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Maura Bairley, MA

Maura is an interdependent social change facilitator, consultant and coach. Her approach to transformative leadership and organizational development is rooted in her 25-year commitment to racial and gender justice and queer liberation. She supports and challenges leaders to clarify purpose and vision, align values and practice, and create organizations that are liberatory, sustainable and adaptive. Maura has been part of Move to End Violence since the beginning, serving on the Advisory Board while the program was being developed. Maura serves as core faculty to the Speaking Race to Power Fellowship of Core Align. She is a strategic advisor to the NoVo Foundation and the Flexible Leadership Awards Program of the Haas Jr. Fund, where she led the Racial Equity with an Intersectionality Lens Learning Team. Maura holds a Masters Degree in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teacher’s College, where she is also an advanced doctoral student. Her research interests include leadership for social justice, organizational transformation, and group relations. A native San Franciscan, Maura makes her home in Flatbush, Brooklyn with her partner, teenager, and chosen family.

Michael Bell

Michael Bell is president, chief executive officer and co-founder of InPartnership Consulting Inc., an organizational development and strategic change firm specializing in global cultural competence and leadership development. He designs state-of-the-art training, leadership development programs and organizational change initiatives for foundations and progressive non-profits. He is an international consultant and executive coach with special expertise in organizational assessment, teambuilding and mentoring programs. He is an expert in helping organizations understanding their cultures and their need for transformational learning. A graduate of Cornell University, Michael is also an advanced facilitator using the conflict resolution model of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication (PNDC). He also serves as an advisor and design team member to Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity. This trans-national program is designed to promote racial equity and dismantle anti-black racism. The program will build an enduring transnational network of leaders across issues, approaches and geographies to challenge anti-black racism and build institutions, policies and narratives for a more equitable future. Michael designs and facilitates The President’s Forum on Racial Equity in Philanthropy for Keecha Harris and Associates.  Michael leads the Racial Equity Innovation Lab for foundations with comprehensive DEI/ Racial Equity programs underway. The innovation lab allows each foundation to find support, expertise and insights for addressing challenges & learning best practices for building impactful initiatives. He is a student/practitioner of Forward Stance, a series of physical practices based on the belief that our capacity for movement building rests not only on political alignment, strategy, or opportunity for collaboration, but requires a capacity to embody a resilient stance and move as one. Forward Stance is a mind-body approach that gets us out of our heads—into our bodies—and supports our movement to do just that.

Jasmine Burnett

Jasmine is a 3rd generation midwesterner born and raised in Indiana and is currently based in Cleveland, OH. She is a writer, national organizer, herbalist, and leadership coach who supports individuals and organizations in racial and reproductive social justice movements to integrate innovation, pleasure and community building with the infrastructural necessities of strategic planning, fundraising, and grassroots organizing. She has a BA in history from Purdue University, and she has previously worked and organized through New Voices Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, SisterSong, and the National Network of Abortion Funds, among others. Her foundation in building community comes from her grandmother who owned a barbershop attached to her family’s home, and her grandfather who held United Auto Workers meetings for Black employees that were pioneers in racially integrating the union. As a national reproductive justice leader, building community and connectivity around shared purpose has been amplified in her organizing work. Her writing focuses on Black women’s leadership, support and visibility for queer and transgender Black, Indigenous, and People of Color folx, cannabis equity, and Black midwestern lived experiences  which have been published in The Huffington Post, The Root, Rewire, and elsewhere. Her work is also featured two newly released anthologies, Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology From Middle America and The Echoing Ida Collection. In her leadership coaching, she uses an integrated wellness approach through her study of herbalism, African Spirituality, and mindfulness practices to create intimate truth-telling and space-making. She is currently a virtual clinical herbalism student at the Well of Indigenous Wisdom Clinical Herbalism School in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Lucia Castañeda Kimble

By inspiring collective visioning and helping them ground themselves in purpose, Lucia creates pathways for leaders to bring their best selves to the work of liberation. At Rockwood Lucia is dedicated to creating powerful and transformational experiences that uplift leaders and nurture vibrant movements. Her years of organizing and training have helped others see themselves as dreamers and visionaries of their own future. In her free time, Lucia can be found hiking among the tall redwoods, dancing, and building community.

