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Founder, Trainer, Consultant,
Grief Support Specialist, &

Circle Keeper


Hello and thank you for taking the time to learn about Collective Voices! I am a direct care provider, trainer, consultant, and Circle Keeper with Collective Voices. I have worked with teens, young adults, families, and professionals for over 30 years.

In 2011, I co-founded the non-profit, Forward Learning Youth and Young Adults (FLYY) in Madison, WI. FLYY’s wilderness expeditions offered high-risk and marginalized youth and families a way to discover and develop character and resiliency. FLYY’s innovative approach - a 25-day wilderness expedition, parent skill development and support groups, and critical post-expedition aftercare resulted in long-term successes for young people and their families throughout Wisconsin. In 2015, FLYY spearheaded
“FLYY Tribal” for Native American youth and families. FLYY partnered with the 12 federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin, and served teens through our wilderness expeditions. Additionally, we worked closely with the teen's families and community members throughout the 25 days (while the teen was on expedition.)


From the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2019,
I co-developed and co-directed a 
community-based Peace Program held at a community center in Madison, WI. In many communities, people do not have a free, safe, local space to share, heal, discuss, resolve, or celebrate with one another. The Peace Program aimed to address lack of access to vital services that all people deserve - services in which residents themselves can become lead facilitators and stakeholders. Over the length of a year, the Peace Program mentored a group of youth by teaching them how to facilitate a variety of types of Peacemaking Circles, Nonviolent Communication and de-escalation skills, while simultaneously engaging local adult leaders to help support the youth.


The goal of the project was to create a change in community culture that moved away from firearms and antisocial behavior. At the conclusion of the Peace Program, the community was able to use this free and accessible program to better address the prevalence and impact of violence and victimization on Madison’s Northside. The components of the Peace Program offered residents an opportunity to reconnect, repair, and break silence. 


"To work with a practitioner who seeks to employ the totality of the participants' human experience, to inform the concert of her strategic intervention is rare, rewarding, and so invigorating. This is what Jessie brings to the table. I am fortunate to have her."    
             ~ Dr. Al Felice

I have spent over thirty years as a crisis responder in situations as varied as: working with survivors of Hurricane Katrina; supporting the Indigenous communities at Standing Rock; developing and managing the national high-risk teen program at Outward Bound; co-founding a non-profit serving marginalized communities and individuals through wilderness programming, parent skills and support groups, and community-based aftercare (Forward Learning Youth and Young Adults); co-directing a community-based Peace Program; and in 2019, I founded Collective Voices.

Through Collective Voices, I currently provides services that heal, strengthen relationships, give voice, enhance equity, accountability, and respect, and interrupt longstanding cycles of conflict, and repair harm. Some people best know me for my work in building relationships with diverse populations, delivering trainings and consulting services, and facilitating Peacemaking Circles that are often focused on conflict, harm, and other difficult topics. I use a restorative framework to create spaces for productive conflict and healing to occur. I believe that all people need the opportunity to tell their story, and be seen, heard, valued, and understood. I work alongside people and help them to develop the skills to uncover and express their feelings and needs.

I received a B.A. in Outdoor Education, mediator training from the UW-Wisconsin Continuing Studies, training as a Circle Keeper from many Relatives as well as from the Minnesota Department of Education and Legal Rights Center, the Red Road Approach facilitator training from Generation Red Road, and Grief Support Specialist training from the UW-Wisconsin Continuing Studies. Additional training and experience come from decades of first-hand experience living life and all that has come with it. My best teachers have been the hundreds of people I have met while on the road, and the youth, adults, and colleagues I have worked with. I am humbled and grateful for being able to walk together with people on their and my life journey. 

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