I realize my creative, intellectual, and spiritual aspirations through a variety of modes and media, including restorative practices, nonviolence, and the arts. I have been weaving the WTR into my work, and personal and community life, since 2013, when I attended a life-changing, three-day training, with Joanna Macy, Anne Symens-Bucher, and other community members at Canticle Farm, in Oakland CA.
Along with the WTR, I find enlivening, transformative, and fruitful "art for life's sake": ethical aesthetics, theopoetics, and art/life, thanks in large part to the influence of such luminaries as Deborah J. Haynes, Linda Mary Montano, and other contemporary visionaries who attempt “to dissolve the boundaries between art and life" (Montano), sacred and secular, personal and political, process and product, and ritual and performance.
I received my M.A. and Ph.D. in theology, with an emphasis in the arts, from the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley. I have held positions in nonprofit leadership and as an instructor and director of programs in educational settings - forums that challenge as well as keep real, meaningful, and concrete my training and interests.
My quest is one of meaning: What is the relationship between our experience and our reflections on and expressions of our experience? How does our understanding of this relationship bear on our sense of personal, social, and environmental responsibility?
Foremost, I am committed to formal and informal communities of makers, seekers, and learners as creative agents for transformation, liberation, and flourishing.
Why I am called to facilitate the Work
Since attending a weekend workshop with Joanna Macy, Anne Symens Bucher, and the Canticle Farm team, in Oakland, CA, in November 2013 (in addition to studying Joanna's books, viewing her videos, and attending some of her Dharma talks and other workshops), I have led several workshops in various settings on or based in the Work that Reconnects. I have also participated in a variety of diversity trainings, which include anti-oppression and decolonization workshops, as well as other relevant, informal learning circles on racial justice and white privilege and white supremacy. I am also a practitioner, facilitator, and lifelong learner of nonviolence and restorative practices.
How I see the Work serving the Great Turning
That the Work That Reconnects is grounded in gratitude, hope, attentiveness, vision, and life-giving and life-sustaining practices inspires me to share it with others. More than a format, it provides a way of being, of being in relationship, that emboldens personal and social transformation. As we experience the pain of the impacts of the Great Unraveling - the massive social and ecological crises - this work helps us to move us from apathy and despair into collaborative action, as we shift from the Industrial Growth Society toward a life-giving civilization.
Audiences I work with
I mainly work with international audiences of all ages, but primarily adults in educational and spiritual/religious settings (often times Catholic or interspiritual).
Background & Training
Background & training in the Work That Reconnects
- Work that Reconnects (2013, 3 days)
Location: Canticle Farm, Oakland
Facilitated by: Joanna Macy, Anne Symens-Bucher, and the Canticle Farm team
- "What is Mine to Do?: The Soul's Journey Through the Great Turning" (2017, 1 days)
Location: School of Applied Theology (SAT)
Facilitated by: Terry and Anne Symens-Bucher
As ED of SAT, I invited Anne and Terry to offer this workshop and I attended it.
- Climate-Justice Teach-In (2020, 1 days)
Location: Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
Facilitated by: Terry Symens-Bucher
As part of the planning committee, I invited Terry to present and attended his workshop.
- Our Common Home Summit: Spiritual Ecology in Education and Action (2019, 1 days)
Location: Bishop O'Dowd High School, Oakland
Facilitated by: Joanna Macy, Corrina Gould and Spiritual Ecology Leaders
Other relevant training
- Nonviolent Communication (NVC) "Empowered Communication I" (2012, 8 days)
Location: Bay NVC, Oakland
Facilitated by: Meganwind Eoyang
- Nonviolence Communication: "Empowered Communication 2" (2013, 8 days)
Location: BayNVC, Oakland
Facilitated by: Nancy Kahn
- Restorative Justice Certification (2014, 365 days)
Location: Simon Fraser University, Canada (Online)
Facilitated by: Joao Salm
Certification in mediation, harm prevention, trauma healing, and other techniques for helping communities create safer and healthier environments in a variety of settings.
- White Fragility Discussion Group (2020, 3 days)
Location: Jesuit School of Theology
Facilitated by: Mary Beth Lamb
A reading/discussion group of Robin DiAngelo's text, plus streaming of her presentation at our main campus (SCU).
- Discernment Series: Racial Justice (2021, 0)
Location: St. Ignatius Parish, S.F.
Facilitated by: Staff
An online training and discernment series, twice a week, Jan-May 2021
Other relevant skills & experiences
Visual art, performance art, trauma healing, writing, diversity training, restorative justice/practices, spiritual activism, new cosmology. Decades of experience facilitating retreats, workshops, presentations, rituals, ceremonies, and other spiritual offerings. Ph.D. in theology, with an emphasis in the arts.
