Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training

Through this 3-part series, learn how to facilitate our proven community-building Belonging Matters Conversations dialogue process to support the voice, dignity and leadership of people with lived experience. Our dialogue process is based within the Belonging Matters framework and these conversation experiences and outcomes can be used as assessment, planning and action tools.

As a result of taking this training, facilitators within organizations are equipped with the in-house knowledge and tools to foster belonging, increase meaningful participation and engagement, and gain insight for service improvement for sustainable and lasting change.

Learn to work with members of the community in ways that empower participants. Facilitators get access to a strengths-focused, problem-solving approach that engages diversity, builds belonging, and ignites meaningful participant-led collaborative action.

Experience & Understand Belonging Matters Conversations - Workbook

Experience & Understand Belonging Matters Conversations

Become an exceptional facilitator in our proven community-building dialogue process, starting with experiencing Belonging Matters Conversations yourself. Explore belonging from the inside out and learn a problem-solving approach that engages diversity, builds belonging, unleashes dormant talents and ignites meaningful action.

Gain competence and confidence as you understand the rationale behind each step of the process. You’ll learn how to amplify the strengths of participants while also avoiding facilitation pitfalls that erode a sense of belonging. 

Facilitators who experience Belonging Matters Conversations (and who also internalize and understand the Belonging Matters principles, values and skills) are equipped to create the necessary safe space for others to dive deeply within themselves, build belonging together, and support meaningful and lasting outcomes with exponential results.

Co-Facilitate Belonging Matters Conversations - Workbook

Co-Facilitate Belonging Matters Conversations

Without feedback and practice, a facilitator is more likely to repeat frameworks, actions and belief systems that don’t serve the Belonging Matters process. As a result, participants within Belonging Matters Conversations will more likely feel unheard and unsafe to reveal their true selves. Further, when cultural differences are present, repeating our own personal frameworks may further erode trust and escalate pre-existing divides.  

In this opportunity, you’ll co-facilitate a Belonging Matters Conversation with colleagues, flexing and finessing your new Belonging Matters muscle, and applying all you have learned in this unique training experience.

Facilitators receive both tools and 1:1 feedback to assess their skills throughout the process. When a facilitator increases their mastery and confidence with leading Belonging Matters Conversations, magic happens.

Engage Diversity – Convening Tools and Practices – Workbook

Engage Diversity – Convening Tools and Practices

Facilitators and organizations may have powerful programs and goals, but unless they know how to draw together the right people and opportunities, the resources never reach the people they are intended to support or engage. As a result, time and effort is wasted, funding can dry up and results are not achieved.

Convening a Belonging Matters Conversation is an art.

When facilitators learn the art of inviting, engagement skyrockets and the facilitator begins each relationship on the right foot. As a result, when there is high engagement and connection with each participant, trust is built as a foundational step to rich and meaningful Belonging Matters Conversations. 

In this training, learn a 5-step process to draw together stakeholders and ensure quality and diverse engagement for your project.

About Jessie Sutherland,

An international speaker, trainer, and consultant, Jessie Sutherland works with organizations and communities to engage diversity, build belonging and ignite intercultural collaboration.

Recipient of BC Community Achievement Award (2023), her approach creates sustainable community change that effectively addresses complex social problems.

Jessie Sutherland - TEDx Speaker
Jessie Sutherland - 2023 Community Award - BC Achievement Foundation - seal
Jessie Sutherland - Director of Intercultural Strategies

Jessie’s work has been delivered in over eight languages and has taken her across Canada and around the world to support communities in their efforts to address challenging issues including workplace inclusion, poverty, homelessness, the overdose crisis, elder abuse, reconciliation, youth engagement and more. Many of her clients go on to win awards for their work in engaging diversity and fostering collaboration for sustainable and lasting change.

As founder of the organization Intercultural Strategies, Jessie helps leaders and groups build cultures of belonging to create change in an inclusive and positive way. She is the innovator of the award-winning Belonging Matters framework and community change model designed to change mindsets, deepen interconnections, impart greater social capital and build stronger communities.

Jessie holds a M.A in Dispute Resolution, is a TEDx speaker and author of the book, Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out.

