Bex Kwan and Jenna Peters-Golden: Facilitation as a Craft

Today we host two guests with a passion for facilitation. Bex Kwan and Jenna Peters-Golden both work at AORTA, a worker-owned cooperative devoted to helping movements renew a stronger sense of liberatory vision, values, and purpose. Their name is based on the acronym for Anti Oppression and Resource Training Alliance and in today’s conversation, we get to hear all about our guests’ passion for facilitation, the limits of personality in this work, and their thoughts on the craft and power of facilitation.

Bex is an artist, organizer, athlete, and worker-owner at the coop. Their heart lies in conflict work, having been involved with grassroots organizers, cooperatives, non-profits, and universities. Jenna is a founding member of AORTA, and is an organizer, visual artist, and parent with a strong passion for transformative justice, and community solutions to preventing violence.

Listeners can expect to gain some great insight into progressive approaches and frameworks for facilitation work, and how our guests’ skills have developed over the past few years. They also fill us in on the current projects and initiatives on the go at AORTA, and explain how to get involved and make the most of their great offers and resources.

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Key Points From This Episode:

  • The roots of our guests’ current roles and facilitation work at AORTA.
  • Visions for better connections and information on the current Headwaters project at AORTA.
  • Traits attached to good facilitation; listening, performance, processes, and more!
  • Pursuing the craft of facilitation and who might be best suited to this kind of work.
  • Reflections on the development and tendency towards particular styles of facilitation.
  • The framework and vision that guide the work that AORTA does with different groups.
  • Lessons learned recently: questions about feelings and articulating approaches to adaptation.
  • Some of the exciting programs that AORTA is currently offering for listeners to check out.

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“There is just something about finding and creating deep collaboration around stuff that I really care about that has been really nourishing for me amidst unreasonable chaos around me.” — Bex Kwan

“We are coming from a really specific political framework where we are actually actively promoting specific directions based on our political values and vision.” — Jenna Peters-Golden

“If someone wants to be a facilitator and is actually facilitating, you’re a facilitator. I don’t think there is any qualifying test or anything like that. To me it is about cultivation of craft.” — Bex Kwan

“I think there is a little bit of a myth of neutrality, which I think is rooted in patriarchy.” — Jenna Peters-Golden

“I don’t think our facilitation aims to reflect a group perfectly. We are not trying to be perfect mirrors.” — Bex Kwan

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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Bex Kwan:

Jenna Peters-Golden:

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Show Notes + Other Links

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Music by Chris Zabriskie:




Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy. Co-author of “The B Corp Handbook.” Co-host of the Next Economy Now podcast.

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Ryan Honeyman

Ryan Honeyman

Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy. Co-author of “The B Corp Handbook.” Co-host of the Next Economy Now podcast.

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