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by Barbara Spraker

This website and the accompanying Capacity-Building Guide is dedicated to the women who participated in the Conversations, which revealed the many ways women lead in nine very different cultures. Many of the strategies, tools and processes in the Guide were shared by them, and additional information was added in response to their sense of how they wanted to enhance their influence and impact.

With Gratitude

The very fabric of this Project demonstrates a feminine leadership model that connects, relates, collaborates, heals and celebrates. From the conception of the vision for the Project, collaboration fueled the process.

To Shana Hormann, Dean of Students at Antioch University Seattle and Rebecca McCall, Grants Writer at AUS, thanks for your belief in the vision and your assistance in describing the vision to the C. Charles Jackson Foundation. We want to especially express our gratitude to the C. Charles Jackson Foundation for the seed grant that propelled us to believe that the vision could become reality.

This Capacity-Building Guide reflects the core of the Project. It exists because nine women stepped up to convene and facilitate local conversations about the grass-roots ways women lead. To them we extend special appreciation and thanks: Weubamlak Eshetu Mengistu in Ethiopia, Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam in Vietnam, Mabilia Carolina Joj in Guatemala, Claudine Zongo in Burkina Faso, Betty Kagoro in Uganda, Lidieth Alvarez in Nicaragua, Rocío González in Guatemala, Romajean Thomas in Muckleshoot Nation, Washington state, and Roslyn Ericksen at Antioch University Seattle. Your leadership in your community and your ability to create a safe space where women could have meaningful dialogue about what is important to them enabled these Conversations.

Over a dozen women studied the information from the various Conversations, creating the content of this Guide – key ideas that emerged from each Conversation, synthesis across cultures of ways women lead, skills they use and wish to develop and strategies for leadership development. To you authors we appreciate your sensitivity and receptivity to the information that was shared from the Conversations: Wendi Walsh, Laura Veith, Nicole Theberge, Kathleen Swirski, Barbara Spraker, Danielle Prince, Kristie McLean, Patricia Julio, Patricia Hughes, Heather Goodwin, Roslyn Ericksen, Molly Breysse Cox and Brittany Blondino. Jackie Dagger and Linda Caswell, thanks for translating information from some of the Conversations. A very special thank you to Pat Hughes who served as lead editor for the entire guide. Special appreciation also goes to Myrna Schlegel who provided additional editing oversight at a crucial time, and to Nicole Theberge who stepped in to format the Guide in the final stages.

On-going work of the Project benefitted from the strong support of colleagues at Antioch University Seattle. Thanks to Mike Johnson, Facilities Director, Bet Dolo, Director Campus and Administrative Services, Brigid Mercer, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and her Developing Women’s Leadership 3 team, including: Rebecca McColl, Michelle Wilkinson, Sarah Guthrie, Suzy Knutson, Linda James and Glenn Girlando. Rosy Hower, your summer internship with us came at a strategic time and facilitated our use of technology for communicating with the Country Conveners.

Finally and most gratefully, we thank the Kitchen Cabinet, who worked and laughed and dreamed side by side for nearly two years to make this Project a reality: Barbara Spraker, Wendi Walsh, Kathleen Swirski, Roslyn Ericksen, Patricia Hughes, Jennifer LeMarte, Nicole Theberge, and Laura Veith.

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