What Graduates of Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training Are Saying…

Mary Alice Smith
Cultural Liaison Project Coordinator, Ne-Chee Friendship Centre

...strengthening connections among the Elders themselves and the staff.

Belonging Matters found its way to Kenora in 2019 when Jessie Sutherland skillfully led a condensed 3-day intensive Facilitator’s training with a small group of NeChee Friendship Centre staff. Then, with Jessie’s skillful support, the staff team facilitated two full days of Belonging Matters dialogues with a respected group of Anishinaabe community Elders. 

The Elders shared their stories of the beginnings of the Friendship Centre and how they hoped people would continue to feel a sense of home and belonging at Nechee today. Their teachings and life experience enriched us all, strengthening connections among the Elders themselves and the staff.

Elaine White
Cultural Coordinator, Shawendaasowin Child & Family Services

Miigwech for your excellent work on bringing people of many cultures and nations together.

When I participated in the Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training and then the Belonging Matters Foundations series with Jessie Sutherland, I appreciated that if you want to see and “be the change” in this world, you need to have patience. The training series also helped me to see who I am, what I need to work on, and what change means in a worldwide view.

As a trainer and facilitator, Jessie has a lot of compassion for people, while also bringing out their best. She is trustworthy, open and honest. She’s thorough, listens, is patient, and knows the material. As a facilitator, Jessie covers all the material and stays within time frames.

Gchi Miigwech for your excellent work on bringing people of many cultures and nations together. Keep it up, Jessie!

Morgan Meloche
Registered Social Worker and Outreach Worker

I am still impacted by what I learned, heard, and experienced...

A year after completing the Belonging Matters project, I am still impacted by what I learned, heard, and experienced during the process. I am indebted to those who had the courage to share their stories and the experience of working with people through this process has changed how I listen and respond to stories of lived/living experience. 

Framing social (in)justice issues through a lens of belonging made me more aware and attune to how my own work can create and disrupt felt senses of belonging amongst those with whom I work. The process taught me that belonging truly does matter and we all have a collective responsibility to create that belonging.

Daniel Remedios
Addictions Prevention Specialist

I recommend the Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training in any community engagement scenario...

The Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training that I was a part of gave me a different frame and new lens with which to do my work. This added perspective helped make the work that I do more well rounded, accessible and gave it more substance.

The concept of ‘home’ is something that anyone and everyone can relate to. Jessie provided a framework that is easy to understand for everyone, yet also can bring out the depth of complexities within our individual sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘home’.

I recommend the Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training in any community engagement scenario because I have witnessed first-hand its success. Knowing that Jessie herself delivers and facilitates the workshops as well as the “train the trainer” portion increases my confidence in the Belonging Matters process.

Jessie lives what she teaches. She practices belonging and creating spaces of care and kindness and you can see it in her workshops and seminars. She strives to make sure that all attendees feel welcome, safe, and supported. This translates directly into Jessie being one of a kind. Jessie is not only a fantastic person, but also a great role model in our community. She is energetic, welcoming and wholesome. It always is a pleasure working with her in any capacity.

Dr. Michael Quinn Patton

Relationships matter, which is why Belonging Matters.

The Belonging Matters framework provides an opportunity for changed mindsets, deeper interconnections, greater social capital, and stronger communities.

Too often, people focus on getting tasks done and completing their "to do" lists. In doing so, they neglect relationships. Cluelessness about the critical importance of interpersonal connections is a major roadblock to systems change. Systems change involves deepening positive and nurturing interconnections while reducing the negative dynamics of unhealthy relationships. Relationships matter, which is why Belonging Matters. This doesn't happen naturally or easily in today's busy, distracted world. Having a framework and toolkit for guidance and support can make all the difference.

Don't dabble. Commit to the whole process and stay the course. Let Jessie Sutherland, who walks the talk, guide you on a transformational journey. She has faced adversity, understands the long-term effects of trauma, and brings both personal and professional knowledge to her work.

Founder and CEO of Utilization-Focused Evaluation and co-teacher for "Measure & Accelerate Belonging"

Learn more about Belonging Matters Conversations Facilitator Training...