Courageous Conversations


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

When: May 10 2021 - 3:30pm until May 10 2021 - 5:00pm
Where: Zoom

Courageous Conversations

Leaders are often called upon to facilitate meaningful, civil, and sometimes difficult conversations. Join us to learn about why such conversations are as important as ever, and experience how they can be structured. This highly interactive workshop will include a facilitated courageous conversation and tools for doing this in other spaces. This workshop is relevant for leaders working with teams and communities and anyone wanting to learn more about effective communication in challenging spaces.

Register for this event through the link above or here


About the Speakers

Gretchen Alther builds programs that strengthen individual and community leadership. She is expanding the East-West Center’s leadership programs for women; directs the Center’s flagship residential course, the Asia Pacific Leadership Program; and contributes to other short- and long-term training both in Hawai‘i and across the region. With over 15 years of experience as an international educator and humanitarian, Ms. Alther infuses her program design with a commitment to equity and to grassroots communities. Previously, Ms. Alther designed and managed multimillion-dollar programs to support disaster relief, conflict zone aid, and resilience in marginalized communities in the US, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Gaza, Colombia, Haiti and beyond. She has recently worked with the UNFPA Arab States Office to operationalize their resilience framework in Syria and the broader region. Ms. Alther serves on the advisory committee of the Institute for Climate and Peace, and is a founding board member and chairperson of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security. She earned an M.A. from Brandeis University, postgraduate certificates in leadership and peacebuilding from the East-West Center and Chulalongkorn University, respectively, and a B.A. from Texas A&M University. 


Scott Nishimoto was born and raised here on the island of O`ahu. He was raised by two incredible storytellers, mentors, and community catalysts – Michiko and Warren, both retired oral historians. The stories they’d bring home to his dinner table about violence, injustice, and inequality inspired him to attend law school to study social justice. There, he became actively involved in community organizing and peace initiatives. After finishing law school, he followed his passion into the non-profit world where he worked with adults with disabilities for nearly seven years at a local non-profit called Abilities Unlimited. In his role as the Vice President of Workforce Development & Community Relations, he was able to develop several innovative programs designed to help adults with disabilities to gain employment, independence, and dignity. Even more than his qualifications, though, Scott believes it’s his identity as a father that shapes his plans and actions for Ceeds of Peace. As the father to his daughter, Elle, he has a deep personal urgency pushing him to bring his community and the world closer to this goal of peace, as distant as it may sometimes seem. 


José Barzola has a passion for creating social change through nonviolence, nurturing relationships that transcend cultural barriers, and focusing on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. He is a highly organized higher education administrator with almost 20 years of experience and success in administration, student development within academic and student affairs. José has also been an affiliate faculty teaching courses on peace and conflict resolution, a professional mediator and facilitator for almost 10 years both in New York and Hawai῾i. He is currently the Educational Specialist and Affiliate Faculty at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, a Peace Educator with Ceeds of Peace, a Program Advisor for the Institute for Climate and Peace, and a Board of Director for the Conflict Resolution Alliance, a local nonprofit that aims to develop and support peacebuilders in Hawai'i. 


Camaren Ly enhances intercultural communication and develops community as an intern with the East-West Center’s Leadership Program. As one of the first Second Lieutenants to commission into the newly created United States Space Force, Camaren’s previous organizational experiences guide her in innovating creative and authentic leadership programming. Her previous research describes gender in military leadership and examines cultural expectations within niche communities. Camaren holds a B.S. in Foreign Area Studies and Humanities from the United States Air Force Academy, and she is currently pursing research in futures studies and policy reform as an East-West Center Fellow (M.A.) at the University of Hawai῾i at Mānoa. 

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Gretchen Alther