Rebecca J. Stephans is a Kripalu certified yoga teacher with 26 years of teaching experience. She has been studying Nonviolent Communication since 2012, including two years as a participant in the Maine NVC Integration Program with Peggy Smith and Leah Boyd, and four years assisting the directors in implementing the program. Rebecca completed two Mediation Certification programs in 2013: one at USM, and one through Mediate Your Life, an NVC based mediation training. In 2018, she completed an intensive training in facilitating Restorative Circles with Duke Duchscherer and an international community of practitioners in Germany, and Healing and Reconciliation with John Kinyon in the states. In addition to teaching groups about cultivating connection through nonviolent communication, Rebecca offers private conflict navigation sessions for individuals and families.
Being part white as well as part Penobscot and Maliseet, the Native side of Katie Tomer’s family is originally from Wabanaki territory now known as the Moosehead Lake region. Katie has co-facilitated Native healing circles (restorative justice practices) with incarcerated community members in Maine’s prisons for over five years through Wabanaki REACH. She is currently a Professional Academic Advisor at USM, a Certified Health Education Specialist, and a member of USM’s Bias Response Team Steering Committee. Katie’s volunteer work includes assisting on Non-Violent Communication trainings along with leading breathwork and meditation sessions through the International Association for Human Values and SKY Campus at USM.
Erik Eisele enjoys complexity. For years he knitted together international nonprofit projects, newspaper journalism, and professional rock climbing, ice climbing and adventure guiding trips for a life lived on the road. Today he works in public and nonprofit sector project management, leading projects that build community and support equity. Erik’s introduction to contemplative practice came through time spent in extreme environments, where objective risk removes all illusions of control. It is in these conditions that outdoor athletes seek to attain “Flow.” Exposure to and experiences with “Flow” led Erik to search out ways to bring a state of full presence, attention and focus down from the mountains and into everyday life.
Erika Arthur spends a great deal of time wandering around in the woods of Maine, watching things change. She is working on building her capacity to serve struggles for a world free from racist/colonial/patriarchal/heteronormative/climate/etc. violence by practicing embodied compassion and Nonviolent Communication (NVC). She currently works as a researcher in the Justice Policy Program at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy and serves on the Board of the Harbour Singers hospice chorus in southern Maine.