Pre-Forum and Keynote Speaker Bios

  • zed xaba, Pre-Forum Trainer

    Ms. Zed Xaba holds a Masters in Conflict Facilitation and Organizational Change from the Process Work Institute, Portland, USA.  She has been an anti-oppression activist throughout her career, and has initiated and contributed to many initiatives that seek to understand and eliminate racism in South Africa and internationally.  In 2017 Zed ran a workshop for women of colour that focused on internalized oppression and was subsequently asked to speak at a TedX event on the topic of internalized oppression.


    Zed does work around diversity which usually involves groups or teams working through diversity issues that might include: race; gender; position in organizations; generational differences and any other diversity issue that might be pertinent in the group or team.  Zed has worked with many teams who are experiencing conflict, and helps teams work through their conflict to more effective ways of relating and functioning.  She also conducts individual conflict coaching and mediation between individuals who might be locked in conflict.

  • Cathy Bernatt, pre-forum trainer

    Cathy spent a decade in the 80's working for the Ministry of Community and Social Services in Ontario, Canada.  At Project D.A.R.E. (Development through Adventure, Responsibility, and Education), she worked as an instructor in a wilderness therapeutic program for male youth in Ontario sentenced to open custody.  She was the first Director of New Directions, a community program targeting youth at risk to help expand their horizons, offer possibilities of an enriching life free of crime and develop their sense of self-empowerment.


    Following that, Cathy spent 22 years living in Japan, where she started her own company Creating...  to fulfill a vision of helping to realize unlimited potential in people and organizations.  Creating... specializes in conflict transformation, leadership and organizational development, and executive, leadership, relationship, and systems coaching.  She has worked with a wide range of clients from all over the world in settings that range from a 47-meter tall ship to the corporate boardroom and with Outward Bound internationally for more than 30 years.  She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, is an amateur documentary filmmaker and dedicates a lot of time to facilitating groups focused on bringing awareness to the subtle nuances of racism in our local and global communities and pushing to transform what we do and how we do what we do to create a more equitable world for all of us.

  • Stephen Fowler, Keynote speaker

    Stephen Fowler is a performing artist, racial and social justice activist/advocate, and community educator from Portland, Oregon.  Convicted as a teenager, sentenced to 7.5 years in the Oregon Youth Authority, Stephen used his time to educate and expand his understanding of self-worth, potential, and purpose using art forms and the the educational programs provided.  Stephen is now committed to educating community members, teachers, parents, and students about the practice of restorative justice for community transformation and also showing adolescents the power of their own voice and story.  Stephen is co-founder of Verbal Escape, an employee of Resolutions Northwest, affiliated with the Black Educational Achievement Movement, and is a board member of Morpheus Youth Project.

  • Sheila Kembel, KeyNote Speaker

    Sheila Kembel was raised in Edmonds, Washington and recently returned to the Pacific Northwest after 24 years in Tucson, Arizona where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at the University of Arizona and her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.  She is a retired Juvenile Probation  Supervisor with extensive experience in juvenile justice reform work and detention alternatives.  Her passion has always been working with female youth involved in the juvenile justice system yet she never anticipated her own personal experience having such a significant impact on her future path.  She has shared her personal experience navigating the victim offender mediation process throughout the United States in hopes that her journey may help others who also find themselves a victim of crime and unsure how to move forward.