Meet Our Facilitators
(click photos for email link)
Reach out to any of our certified facilitators about hosting a workshop in your community, for 1-on-1 coaching to implement Compassionate Listening principles and practices in your life, or for consulting to support your leadership and vision in the world. Click on a facilitator's photo to send them an email, or get in touch with us and we'll connect you.
Amalia brings a wealth of experience in the US and around the world as a long-time educator, Conflict Resolution Facilitator (trained by the Alternatives to Violence Project, USA), a mediator (trained by the Anne Arundel Center for mediation), and a Compassionate Listening Facilitator for the Compassionate Listening Project. Amalia artfully shares the principles of Compassionate Listening and nurtures brave conversations with groups of all sizes, including religious organizations, educational institutions, volunteer organizations, and her Listening Room. Amalia holds a Bachelor's of Education and a Master's of Science in Performance and Instructional Technology, and resides in Annapolis, MD.
Ameera and Compassionate Listening share a long history beginning when Ameera Joined the Tomorrow’s Women organization in 2005 as a 16-year-old young woman. She was introduced to Compassionate Listening during a transformational summer camp experience and was so moved by the experience that she wanted to learn more about this core methodology for the dialogue in Tomorrow’s Women. The journey started with taking the Intro course, "Healing Our World From the Inside Out" and then becoming certified as a Compassionate Listening facilitator in 2022.
Ameera is the Palestinian Coordinator and Facilitator at Tomorrow’s Women, an organization that holds a vision where young women lead their communities toward peace, where occupation ends, and justice and human rights prevail. She is inspired to work for peace, freedom, and human rights, all of which she believes cannot be achieved with violence or hate. “As women, we can make the change. I will continue this work until peace is realized or until the day that I die.” Ameera is the mother of two children and is committed to raising them to accept and respect others no matter their religion or culture.
Amy is a licensed psychotherapist. For over 20 years, Amy has worked with numerous populations using her knowledge of psychodynamic and somatic therapies to bring health and integration of body, mind, and spirit. Specializing in the treatment of trauma, she provides individual and group therapy to survivors of abuse, violence, torture, and war-related conflict. She holds the vision that healing and lasting peace is possible through service and compassion.
Andrea has been a developer of Compassionate Listening curricula for many years. She co-directed the Jewish-German Compassionate Listening Project and also directed the Compassionate Listening film Children of Abraham. Andrea facilitates Compassionate Listening workshops locally and internationally and integrates Compassionate Listening fundamentals into dialogue events, the workplace and communities in conflict. She holds Masters Degrees in both Education and Social Work. Andrea is the author of Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening, a practical guidebook that helps people utilize compassionate listening skills in the heat of daily life challenges. She continues to mentor people in the practices of Compassionate Listening.
Andrea serves as a rabbi (Jewish Renewal) and is a trained CL facilitator and delegation leader. Andrea has facilitated CL trainings on her 10 Compassionate Listening Journeys to Israel and Palestine, for her organizational development work as a rabbi and in interfaith and intergroup settings. Andrea is vice-chair of the Interfaith Council of Franklin County and is an advisor to the Israel/Palestine Dialogue Group at her synagogue, Temple Israel, Greenfield. Andrea has skills in sacred psychology, pastoral care, spiritual direction and trauma sensitive therapeutic care. She trains and runs practice group for her temple and the wider Greenfield community.
I joined a Compassionate Listening Interfaith delegation to the Middle East in 2007. On that trip, especially after meeting TCLP founder, Leah Green, I recognized the life-changing potential of this work. After my training and mentorship with Andrea Cohen, I’ve facilitated Compassionate Listening workshops in many places, including in Rwanda. Rwandans helped me adapt the work with post-genocide Hutus and Tutsis and helped me lead many CL workshops throughout their country. I also have offered workshops in prison where one man, after a listening exercise, said, “I’ve never felt more respected in my life.” I recently retired from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Masters’ Program at Arcadia University, where I led CL workshops for students. For me, CL is more than a skill, it’s a calling, one which I've found is both necessary and at the heart of all genuine reconciliation and conflict transformation.
