Evolutionary Partnership / Women & Men traces its history back to 1992, when  Essential Peacemaking / Women & Men became a program of the Earthstewards Network.  The original EP/W&M was co-created by Jerilyn Brusseau of the citizen diplomacy program, Peace Tables, and Danaan Parry, founder of the Earthstewards Network and the conflict resolution training, Warriors of the Heart.  Their passion for peace-making touched thousands, and when they came together, their influence multiplied in exponential ways.

    As this husband-and-wife team did their international conflict resolution work around the planet, they found that—whatever the presenting issues in a given conflict—people of all backgrounds shared a deep common ground of experience related to gender and gender roles.  They found that sharing about their experiences of being a man or a woman—the joys and the wounds—created an openness and willingness to see beyond conflict to another’s essential humanity.  Once on this new ground, more intractable dilemmas could be collaboratively and creatively addressed.

    Realizing the power of this process, Jerilyn & Danaan developed an international program to train women and men to co-facilitate a one-day version of this experience.  Those who wished to explore further could attend a two-day program and, if they chose to become one-day facilitators, could go on to attend a three-day facilitator training.  Over the course of 10 years, more than 400 people from 30 different countries became one-day facilitators of this process.

    We were among the first Earthstewards to become trained as EP/W&M facilitators, and our extensive work leading one-day gatherings led to our becoming facilitators of the two-day program as well.  Over time, we co-facilitated three-day facilitator trainings with Danaan and/or Jerilyn, and eventually became part of a small group of facilitator trainers in the Network.

    Throughout the 90’s, we co-facilitated workshops across the United States as well as in Germany, Switzerland, and Russia.  Sadly, we lost Danaan when he suffered a severe heart attack in 1996.  Jerilyn turned her talents toward developing peace initiatives with Vietnam, becoming Executive Director of Peace Trees Vietnam.  We continued the EP/W&M work for a time, until Dirk also suffered a heart attack while we were leading a facilitator training in Russia.  Fortunately, he survived, but in the years that followed, we allowed the Essential Peacemaking/Women & Men work to become dormant.

    Today, however, we are feeling a quickening.  As we consider the complex dilemmas of our world, we are being strongly called back to a new level of engagement with the EP/W&M principles and practices.  Because we see people yearning for new ways to reach across difference, stay in relationship, and work constructively for change, we renamed the program Evolutionary Partnership / Women & Men.

         We invite you to join us as we explore, learn, and share our collective wisdom in order to co-create the partnerships that will be necessary to successfully navigate the coming evolutionary shifts.

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