JO is an innovative mediator, facilitator, trainer and coach with specialized knowledge in Women, Peace and Security and eliminating Sexual and Gender Based Violence. In 10 years she has worked with UN agencies, NGOs, civil society, governments and the private sector in training, facilitation, coaching, conflict transformation, research and analysis, monitoring and evaluation and in using social media for intercultural dialogue in Canada and internationally.Jo delivers workshops, presentations and coaching sessions on conflict resolution with a focus on self-awareness to help women humanitarian aid workers implement their projects more effectively, empowered and grounded. She has an MA in Peace Studies, as well as certificates in International Humanitarian Law and Mediation.. Jo is also a principal with c4ccr.
• What are some of the websites that you visit after you get up and why?
Facebook – I’ve managed my contacts and who I follow not just for friends but for updates that provide the following:
· Positive motivation and reminders to practice self-care.
· Updates on issues impacting humanitarian aid workers..
· News on issues related to Women, Peace and Security (WPS)
· News on neurology related to the power of emotion and leveraging it for better health and well-being.
• Tell me about a book that has had an impact on your life and why.
The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali – A new translation with commentary Chip Hartranft
Why? – It was a wake-up call for me. It gave me an introduction on the reasons people stay trapped in a narrative that stops them from achieving success.
Also gave me much food for thought on the power of stillness and meditation in clearing the mind. The benefits: more clarity, more energy, less time working on things as a result.
• Who are your favourite authors?
• What historical figure do you identify with?
• Who are your heroes in real life?
My best friend. Turning a difficult life experience into working to help others overcome similar experiences.
Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in a school bus in 2012 by the Taliban for advocating the education of girls in Pakistan. She survived. In spite of being shot for advocating girls’ education she continues to advocate for it.
Rinelle Harper. She is a 16 year old Indigenous woman in Canada who was sexually assaulted and left for dead by a river in Winnipeg in November.
One month after her ordeal she said the following at the Assembly of First Nations:
“I am Rinelle Harper and I am from the Garden Hill First Nation.”
“I am here to talk about an end to violence against young women.”
“I ask that everyone here remembers a few simple words: love, kindness, respect and forgiveness.”
“As a survivor, I respectfully challenge you all to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.”
I admire and am grateful for her courage in speaking out.
• What influenced your career path?
I’ve always wanted to end war and conflict. In particular, the war fought on the battlefield of women’s bodies. Women need a voice at the conflict resolution table. I am one of those voices. I am intent on being heard. I am intent on getting other women’s voices to be heard. Especially the ones experiencing sexual and gender-based violence.
• What do you like about what you do?
I like that I train and coach on conflict resolution and self-awareness so that people and women in particular can make a positive difference, effectively, empowered, and grounded. I love to hear it when women have used the tools and as a result, they are making some fantastic achievements and improvements for so many people while also cultivating more balance for themselves.
• What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Creating the life I have now. I work on something I love and have a better balance on work, life and love. I am a healthier individual and rich beyond my means in life.