Appreciations for the Work

A Profound Impact on a Career

Laurel Collins is a PhD candidate and Instructor in Social Justice Studies at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada.

It was in Uganda a few years ago that I was first introduced to Miki’s work. I was struggling to use Nonviolent Communication in the UN office, where I was working for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. I searched out workplace related NVC audio recordings from the NVC Academy. I stumbled upon Miki’s “Never the Twain Shall Meet” and was struck by her clarity and precision, and was able to immediately apply her insights at work.

I then took her telecourse on Naturalizing NVC. Because of the time difference, the course was at 3am. I assumed it would be challenging to wake up for the hour long call, but the class was so engaging, I happily woke up to my alarm. I was incredibly impressed with Miki’s level of presence on the calls, along with her ability to tie anything that came up back into the teaching. It was through those 3am calls and the exercises I did for that course that ultimately allowed me to gain clarity and connect into my purpose. Miki helped me discover that rather than assisting in the aftermath of deadly conflict, I wanted my energy to go towards creating solutions to conflicts before they erupt into bloodshed, and ultimately towards creating a world that works for everyone.

I decided to leave Uganda and return to Canada to do a PhD, researching the principles and practice of nonviolence, specifically in the context of leadership and communication in social movements and for social change. I’m also the Program Coordinator for Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative, where I develop and facilitate adult education courses on a variety of topics (including compassionate communication, food skills, career development, etc).

I have since taken (and listened to the audio recordings of) a number of Miki’s courses. Her authenticity and effective facilitation continues to inspire me as an educator, and her writing, whether in her blog or in her newsletters, often articulates ideas that I sense but have been unable to fully express.

Miki’s work has already had a profound impact on my career path, my work creating non-profit community programs, my personal facilitation style, my participation in a cooperative enterprise, and my academic research interests.