Experience facilitating WTR events & workshops
Work That Reconnects workshops I have facilitated
- "Mystics in the Modern World" (2014, 4 days)
Location: Sophia Center/Holy Names University, Oakland
Four four classes were entirely dedicated to the WTR, and the trajectory of the semester was based entirely on the spiral.
- HNU Undergraduate Retreat (2014, 1 days)
Location: San Damiano Retreat Center, Danville CA
Facilitated by: Mary Pat White, RSCJ
A daylong retreat for undergrads introduced students to the Work That Reconnects and led them through the spiral.
- “Hearing the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor with the Ear of the Heart" (2016, 1 days)
Location: Incarnation Monastery, Berkeley
This workshop introduced the WTR and followed the spiral. I facilitated several similar workshops, including one at Newman Hall, in Berkeley CA and another for faculty and staff at Carondelet High School, in Concord CA.
- "Global Church/Planetary People" (2021, 4 days)
Location: Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University /Graduate Theological Union (online)
Four workshops of the program dedicated to introductions to the Work that Reconnects, with the entire semester following the full spiral, for an online, international renewal program.
Experience facilitating other events & workshops
Selected events and workshops I have facilitated include the following:
Presenter, with Cat Willet
• “To Set the Prisoners Free: How Our Church Can Respond to the Impacts of Incarceration”
Ongoing training opportunities for Catholics interested in exploring the impacts of incarceration on youth and families, in collaboration with Cat Willet, Lead Trainer with the Catholic Charities’ Experience Hope Training Institute, and in partnership with the Diocese of Oakland. This three-hour training introduced participants to the impacts of incarceration on youth and families, and included information about how youth and families are impacted by incarceration. Additionally, participants examined the Catholic call to supporting those impacted by incarceration, and left with practical and spiritual resources that individuals and parishes could explore to begin or further their ministry to youth and families affected by prison, jail, or parole.
• “Where Two or Three Are Gathered: The Catholic Call to Restorative Practices”
Daylong Retreats for Catholics interested in learning more about restorative practices, and in bringing them into their parishes and communities. In collaboration with Cat Willet, Lead Trainer with the Catholic Charities’ Experience Hope Training Institute, and in partnership the Catholic Mobilizing Network.
• “Sent: Anointing Wo/men, Anointing Earth”
St. Anselm Catholic Church
San Anselmo CA, March 2015
• “Sacred Snapshots”
Pacific School of Religion / Graduate Theological Union
Berkeley CA, April 2013
Sacred Snapshots is a day-long event celebrating spiritual practices from a range of religions and traditions. Each hour participants choose from an array of experiential sessions on divinity in its many forms, taught by progressive leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of various faiths. In this workshop, we utilized the ancient practice of lectio divina to engage John 20:11-18, and other relevant printed and visual resources, in the hope of coming to know something more about Mary Magdalene and ourselves, as well as our mission as wo/men, anointed and anointing for mission.
• “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life”
with Karen Schneider
Paul J. Cushing Library, Holy Names University
Oakland, CA, 2011
• Co-Organizer, with Tara Evans
Crockett Community Open Art Studios
Epiphania Sacred Arts Studio
Crockett, CA, 2010
Courses I have taught include:
Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU)
• “Toward a Spirituality of the Creative Life”
Taught an online course on the creative life as a spiritual response and responsibility, as contemplation-in-action, and as prophetic service in the world.
• “The Art of Restorative Practices: For Parishes, Schools, and Beyond”
With Bede Healey
Taught an online, one-unit “Bridge Course,” that engaged general principles of Restorative Justice; key practices, such as “circle” processes; and ways of putting them to use, in parishes, schools, and other venues.
• “Christ, Ecology, and New Cosmology”
Facilitated a Special Reading Course that explores contemporary cosmology and eco-spirituality, in light of Christian revelation.
The Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality
Holy Names University (HNU), Oakland CA
• “Mystics in the Modern World”
Taught an academic and experiential graduate-level course, in which we explored what it means to be a mystic in the modern world, and what luminaries, from Julian of Norwich to Joanna Macy, can teach us about living visionary, creative, and life-sustaining existences, particularly in times of social and environmental crisis.
• “Praying with Art”
Taught an academic and experiential graduate-level course, exploring various ways to pray with art, that incorporated both theory and practice.
Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC)
• Critical Perspectives: School of Extended Education, LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals), Legal and Paralegal Program, and School of Liberal Arts, BA in Leadership and Organizational Studies
Facilitated seminar-style courses, that satisfied the Religious Studies requirement, utilizing the shared-inquiry process for adult learners in various degree programs.
o “Life Story as Theology”
Curriculum included the autobiographies of Elie Wiesel, Chan Khong, Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Helen Prejean, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Annie Dillard.
o “Multicultural Perspectives”
Curriculum included works by N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, James Welch, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Toni Morrison, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Isabel Allende, Ruth A. Sasaki, David Henry Hwang, and Maxine Hong Kingston.