Beyond Diversity 101

Founder, Niyonu D. Spann
 
Niyonu D. Spann Every BD101 workshop has started with participants exploring ‘what they have always known.’ I intentionally start by inviting that part of us that existed before and throughout much of life’s conditioning. When I ask myself this same question, I find that there has always been a burning within me to build bridges or to break down walls of separation between people(s). My life work has been re-membering our interconnection and living from that reality.

This call has increasingly demanded vigorous truth-telling and unrelenting heart-connection.  Whether composing a piece of music, facilitating a board of directors’ strategic planning process, having a one-on-one executive coaching session or having a heartfelt discussion with an intimate partner, the central theme has remained: Create a space for the acknowledgment of what is, of what has been and of the living vision for the future.

My formal training has come in three primary areas:  Music, Organization Development (OD) & Transformation.  It is easiest to articulate the training in the first two areas.

Oberlin Conservatory of Music – BA/BM in Voice Performance

American University/NTL – MSHRD in Human Resources (with an emphasis on Organization Development)

My studies in Transformation have been lifelong but began in earnest when I met and participated in workshops facilitated by Dr. Darya Funches.  I found in Darya’s teachings, a masterful integration of science, spirituality, psychology and organization development.  Darya was then a part of the NTL (National Training Laboratories) Board, which she later chaired.  I continue to study with Dr. Darya and always honor her teachings as foundational in my work.
Professional positions that have allowed me to integrate, grow and contribute include:
  • Twelve years as a high school teacher
  • Four years as a high school administrator
  • Eight years as Executive Director of a national non-profit called, The Green Circle Program, Inc.
  • TrV Consulting (Founder & President)
  • Founder & Director of Tribe 1 – a singing & drumming performance group (www.tribe1.org or www.myspace.com/tribe1music)
  • Four years as Dean of Pendle Hill (A Quaker, adult study center)

My story of the history and philosophy of BD101 can be found in the "About BD101" section.  There have been ten 5-Day Intensives and two 10-Day Trainings for Trainers.  Altogether, about 400 BD101 participants!!  This is quite amazing and humbling when I think of what it takes to bring ourselves to any workshop - no less a 5-day workshop.

I am encouraged by and grateful for the learning and re-membering that happens within me during each BD101.  I stay hungry for connecting and expanding in these ways.  Our world is likewise yearning to be a part of communities of vigorous truth-telling and unrelenting heart-connection.   So like the Shaker song says, "we can come ‘round right."

May the work continue to grow ~ within and without.
For More Information About Niyonu's work see: www.niyonuspann.com.

Niyonu's Blog


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Facilitators/Bodyworkers
 
JEAN-MARIE PRESTWIDGE BARCHJEAN-MARIE PRESTWIDGE BARCH is a licensed clinical psychologist currently in private practice. Dr. Prestwidge Barch has served as staff psychologist at Magee Memorial Rehabilitation Hospital, on the medical staff of West Park Hospital, Philadelphia, the counseling staff of Bryn Mawr College Health Service, Bryn Mawr, PA; and as Psychology Section Chief for Phoenixville Hospital, Phoenixville, PA.

Jean-Marie attended her first BD101 in Pittsburgh in 2003.  She was a member of the first Training for Trainers and has led several diversity workshops. She lived the first 18 years of her life traveling back and forth between "home" in Jamaica and home in New York City, a transcultural experience which provided a view of diversity that has informed her work in all arenas.  She is deeply dedicated to social justice/diversity work and states the following:

"The ‘shorthand’ of judging based on appearance, and the assumptions which have grown from this habit, may seem to exonerate us from the need to look deeply at each other and listen with an open heart to each other’s truths. I do not believe we can ever be released from the need to look and listen to one another with the desire and willingness to seek true human connection. This seeking involves acknowledging the reality of surface differences and their impact on life experience, and then continuing to reach deeper for the truths of the heart which both include and transcend these differences. BD101 provides a vehicle for this journey into connection with self and with others."
 
LISA GRAUSTEINLISA GRAUSTEIN has attended several BD101 intensives as intern, assistant facilitator and as the first BD101 Co-Facilitator.  She has a fierce dedication to living justice and has been highly praised by participants in BD101 workshops as a wise and courageous facilitator.  A 2008 TfT participant said the following about Lisa, " I appreciated her strength in explaining the (BD101) frameworks, seeing and saying what was happening at the group level." "Lisa has many gifts to share and it is obvious that she has done much personal growth work herself."

Lisa is a high school teacher, an artist, and works with Boston-area non-profits concerning issues of school diversity and safety.

After her second intensive, Lisa wrote: "I originally sought out BD101…seeking ways for all of us to gain greater wholeness and [to discover methods for] white people working on racism with other white people.  …The first BD101 gave me a new model of what that could be like (and that it was possible) and this second BD101 helped me see even more possibilities and pushed me much further towards my own wholeness."
 
KEVIN D. GREENEKEVIN D. GREENE has been supporting BD101 intensives with energy and bodywork since 2006.  He is a certified massage therapist of 18 years, and has worked as a facilitator for even longer.  Kevin is a priest of Obatala in the Lukumi Yoruba tradition.  He has practiced Qi Gong and Tai Chi since 1996.