The heart of Brian’s teaching work is peace building, which begins within. As a Compassionate Listening facilitator, Brian cultivates compassion for oneself as the first step, for without peace on the inside there can be no peace on the outside. As the former co-director and facilitator of the Jewish-German Compassionate Listening Project, Brian’s CL work centered on reconciliation and healing the wounds of war. Together with his wife Lisa, they facilitate healing and reconciliation workshops in the US and Europe. Brian is trained in Hakomi Therapy, Attitudinal Healing, and taught yoga and meditation for many years. He is an award-winning sculptor and teacher. The theme of his artwork is Art for Peace.
Carol is the former Training Director of the Compassionate Listening Project. She holds Masters Degrees in Special Education and Psychology. She is a licensed counselor in private practice, an educator and a mediator. She teaches conflict resolution, develops diversity and conflict resolution curricula for schools and mediates for a Victim/Offender program in the courts and for community disputes. She has worked in Armenia to support dialogue and joint projects with Armenia, Karabakh and Azerbaijan, and taught psychology and communication in the former Soviet Union. Carol is the author of “Listening With the Heart – A Guide for Compassionate Listening”.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Cathy Merchant is the founder of the Living Interfaith Sanctuary, a spiritual community based in Vancouver whose members comprise a wide variety of religious traditions. She has worked as a peace activist, facilitator, and community organizer since 2008 for organizations such as the American Friends of the Parents Circle Families Forum, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and our very own Compassionate Listening Project. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Washington and is working towards her Master of Divinity degree at the Vancouver School of Theology now. She hopes to receive her ordination as an Interfaith minister in 2021.
Christine Gilman facilitates reconciliation for women and girls living in or fleeing from war-torn countries. She also consults globally with university and organizational leaders wanting to integrate Compassionate Listening into their curriculum and events. Christine’s Compassionate Listening work was seeded while on a social justice mission with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She witnessed reconciliation as Liberian rebel leaders spoke of the atrocities they had inflicted. The experience deepened her desire and commitment to use listening as a healing bridge, and she became a CL facilitator. Christine has facilitated numerous CL workshops engaging teens, women in trauma centers, and interfaith organizations in Bethlehem, Palestine. She is also bringing CL to Muslim and refugee projects in Oregon, where she lives with her husband, Tim. Her interests in faith, art, and culture led Christine to a degree in Practical Theology from Portland State University. Her experience as an artist, teacher, facilitator, event organizer, editor, gallery owner, and parent grounds her work in real-world understanding and empathy. Christine’s finely-tuned intuitive compass enables her to prepare and hold space for transformation to occur, and her jubilant, welcoming spirit sets a loving table for healing.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Debby remains in awe of the synergy that can unfold in a space with clear intention even after facilitating groups for 30 years. After careers in systems engineering and co-founding and teaching at Madrona Waldorf School, Debby became dedicated to facilitating healing circles and to anti-racism work. She offers Compassionate Listening merged with white people’s inner work of unpacking racial conditioning. Debby actively engages in the race and equity work in her community through cross-racial collaboration, activism, anti-racism workshops and supporting cultural events. She also facilitates Systemic and Family Constellations, ritual and healing circles, has extensive experience in group process, mindfulness, heart centering practices and holds an MA in Whole Systems Design. While on the Compassionate Listening Project delegations to Israel & Palestine and to Alabama, having witnessed the power of truly seeing the humanity in the “other” in some extremely difficult situations, Debby trusts that healing is possible. She melds her breadth of experience with her respect for each person’s inner wisdom to co-create an atmosphere ripe for transformation.
