Reviews

A Collection of Acknowledgements, Success Stories & “Ah Ha” Moments

Scroll through our reviews to see the impacts of Intercultural Strategies and the Belonging Matters framework. 

Jessie Sutherland

See What People Are Saying About...

Facilitate Change Webinar

Belonging Matters Framework

Belonging Matters Foundations

Belonging Matters Conversations

Working With Jessie Sutherland

What People Say About Our Complimentary Training: 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs to Know to Facilitate Change

NEXT WEBINAR:

Tuesday, Sept. 21st, 2021 @ 11:00 am Pacific (PDT)

...better and more authentic relationships both with myself and others.

Jessie clearly has extensive experience in this work and I appreciate her thoughtful examples. She also takes care to allow everyone to feel comfortable. I felt that her experience provided ease to the group and allowed for conversations to get at the heart of the matter being discussed. The Belonging Matters framework she has developed is both wide and approachable. My key take-away from the 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs To Know To Facilitate Change seminar was the re-evaluation of who is considered the "expert". This shift in power dynamic can be extremely helpful in providing appropriate care to those who are most impacted by social issues and social change. Their voices are the ones that matter most.Following the webinar, my first step will be to reflect on the relationships I have with people currently and evaluate who I consider to be the expert. It is quite likely that I will need to do some decolonizing of who I consider to be the expert and take some time to reestablish how I listen to people in the relationships I have. Like any paradigm shift, change takes effort and patience. The work will no doubt be challenging but in the end will lead to better and more authentic relationships both with myself and others. I am excited for the journey!

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Karlie
Executive Assistant, Vancouver Coastal Health

The three skills described and demonstrated in this training are fantastic.

The three skills described and demonstrated in this training are fantastic. I am reminded that continuing to work on myself is a critical component of facilitating change. As a result of the training, I am committed to always tending to build belonging in facilitating change. So much experience!

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John Freebury

This is providing me with new pathways...

[The webinar] will give me and my team more vocabulary and tools to structure and further work on the implementation of our project, and to create more space for the people who are impacted by the issues to be centered in what we do. This is providing me with new pathways, and I look forward to getting to explore them.

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Geneviève Dick
MA Philosophy, Project Manager, IofC Canada Trustbuilding Project

I really liked the simple, yet profound strategies to open conversations and move into action...

When I attended the 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs To Know To Facilitate Change webinar, I really liked the simple, yet profound strategies to open conversations and move into action, where all parties (those impacted) and everyone else feel safe, respected, and valued for their contributions. I found it useful to consider “home” as a metaphor and doorway to facilitating change. My next step will be to use some of these insights about "home" and belonging in my teaching and training around empowering women and teenage girls. I anticipate this training will help with overcoming limitations when those impacted are not allowed to express their opinions, voices, and be part of decision-making in solving the true problem/issue.I also appreciated Jessie’s own stories and lived experience of finding and building belonging to open meaningful dialogue that leads to effective, collective action and real change.

I have a new understanding about "belonging".

The 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs To Know To Facilitate Change webinar was very informative and educative for me, and I liked connecting with other leaders. My next step will be to practice the strategies shared. As a result of the webinar, I have a new understanding about "belonging".I found Jessie Sutherland to be very knowledgeable about how to facilitate change through building belonging. She made the webinar very enjoyable.

I'm inspired again by the power of this work.

3 Strategies Every Leader Needs To Know To Facilitate Change is a very effective training that demonstrates a process that helps people quickly get to deep connections with self and others. I loved the reminder to always start with yourself. Jessie is organized, open, and authentic. The training was well planned, delivered and effective. I'm inspired again by the power of this work.

Clear, focused, masterful, heart-based and so dedicated.

One of my key take-aways from 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs To Know To Facilitate Change was appreciating the term for those identified as not having had a voice as 'the experts.' I find the usage provides a stronger focus versus simply compassionate listening. My next steps will be to apply the style of listening discussed.Jessie Sutherland is a tremendous facilitator! Clear, focused, masterful, heart-based and so dedicated.

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Rev. Mahara Brenna

This work is so important.

I felt a supportive, warm, welcoming environment even with the coldness of Zoom. The message I took away from the session I attended was, "At the heart of any social problem is a group of people who feel pushed out." I will use this message as a constant reminder to be mindful of how my actions might unintentionally cause a sense of exclusion and to actively strive to ensure equity and inclusion for all who encounter me in life and work. I love Jessie's calm, purposeful energy and open approach to inclusion. This work is so important.

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Kate N.

...this is the ah-ha moment for me...

The concept of belonging is something I wasn't paying much attention to and I think this is the ah-ha moment for me since I started working with Jessie.

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Lena

...this training will help me take the next steps of being mindful of the experiences and views of others...