Chrissie Castro

Chrissie Castro, Diné and Chicana, is a social justice consultant dedicated to equity for all peoples, with an emphasis on building power and self-determination of American Indian/Alaska Native communities. Chrissie has more than 15 years of senior management experience in government and nonprofit sectors, and has been consulting for the past 10 years. She co-led the change to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the city and County of Los Angeles. She was a co-founder of Indigenous Women Rise, which organized the Indigenous women’s contingent of 1,000 Indigenous Women at the Women’s March in DC. She is the Network Weaver of the Native Voice Network, a national network of 35+ Native-led organizations that mobilize through indigenous cultural values. She recently launched two projects to build community and political power of Native communities – locally, the California Native Vote Project and nationally, Advance Native Political Leadership. Chrissie is a certified life coach, and is passionate about utilizing coaching for personal, organizational and community transformation.

Pamela Chiang

Pamela is President of Chiange, Inc. A community organizer in her political roots, she brings that appreciation with clients, and guides them through personal and organizational transformation for societal transformation. Over the past two decades, she has led organizations and movements for economic and environmental justice and created deep culture and strategic change inside organizations. She is known for a style that aligns people from diverse racial, cultural, gender, generational, and geographic experiences towards common purpose. Influenced by a resilient and dynamic Chinese immigrant mother, she expands perceived boundaries of what is possible for she is, among other things, a cowgirl rancher in Montana where she and her husband raise their two young boys. She is also a trained mediator and holds a BA in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining Rockwood as a trainer, Pamela was part of the 2006 LIO cohort and has been a Rockwood coach for several years.

Viveka Chen

For over 25 years, Viveka has worked for social justice with people across a spectrum of cultures, communities, movements, and sectors. She is most often co-creating programs and practices centering race equity and liberation for: leadership cohorts and fellowships, innovation labs, organizations/communities moving through change and conflict (facilitating healing, restorative, and accountability processes), leadership transitions, and vision and strategy work. Viveka is also a Buddhist meditation teacher with an open and compassionate presence and deep respect for those she works with. Her coaching supports leaders to access their strengths, awareness, and creative energy to set in motion breakthroughs and new possibilities. She is affiliated as a coach and consultant with Management Assistance Group, RoadMap Consulting, the Haas Flexible Leadership Award Program, CompassPoint, and co-LAB (a woman of color race equity and liberation formation).

Robert Gass, EdD

Robert was the creator of the original Rockwood training methodology including the Art of Leadership and the Leading from the Inside Out . He also trained and mentored the first two generations of Rockwood trainers. For over 40 years, Robert has coached, trained, and facilitated leaders, organizations, and networks working for justice, sustainability, and human dignity. His work is a weaving of his lifetime of experience and learning in social change, humanistic psychology, organizational transformation, movement building, and meditation/spirituality.

Suzanne Hawkes

Suzanne Hawkes is a management consultant, facilitator and leadership trainer based in Vancouver, Canada. She has over 20 years’ experience helping social justice leaders and organizations amplify their strategic impact through organizational effectiveness, strategic planning, and dialogue. Her vision: a diverse cross-sectoral network of powerful, collaborative, service-oriented leaders working across difference to achieve transformational change. She is a Senior Consultant with InPartnership Consulting, an Oakland-based management consulting firm focused on racial equity. There, she is a co-designer and instructor with the Racial Justice Learning Lab, and a facilitator with the InDeep Racial Equity initiative for philanthropic leaders. At Rockwood, she co-facilitates Fellowships for Women in Racial Justice, LGBTQ Leaders, Pittsburgh Lead Now and Techquity. At home in Vancouver, Suzanne is an Associate of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, and a co-designer and instructor with SFU’s Certificate Program in Executive Leadership. She is also a political focus group moderator with Strategic Communications.

Toby Herzlich

Toby is a nationally and internationally recognized facilitator, leadership trainer, and organizational consultant. With more than 30 years of facilitation and training experience, her expertise ranges from fostering collaboration within large multi-party stakeholder engagements to building alignment among elite executive leadership teams, and most everything in between. With a practice aimed toward equity and power-sharing in multiracial groups, Toby focuses on social justice and culture change, breakthrough climate solutions, network/coalition building.

Toby is the Founder of Biomimicry for Social Innovation and the Living Systems Leadershiptraining program, through which she applies nature’s intelligence to leadership development and organizational innovation. She is author of BSI’s Nature Positive Practice series and key faculty in Biomimicry 3.8’s two-year Professional Certification Program, training leaders within global cohorts to learn from nature, for nature – and for people.  She is committed to the creation of a just, healthy, and regenerative society, and heartfully enthused about the transformative potential of applying nature’s wisdom to humanity’s regenerative aspirations.