Elizabeth Vander Kamp
Elizabeth agrees with Mr. Rogers, “listening is where love begins.” The journey to become a better listener sent Elizabeth to Boston, where she worked with people who have special needs, made donuts, nanny-ed, typed and learned to act. She then moved to New York City, where she wrote 2 one-woman shows, performing and touring with one of them. Back home in Alabama, after decades away, Elizabeth works as an Artist in Residence with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Institute for Arts in Medicine. Her main art form is hospital bedside storytelling. She has found the greatest joy in story-listening! Elizabeth believes in the power of stories and the power of listening. What is a story without a listener? She brings years of experience as a teacher, artist, wellness coach, and explorer of the human heart to Compassionate Listening along with a sense of wonder and fun! May our paths cross soon. Namaste.
Gil is a native of Israel where he experienced the dynamics of political conflict first-hand, both as a civilian and a combatant. Seeking to become part of the solution, Gil got certified as a Compassionate Listening Facilitator, and he co-leads the Compassionate Listening Project's annual Delegations to Palestine and Israel. Gil is a Certified Trainer with the HeartMath Institute, offering evidence‐based strategies and techniques for organizations and individuals on resilience, self-regulation, practical intuition and human connection. He has inspired audiences of thousands speaking at colleges across the country, he coaches privately, and offers retreats and workshops globally. Visit Gil's website here.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Glenn is a retired small business owner. Glenn was an active board member for Creativity for Peace from 2007 through 2012 (now Tomorrow's Women), and serves on the Emeritus Board. Glenn is also a facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project, participating in trainings in the New Mexico State Penitentiary. He has also been involved with The Mankind Project for 25 years. Glenn is dedicated to the dialogue process as a tool to end conflict. As a trainer and facilitator, Glenn has brought the principles of Compassionate Listening to a number of settings in Santa Fe and elsewhere; including faith based communities, educators, volunteer organizations, men's circles and the general public. Perhaps nowhere has he been more inspirational than with his three grown children, who all seem to like each other and their parents, and even enjoy spending time together as a family. They hike, play Scrabble, and attend music performances and festivals throughout the southwest.
Ilene has worked with children and families, especially those who are at risk due to the impact of poverty and racial inequity, for 40 years. During her career she has been a teacher, teacher coach, family partnership coordinator, executive director and advocate. Ilene has been a certified mediator since 2007 focusing on family, workplace and community mediation. In addition to facilitating Compassionate Listening classes with parents, teachers and community members, Ilene taught CL in tandem with conflict resolution skills in a medium security prison weekly, for three years. “I've integrated compassionate listening into my work with children, families and teachers and in my relationships with family and friends. I found that combining compassionate listening with mediation skills was the most valuable asset in my work as a mediator.”
Joanie and her partner Yehudah have developed Compassionate Listening Oregon with the hope of increasing Compassionate Listening’s presence in Portland and environs. She facilitates CL Intro Intensives, enrichment workshops, shorter introductory sessions and local practice groups. She teaches Compassionate Listening internationally, including Java, Malaysia, Rwanda, Uganda, Israel and Palestine. Joanie is also a facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project. With her M.A. in Dance Ethnology, Joanie brings her expertise in creative dance and authentic movement to these workshops. She is passionate about mentoring others to become Compassionate Listening Facilitators and Group Leaders, desiring for compassionate listening to spread far and wide.
Concord, New Hampshire
Joel is a retired family physician who lives in Concord, NH. From 1980 to 2006 he delivered primary care in the nearby village of Penacook. For the next seven years, he was Chief Medical Information Officer at Concord Hospital, overseeing the introduction of electronic provider order entry and participating in organization-wide improvements in medical quality and safety. During Joel's four Compassionate Listening Journeys to Israel and Palestine between 2015 and 2019, and his Journey to Alabama in January 2020, he recorded and transcribed more than 40 listening sessions that form the basis for public presentations designed to humanize the “other” and help local audiences recognize the common humanity and shared values of people across geopolitical divides. He received CL certification training in 2016 and 2017 and facilitates an ongoing Compassionate Listening practice group in Concord.
