Our group facilitation practice engage individuals and groups around the world to achieve more just, truthful, and connected communities. We create and support spaces where groups can share, learn from, and explore challenging issues of culture and identity to foster co-learning, community building, and healing. We work at the meeting point of internal, interpersonal, and systemic transformation in order to generate: conflict transformation; leadership development; collaborative workplaces; identity, diversity, and inclusion; social justice; processes of deep listening, visioning, and self-reflection; community building.
Meet the Facilitators
A bit about us
Jovan Julien is an alumni of Groton School, Brown University, and Georgia Tech. Born into a Haitian‐American immigrant family, he has spent time living all along the East Coast, including spending the past 5 years in the Southern United States. His current work focuses on empowering youth to create transformational change in their community by giving them the tools for open and honest dialogue and growth in communities from Providence, RI to Leogane, Haiti.
Alia Lahlou grew up attending an international school in Morocco before moving to the US to attend Brown University. She’s been involved with a conflict transformation and leadership organization called Seeds of Peace since she was a 14‐year old participant herself, and has since participated in and led social change programs around the world. In recent years, she’s worked with different organizations facilitating workshops on diversity and inclusion, community building, leadership development, and conflict transformation. Her work focuses on the intersection of personal, interpersonal, and systemic change, and is rooted in the belief that more honesty, depth, and connection will lead to the kind of change needed in communities worldwide.
The Facilitation Experience
Our work as facilitators and changemakers is focused on building more just, truthful, and connected communities. We create and support spaces where individuals can share their experiences, learn from each other, explore challenging issues of culture and identity, and together create pathways to move forward.
This participatory, honest, and encouraging learning environment is where we believe individuals can truly flourish and grow. Through our facilitation we strive for transformation on the personal, interpersonal, and systemic levels.
We began our journey together facilitating as undergraduate students at Brown University, as part of the Minority Peer Counseling team. As facilitators during this time we led groups of 250‐300 freshman through facilitated workshops on racism, classism, heterosexism and homophobia, sexism, and imperialism. Since these experiences we have incorporated many additional facilitation models into our practice.
Our facilitation practice has grown from lessons we’ve learned in a multiplicity of spaces ‐ in several countries and within several different institutions. We are a part of and believe in the YES! World methodology. Our programing thus seeks to work at multiple levels, and facilitates growth at an internal, interpersonal, and systemic level. We also integrate some key principles from our individual experiences at Seeds of Peace ‐ specifically dialogue and conflicting narrative facilitation ‐ and at Project South, particularly around the “Building a Movement” methodology. When appropriate we connect history, current events, and real‐life experiences to local organizing and movement struggles to build power in our communities. We create highly interactive popular education spaces where participants can share political and personal analysis, learn facilitation and organizing skills, and think together about long‐term, transformative strategies to build intersectional justice. More information about our backgrounds and the various institutions we’ve been a part of can be found in our attached resumes.
Our Philosophy on Facilitation
Here are some of the basic tenets that guide our work.
● In order to create lasting and effective positive impact, congruence between organizational goals and the means by which they are achieved should be fostered.
● We assist change makers in growing in consciousness and self care, so that they can become more healthy and effective changemakers.
● It is critical for organizers, activists, and community members to come together, connect our work with each other, share our experiences and place our local organizing within a larger historical and political context.
● All issues are connected and central, therefore while a workshop may focus on justice through a particular lens, we hold space and honor intersectionality. The more aware we are of our interconnectedness, the more effective we are.
● It is a radical stance to believe that there is enough and that we are enough. We don’t have to wait for anything or anyone to feel powerful and to take effective action.
● If we take the time to listen to ourselves, we will know what is best for us and will do the best we can, given the resources we have. We affirm people’s intuition and reason. We believe that decisions made from a place of inspiration will be universally more healing than choices made from a sense of obligation.
