Our Community

Inner Activist courses are led by professional educators and social change activists committed to helping change makers become more effective leaders.

We are supported by our staff as well as a key group of Curriculum Advisors who assist in the development of our courses and help us navigate our growth as an organization.

Collectively our expertise is rooted in our work as facilitators, leadership trainers, counselors, educators, community organizers, intercultural and diversity consultants, public policy researchers, environmentalists, trade unionists and more.

Central to our approach is the understanding and awareness that individuals and groups working for social change do so within the context of social inequity and power difference.

Intructors

  • Camille Dumond
    Instructor

    Camille has worked at the crossroads of healing and social justice for over 15 years. She currently supports refugee claimants as a group facilitator and trauma therapist with the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture. Her passion and current training is in Process Oriented Psychology and Conflict Facilitation - learning to unfold the deepest experiences that arise not only in our bodies, emotions and psychology, but also in our communities, earth and the world.  She holds Masters Degrees in Adult Education and Counselling Psychology.

  • Jean-Pierre Guilhaume
    Instructor

    Jean-Pierre mentored under Learning as Leadership’s founder Claire Nuer for 25 years. As a founding member and pillar in the organization since its inception, he has been an executive coach with LaL since 1999, moving from Paris, France, to the United States, to help expand LAL's work. Jean-Pierre's clients have ranged from organizations like NASA, NAVAIR, Shell Oil, as well as individuals, families and couples. He has a passion for building sustainable environments, whether it’s in addressing people’s relationships or with our planet's sustainability issues. He received his diploma from Université René Descartes (1983) and his certification from the Ministry of National Education (1995). He taught Education Nationale in Paris from 1986 - 1999.

  • Natasha Aruliah
    Instructor

    Natasha has worked as a counselor and therapist in Canada, the UK and around the world primarily with clients who experienced oppression and marginalization. Her own lived experiences led to her work in social justice focusing not only on internal change, but also external and systemic change. She currently works as a consultant and facilitator in all areas of diversity, social justice, equity, and inclusion including UBC's Centre for Intercultural Communication, the Justice Institute of BC's Department of Counseling and Community Safety and Vancouver’s Aboriginal Healing Centre.

  • Ian Curtin
    Instructor

    Ian is a core faculty member at the Haven, a Canadian residential training centre on the leading edge of personal and professional development. He is also President of IC Possibilities Consulting Inc., a Victoria based company specializing in facilitating organizational dialogues. He offers the right combination of understanding and meeting organizational requirements, balancing the needs and priorities of multiple stakeholders, and deftly navigating the group dynamics that are an integral part of any human initiative. He loves people and brings his compassion for his own frailties and those of others to every situation.

  • Jackie Larkin
    Instructor

    Jackie has been a social justice activist for 40 years in the women's, labour and political action movements. In recent years she integrated a deep ecological perspective into her work. For nine years, Jackie has co-facilitated (with Maggie Zeigler) "Reconnecting to Life/The Work That Reconnects" Workshops which help us to explore our deepest feelings about our troubled world, to rediscover our capacity for joy and to re-create our human ecological relationship with all of life. In 2006, she left her 13-year job as Education Coordinator for the BC Nurses Union and continues to design and facilitate leadership development, strategic planning, facilitation skills and other courses. She works primarily with unions, community groups and in the health care sector.

  • Parker Johnson
    Instructor

    Parker has more than 20 years of experience as a facilitator, trainer, and researcher in organizational change, diversity in the workplace, and intercultural communication. Parker also works with higher education institutions, profit and non-profit organizations focusing on facilitating leadership development, organizational change, engaging diversity, and creating inclusive and just communities. As a community activist, Parker has collaborated with community organizations to address concerns of youth and immigrant communities. His passion lies in working with people to live as a more compassionate, just, inclusive and responsible society.


