiration. We also have experiences from other participants and trainers acquainted with our work on several other pages on the website.

You can also read a longer piece about how the LP transformed one participant’s experience of ending a romantic relationship and other articles from past participants here.

Being a member of LP has given me a sense of hope in how we can connect, worldwide, where once there was fear that only seeing our differences would cause actions that sustained the differences.

At LP, I was held with care, respect, encouragement, curiosity, and so much more.

I am energized by life, making choices that align with my values, and making a “career” out of bringing the same to others. LP helped me to fall in love with life once again.

Karen Barbee, past participant and assistant, USA
Since participating in LP, I have had many experiences that I deeply cherish including being part of a training team for peacemakers in conflict ridden areas, facilitating group decisions where there were differing points of view, being the voice of a rape victim in a role-play that helped women who had never talked about their experience feel heard and understood.

I am grateful to have participated in the Leadership Program because the teachers as well as members of this community have uplifted me to be a part of life-serving energy in the world.

Kanya Likanasudh, past participant and assistant, Thailand, Psychotherapist and NVC Trainer
My first BayNVC retreat was the single most intellectually, emotionally, and experientially powerful experience I had engaged with since my freshman year in college decades ago. I have been challenged to examine and understand my most basic assumptions and world views.
Edmundo Norte, past participant, USA, Diversity and Educational Leadership Consultant, Director of Education Services, Mexican American Community Services Agency
The leadership program brought me together with people interested in creating more peaceful ways of living from all over the world. I deeply treasure having become part of this network.
Through participating in this program, I moved from feeling unclear how to participate in making the world a better place outside my family, to having multiple pathways open up in front of me and experiencing both confidence and clarity on how to proceed.
Ann Malabre, past participant and assistant, USA, Diversity and Educational Leadership Consultant, Director of Education Services, Mexican American Community Services Agency
Participating in the Leadership Program has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life.

On the last night of our third retreat I became aware of feeling love for every one of the 30+ individuals in the room. If it is possible for this degree of connection and caring to develop in a room of 30, it could develop in a village, in a city, in a world.

Jane Connor, past participant and assistant, USA, Diversity and Educational Leadership Consultant, Director of Education Services, Mexican American Community Services AgencyAssociate Professor of Human Development, retired; NVC trainer
LP offered me really interesting, rich and diverse explorations of so many of the nuances of what it is to live nonviolence in our homes, our communities, our world.

LP has been that trampoline on which I remembered to start jumping and having fun again – I have felt more and more alive and in greater awareness and power to align to my heart’s values.

Mali Parke, past participant and assistant, USA & France, Empowerment and Restorative Coach
LP has supported me to make a huge progress in my growth as a person, a leader and a teacher of Nonviolent Communication.

I experience that my sense of responsibility and interconnectedness has been growing, so that even when I find myself in groups where I am not designated leader I still take action and make offers to contribute to the group.

Merike Kahju, past participant, Estonia, Certified Trainer - Centre for Nonviolent Communication
LP allows space for deep relationships to develop. Some of those relationships have become working partnerships. Others are now supportive friendships that allow me to access empathic inquiry outside of LP.

These relationships buoy me in my passionate pursuit of coaching and allow me to gain clarity so I can unwind both the personal and professional challenges I sometimes face.

Catherine Saar, past participant and assistant, USA, Wellness & Career Coach
After LP, and now that I am teaching NVC, I find that there is virtually not a moment or situation where I don’t have incredible clarity about how to respond or support someone in their learning process or with something they are stuck on.
Matthew Blom, past participant, USA, NVC trainer, NLP practitioner, community enthusiast
One of the most impactful has been the teachings around dissolving enemy images. Through this year, I have had a major challenge with an alcoholic member of my family.

With some coaching and empathy from a couple of my LP supports, I really went after that enemy image that had taken root in my consciousness. Dissolving that enemy image of her opened the door to healing and transformation for each of us and for our relationship.

Doyle Banks, past participant and assistant, USA
The most remarkable thing I’ve gotten from it is a sense of personal freedom. I feel free of the depleting effects of internal conflicts.

It’s not that internal conflicts don’t arise, it is that when they do, I have the tools and capacity to untangle things, make life-serving choices and get back to a place of equanimity very quickly.

Carol Hillson, past participant, USA, Department of Peace State Coordinator, Cofounder and Chair, New Yorkers for a Department of Peace
Though I have taught full-time for 12 years, I have never had the opportunity to learn from such skilled trainers who can give such richly detailed and concrete feedback on my gifts and growing edges as a teacher.

This program is a veritable Babette’s Feast of mind and heart for anyone wanting to grow in their leadership skills.

Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, past participant, USA, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology