A LITTLE ABOUT
WHO I AM
I am a facilitator, teacher, instructional designer, artist, parent. I am middle-class, white, middle-aged (still a little surprised to find myself saying that), able-bodied, queer and trans. I live and love in Tacoma, Washington. I spent much of my adult life in Detroit, Michigan, 5 beautiful years in Flagstaff, AZ, all of my childhood in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
Professionally, I've been welcomed into training and co-working with leaders in my favorite modalities. I trained and worked as an educator and facilitator in the Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan, one of the vanguard university-based dialogue programs in the country. Dialogue facilitation is at the heart of my work. I've participated in many Theatre of the Oppressed workshops with several excellent 'jokers.' I've studied and collaborated for several years with a group of Narrative therapists and practitioners led by Jill Freedman and Gene Coombs. Adapting Narrative techniques to group work is a major project of mine. If that sounds interesting but you're totally unclear what it could mean, let's talk.
For the past decade, in my 'day job' (and I had really lovely days), I taught full time in several university programs. I recently left 5 years of teaching social justice and diversity and social policy at Northern Arizona University to move to Tacoma, Washington. Before that, at the University of Michigan, I taught in Women and Gender Studies, the Center for Global and Intercultural Study, the School of Social Work, and The Program on Intergroup Relations. I got a lot of exercise walking between classes!
Right now, I'm coming out of a long awaited, self-assigned sabbatical, during which I gave time to the art side of my life. I am excited to be joining one of the most innovative educational institutions in the US--The Evergreen State College--as an instructional designer. I'm still consulting a little bit though, if you've got an interesting project. Try me.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK WITH ME
As a facilitator, I strive to create space for people to come together for a time and dwell in each other’s company, in the complexity of the world and their group.
As a difficultator, it’s my job to coax those complexities to peek out into the open a bit more, to give people the chance to face things together that they might want to face, but also feel some fear about.
When I work with your group, I will draw on my training and experience to create an experience tailored to you. I plan carefully beforehand, but I also adjust and direct conversations and activities in response to what actually happens with your group, when we are together.
I also work with individuals and collaborators. I am available for one-or-a-few-time sessions, or for a more ongoing commitment. Ongoing commitments serve your commitment to change best, but starting somewhere is a start, and starts matter.
OK, BUT WHAT EXACTLY DOES TIMOTHY DO?
I trade in questions. They are my main tool and offering. I notice questions, and I ask them. I train people to find the questions they can ask, and to explore where asking them might take them. We play games to help open up our bodies and minds to new or somewhat forgotten modes of inquiry. We work on asking, and we work on listening—to each other and to ourselves.
I never assume there is one right question to ask. When working together, we will never stop at, or only follow, the first one we come up with.
As an inquiry-based facilitator, it is my job to facilitate—to ease your way around and through—and also sometimes to difficultate—to help you find and face the harder questions, the things that need to be said. This process looks different for every group, each time you gather.
Facilitation is a full body practice. This can mean that it does well to incorporate physical activity, moving people in space, working with dynamics of a room and a group. But whether or not any of that is happening, facilitating well involves noticing and working with the feelings in your body as well as the ideas in your mind. There are ideas in your body! Truth doesn’t live only in your head. In fact, sometimes it stays away from there, hanging out in your heart, your belly, way down in your knees. I offer activities and observations to help you access and work with all these kinds of knowing. I always seek to not just provide an experience while we're together, but to help equip your group with new skills and ideas to move forward together in ways you want to.
WHY INVITE ME TO WORK WITH YOU
Well, do you want to? If you’re a little intrigued by what you see here, or what you’ve heard, I’m happy to chat by phone or email so we can discuss what working together might be like. If you want a little more information first, take a look at the kinds of workshops I’ve offered in the past, read about my approach.
If you’re a facilitator interested in co-facilitating something, hit me up. Though I often fly solo, I really believe co-facilitation is ideal in many situations. I’m open to one-time co-facilitation gigs and to developing longer-term collaborations.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO WORK WITH ME IF . . .
. . . your organization has committed to diversity and inclusion, and you feel like there’s more you could and maybe should be doing on this front.
. . .you're hearing more and more about gender fluidity and realizing your staff needs more information to understand and work competently with gender-nonconforming and transgender individuals.
. . . you're an educator or trainer looking for new ideas or skills to make your classroom more interactive, more engaged, more attentive to working with the diversity and experience of all your students.
. . . you are an individual facing challenges . . .
My work focuses on facilitating conversations that connect and reconnect people to individual and collective healing and liberation. Let's talk about what that might look like for you and yours.
“This course made me address my own privileged and oppressed identities in ways I have not done before. It also gave me a better sense of how social identities can impact social interactions and ways of living, including both in a larger sense and within social work contexts.”
“I really liked how much Timothy challenged us to be honest with ourselves and each other. I think it took a while until we were able to have more of those difficult conversations, but once we did, it was really engaging."
"It was both fun and controversial. He handled these touchy topics with ease, made everyone feel heard, and emphasized on respect and empathy.”
“It was such a privilege to have an environment that made me think deeper about diversity and the stories that I had not yet heard.”
“Timothy made a difficult class fun and exciting. He developed this class to be an open environment and a place to ask question. Every day the class was engaged even as early as 8am. He was always understanding, encouraging, and wanted to make this class a place to learn, and grow as individuals.”
“Timothy is the best instructor I've had in my life. He could teach a class about boogers and I would still show up excited to learn every day. His classes are challenging and it isn't easy to get an A on every assignment, but I am still always happy with all of the valuable information and skills I am gaining. Timothy is amazing at engaging students and sharing his passion for social justice. Being in his class is one of the things I will miss the most about college.”