Julia received her Bachelor of Arts from Western State College in Gunnison and a Masters of Arts in Education from University of Colorado, Boulder. She has a 25-year career as a public school teacher, both in Social Studies and Special Education, and currently teaches at Boulder High School. She has held teaching positions throughout the state of Colorado and has developed sensitivity to native and indigenous concerns, socio-economic inequity and diversity. In 2011 she received National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards. Her professional accomplishments have been significantly shaped by the learning and practice of Compassionate Listening. Born to a Palestinian father and an American mother; it was in learning to navigate the Israel-Palestine conflict that Julia discovered and embraced Compassionate Listening. She participated in a Compassionate Listening delegation in 2008. Today the teaching, practicing and facilitating of compassionate listening is a primary focus in her life. It is her belief that artistry in communicating with self and others is the key to happiness and fulfillment. She is currently facilitating two monthly practice groups, one in Boulder and one in Denver.
Katie Sarah Zale is the creator of The Listening Tree Project (LTP), an academic program with Compassionate Listening and interactive theatre (Theatre of the Oppressed) as its foundational tools. Formerly an English teacher at Shoreline Community College and Cascadia College in Washington, Katie used LTP as a vehicle to introduce Compassionate Listening and interactive theatre as across-the-curriculum tools to increase multicultural understanding and to create citizens of the world. LTP promoted a climate of equality, justice, and respect for all people, and facilitated student leadership development. Kati published her first poetry book, The Art of Folding, following her travels with the Compassionate Listening Project to Israel and Palestine. Her collection, Sometimes We Do Things, celebrates a re-envisioning and celebration of Detroit. She is the co-editor of the anthology Strange Fruit: Poems on the Death Penalty and is working on a second anthology. Katie presently lives in Arizona and continues to facilitate Compassionate Listening workshops. In addition, she runs a dog training program entitled “Compassionate Communication with Your Dog.”
Greater Seattle Area
Laurie grew up as the mediator and peacemaker in her family and communities. She has a passion for deep connection between people that has guided her to lead transformational programs for over 12 years. Seeking to increase her ability to hold nuance, create sustainable solutions, and deepen into heart-guided wisdom, she got certified as a Facilitator with The Compassionate Listening Project and the HeartMath Institute. Prior to working in those realms, Laurie worked for a leading Personal Training and Development company for eight years, where she also led programs and developed a foundation of integrity and authenticity that informs all of her work. In her private work as a coach and facilitator, Laurie has piloted programs that bring in the beauty and wisdom of the natural world. She is passionate about connecting people to themselves, the earth, and their communities in ways that allow for the deep healing she believes is so needed at this time. You can read more about her work here.
Kitsap County, Washington
Leah is founder and co-director of the Compassionate Listening Project. She holds a masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Washington, where she also completed her coursework for an MA in Middle Eastern Studies. Leah is recognized as a leader in Jewish-Palestinian reconciliation, having led 26 delegations to Israel & Palestine, and one to Syria & Lebanon. She produced three documentaries about the conflict, including Children of Abraham, and co-founded the Jewish-German Compassionate Listening Project. Leah began teaching CL in Israel and Palestine in 1999, and has taught worldwide since. She is a facilitator of Systems and Family Constellations and integrates Constellations into her trainings. Leah is a recipient of the Yoga Journal’s “Karma Yoga Award” and her work has been profiled in many articles and books. She enjoys mentoring new facilitators through the certification program and loves coaching. Contact Leah here.
Leandro is the founder of Escuta Viva, a project focused on providing skills in and transcendence through listening in Brazil. Escuta Viva's members serve the public with listening practice groups, trainings, and private listening sessions, and include a network of more than 25 specialists who offer listening seminars with different themes and approaches. An engineer with a specialization in project management, Leandro has provided consulting services to organizations for over 10 years. He is a dedicated investigator and student of transpersonal psychology, non-violent communication, conflict mediation, and anthroposophy, who loves to create and deliver projects involving listening and human connection skills to support the humanization of relationships. Leandro currently offers consulting and workshops in human communication, self-connection, and behavioral skills for organizations, couples, and parents. He seeks to inspire people to be themselves and to reframe their connections and their listenings, reintegrating the "Human Family.” Leandro is honored and proud to be part of this inspiring and loving circle of the Compassionate Listening Project. You can learn more and get in touch at escutaviva.com.br
Leandro é o fundador do Escuta Viva, um projeto focado em desenvolver habilidades e transcender a escuta no Brasil. Os integrantes da Escuta Viva atendem ao público com grupos de prática de escuta, treinamentos e sessões privadas de escuta, e contam com uma rede de mais de 25 especialistas que oferecem seminários de escuta com diferentes temas e abordagens. Engenheiro com especialização em gestão de projetos, Leandro presta consultoria a organizações há mais de 10 anos. Ele é um investigador dedicado e estudante de psicologia transpessoal, comunicação não violenta, mediação de conflitos e antroposofia, que adora criar e entregar projetos envolvendo habilidades de escuta e conexão humana para apoiar a humanização das relações dentro das organizações. Leandro atualmente oferece consultoria e workshops em comunicação humana, auto-conexão e habilidades comportamentais para organizações, casais e pais. Ele busca inspirar as pessoas a serem elas mesmas e ressignificar suas conexões e suas escutas, reintegrando a "Família Humana". Leandro tem a honra e o orgulho de fazer parte desse círculo inspirador e amoroso do Projeto Escuta Compassiva.Você pode saber mais e entrar em contato em escutaviva.com.br
Lisa is certified in systemic mediation and studied Peace Sciences at the University in Hagen/Germany. She is trained both in Compassionate Listening and Non Violent Communication. Together with her husband Brian, they facilitate healing and reconciliation workshops in the US and Europe. Lisa brings a deep understanding of how life and the wounds of the past affect people’s well-being and health. For the past 30+ years she has worked as a compassionate healer, teacher and workshop leader. Lisa is a Holistic Health Consultant and Transformational Counselor. She is adjunct faculty at Bastyr University in Washington and California.
Liz is the co-founder of Expressive Connections, a small business designed to support people in their efforts to build a friendlier world. Currently, she is a Compassionate Listening® Certified Facilitator, Community Trainer, and personal development Life Coach. As a Community Trainer she works with organizations and their goal to certify community and staff in Adult & Youth Mental Health First Aid® and suicide prevention with QPR®; volunteers with NAMI as a Family-to-Family Teacher and teaches a reflective listening model as taught within the Compassionate Listening framework. She is practiced in Public Speaking, Leadership, and Presentation through her active engagement in Toastmasters. Liz’s facilitation style is personable, optimistic, and sincere. With her cultural mindfulness facilitation training, she invites people to share their perspectives, ideas, and participate with authenticity.
Maha El Taji
Maha is a Palestinian-American residing in Haifa, Israel. She is a lawyer with a Masters in International Human Rights Law and a Ph.D. in Near and Middle Eastern Studies. Maha participated in a week-long compassionate listening delegation of Jews and Palestinians at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist Monastery (Plum Village) in France in July 2001. She completed the introductory and advanced Compassionate Listening trainings, is a certified Compassionate Listening facilitator. She co-led the Israel-Palestine Compassionate Listening delegations with Leah Green from 2004 – 2009. Maha was awarded the University of Washington Graduate Student Medalist Award for being a scholar/citizen for the academic year 2003/2004 and was a Bartos Fellow at United World College in January 2006 where she mentored international students in the Constructive Engagement of Conflict program. Maha is fluent in Arabic and Hebrew.
Campbell River, British Columbia
Naomi L. Wolfe is a settler Canadian who greatly values any opportunity to collaborate in ways that enhance intercultural understanding, deepen our connections to one another, and create a more just and inclusive society. She began her Compassionate Listening journey in 2007, and became a certified trainer in 2011. For 29 years, Naomi was ESL/EAL Faculty at North Island College, where she taught and advocated for immigrant, refugee and international students. In addition, she has designed and facilitated workshops on intercultural competencies, diversity/inclusion, anti-racism, Theatre for Living (TFL), and Reconciliation. Originally from Saskatchewan, and having lived 11 years in the USA and 10 years in Guatemala, Naomi is grateful to have spent the last 30 years living and raising two sons on unceded First Nations traditional territory near the banks of the Oyster River on Vancouver Island.
Phil Fratesi is an organizational development consultant and event planner. Phil’s early career in education as a teacher and school administrator taught him that listening to the stories of others was a cornerstone of learning and mutually productive relationships. In his work with organizational leaders, he elicits vision, inclusion, and accountability. The work of Compassionate Listening reflects his values and commitment to assisting others in their personal and organizational development.
Sarah is a Compassionate Listening Facilitator with over 10 years of training and facilitation experience in the non-profit sector. She enjoys leading groups through heart-centered processes that encourage harmony, self-awareness and growth. After the 2016 presidential election, Sarah felt a growing sense of urgency for genuine, constructive dialogue between people of different beliefs and values. She became interested in listening as a foundational practice to help build bridges across divides. Certified as a Compassionate Listening Facilitator in 2018, she is happy to share this knowledge with others. Sarah works at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) as a Program Manager.
Sharon Gubbay Helfer, Ph.D.
Montreal, Quebec & San Antonio, Texas
Dr. Sharon Gubbay Helfer is a professional oral historian specializing in life stories and a researcher/practitioner in the area of difficult dialogues and listening skills. Following a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies focusing on Montreal’s Reconstructionist Synagogue (Concordia U, Montreal), she carried out postdoctoral research in Jewish-Catholic dialogue at the Université de Montréal. This was followed by work on the major Oral History Centre project “Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by Wars, Genocides and Other Human Rights Violations” (Concordia), where her contributions included creating a Palestinian Canadian Life Stories pilot project. Dr. Gubbay Helfer is a certified facilitator with the Compassionate Listening Project and with the Compassionate Integrity Training curriculum. She has offered Compassionate Listening workshops and Circles to participants in the US, Canada, Europe, and Israel. Sharon is also a multimedia artist and dancer, exploring embodiment and dimensions of the unspoken. Visit her website here for more info.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sobaz Benjamin, Founder and Executive Director of In My Own Voice (iMOVe) Arts Association, is a film-director, social entrepreneur, community worker, advocate, mentor, program facilitator and educator. In 2009, he partnered with the Nova Scotia Justice Department to deliver his Life Story course, Kintsugi Monologues (KM) at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility, in 2016 at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, the Federal institutions of Springhill, and the Atlantic Institution in the community of Renous in New Brunswick. The KM has also been delivered at The Nova Scotia Community College. Sobaz was honored in 2014 by the Provincial Justice Department with a Minister’s Award for Individual Leadership in Crime Prevention.
Sobaz has delivered workshops, seminars, presented and taught at a number of public schools and postsecondary institutions, as well as facilitating community-based projects around and beyond the Halifax Regional Municipality. He has received a Humans Rights Award for his work with youth, a Crime Prevention Award from the Province of Nova Scotia, and film directing awards from the National Film Board of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television.
Susan Partnow, M.A., has catalyzed social transformation for 30+ years from Africa to Guatemala, Cuba to Japan and India. Co-founder of Conversation Cafes, Let’s Talk America, Global Citizen Journey and Seattle Restorative Justice, Susan especially enjoys transforming conflict using Restorative Circles, Open Space, World Café and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a mediator, facilitator, and coach. Author of Everyday Speaking for All Occasions and co-contributor to Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening. Passionately committed to intercultural understanding, peacemaking and community building, Susan deeply believes we can and must 'listen our way to wholeness' to find our essential humanity through connection, wise co-creation, and dialogue. She joyfully serves on the Board of Awareness, Courage and Love, dedicated to combating loneliness and building meaningful relationships. Susan has been an essential part of Compassionate Listening from its earliest days, one of the very first trainers, co-creator of the core practices and the advanced training. Visit her website here.