Toby has designed and led community engagement collaborations at local, state, national, and international levels, including facilitating a Global Summit on Women and Climate, which brought together grassroots community leaders who are most affected by the impacts of climate change to make recommendations for philanthropic and corporate investment policies. Her 20+ years of organizational consulting and environmental mediation includes clients such as the Agroecology Fund, the Volgeneau Climate Initiative, the Sierra Club, Environmental Grantmakers Association, Levi Strauss and Company, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the Navajo Nation.

When not training leaders, you can find Toby in the high mountains or in her garden – feet, heart, and hands intimately connected with life on Earth.

Romeo Jackson

Hailing from the southside of Chicago and the grandchild of Gracie Lee Fowler & Barbara Ann Woods, Romeo Jackson (They/Them) is a Queer, Non-Binary Femme, and a Black descendant of the estimated 11 million Africans who were kidnapped and sold into enslavement. They are a feminist dedicated to intersectional justice and cross movement building. Their research, writing, and practice explores Race/ism, anti-Blackness, and Settler Colonialism within Higher Education. In addition, Romeo is a Organizational Development Consultant & Coach specializing in: Group and Team Dynamics, Addressing and Engaging Anti-blackness, Interpersonal Communication Skills for Multi-Racial and Multi-Gender Work, and The Role of Laughter, Fun, and Joy at Work. They are organizing with BYP100 Chicago, doula in training and newly committed to Healing and Transformative Justice as the bedrock of their work.

Helen S. Kim

Helen has 30 years of experience in working with leaders, organizations, and networks advocating for racial, economic, and environmental justice. As a consultant, her focus is on transforming leadership culture, developing innovative strategies, and building effective partnerships. Helen is a co-author of Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership, and has led workshops across the U.S. and internationally on supporting the next generation of leaders. Her clients have included the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Community Change, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Open Society Foundations, and the Immigrant Movement Visioning Process. Helen taught US social movement history at the San Francisco State University School of Social Work and worked as a community organizer, where she focused on immigrant and worker rights and environmental justice issues. Helen emigrated from Korea when she was twelve years old and studied history and law. She currently lives in Brooklyn, and loves to swim, sing, and get serious about her role as ‘imo’ (auntie).

Naomi Long

Naomi (she/her) has been working alongside, inside, and up against the non-profit movement ecosystem for 24 years. She approaches her work as play, art, spiritual calling, and business. She is a mix of intuition and practical application with a special gift for building trust and pushing the envelope.

Naomi started facilitating groups in 2002 as a community organizer in Racine, WI; she continued training while working on prison abolition and ending the War on Drugs at The Drug Policy Alliance. She’s most proud of her work moving organizing collectives toward sharper strategy, providing expert power mapping analysis to national networks, and mediating conflict inside organizations. Her two decades of training work spans several different types of support from helping active and recovering drug users do legislative advocacy and training political candidates at Wellstone Action to building Black Power collectives across the country.

She started coaching individuals in 2009 and has a deep commitment to the full range of experience— from those who are burned out and fed up, to those who see no problem too big. She built a program to sustain nonprofit staff while at The Management Center and she is also known to get excited about helping people leave their jobs for healthier choices.

Naomi began learning curriculum design centered around Experiential Education in 2008 with Training for Change and is a highly sought after thought partner for staff retreat architecture.

She is also a lover of mind-bending dystopian science fiction, solo travel adventures, and caring for plant life. After surviving an incident of gun violence in 2021 she is following the breadcrumbs toward her wholeness, not just survival.

Her practices around facilitation, coaching, and design can be summed up by a simple philosophy: She believes each moment is a sacred opportunity for healing and deserving of her best.

Ernest Mark

Ernest brings over fifteen years of experience as an executive coach and organizational development consultant in the social justice sector. As a coach and trainer, Ernest helps people connect with their passion, values and what’s most important in life with an awareness of body, stance and presence. Ernest received a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University. He has presented at conferences hosted by the International Coach Federation, Association of Black Foundation Executives and Leadership that Works. Based out of Oakland, California, Ernest’s favorite things include doing arts and crafts with his two daughters, playing music, gardening, cooking and camping.

Charlene Mack Nelson

Charlene Mack Nelson, MBA, Founding CEO of 2541, is a transformative force dedicated to strengthening ecosystems and nurturing the potential of everyday leaders. Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlene’s upbringing in the household of Pastor Charles and Connie Mack Sr. instilled in her a profound understanding of the intersection between public life, power, and faith. Her journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to pursuing equity and amplifying individual and collective potential to foster lasting change.