Staff

  • Jorge Salazar
    Project Director

    Jorge currently serves as Project Director for the Inner Activist. He came to Canada as a refugee from Colombia in late 2000, and has used his own immigration journey, life experiences, training and education to bridge communities and facilitate positive change within government, organizations and grassroots groups for more than 15 years. Jorge has worked to support connections between diverse communities, particularly between indigenous, immigrants and refugees among others, in BC, Canada and the Americas. He has worked with Immigrant Services Society of BC, MOSAIC, the International Institute for Child Rights and Development - University of Victoria, City of Vancouver, the Ecumenical Task Force for Justice in the Americas, PeerNet BC and most recently as a Manager for the Fresh Voices Initiative with the Vancouver Foundation.

  • Suzanne Nievaart
    Outreach & Engagement Coordinator

    Suzanne Nievaart is a member of the Board of Directors for the Dock - Centre for Social Impact, a co-working space in Victoria, BC, with over 30 members from non-profit, for-profit, government and academic sectors, all working for social and environmental causes. She is also an active member of the Child & Youth Health Network of the Capital Region of BC. Suzanne conducted her M.A. research in Latin America studies at the University of Amsterdam in Chile, where she  worked closely with social activists, NGOs, and indigenous communities engaged in direct action in protest of industrial megaprojects in indigenous territories in Chile. Suzanne joined the Inner Activist in 2015 and is a single mother of a beautiful young boy.

  • Christopher Hanlon
    Technical Support

    Chris completed a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Environmental Studies in 2006 at the University of Victoria. Since completing his degree, Chris has served as an IT Consultant for the Inner Activist as well as a number of other clients, focusing on finding solutions that maximize the opportunities for collaboration between IA staff, volunteers, and program participants.

  • Leslie Dickout
    Marketing & Operations Manager

    Leslie joined the Inner Activist as their Marketing & Operations Manager in 2012. Previously she had spent 14 years as a campaigner and engagement strategist assisting labour unions, non-profits and the progressive private sector become more effective online and on the ground. Leslie has helped build successful grassroots, political and digital campaigns for the Sierra Club of Canada, BC Health Coalition, ForestEthics, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, BC Self Advocacy Foundation, and the Global Campaign for Climate Action. Leslie also sits on the board of Acorn Canada, loves to cycle, knit, meditate and be anywhere near water.

  • Heather Gardiner
    Executive Revenue Development Advisor

    Heather is an accomplished executive leader and consultant with more than two decades of experience leading sales, marketing and change initiatives in Canada and around the world. Her career has spanned wealth investment/real estate, arts management at The Banff Centre and the Calgary Olympic Winter Games, and with several international companies selling high tech products and systems. Within the social profit sector, Heather is well known for helming three United Ways in Western Canada, and providing senior executive services to organizations undergoing transitions. Having seen many colleagues hit the burn-out-wall, Heather is excited to join the Inner Activist to raise funds and development partnerships to help social innovators and agitators access Inner Activist’s leadership development courses. While not working, Heather loves to sail, paddle board and volunteer in her community.

  • Faye Wardrop
    Financial Manager

    Faye Wardrop is Principal of Seawest Consulting, a highly successful consulting practice providing financial oversight to business, not-for-profits and NGO’s for the past ten years. In her early career she was the operations manager for a real estate and property management firm before moving into a similar position with a national import, manufacturing, and wholesale company. Upon relocating to the West Coast, Faye assumed a management role in a non-profit organization delivering government programs related to employment, education and skills upgrading, and entrepreneurship. She has also served as a director on the boards of several NPO & NGO’s working in the areas of employment issues and work-force training for youth as well as the mature workforce.


Curriculum Advisors

  • Penny Wassman

    Penny is a certified trainer and one of 3 assessors for North/South America for the Center for Nonviolent Communication. One of the original founders of the BC Network for Compassionate Communication in British Columbia, Canada, Penny has offered trainings in the Nonviolent Communication process to people in Canada and in the USA since 1999. She has facilitated at several CNVC international sessions (IIT’s) and worked as an independent consultant and trainer in public venues as well as in organizations of all sizes. As mentor and advisor, Penny also offers individual NVC sessions to clients throughout North America.

