Belonging Matters Conversations

In this series of customized, facilitated conversations, participants come together in a collaborative, problem-solving approach to build belonging and, together, address their priority challenges.

Belonging Matters Conversations - Workbook

Belonging Matters Conversations

Through guided dialogues that nurture their own meaning of belonging, participants share stories and apply reflective learning strategies.

The co-creation of visual legacies amplify participants’ voices, internalize key insights, and become the catalyst for participant-led solutions for lasting community change.

What One Organization Accomplished Through Belonging Matters Conversations

~  with Carol Sheridan, 

Oliver Parks and Recreation Manager

Vince Bulteel on the Importance of Belonging Matters Conversations and Participants with Lived Experience

Vince Bulteel taught me the tenacity it takes to persevere when so many systems, attitudes and behaviours can work against you, enduring stigmatization and so much more.

I have learned about the humility and courage it takes to reach out for help, regardless of where our journey takes us, particularly when we have made mistakes and have been beaten down by the systems that are supposed to support us. In having him as a guest speaker on several occasions, I have learned the power of true authenticity and that compassion creates an optimal learning environment for everyone.

Finally, I am learning that the best way to deal with grief is to find a place to put it. For me, this means being true to Vince’s voice, vision and leadership and continuing his legacy by sharing his stories and ramping up our efforts to build dignity from the inside out (with both people and the systems that serve them in mind).

~ Jessie Sutherland

Vince Bulteel: 

1968 - 2020

What Leaders & Participants Say About Belonging Matters Conversations

Monica Walters-Field
Resource in/for Right Relations and Productive Learning Partnership

It's been a real joy for me…

I think the most impactful take-away for me from Belonging Matters Conversations For Leaders is the reminder and learning of the “transformational power of small circles”. The compilation of the wisdom from the group is like a pearl that's worthy of picking up and putting in a necklace I'm wearing.

Jessie met my expectations and more. I think it's brilliant that she's able to contribute to our human existence the way she has been, but extra love to her for how she was able to gather us into the fold. Having a varied group where you end up feeling safe and comforted is often a challenge, especially when talking about topics that are reflective of one’s inner personalities and struggles.

It's been a real joy for me to meet people who are working in the field—with people who learn differently, with people who are developed differently, with people who have different aspirations—and to be able to sit together around the round table and be equal contributors. That, to me, has been really amazing. Courses like this help us make changes to do things differently, and we become empowered to teach others like a ripple that keeps growing.

Melissa Lyon
Belonging Matters Project Teammate, Inclusion Advocate

Belonging Matters Conversations gave me more confidence in myself and my strengths.

The Belonging Matters Conversations gave me more confidence in myself and my strengths. As well, the dialogue process helped me to accept my cerebral palsy and made me feel more comfortable talking about my disability. Importantly, the experience made me aware of what’s possible on both personal and community levels.

I am so grateful for Jessie's guidance in helping to address a long-overdue need for more connection, resources, and awareness in the community. I also appreciate the connections that I have made through these conversations and I look forward to continuing with this group.

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 with other leaders, I appreciated that if you want to see and “be the change” in this world, you need to have patience. The process helped me to see who I am, what I need to work on, and what change means across cultures.

As a facilitator, Jessie has a lot of compassion for people while bringing out their best. Gchi Miigwech for your excellent work on bringing people of many cultures and nations together.

Additional Options for Belonging Matters Conversations

Belonging Matters Conversations For Leaders

Belonging Matters Conversations For Leaders

In this series of customized, facilitated conversations, leaders come together in a collaborative, problem-solving approach to address their priority challenges.


Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces - Workbook

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces

In this series of customized, facilitated conversations, teams and organizations come together in a collaborative, problem-solving approach to address their priority challenges in the workplace.


Belonging Matters Conversations For Communities - workbook

Belonging Matters Conversations For Communities

In this series of customized, facilitated conversations, community members come together in a collaborative, problem-solving approach to address their priority challenges.

About Jessie Sutherland,
Director

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.

The Benefits of

Belonging Matters Conversations

Bingo
Aboriginal Front Door, Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

I’ve begun to respect myself...

I’ve been homeless for 4 months. Through participating in Belonging Matters Conversations, I’ve begun to respect myself and gain a lot of confidence.

Morgan Meloche
Registered Social Worker and Outreach Worker

...conversations that go deeper than simply brainstorming ideas and coming up with projects.

Belonging Matters helps to get straight to the heart of what is being discussed, no matter what the topic. It opens space to have truly client-led (or led by those most impacted by specific social issues) conversations that go deeper than simply brainstorming ideas and coming up with projects.

Through the process, breaking down hierarchical barriers between service providers and service users builds trust, community, and relationships that live on and create ripples of change in many directions. Belonging Matters Conversations empowers people to tell their own stories and create their own actions to address social (in)justice.

Belonging Matters invites us all to reflect on what true belonging means and to experience a sense of belonging within the conversations that emerge, amongst all participants. It’s a transformative experience for facilitators and participants alike that create bonds of belonging.

Charito Gailling
MEd, Project Manager, BCCDC

Under Jessie's gentle and warm guidance, the trust and sharing was built quickly…

My key takeaway from Belonging Matters Conversations For Leaders was how important even small daily reminders are in order to continually realign with the core values that support and guide us through complex relationships. Upon reflection through this program, I realize how old traumas and roadblocks such as fear of hurting others may be blocking deeper connections with others. I love Jessie's suggestion to give myself permission to unintentionally hurt someone's feelings (!) knowing you will come out with a deeper appreciation and understanding of each other.

Under Jessie's gentle and warm guidance, the trust and sharing was built quickly in this small group format, which helped immensely in terms of allowing me to connect with my own personal values and motivations as a leader. Jessie has a wonderful gift for connections and bringing people together. I appreciated how she was able to show vulnerability and participated in the discussions as a learner as well as shepherding us through the reflection process at the same time.

Learn more about Belonging Matters Conversations...

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