● Building community requires human to human contact on a small scale. There is power in coming together to co‐learn and build relationships. This in itself can be revolutionary activism. It builds deep foundations. It allows us to pause to let the roots of our activism sink into the deeper waters that will sustain us. We are human beings, not human doings. Diverse alliances are built on these foundations of trust and connection.
● Bridges of solidarity and partnership are built across the lines of historic and current separation and oppression, including race, class, gender, religion, geography, and area of focus. Fundamental to this work is the recognition that we are facing profound injustices and savage inequities in our world today, and that certain people have received material benefit, while others have been profoundly marginalized by the oppressions of our times. We assert that injustice hurts all of us, and that it will take all of us to build a world that works for everybody. Solidarity is borne of knowing that we are all connected, and so the choice of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ is a false one. We choose to serve one another because we know that to serve others is to serve ourselves. What harms anyone harms everyone. No one is truly free until everyone is free.
There are many different ways we approach facilitated workshops. We look forward to working with you to craft a collective liberation experience that will lead to powerful and long‐lasting transformation of individuals and of your organization. The possibilities are endless, and we’d love to work with you to see what makes most sense and would be most meaningful.
We work hard to create participatory workshops, where participants actively engage with the subject matter and with their peers, as well as learn tools to keep that kind of engagement and energy going. Please feel free to reach out and ask for sample workshops or exercises. We work with groups of all sizes and ages, and look forward co-creating your experience, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brown University | Spring 2010 | Sc.B Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology | Fall 2015 |Masters Health Systems Engineering
Project South / Universidad Sin Fronteras | Atlanta, GA | Regional Organizing Coordinator / Digital Communications Coordinator | June 2013-Present
- Facilitate “Building A Movement” seminars both regionally and locally.
- Provide infrastructure and organizational support to front-line organizations throughout the south.
- Create and implement a cohesive digital communications strategic plan.
BRYTE Summer Camp | Providence, RI | BRYTE Leadership Institute Director / Student Discipline | June 2015-August 2015
- Planned and implemented leadership development curriculum for 20 refugee youth ages 13 to 22 that cultivated English language competencies while focusing on environmental justice, education justice, and leadership development.
- Facilitated a longitudinal photography project, guiding students in building their own Konstructor™ film camera and photo documenting the camp community.
- Supervised, managed, and provided professional development for 15 Junior Counselors, primarily drawn from the refugee community, who provided support to the younger campers.
Ivy Preparatory Academy | Atlanta, GA | 6th Grade Math/Science Teacher/Yearbook Advisor/ Soccer Coach | August 2010-June 2012
- Developed lesson plans, instructional materials, and curriculum that provide for individualized and small group instruction that accounts for individual learning needs.
- Evaluated and appropriately recorded students’ academic and social growth.
- Identified student needs and cooperated with other professional staff members and guardians in assessing and helping students solve health, attitude, and learning deficiencies.
Brown University | Providence, RI | MPC Friend | Summer 2007-Spring 2010
- Facilitated workshop for 200+ incoming freshman covering heterosexism and homophobia.
- Conducted seminars for students on topics including classism, racism, and imperialism.
Project Istwa | Port-au-Prince, Haiti | Senior Facilitator | July 2012-Present
- Train incoming facilitators in the workshop structure and practices.
- Lead participants and manage other facilitators during a weeklong workshop in 5+ departments of Haiti.
- Coordinate the creation of photographic essays, collection/translation of texts, and planning/execution of a local exhibition of the participant works.
G.O.A.L.S. Haiti | Leogane, Haiti | Documentation and Fundraising (US Based Volunteer) | May 2011- Present
- Raise $10,000+ per year to send 30+ Haitian youth to secondary school for the year through a combination of individual donations and grants.
- Develop summer curriculum for scholarship members.
Prep for Prep | New York, NY | Summer Advisor | Summer 2008
- Work as a liaison between staff and students at an intensive summer program for students from New York’s inner-city public schools. The program aims to place students in highly competitive independent schools in New York.