Jessie Sutherland is always positive, open, and encouraging with wide experiences that are useful to learn from. The biggest impact for me in attending her 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs To Know To Facilitate Change webinar was knowing and learning about other perspectives. Moving forward, I believe this training will help me take the next steps of being mindful of the experiences and views of others that may not necessarily be congruent to mine. To engage in respectful conversations and knowledge exchanges, I see the importance in taking time and giving other people a chance to express their views when they are contrary to mine.

...we need to provide a “soft landing”...

Jessie is a clear presenter. I appreciated her enthusiasm and her awareness of diversity in the audience.I was struck by the idea that when people make offensive comments, we need to provide a “soft landing” and assume that the person making the comment needs more information, which we can then provide. I also liked the metaphors and visuals Jessie created to illustrate the ideas presented and the ideas for integrating the three lenses to create community change.

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Rev. Cecile Fausak

...I felt joy and relief at finding that there is an effective method 'out there.'

Since I have lived, learned, related and taught across huge geo-cultural spaces my whole life, there were many “ah-ha” moments in 3 Strategies Every Leader Needs to Know to Facilitate Change. The presentation, questions and discussions reinforced how I want to keep finding new ways to continue to grow in awareness and skill sets. Only through deepening our knowledge of vitally important and concrete lessons in how to harmonize our troubled human patterns of behaviour do we have a chance to move towards a more balanced multi-species planetary and cosmic ecology.Taking this workshop, I felt joy and relief at finding that there is an effective method 'out there.' I have taken other racism-awareness workshops, but this approach developed by Jessie Sutherland to teach values of self-scrutiny and heightened awareness to individuals and organizations in widely diverse cultural contexts in Canada and around the world, seems highly effective. I believe this is because it is collaborative and not based on blame. This work is also important beyond the European-derived Settler peoples, too, since every people through time and space has their racisms and inclusion/exclusion ways of thinking.

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Dr. Astri Wright
Professor of Southeast Asian Art History at the University of Victoria

Raves For Our Belonging Matters Framework & Initiatives

...the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation...

Jessie Sutherland’s worldview skills may well be the insight that provides the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation that must take place. It has the potential to provide the spark required to bring real peace, balance, and harmony…

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Chief Robert Joseph
Hereditary Chief, Gwa wa Enuk First Nations

This is exactly what has to happen.

That concept of finding that home, that serenity, that reference point from which you can build your hope and can in fact provide future generations with an ability to do more is absolutely essential.

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Honourable Senator Roméo Dallaire
Former UN Force Commander, Former Senate Member

...move forward together in remarkable ways.

It is amazing to see multicultural individuals come together as one group with a common purpose and then move forward together in remarkable ways.

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Claudine Matlo
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House: Director of Community Programs

...new steps to humanize the planet to its highest degree!

Bringing human consciousness to a higher degree of vision is a guarantee of better understanding, better communication, better common vision and thus the seeds of lasting peace and serenity… The work of Jessie Sutherland is an exceptional contribution - so needed new steps to humanize the planet to its highest degree!

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Dr. Ihab Banibila
PhD in European Law, University of Montpellier, France

...more aware of the subtle relationships that were constantly being built amongst people...

The Belonging Matters framework helped me open my eyes more to experiences that were happening around me that I hadn’t realized yet. It opened my eyes to my physical community and made me more aware of the subtle relationships that were constantly being built amongst people – whether it was kind words at a grocery store, saying hi to a neighbour, or shoveling someone else’s sidewalk. As one gains an understanding of what ‘belonging’ means (because how often do we really stop and think to ourselves about it otherwise?), it generates a deeper thought process and understanding of how we fit into our families, communities and society—and sometimes how we don’t. It opens one’s mind to the possibility of actually attaining more belonging (if this is what someone wants).

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.

Jessie’s values-based approach is a huge reason why I am able to resolve conflicts...

I have been a fan of Jessie’s values-based approach for 15 years. I have benefited in my personal and working relationships, as well as systems thinking. Jessie’s values-based approach is a huge reason why I am able to resolve conflicts as a person who values harmony and avoids conflict.

I was inspired…

I was inspired after taking Jessie Sutherland’s training. I highly recommend her courses for anyone serious about genuine dialogue, healing and reconciliation.

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Niketu Iralu
Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, New Delhi

...tools and a perspective to empower yourself and the people around you...

The Belonging Matters approach is an ever-relevant process in the multicultural, diverse world we are living in. It provides you with tools and a perspective to empower yourself and the people around you to create spaces where we can all be our full selves and feel welcomed.As an approach, the framework gives value to the input that each person involved in the process has to offer and gives every person's voice the same value. From its design, the framework has a horizontal approach that helps people to experience what a community of belonging feels like. I would recommend Belonging Matters to people who struggle with their own sense of belonging as well as to teams and groups who want to build a common space where their needs are met and identities are honored.

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Eliana Jimeno
International Peacebuilding Specialist

It is poetry for peacemakers...

Jessie Sutherland presents a balanced and harmonized approach to bringing about reconciliation. All four aspects of the individual (mind, heart, body and spirit) are delicately and profoundly brought together. It is poetry for peacemakers, a rhythm of inner growth and direct action in this world.

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Len Sawatsky

This training helped me gain wisdom, support and courage...

This training helped me gain wisdom, support and courage to visualize the results we want for our projects. This was an eye-opening moment for me.

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Yoshie Ikema
Okinawa, Japan

We love Belonging Matters.

We love Belonging Matters. Anyone who wants to do a piece of creative community development, around any issue, should talk to Jessie. The relationships built in this way are sustainable relationships.

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Karen Larcombe
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, Former Executive Director

Our community enjoyed enormous success...

Our community enjoyed enormous success with the Belonging Matters Initiative, connecting with over 70 youth and youth service providers and amongst other things completing the Westside Youth Asset Mapping Project.

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Catherine Leach
Executive Director, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House

...she is able to present profound and transformative insights in a simple, digestible format.

Jessie Sutherland is a visionary. Her work draws upon decades of international work for peace and justice and compliments it with cutting-edge research. Like the great Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, she is able to present profound and transformative insights in a simple, digestible format. As a result, those who attend her trainings leave feeling empowered and equipped with practical tools that they can use to become instruments of transformation in their own communities.

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Anne Nguyen
MD

Jessie has... turned both good and traumatic events into empowerment.

Jessie has taken a lifetime of experiences both locally and with a world view and turned both good and traumatic events into empowerment. Her body of work fascinates me and spans across the topics of Culture, Belonging, Anti-Bullying and much more. Her narrative and stories are well researched and most importantly, relatable to the world.

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Tom Dutta
Award winning CEO at KRE-AT®️, TEDx Speaker, Executive Coach, Best Selling Author, Film/Radio Producer, Host of The Quiet Warrior Show

...she gives students the encouragement they need to “hang out” in the scary spaces between the paradigms…

Jessie Sutherland’s approach dissolves outdated paradigms regarding human conflict and misunderstanding. She offers hope for the development of a new and more useful paradigm, and she gives students the encouragement they need to “hang out” in the scary spaces between the paradigms, while the old one dissolves and the new one develops.It is an amazing and exhilarating journey.

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Faith Magwood
Former chair of Aboriginal Neighbours and retired social worker

Jessie has a great combination of expertise and caring…

Jessie Sutherland’s four-day training was extremely practical. Jessie Sutherland helped me see how the analysis and strategies applied to my personal life and relationships as well as to macro settings. She has a great combination of expertise and caring that make her subject come alive! I am using the concepts and skills in my role as director of a charity.

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Charlott Kerelko
MSW

Jessie’s uncanny talent for teasing out self-realizations will undoubtedly transform your approach to resolving conflicts.

Engaging and energetic, Jessie Sutherland personalizes global challenges through enabling a true understanding of conflict transformation. I left her workshop with a greater understanding of how to bring about successful reconciliation at both the personal and political levels. Jessie’s uncanny talent for teasing out self-realizations will undoubtedly transform your approach to resolving conflicts.

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Nabila Alibhai
Kenya

Recognition For Our Belonging Matters Foundations Programs & Training

I continue to be struck by how fully our planet’s ongoing conflicts can be explained by differences contained in those world views.

It was on a remote island on the Minnesota-Ontario border that I was so fortunate as to experience Jessie Sutherland’s Worldview workshop. Her involvement in conflict resolution has taken Jessie to far-flung, troubled places, and throughout the workshop her breadth of experience and depth of commitment informed the worldview concepts she introduced. We explored the nature of human-centered, Earth-centered, and God-centered world views, and I continue to be struck by how fully our planet’s ongoing conflicts can be explained by differences contained in those world views. Jessie is a healing presence, and her vision does much to clarify the issues of a troubled world.

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Joe Paddock

The world has opened up for me about the possibilities for people with intellectual disabilities...

I’m feeling gratitude having attended the Belonging Matters Foundations: Roadmap for Community-Led Change with Jessie Sutherland. I see both the Belonging Matters framework and the 3 lenses perspective as valuable. The experience also impacted my worldview, demonstrating the endless possibilities of connection and our “hive mind”. Importantly, the world has opened up for me about the possibilities for people with Intellectual Disabilities and their networks.

I can foresee using these tools and lenses in conflict resolution...

As a result of the Belonging Matters Foundations: Being a Belonging Champion training, I am viewing myself more as someone who has experience in this work to share. I am feeling inspired to continue to build out and share the lessons, structures, and tools so that others may benefit from the work and be supported in leading their own change. The training offered useful frameworks which I will apply to my work and myself, allowing me to see some of the conflicts I am in, from the personal to the larger societal systems, from a new perspective.The pre- and post-training readings are valuable and help me to process the workshop content and apply it to my work and thoughts in between each class. I can foresee using these tools and lenses in conflict resolution in my near future.

I learned what it means to really listen…

When attending the How to Unleash Dormant Talents training, I really loved Jessie’s stories and examples of what worked to gain trust from people. When building supportive networks, I learned what it means to really listen and know who people are and what they do.

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Judi-Ann Payne
Administrator, Touchstone Family Association

...the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation...

Jessie Sutherland’s worldview skills may well be the insight that provides the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation that must take place. It has the potential to provide the spark required to bring real peace, balance, and harmony…

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Chief Robert Joseph
Hereditary Chief, Gwa wa Enuk First Nations

Jessie Sutherland is an amazing facilitator...

I signed up for Essential Worldview Skills For A Rapidly Changing World as I have no training in this field, and I wanted to learn more. I appreciated how each speaker provided meaningful context, personal experiences, new insights, and ideas for next steps that I could relate to. I feel that Worldview Skills offers concepts I can refer to, reflect on, and develop further.Jessie Sutherland is an amazing facilitator who set the context and managed the Q&As skillfully. I would recommend this training to others.

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Kathleen

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!

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Elaine White
Cultural Coordinator, Shawendaasowin Child & Family Services

These discussions regarding worldviews, cultural diversity, understanding, and cooperation are very timely.

Attending Essential Worldview Skills For A Rapidly Changing World helped me realize the importance of understanding the history of how different cultures around the world arrived at their worldviews. These discussions regarding worldviews, cultural diversity, understanding, and cooperation are very timely. I felt a shift and increase in my awareness of my own worldviews, especially the internal and external pathways taken to arrive at my views. I also learned to examine and try to understand the pathways of other cultures and individuals. I foresee that if I am involved in a conflict with an individual regarding worldviews, I’ll be better able to examine and assess the situation in the heat of the moment. I appreciated the guest speakers’ personal stories of their journey and the feeling of hope they provided. In addition, Jessie brought her own passion and motivating thoughts to the topic. The workshop was very well organized and ran smoothly.

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Lisa Emkovik

I would especially recommend this training to project coordinators and managers of community-led change work.

I found the Belonging Matters Foundations: Roadmap for Community-Led Change course valuable and engaging, especially in my reflections, intentionally using the three lenses shared with us to reflect on processes, projects, and conflicts. Through the training, I gained a structure for nurturing emerging values of belonging and for empowering my team in doing their work. Also, the Five Steps for Community-Led Change framework helped me to see what work I have done and encouraged me to cycle back to identify gaps. I would especially recommend this training to project coordinators and managers of community-led change work.

...bolstering of the practices I work on.

I would recommend the Essential Worldview Skills For A Rapidly Changing World 3-part series to others. Through the series, Jessie introduced me to more good souls and showed her care in facilitating with respect. She also brought useful diagrams for demonstrating visible and non-visible values. The guests shared valuable stories from their culture and experience. I liked hearing the First Nations creation story. It is always helpful to hear others’ stories as, sooner or later, they may help me in a future situation.One of the concepts I stepped away with is that as humans, we are hardwired to desire connections with others. It was also good to hear that traditions can change and evolve. Overall, the training provided confirmation of my thoughts and a bolstering of the practices I work on.

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Bonnie Haugen
Women's Fall Gathering Organizer

...I’ve learned how important it is to have connection and belongingness...

Having the 3 lenses approach to solve problems was one of the most valuable and useful parts of the Belonging Matters Foundations: Roadmap for Community-Led Change training. In any effort around restorative action, I’ve learned how important it is to have connection and belongingness in order to think through issues and collaborate.In potentially using a belonging lens in my work moving forward with introducing a support group, I will have to identify multi-disciplinary teams (key people) involved in patient care and their potential contribution for the sustainability of groups. My next steps will involve following the 5 Steps for Community-Led Change to brainstorm, plan, and launch the group. In this way, it will be sustainable and useful.

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Asha Vijayn, M.S.W, PhD, R.S.W
Professional Practice Leader (Acting), Patient and Family Counselling Services, BC Cancer – Surrey

Jessie is fabulous!

Jessie is fabulous! I found the most valuable part of the Belonging Matters Foundations: Roadmap for Community-Led Change training was using the “3 lenses” tool that Jessie teaches. The training also impacted my worldview, reminding me that there are hundreds of years of “world view” imposed on community members.Among my take-aways is the understanding that if we want to participate in restorative processes and use a belonging lens, it’s important to base our mindset and actions in inclusiveness, creating space for others, giving them a safe platform for their voices, and making sure they feel seen, heard, and appreciated.

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Rachel Plamondon
Program Manager of Kingsway Community Station, RainCity Housing

I am feeling more confident and skilled in bringing this anti-racism work to my team.

Thanks to attending Addressing Racism From the Inside Out, I came away feeling the impacts of 3 important ideas: a) my knowledge that racism divides and hurts us all, b) my discomfort and then relief in acknowledging one of my unconscious biases, and c) my gratitude for Jessie’s teaching around compassion and providing soft landings.I particularly appreciated Dr. Roberta Hunte's honesty at the pain she experienced and her thoughts on what white people can and need to do. I also really valued the combination of Jessie Sutherland’s kindness and her challenge / push for change and accountability. She helped us connect with each other, across differences, without pushing anyone out. Thanks to her facilitating style, my experiences included senses of safety, respect and honesty.The Addressing Racism workbook is very well organized and visually well set up to help me reflect on experiences and consider next steps. It is strength-based, with a building blocks approach. I also look forward to accessing further learning resources and the Community of Practice support calls.Overall, I am feeling more confident and skilled in bringing this anti-racism work to my team.

...empowering the voices of those we work alongside.

When it comes to using the information from How to Unleash Dormant Talents to help build supportive networks, I will think about radical composting, channeling my experiences into opportunities for others, and empowering the voices of those we work alongside.After participating in this training, I anticipate that my next steps will involve reciprocity in mentorship -- building relationships where I offer and exchange experience, creativity, and structure. I want to help shine a light on the skills and contributions of others while letting go of competitive or scarcity-based approaches to community engaged work.

...my worldview on being an educator has shifted...

There was so much learning, but 3 concepts from the Belonging Matters Foundations: Roadmap for Community-Led Change that I found valuable and intend to use were:Understanding the relationship between the personal journey and the systems journey (and seeing how we can support people who are “stuck” in the victim stage).Finding your KEY PEOPLE / your champions.Mastering the 3 lenses that Jessie teaches.I also loved learning about the restorative lens as I know I can use this understanding in my personal and professional life.From this training, I feel my worldview as an educator has shifted… I don’t really know how to describe it, but my “victim” worldview is coming to awareness. I am eager to share what I have learned with other educators. Together, with a sound, compassionate framework, the work of dismantling systemic racism and inequity is possible.I appreciate having taken this first step on the 5 steps to community-led change.

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Hieu Pham-Fraser
District ELL Coordinator, Richmond School District #38

...I experienced a deeper understanding...

Thanks to attending Essential Worldview Skills For A Rapidly Changing World, not only did I feel a shift towards more curiosity, I experienced a deeper understanding of the impact and significance of worldviews.

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Mark Mercer

This deep work must be done.

For me, the most valuable part of the Belonging Matters Foundations: Roadmap for Community-Led Change training I learned and will use is the Belonging Matters framework. Change will not succeed without focusing on the 3 beginning steps of identifying key people, connecting and engaging, and building belonging. This deep work must be done.Attending the training, I felt the impact of hearing one of the attendee’s amazing and inspirational story. I also took away that when seeking restorative solutions, there’s an important piece on taking responsibility and including different worldviews. The belonging lens will impact my work moving forward, knowing that creating authentic belonging is key for me with newcomer students and families.

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Diane Wadden
School District 42 English Language Learning Coordinator and Helping Teacher

Dialogues That Make a Difference: Belonging Matters Conversations

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.

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Bingo
Aboriginal Front Door, Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

...we leapfrogged over conventional boundaries...

The small group format worked particularly well with this topic. If the six of us had met at a cocktail party to discuss housing or homelessness, it might have been interesting, but not memorable. But because we were talking about ‘home’ in an intimate, storytelling way, we leapfrogged over conventional boundaries to create real and immediate meaning. Thank you for that. I’ll carry those stories with me.

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Donna Livingston
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

I highly recommend these dialogues…

I highly recommend these dialogues as it brings out locked in anger and when released gives a feeling of wellness and understanding.

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John Puff
Aboriginal Front Door, Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

...made me feel cherished.

It showed that a lot of effort went into the day and it made me feel cherished.

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Mary Gavan

Belonging Matters Conversations… has built my self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.

Participating in the Belonging Matters Conversations and process has been transformational. It has built my self-esteem, self-worth and confidence. Within minutes, we know that we all knew what it is like to be stigmatized.

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Vince Bulteel
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

Home is you and I.

Home is you and I. Home is an action to respect everything around. Belonging Matters Collaborative Learning Day is proof of that.

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Jabbar al Janabi
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

Through this local grassroots process we have help...

Through this local grassroots process we have help to create a new community for PWLE and empower new leaders who will continue to work together to expand their circle, destigmatize addiction and recovery, and ultimately save lives.

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Brenda Plant
Turning Point Recovery Society, Belonging Matters: Peer-Led Overdose Prevention Initiatives to Save Lives

...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.

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Morgan Meloche
Registered Social Worker and Outreach Worker

...it is a highly adaptable and responsive framework...

The Belonging Matters framework creates a process in which the indicators for belonging truly emerge from the needs and expectations of the group of people or individuals that work with the framework. In this sense, it is a highly adaptable and responsive framework that does not apply a "one size fits all" approach but walks people though the process of inquiring and finding its own parameters for belonging and its own pace for advancing in the process.

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Eliana Jimeno
International Peacebuilding Specialist

...a very impressive way of getting people to talk about sensitive issues...

The Jewish – Aboriginal dialogue was a very impressive way of getting people to talk about sensitive issues with hope and transparency.

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Madeleine Dionne Stout

...help us find and grow a sense of home...

The Belonging Matters Conversations help us find and grow a sense of home within ourselves and in our own lives. We then bring that sense of home out into the community.

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Bette Rumble
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

It means a lot to me to know someone cares...

It means a lot to me to know someone cares that we are comfortable in our homes.

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Joan
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

...what is the core value that I am holding on to so strongly...

Since the Belonging Matters Conversations, whenever I am in conflict, I have been thinking through what is the core value that I am holding on to so strongly and what is the other person’s core value.

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Andrea Dearborn

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.

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Melissa Lyon
Belonging Matters Project Teammate, Inclusion Advocate

As a society, we need to shift from a reactive mode to a prevention mode like what Belonging Matters provides.

As a society, we need to shift from a reactive mode to a prevention mode like what Belonging Matters Conversations provides. The more that we hear the voices of people impacted the most, the more respectful the process and the better the outcomes.We need to support grassroots and community empowerment processes to achieve prevention and real change.

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Amanda Brown
RSW, Director, ReAct Adult Protection Program, West Vancouver Community Health Centre

Being in that room with those people was powerfully regenerative for me.

Being invited to participate in the gathering to launch the Finding Home Initiative [now known as the Belonging Matters framework for social change] felt like a great honour. It was inspiring to see how ritual and ceremony grounded the proceedings; the most memorable and affecting were the cedar brushing (such a gift) and the creation story of the universe. The first speaker, Chief Robert Joseph, shared an intimate story of how residential school affected him and how he healed. It was the first time I really took in the enormity of the damage done by residential schools and colonization. It changed the way I see our country and caused me to review everything I’ve ever been taught. Many thought-provoking comments and beautiful words from that gathering have stayed with me, but, above all, I felt the possibilities of creating good relations with each other to go forward in a good way. Being in that room with those people was powerfully regenerative for me.

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Paula Jardine
Artist in Residence at Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver

Thank you… for having the courage to be a “bringer of the space”

Thank you so much again for the valuable gifts you bring to others and for having the courage to be a “bringer of the space” where we can all exchange stories, potentially transform suffering and despair, and make new, healthy meaning.

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Louise Gauthier

...most democratic experience...

This is the most democratic experience that I have had in the 30 years that I have lived in Canada.

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Gloria Diaz
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

...open the inner voice to better understand what promotes quality of life.

What Belonging Matters Conversations do so remarkably is to open the inner voice to better understand what promotes quality of life.I was touched by how simple, yet how profound responses were to topics such as isolation and safety.

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Val MacDonald
Director, Seniors Services Society of BC

Jessie is an excellent listener and facilitator.

Jessie is an excellent listener and facilitator. She asked very stimulating questions and brought interesting ideas that made us think. It was nice to sit and talk about such an interesting topic.

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Frieda Hogg
Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

Working With Jessie Sutherland

...very inspiring and very much appreciated.

I really enjoyed how Jessie engaged the group in discussion rather than just lecturing. In order for there to be change, there is a need for discussion. I felt that the ideas expressed by Jessie, as well as her facilitating, led to thought provoking dialogue. This presentation was very inspiring and very much appreciated… Thanks.

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Logan Pahl
Restorative Justice Conference, Alberta

She is a great facilitator...

Jessie is very passionate about her work and has the capacity to deal with complex and challenging situations. She is a great facilitator and has the ability to enable multiple voices to be heard in complicated processes.

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Christien Kaaij
United Way of the Lower Mainland

…you brought the whole emphasis of fostering a restorative worldview down to our level.

I really enjoyed the keynote and the morning address! You provided the opportunity to share and…you brought the whole emphasis of fostering a restorative worldview down to our level. It was neat that humour and laughter played a key part in your presentation.

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Lance Scout
Restorative Justice Conference, Alberta

[Jessie] brings out people’s strengths and helps her colleagues, employees, and clients to be their best selves.

Jessie has a real gift for making people feel comfortable and valued. Through her exceptional communication skills, she makes people feel at ease, even when discussing difficult topics. I love how Jessie makes everyone feel valued and actively listens to our ideas, then creatively builds upon them. In this way, she brings out people’s strengths and helps her colleagues, employees, and clients to be their best selves. As a person with a disability, I feel very accepted and empowered by Jessie. The discussion framework that Jessie created is very versatile and effective. Her extensive knowledge of conflict resolution, belonging, and acceptance are evident in everything that she does. She is very enthusiastic and believes in what she is teaching.

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Melissa Lyon
Belonging Matters Project Teammate, Inclusion Advocate

...a truly insightful and perspective-changing presentation.

Thank you Jessie for a truly insightful and perspective-changing presentation. Your skills at relationship building and trust establishment were clearly demonstrated. We so appreciate you sharing your insights, time and expertise on Indigenous Engagement at our annual conference.

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Rebecca Turnacliffe
CEO, BC Recreation and Parks Association

...all our objectives were met.

Jessie was truly wonderful to work with. She designed and managed our facilitation process with a great understanding about what we wanted to achieve and kept discussions focused and on topic - all our objectives were met. She is incredibly respectful of people's expertise and opinions and has a friendly and positive manner when dealing with everyone involved in the project.

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Sarah Glen
Manager, Communications and Marketing at BC & Alberta Guide Dogs

Her energy and spirituality radiates, crossing all cultural or life experience barriers.

I love the way Jessie thinks. Her use of metaphor creates pictures that explain and open questions for the meanings of “WORD”, then her definitions that further detail that picture. Her energy and spirituality radiates, crossing all cultural or life experience barriers.

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Mary Braken

What sets Jessie apart is her ability to walk the extra mile to ensure a great learning experience for her participants.

What makes Jessie a great trainer is that she is not only kind and compassionate, but also a very good listener with excellent communication skills. She listens to her audience and responds to them very thoughtfully. What sets Jessie apart is her ability to walk the extra mile to ensure a great learning experience for her participants.What I have seen while working with students, is that the belonging lens helps them to internalize the issue of global citizenship; they don’t see it as an external issue, thus helping them to understand it better.

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Aditi Pathak
UNESCO MGIEP

She turned one of the most challenging topics in our police training program into one of our most effective.

Jessie Sutherland was the lead Diversity instructor in our Police Recruit Training Program. Jessie was able to draw on her unique experience building inclusive communities to develop and deliver an innovative four-stage values-based approach to Diversity. She turned one of the most challenging topics in our police training program into one of our most effective.

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Don Walden
Police Recruitment Training, JIBC Police Academy

Jessie Sutherland has a gift for generating “ah-ha” moments.

Jessie Sutherland has a gift for generating “ah-ha” moments. Her gentle questioning and invitation to go deeper into your self provides a powerful means of transformation. I have benefited by moving toward healthier personal and professional relationships since my participation in her training.Thanks, Jessie!

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Mary Swalla Holmes
Board Member, Ernest Oberholtzer Foundation

Jessie’s work is at the frontiers...

Jessie’s work is at the frontiers of critical academic research and civic activism today.

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Dr. James Tully
Author of "Strange Multiplicity: Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity"

Jessie skilfully brought together diverse parts of our community...

Jessie skilfully brought together diverse parts of our community to guide us through education and problem solving about how to tackle the opioid crisis in Richmond. She was well prepared, engaging, and inspired us to work together.

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Dianne Milsom
Board President of Richmond Addiction Services Society

I found her presentation inspiring...

I have attended one of Jessie Sutherland’s workshops in Ottawa, Canada. Her research and presentation in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation is very impressive. She is committed to her work. I have come from a background of political conflicts, genocide, hatred and bitter vengeance. I found her presentation inspiring and a tool to work with in my native Africa.

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Fessaha Weri

…a journey of deep cultural change.

Jessie is the evaluation consultant and trainer for the international trustbuilding program that I manage. I have been working with Jessie for eight months now. In this time, Jessie created an evaluation plan and tools for our three projects and carried out synthesis of data to produce highly insightful, relevant and useful findings. She also carried out high-quality capacity building training for our wider team.Jessie went beyond her contractual agreements and supported the organisation to take on a journey of deep cultural change. Jessie’s mastery for both her core role, and the activities that extend beyond it, have been critical to the program’s growth.Jessie has a beautiful mix of productivity, passion and wisdom which sets a great example for the rest of the team, and explains why everyone loves working with her!Thank you so much Jessie for more than just your work but your wisdom, care and guidance you are giving the South Africa, Nepal, Australia and Indonesia teams.

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Talia Smith
International Trustbuilding Program Manager at Initiatives of Change

...needed in this world more than ever.

I am a dairy farmer, and I work with people in policies around equity issues. At our Women’s Fall Gathering in 2016, Jessie was truly helpful and supportive in helping us identify and clarify the values most in play and further, options on ways of coping in the extremely polarized societal climate (we’d just been through an extremely divisive election process). Jessie gave us calm, confident and hopeful ideas to utilize.Jessie has helped me think through the issues, enabling me to understand the roots causing societal problems. The special way she helps participants to explore thoughts and words through conversation has also been very helpful. The pieces Jessie brings are needed in this world more than ever.

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Bonnie Haugen
Women's Fall Gathering Organizer

Jessie… embodies the very values, practices, and principles that she teaches.

Jessie is such a special teacher/mentor because she embodies the very values, practices, and principles that she teaches. She teaches from her heart and puts a piece of herself into everything that she does. Working with Jessie is not just about learning about Belonging Matters but about experiencing belonging and Belonging Matters in the way that she teaches, supports, and mentors.Being one of the most supportive people I have ever met, Jessie doesn't just apply Belonging Matters to any situation, she is open and willing to adapt the framework and she trusts those involved to make changes as needed to fit their communities. She provides guidance, support, and much needed laughter throughout the process!

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Morgan Meloche
Registered Social Worker and Outreach Worker Director

I really value Jessie’s gifts…

I really value Jessie’s gifts of better tools to work creatively with change.

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Carol Salmela

I was able to understand what I need to pay attention to in myself so that I can contribute more effectively to my community.

Jessie’s course educated me on the meaning of worldviews and reconciliation and gave me insight into the importance of how internal change can affect my relationships, my community and my place in the world. Through exercises, group discussion and private discussion, I was able to understand what I need to pay attention to in myself so that I can contribute more effectively to my community. Through Jessie’s entertaining stories, light humour and extensive experience and knowledge, I got a glimpse of what a world of equality among nations might look like if we follow Jessie’s lead and carry on as if it’s already happened. Her inspiration and determination will surely transform the world.

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Sandra Lee Aldis

...beautifully simple and impactful.

The Belonging Matters presentation and material was beautifully simple and impactful. I was struck by how engaged the audience was with Jessie Sutherland’s humanistic presentation style.

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Lynda Brind Dickson
Program Developer

Working with Jessie enabled us to put on our best event yet...

Working with Jessie enabled us to put on our best event yet through engaging culturally diverse communities to work together to address the overdose crisis.

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Rick Dubras
Richmond Addictions Services

[Jessie] manages to make everyone feel special...

I find Jessie and the Belonging Matters framework to be a very inclusive approach, which pushes you to dig deep in a very non-intrusive way. Her approach allows you the freedom to create your own answers through some sensible and thoughtful questioning that gently guides you in the direction that is needed to make this framework a success. I think this makes Jessie (and this process) extremely effective and memorable.Jessie seems to have gained such deep insight, humble understanding and amazing experience with different cultures throughout her travels and years of helping people find their sense of belonging. I really enjoy the fact that Jessie uses these experiences to add new ones. Jessie is thoughtful with her words and somehow manages to make everyone feel special, no matter who they are or what they are doing. She also brings a very special and specific energy to the table which is SO hard to find. It also seems like Jessie wears her heart on her sleeve and isn’t afraid to show vulnerability, which is important and key in making real relationships with others and inviting them to do the same. Above all, Jessie is extremely inclusive, makes everyone feel worthy, and focuses her energy on good words and good deeds.

...extremely knowledgeable about our diverse client base...

Jessie has a very engaging and interactive approach and is extremely knowledgeable about our diverse client base — which made the workshop very relative to my needs.

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Maureen Houghton

...she is able to present profound and transformative insights in a simple, digestible format.

Jessie Sutherland is a visionary. Her work draws upon decades of international work for peace and justice and compliments it with cutting-edge research. Like the great Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, she is able to present profound and transformative insights in a simple, digestible format. As a result, those who attend her trainings leave feeling empowered and equipped with practical tools that they can use to become instruments of transformation in their own communities.

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Anne Nguyen
MD

...surpassed our expectations...

Jessie created a process and roadmap that surpassed our expectations in engagement and collaboration.

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Penny Bradley
Alexandra Neighbourhood House, Executive Director
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