  • Brad Jarvis

    Brad holds a BA and MA in Philosophy focusing on moral, social and political aspects. He is one of the founders of the Inner Activist and has participated in more than 400 days of personal growth workshops, including each of the approaches to learning integrated into Inner Activist courses. Brad has also worked in Ottawa for a charitable organization, is passionate about personal growth and social change and sits on the Inner Activist's Steering Committee.

  • Maggie Ziegler

    The Reconnecting to Life process integrates Maggie's background and experience as a psychotherapist, educator, facilitator, and community activist. With thirty years professional experience as a psychotherapist in the traumatic stress and violence against women field, she locates healing for individuals within an understanding of the root causes of trauma and violence. Maggie has extensive experience delivering professional education training, developing training programs and providing clinical supervision and consultation services. Her community involvement is local (Conservancy Board member) and global. Internationally, Maggie supports women victims of the wars in the former Yugoslavia. In India she volunteered on a mental health project that trained local service providers in supporting traumatized tsunami survivors, and she has made multiple trips to Japan to deliver domestic violence intervention training. She currently is involved in supporting export zone factory workers in Kenya to bring HIV/AIDS education to their communities and is providing trauma support services to victims of violence in Rwanda.

  • Kel Kelly

    Kel has been a community organizer and facilitator for over forty years. He has been a mediator in private practice for the last 25 years. For the last decade, his practice has focused on large group facilitation and the mediation of multi-party disputes. Kel sees conflict as a catalyst for positive change, when the process is managed in an atmosphere of safety, respect and keen listening. He has been active in the British Columbia environmental movement "for a long time", with a particular focus on defending public access to and protection of BC's provincial parks. Kel is a senior coach with the Justice Institute of British Columbia and loves to teach conflict resolution skills.

  • Cathy McNally

    Cathy is an accomplished and creative communication specialist with over 30 years' experience in management, training, consulting, and counselling. She and her husband Ernie McNally draw much of their teaching from their own relationship. In addition to leading Relationships and the numerous other programs she has facilitated since 1998, Cathy also has 20 years' experience with Satir-based approaches to personal growth.

  • Frank Quinby

    Frank is very actively retired, pursuing the study of Medical Qigong, maintaining an involvement with Alterrus Systems Inc. and serving on the Steering Committee of the Inner Activist. Over the years Frank has had a number of careers in counseling and group leading, management consulting, university research, the entertainment business and oceangoing sailboat manufacturing. For 28 years Frank has facilitated personal growth groups and lifestyle education.

  • France Laurendeau

    France is the founding and current director of the Collège FTQ-Fonds, a senior leadership program of the Quebec Federation of Labor (FTQ). The Collège, now ten years old, is an intensive eight week training, which enhances the capacity of union staff and elected officers to influence social, political and economic change. In the 1980’s, France worked as public policy researcher at the FTQ. In the early 1990’s, she took a leave from the FTQ to direct the Service aux Collectivités at the Université du Québec à Montréal, building research and training partnerships between the university and unions, women’s groups and community groups. In 1997, France returned to the FTQ and was asked to set up the Collège. Learning from this experience, France is now more concerned about mental health at work for union activists, strategic thinking, effective communication, conflict resolution and applied ethics.

  • Julie Diamond

    Julie is a long-term colleague and student of Arnold Mindell, the founder of Process Work, or Process-oriented Psychology. She is one of the original group who helped found the Research Society for Process-oriented Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland, and later, the Process Work Center in Portland, Oregon. She helped develop the international training program in Process Work, and is the co-author of the Master of Arts Degree programs in Process Work and in Conflict Facilitation and Organizational Change. She wrote A Path Made by Walking: Process Work in Theory and Practice (2005) now widely used as a comprehensive text on Process Work theory and methods. Julie has over 20 years of experience helping create learning systems, developing leadership programs, and facilitating personal and organizational growth based on the deep democracy model. She is passionate about harvesting the learning and creativity implicit in the challenges people face, and in helping people bring their deepest selves into their work and life. She has a private coaching and consulting practice in Portland, Oregon, and serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Process Work Institute in Portland.