In 1996 he created the Alternative and Complementary Therapies Program at ActionAIDS, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization serving people with AIDS and HIV.  Kevin has cultivated a daily practice of Qi Gong and has been able to share his personal experience in surviving a life-threatening illness by incorporating this practice into a holistic health care program.
Kevin states that what he most appreciates about Beyond Diversity 101 is that, "though filled with self care, the workshop invites you to dig deep into your beliefs, values and programming and go beyond traditional models and concepts of diversity trainings."
 

TONYA MCCLARYTONYA MCCLARY, Esq. is a healer, attorney and grassroots organizer. For over 15 years she has been working domestically and abroad to highlight and bring to the forefront human rights abuses against people in the United States. Tonya is very passionate about her healing work and is currently working to bring this work more fully to the forefront in her own life. For the last few years Tonya’s has focused her healing work inside prisons. She founded two programs in Philadelphia, PA one is the Youth Art & Spirituality Project and the other is called Poetry is Healing. As part of Tonya’s work she has looked very closely at issues of diversity and facilitated diversity workshops with nonprofit organizations.

Tonya has attended several BD101 Intensives as a participant or intern. She also attended the first Training of Trainers in 2006. After attending her first BD101 Intensive Tonya’s perspective on diversity work changed. She credits BD101 with shifting old paradigms of traditional diversity training and shedding new light on how this kind of work can be done. "I found the experience transformative. Every time I attend a BD101 I walk away challenging myself to be a better person and facilitator. I find that I have ah-ha moments weeks and months after each one, as I challenge myself to have a deeper understanding of the issues that are raised in the workshop. I will continue to attend BD101's and know that with each one I willgain a deeper understanding of how diversity issues play out in my life and the world around me".

 

JOE MOOREJOE MOORE is a retired executive of a Fortune 250 Company. He holds an M.S. degree in Organizational Development. He has over 30 years experience in facilitating team-building and management-planning workshops. He is currently teaching management development courses at Penn State University and has been on the faculty of Elmhurst College. He has co-facilitated several diversity sessions for a variety of organizations. Joe has also served as a BD101 Intern and Assistant Facilitator.

Joe says that, "participating in BD101 has helped me awaken to new ways of seeing myself, other people, groups and larger institutions. I find that I am much more aware of what is happening within and around me as it relates to all aspects of diversity. I really like the holistic approach of BD101. Workshop experiences include paying attention to mind, body and spirit. I have met many new friends through BD101. I use a lot of what I have learned in my teaching, consulting and social justice work. I like doing diversity work, especially the BD101 approach, because I believe that humankind is meant to be connected through love and understanding. This is the best thing I have found to help us reach across artificial divides in order to understand, empathize and heal."

 

DEBORA SINES PANCOEDEBORA SINES PANCOE is an experienced facilitator and particularly gifted in diagnostic workshop design. Like several BD101 Associates, Deborra attended three 5-Day Intensives as a participant or Intern before attending her first BD101Training for Trainers. She has served in a variety of leadership roles within organizations including Assistant Division Director and Division Director at Abington Friends School, Dean of Students at Friends Select School, and Clerk of School Committee, Plymouth Meeting Friends School.

Deborra has co-facilitated diversity workshops with Niyonu Spann and carries a particular interest in workshops for teachers, staff development, board training and strategic planning.

Deborra says about BD101, "The workshop - presentation and design has been life-changing for me. BD 101 has given me models for educating myself and others about race, power and privilege and a format for working with other white people about what it means to be white. As I actively seek wholeness and healing, I appreciate the BD101 network of people and the opportunity to do anti-racism work in an atmosphere that affirms all of our backgrounds and experiences.".

 

Amanda Ann GodwinAMANDA ANN GODWIN is a nationally certified massage therapist and yoga teacher, teaching out of the Kripalu tradition.  Her considerable skills are rooted in her commitment to life-long learning and her great love for the human body and spirit.  Helping to clear the pathway toward healing and transformation is the goal of all she sets her hand to.

Amanda has been supporting BD 101s by offering attentive Bodywork and leading  Yoga since 2008.  "It is my firm belief and experience that balancing courageous truth telling with attentive self care on the road to transformation serves us all deeply and well.  BD 101 challenges us to do this in life changing ways."

Amanda makes her home with her husband in North Carolina where she practices massage, life coaching & yoga, and quilts.


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Intern Program
 
As the dynamics of each BD 101 intensive varies profoundly due to the inclusion of fresh curriculum, and each group’s particular admixture of gender, age, class, sexuality and race, one five-day workshop differs greatly from another.  For the growing circle of participants who have undertaken internships, experiencing the BD 101 workshop again, from the new perspective of an intern, has proven a powerful opportunity of increased responsibility and insight during the five-day transformative process. Along with being full participants, BD101 interns:
  • help to establish and maintain an atmosphere of safety and deep engagement
  •  discuss aspects concerning the design & flow of the workshop with the lead trainer and assistants
  •  practice tracking group dynamics during the various activities over the course of the intensive
  • may be asked to facilitate an activity, if they have interned previously
Interns gather the day before the intensive begins, with an overnight room made be available.  In addition, during the intensive, interns gather during breaks in special sessions, and have a final meeting of 45-90 minutes after the intensive’s ending.  Interns (those who have completed at least one previous intensive) usually attend the BD 101 workshop at a discounted rate.  If you are interested in interning for an upcoming BD101 Intensive contact Internships@Beyonddiversity101.org.

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