About The Fearless Heart

The Fearless Heart is a project of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. Like many projects, it started small when, in 2010, Miki Kashtan finally got the nerve to start her own blog. The response was so positive, and the pleasure of putting out her ideas and experiences so meaningful, that writing emerged as a core aspect of Miki’s work. As her visibility and reach grew over time, a team of people coalesced in support of the vision that she is holding for what’s possible for individuals and for the world.

The Fearless Heart is where Miki blogs. It acts as the publisher for her books and upcoming multimedia self-study guide to Nonviolent Communication. The Fearless Heart team supports trainings around the world conducted by Miki, and a number of other projects. We invite you to look around this site and see what draws your attention. We believe there is something here for anyone, from CEO to social activist.

Below you will find information about all our team members. We love working together because we believe in what we do and we practice living now as if the world of our dreams is already in place.

The Fearless Heart Team

mikiMiki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. She is inspired by the role of visionary leadership in shaping a livable future, and works toward that vision by sharing the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication through mediation, meeting facilitation, consulting, and training for organizations and for committed individuals. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and her articles have appeared in Tikkun magazine, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, and elsewhere. The Fearless Heart is crossposted to Tikkun Daily and Psychology Today.

Miki’s first three books were published by the Fearless Heart:

  • Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives
  • Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working together to Create a Nonviolent Future
  • The Little Book of Courageous Living

For a full list of her publications, click here.

Whether in her teaching or when consulting for organizations, Miki focuses on applying core principles in practical and manageable ways. In particular, she draws deep inspiration from the work of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and links Nonviolent Communication directly to the principles of nonviolence. You can gain deeper appreciation of the links she sees between Nonviolent Communication and the legacy of Gandhi by reading her article Gandhian Principles for Everyday Living.

Miki’s commitment is to apply the principles she has distilled over the years in a manner that is adapted to the context, culture, and needs of the people or organizations with whom she works. This allows her to be equally accessible to activists in the Middle East working to bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis and to executives in the business world who aim to manage complex challenges and many people. For some projects that she is currently involved in, click here.

Miki has worked with organizations around the US, ranging from small non-profits to large corporations. She often works as a consultant, supporting greater collaboration, encouraging systemic alignment with values, providing meeting facilitation, and offering leadership coaching. She has also worked as a trainer, focusing on collaboration, facilitation, difficult conversations, feedback giving, leadership development, and related topics. She is particularly drawn to working with Triple Bottom Line companies as well as those who seek to align an organization’s practices, policies, procedures, and systems with the organization’s stated values.

Miki has taught NVC on five continents since 1996. She specializes in using a “natural language” approach which makes the work more easily accessible and shareable. Currently, she focuses her work with individuals on empowerment and leadership, encouraging people to reclaim their full humanity as well as that of others in their lives and beyond, and to take on the commitment to step into a powerful and nonviolent path of life, with the intention to aim for solutions that work for everyone, including themselves. She also works with people who lead groups in providing facilitation skills as well as a methodology for sharing NVC with others. You can find out more about her current classes and retreats here.

Miki started her live program The Conflict Hotline as a radio program on KPFA, aired occasionally between 2004 and 2006. In 2009 the program shifted form and became a monthly live call-in TV show on the Berkeley Community Media channel BETV. This program is now on hold until adequate funding exists to support the previously all-volunteer team. All episodes of the TV program can be viewed on YouTube. For an annotated list of all the episodes, go here.

“NVC has had the greatest impact on my daily life of anything I’ve studied or practiced, and Miki Kashtan is the most powerful teacher of NVC I’’ve encountered. Her classes, coaching, and brilliant role playing have immediately benefitted my relations with family, friends, and business colleagues. She can take what feels like an insoluble conflict and turn it into an opportunity for closer connection and growth. I only wish I’d learned the principles and techniques of NVC when I was in kindergarten.” —– Sara Davidson, author of The December Project, Leap! and Loose Change

Margo Dunlap is the newest team member at The Fearless Heart and BayNVC, supporting Development and Partnerships. She is an advocate, maker, mother, and passionate learner oriented towards leadership and service.  She has worked in the arts and youth development as an executive director and project lead cultivating collaborations in community development across sectors in Oakland. Additionally she has worked as an analyst on projects for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, and California Digital Library. She holds degrees in rhetoric and information systems design from UC Berkeley. Her joy is sparked by connection, learning, dance and finding a happy place under a tree.

Dawn Raymond was perhaps the first BayNVC employee, and then a board member and volunteer for some years, and since Fall of 2016 has been taking on doing administrative tasks on top of her many other activities.