With a legacy that spans moving close to $2.5 billion in political victories and activating community organizers across five continents, Charlene thrives on unlocking the potential of leaders who dare to dream the impossible. She’s changing the face of what community organizing expertise looks like.  Her formal education includes undergraduate studies at Howard University and a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University, where her exceptional leadership was recognized with the 2019 Student Leadership Award and victory in Moscow, Russia’s 2019 IBM International Case Study competition.

Yet, her informal education, rooted in the invaluable lessons learned at her parents’ feet, truly defines her leadership. From the heart of Charlotte to the shores of Mfangano Island in Kenya, Charlene has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of her parents’ genuine leadership.

Charlene’s leadership style is a harmonious blend of facilitation, coaching, and creativity, infused with intentionality, agitation, and love. As the Founding CEO of 2541, she embarks on a new journey, steering the organization towards a future where power becomes practical for the everyday leader.  In less than 8 months of her new firm, she’s serviced more than 80 organizations, reimagining what’s possible with power.  Charlene Mack is not just a leader; she is a visionary, a catalyst, and an authentic cultivator for change, dedicated to nurturing leaders and strengthening communities for lasting impact.

J. K. Nelson

J.K. Nelson stands out as a visionary leader and strategist, with significant expertise in orchestrating large-scale Equity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Diversity (EBID) initiatives within complex, multinational organizations. His strategic approach ensures that these critical values are deeply integrated and widely adopted across an entire system. With a rich background that spans electoral politics, labor organizing, and educational advocacy, J.K. Nelson is adept at navigating and influencing diverse environments. His experience underscores his ability to drive meaningful and enduring organizational change through innovation and creativity. Known for his dynamic innovation and commitment to comprehensive change, J.K. leverages his deep insights into global organizational dynamics to foster environments. As an accomplished adult learning specialist, J.K.’s training sessions are incredibly transparent and are designed to produce deep self-discovery and lasting adoption of leadership best practices. J.K. has worked with organizational and adult learners across each of the seven continents. Severally dyslexic, J.K. Nelson has an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

Yeshi Neumann

Yeshi has had two principal callings for her work in the world. Since 1988, Yeshi has facilitated hundreds of trainings on leadership, women’s leadership, disrupting white supremacy/racism and other social oppressions, conflict resolution, effective communication, family healing and mindfulness. For the last 12 years she has been a trainer with Rockwood Leadership Institute, and facilitated the fellowships for leaders in the immigration rights and early childhood education spaces. She loves coaching leaders to become even more powerful, creative and resourceful at the same time that they commit themselves more fully to their own well-being. As an actively practicing midwife since 1970, Yeshi has had the amazing good fortune of receiving new life into her hands over and over again including her 4 granddaughters. Her work of “catching babies” has been inseparable from her dedication to making affordable, respectful, culturally relevant healthcare a right for everyone, not a privilege. Yeshi’s social identities include white, jewish, cisgendered bisexual woman, mostly able-bodied person and elder. She is dedicated to the practice of meditation, Qi Gong, and dancing. She lives in Coastal Me Wok territory (Muir Beach, California).

Darlene Nipper

Darlene Nipper is Rockwood’s CEO. With over 25 years of leadership and advocacy experience, Darlene joined Rockwood in 2012 as a member of the training team. She previously served as deputy executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, executive director of the BET Foundation, chief operating officer at NAMI and founder of its Multicultural and International Policy Center, and director of LGBT affairs in the Executive Office of the Mayor of D.C. Darlene, a native Washingtonian, is also an ordained interfaith minister, practices mindfulness meditation, deep presence, and living joy.

Aisha Nyandoro

Aisha Nyandoro has more than a decade of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating programs aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals with limited resources. She has worked in various capacities– as an academic, evaluator, philanthropist, moderator, and nonprofit executive. These varied experiences have allowed her to better understand systems and policies that impact vulnerable communities. Aisha’s life mission is to holistically and compassionately lift families out of cycles of poverty. When not working to transform impoverished communities, she is a wife and mommy to the best two little boys in the world.

John Poore

John is president of Whole Leaders where he specializes in leadership development and coaching to support the work of social change leaders. Over the last 20 years, John has served as a founder, executive director, board member and consultant to a broad range of nonprofit organizations. His work employs a whole-person approach to leadership development and spirals outward to drive desired organizational change. John enjoys being a father, tending honeybees, gardening and hiking.

