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“I would like to see everyone, everywhere, have access and connection to the kind of community, support, and challenge that I feel that I am part of at the Institute.”

—Kate Snider, Board President

Nurturing Community

The Whidbey Institute is strengthened and defined by those we serve. We convene and catalyze our own programs as well as those of mission-aligned partners across sectors and interest areas, amplifying the impact of this work by providing spaces and cultural conditions that support authentic connection among individuals, organizations, neighborhoods, and ecosystems.

A People to Walk With

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“I remember on the morning we left Selma, Martin Luther King saying, ‘tell your children and your grandchildren that you were here, that you were part of history.’ Today, we want to know that in the future we can tell our families that we awoke to the challenge of our time, joined in the great work, and that we did our creative best. We can also tell them that on this journey, in a way more deeply satisfying than we expected, we found we were linked with others in passionate community—we found a people to walk with.”

—FRITZ HULL, FOUNDER
Photo © Alex Garland

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“When we come to the Institute, we know that we can enter into important, honest, open conversation about the issues that matter most in the world. We expect to learn from one another, and learn from the land. We have a safe place to be challenged, to experiment, to enter into deep inquiry and meaningful connections. I can’t think of anything more important than this kind of base from which to build the creative and resilient communities necessary to navigate our futures.”

—Kate Snider, Board President

“I want to be in the gravel, in the dirt. I’m not talking about heady ideas: I want to be able to see eye-to-eye with those people who, for some weird reason, started something that has actually changed the fiber of a community. I want to feel why and how, and give people confidence in what they could do in their own community. Those are stories and conversations that don’t have an end.”

—Jerry Millhon, Thriving Communities Initiative Founder & Former Director

“Each time I went to Powers of Leadership, I brought the lessons back. We talked about defining moments, what we were doing, and why were were doing it. If that deep purpose was threatened, we would stand up and say no. As the work unfolded, we would say, ‘can we still do this in good conscience? Who are we here to help? What are we here to serve?’”

—Kathleen Patton, on how her work at the Whidbey Institute informed team activities during her campaign to defend British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve

A Sense of Belonging

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“You have to start with trust, respect, and transparency. You have to treat people with dignity and a sense of belonging.”

—Jerry Millhon, on what makes a thriving community

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“People come here to meet each other, [and to] meet another part of themselves for the first time.”

—Livia Lomne, teen YWE Write Participant

“Hosting the Intersectional Justice Conference was frightening, exhilarating, and impactful beyond my wildest dreams. My team of co-facilitators have become lasting friends, and the speakers and sponsors who participated in the experience with their fiscal, intellectual, and emotional resources have become treasured members of my larger community.”

—Marnie Jackson, Intersectional Justice Program Coordinator & Communications Manager
Photo © Pax ahimsa gethen

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“Anything that celebrates community and nature, and combines those things together, is really important to me. Those are things I’m drawn to and I see that happening here at the Institute. People are coming here, appreciating the beauty around them, and appreciating one another. It’s a really wonderful feeling, like magic.”

—Madisun Stern, Database Manager

“I think it’s really important for people to know that their input, their time, their treasure, their talent, are all needed for the Institute going forward. This isn’t happening to somebody else, for somebody else. It’s a place for everybody to bring their energy, their money, their vision into what’s next.”

—Lynnaea Lumbard, donor, volunteer, and program partner

Healing Hearts

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“It is no mistake that we would find ourselves at the Whidbey Institute, because to me the Institute is, in many ways, spirituality in action. Spirituality, at its essence, should manifest in healing of planet and healing of community—and that is what the Whidbey Institute offers.”

—Rabbi Olivier BenHaim, Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue Program Leader

Prosper“My connection with Whidbey has transformed me by showing me how much people care for others. People here are very generous … they have heart for other people.”

—Prosper Ndabishuriye, Burundi-based humanitarian

“I sense the unbelievable hunger in the world for stories and replicable actions that are contributing to a positive impact.”

—Jerry Millhon, Thriving Communities Initiative Founder