Trainers We Work With
George Lakey, 76, was co-founder of Training for Change with Barbara Smith, and directed the group for 15 years before retiring. He has led 1,500 workshops on five continents, taught peace studies at colleges and universities, and authored seven books on nonviolent social change, peace, and organizational development.
Omi (full name is Omowale) is a youth worker, facilitator, and organizer living in Philadelphia, and is a quiet, Midwest queer at heart. Prior to joining the Training for Change team, they were an instructor for an after-school bike program, facilitating spaces where students developed leadership and bike mechanic skills. In this work, they focused on the bridge between biking and social justice, while supporting the leadership and skill development of young people.
Nico's involvement in social justice work stems from a deep passion for racial justice and a motivation to support transformation and empowerment in people of color, queer, and trans communities. He got his start as an organizer working with students to respond to racial profiling, increased militarism, incarceration and detention of immigrants, and policies like the USA Patriot Act in the aftermath of 9/11.
Karen Ridd is an instructor in Conflict Resolution Studies at Menno Simons College, an affiliate of the University of Winnipeg, Canada, where her courses include "Introduction to Conflict Resolution Studies" and "Violence and Nonviolence". She is the former training coordinator for Mediation Services, a conflict resolution program in Winnipeg.
Judith C. Jones, Ph.D. grew up in Philadelphia, received her doctorate in Political Science from Atlanta University and has taught at Penn State University since 1985 and at Philadelphia University for the past three years. Judith is also co-author of Two Voices from the Front Line: A Conversation about Race in the Classroom, an article found in the award winning anthology Race in the College Classroom, published by Rutgers University Press.
Betsy Raasch-Gilman facilitates meetings and teaches groups about group process, consensus decision-making, and productive conflict. Training for boards of nonprofit organizations and cooperative businesses is a particular strong point for her. Additionally, she helps activists involved in campaigns to think strategically about their next moves.