Jonathan Relucio

With over 20 years of experience in community organizing, training, social services and leadership development, Jonathan values Buddhist mindfulness meditation and yoga as liberation practices to transform and heal the trauma of oppression – “where the chains around our minds and hearts can be broken through and dissolved; and awareness and wisdom become the vehicle for freedom and transforming our lives (DaRa Williams).” For a decade, Jonathan has facilitated trauma-informed healing practices to support executive and grassroots leadership in Education, Mental Health, and Juvenile Justice as Senior Trainer, faculty and coach for the Niroga Institute. He integrates embodied mindfulness with restorative justice circles for healing and race equity as co-founder and co-director for At Rockwood, he directly supports fellowships for Resource Leaders, Ohio, Pittsburgh, California, Just Films, Strengthening Democracy, National Leading from the Inside Out and the Art of Navigating Change. He completed Communities Rizing and Spirit Rock’s Mindfulness, Yoga and Meditation Training programs; and teaches at the East Bay Meditation Center and Spirit Rock. Jonathan holds a BA in Psychology and Ethnic Studies from the University of California in Berkeley, and a Master’s degree from Naropa University with a focus on Spiritual Activism: Contemplative Practices, Kingian and Gandhian Nonviolence, Art-as-Meditation, Ritual and Social Transformation.

Tony Bennae Richard

Tony is a disabled veteran who served in the United States Navy for twenty-four years as a hospital corpsman (medic), healthcare administrator, and organization development consultant for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery where he led and designed countless experiential learning experiences in leadership development, strategic planning, and organizational change.  While on active duty, he imagined a world absent of oppression, wars, fragmented relationships, broken bodies, and wasted human capital.  So, after retiring in 2005, a blend of life experiences, parenting, formal and informal education, and extensive exposure to different cultures and people, he birthed The Bennae Group, a boutique consulting firm that supports individuals and organizations committed to doing the heart work…and hard work…of culture change and transformation. A learner for life, his approaches are informed by his HBCU community; Gestalt Institute of Cleveland; Center for Human Development; National Training Laboratory (NTL); Robert Gass and the Social Transformation Project; Dr. Laurie Leitch and the Trauma Informed Social Resilience Model (SRM); Institute for Cultural Affairs, Landmark Worldwide, Barry Johnson and Polarity Thinking; Race Forward; Learning In Action Technologies, and every interaction with others.  He is a member of the National Training Laboratories (NTL); past board member of Educational Training and Development Alliance (ETDA); adjunct faculty, Georgetown University’s Organization Development Certificate Program; Facilitator, Cornell University’s Union Leadership Institute; Kappa KappaPsi and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. While he loves reading/writing poetry, flying kites, soap making, playing the trumpet, learning to play the Native American flute and didgeridoo, and listening to music, his favorite past time is spending time with his precious family.

Izumi Yamamoto

Izumi is a leadership trainer, facilitator and executive coach with over two decades of experience working alongside leaders across cultures and sectors. Her professional background spans four continents which brings a diverse perspective to her work integrating inner and outer leadership practices and matters of the soul. She is a co-founder and president of Perennial where she serves as the lead trainer and coach for senior leaders and executive teams in Asia, America, Africa and the Middle East to elevate their effectiveness of leadership and collaborations in their work. An ardent practitioner of meditation, she has guided leaders in deepening their own inner well-being practices to lead with greater awareness and aliveness. She is based in Seattle, Washington.

Eva Young

Building on 25 years of experience, Eva Young engages individuals and teams in transformative processes to achieve long-term, positive, and sustainable change. As a coach, Eva supports leaders in exploring choices to engage in meaningful and impactful actions in their personal and professional lives. Eva specializes in Leadership Development, Ontological Coaching, Retreat and Group Facilitation, Team Effectiveness, Organization Culture Change. Her work is centered on racial justice, equity, inclusion, and women’s empowerment. Eva has a Master’s degree in Social and Organizational Learning from George Mason University, she is a Certified Coach from the Newfield Network, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Community Fellows. Eva keeps deepening her own understanding and practice of mindshift learning, intersectionality, power dynamics, somatics, behavior change, and mindfulness. She works collaboratively within the philanthropic, public, non-profit, labor, and private sectors. Some of the clients Eva has worked with include: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Park Service, Tides Foundation, The W. K. Kellogg Foundation-Mexico, Service Employees International Union-Texas, Sodexo, Texaco, PepsiCo, Human Rights Campaign, and the National Juvenile Justice Network.

Rockwood Community Call

Cecily Rose Engelhart

Life Coach and Speaker

July 25 | 12 PT / 3 ET