Tali is an Instructor at Vanier College in Montreal, teaching for the past twenty-five years in the field of Early Childhood Education. She integrates into her courses aspects/strategies of Communication Skills, Affective Relationship Building, and more recently Compassionate Listening. An artist with a BA in Studio Art and a Master’s degree in Art Education from Concordia University, her current focuse is on “Art as a Means for Social Awareness”. Going back to her childhood home, Israel/Palestine and working with youth groups on art projects that bring both communities (Israelis and Palestinians) together for a shared experience in art and dialogue. This work is ongoing and continues at the College level.She has also received an award from Concorida University for her ceramic serise: “Earth Mother Mezuzah”. In her role as Certified Compassionate Listening Facilitator she works with the Montreal Dialogue Group.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Therese has been a teacher, organizer, and facilitator for over 30 years, in a variety of contexts and venues, professional, community, and spiritual. She is a nurse, midwife, and ordained minister, and owner /director of Sacred Groves, a small eco-spiritual center based on her property on Bainbridge Island. She trains individuals and couples in Compassionate Listening and has offered the skills as a peacemaking tool in a variety of organizational and individual situations.
As a volunteer on a Crisis and Suicide Hotline, Will was trained in Empathic Listening. He has a BA in Communications and is certified in Compassionate Listening, Mediation, Immunity to Change and Motivational Interviewing. In his current role at the Urban League of West Michigan, Will provides trainings on Implicit Biases related to the ‘othering’ of historically marginalized groups. As a CL facilitator, Will understands the change process and lovingly encourages participants to lean into their discomfort as they develop new skills and deeper understanding of themselves and their ‘other’. See Will's website here.
Before earning a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations at the U.C. Berkeley, Yael was already passionately involved the struggle for civil rights during the 1968 Poor People’s March on Washington, helping build Resurrection City and tutoring children of color whose schools were being desegregated in southern Virginia. Certified as a CL facilitator in 2004, she led and co-led a number of CL delegations to Israel-Palestine where she lived for 29 years. Yael co-authored “Making Peace with Faith: The Challenges of Religion and Peacebuilding (Peace and Security in the 21st Century,”), 2018. She lives in New England where she facilitates CL trainings and volunteers as an Alternatives to Violence facilitator in a men's high security prison. Witnessing the “new Jim Crow” there has brought her around full-circle to rejoin the struggle for racial/social justice here in the U.S. In January 2020, she initiated and co-led the first domestic Compassionate Listening delegation, “Listening in the Heart of Alabama.” She looks forward to many more such trips to explore the perfect “marriage” of Compassionate Listening and antiracism (and all other “isms”) work in the world. You can visit her website here.
Yehudah is an RN and holds an MS in counseling. He's trained in mediation with the City of Portland Neighborhood Mediation Program, in community facilitation with Resolutions Northwest and with the Alternatives to Violence Project in prison settings. He has gone on three CL Journeys: to Israel/Palestine twice and to Syria/Lebanon. Yehudah co-facilitates CL Intro Intensives, enrichment workshops, local practice groups, plus teaches internationally with Joanie Levine. Together they have developed Compassionate Listening Oregon. They have facilitated numerous shorter workshops, including for the Oregon Air Force National Guard, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Trillium Co-Housing Community, Portland State University, and Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center.
Yonit Mansoor-Shachar brings 35 years of facilitation experience in Israel. Yonit works for Tomorrow's Women a remarkable organization training young women from Palestine, Israel and the U.S. to be "strong, compassionate leaders who partner to resolve conflicts and inspire action that promotes equality, peace and justice." Yonit has specialized in women’s empowerment, community development and leadership, and mentoring young trainers. She taught courses for women managers of social change organizations, helped women establish businesses, and facilitated reconciliation groups with Israeli-Palestinian and Jewish youth at the Peace School in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Israel. Yonit brought Compassionate Listening to Tomorrow's Women along with Ameera, our Palestinian facilitator living in Ramallah, Palestine.