Who We Are


Steven E. Garber

Writer, poet, aikidoist, plumber. An aikidoist and Zen practitioner since 1990, Steve’s approach to his life is a practice, whether it’s writing, plumbing, Zen or aikido. This life-practice led, in 2000, to the study of non-violent action and eventually to reading Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s
book, No Future Without Forgiveness.

Touched by Tutu’s sensibilities and the arguments presented by cogent writers and professors such as Michael N. Nagler (The Search For A Nonviolent Future), David Cortright (Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism), and Marshall B. Rosenberg (Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World), Steve continued his quest to develop a nonviolent philosophy that could be implemented by a secular audience. In December 2008, he heard an interview in which Tutu spoke about the power of apology and, moved by Tutu’s clarity, Steve decided to start an “apology project,” which has now become the Wisdom, Mediation & Dialogue Foundation (WMD).

Steve graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, where he also studied poetry with George Hitchcock. He taught poetry writing workshops for grades K through 12 with California Poets in the Schools for more than twenty years. In 1980, Steve co-founded The Poetry Conspiracy, a San Diego literary magazine and calendar, and began performing poetry and music. Since 1980, Steve has been performing poetry and music, in addition to auditorium presentations and community forums. In 1990, he began the study of aikido and within three years was doing zazen as part of his martial training. In addition, Steve has thirty years of experience running his family-owned and operated plumbing business, alongside his own steam and sauna business.

Steve’s creative works and poems have appeared in Hidden Leaves, Magee Park Poets Anthology, Montezuma Life, Portfolio, Anenome, The Poetry Conspiracy, Border Voices, Visions, Rescue, Montezuma Life, Sansho, Biran and Verbum. Steve was assistant editor for Verbum, a journal of computer aesthetics. He has co-authored, produced and performed several theatrical-poetry presentations, including “Bending the Spoon,” and the current production, with Dave Curtis and Danny Campbell, “A Fork In Time” (aforkintime.com), a jazz-electronica infused monologue. Through these creative avenues, Steve continues his search for those aspects of the human condition that will reduce suffering through the process of healing.


Alexis Dixon

Alexis Dixon is a Harvard-trained mediator with a background in humanistic psychotherapy. He has worked as a professional mediator for over 15 years both here and internationally in government and corporate settings including the social service sector.

In addition to his consultation practice, Alexis co-teaches a “mediation in police work” course and lectures on “conflict and culture” at San Diego State University in the Criminal Justice and International Business Departments, respectively. He also lectures at Chapman and National University. Alexis has facilitated several community-based dialogues, including discussions on race relations for San Diego’s Race Human Relations Commission.

Within the corporate sector, Alexis works with boards, leadership teams and staff in managing and strategizing their mission, organizational and departmental objectives. He examines the corporate culture to clarify areas of misunderstanding and conflict, encouraging all members of the team to work synergistically together on a focused, shared mission, further maximizing the organization’s resources and efficiency. He currently lives in downtown San Diego and serves on several boards.


Kathleen Garrett

Ms. Kathleen Garrett serves as Director of the Telephone Counseling Research Program AMC Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and holds a Research Faculty appointments in the School of Public Health and the School of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver. Her primary clinical and research interest is in Motivational Interviewing (a client-centered, guiding style of communication designed to elicit a person’s intrinsic motivation for behavioral change) in the promotion of health. Additional research interests include cancer prevention, cancer survivorship, and post traumatic growth. Ms. Garrett has served as a collaborating investigator on seven NIH and foundation funded research projects evaluating the feasibility and/or efficacy of psychosocial and behavioral interventions in cancer prevention and control. In each of these studies, Ms. Garrett provided leadership in intervention design, implementation, supervision, and quality assurance. As an independent Motivational Interviewing trainer/program development specialist, Ms. Garrett develops and facilitates clinical and community based communication training workshops.

Ms. Garrett’s commitment to non-violent action is rooted in an early life experience of violence and her subsequent dedication to a daily practice of conscious forgiveness.


Jim Milner

Jim Milner is currently a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado, works full-time for the University of Colorado’s Cancer Center as a cancer counselor and information specialist, and a psychosocial research counselor.

Jim has been a teacher for over 20 years, working with Border Voices Poetry Project and California Poets in the Schools as a poet-teacher for 2nd through 12th grades. He has also taught Creative Writing, Critical Thinking, Multimedia Writing and literature at Platt and Remington Colleges and has conducted community-based poetry writing workshops. He has been a mindfulness practitioner for over 35 years and has taught meditation to individuals and groups. Jim has also worked with teens in crisis, as a foster family respite worker, facilitated a WINGS Foundation support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and was a nurses’ aid for hospice for nine years.

Jim’s poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies over the past 30 years. He has also worked as a copywriter and editor, technical writer, and editor for technology and arts-based corporations.


Rhona Gold

Rhona Gold graduated from the Theatre Resource Center in Ottawa, Ontario. She toured with a troupe in the isolated logging and mining towns of Northern Ontario performing for high school audiences and lead youth-based drama workshops. The kids in these remote locales were tough and cliquish, had few options or outlets and were used to settling conflict through displays of anger, often leading to violence. The exercises that Rhona and her colleagues employed supported and encouraged these kids to transcend their animosities by tapping into the creative process of collaboration, thereby generating an experience, a theatrical piece, that, they all realized, would not come into being but for their collective effort. MAKE ART, NOT WAR. Rhona went on as a performer and writer of political theatre in Toronto in the ‘70’s. She became active in the Woman’s Movement, aligning herself with WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women). She has worked as a full-service bookkeeper for the past 20 years.

She continues to perform and believes strongly in the transformative and healing nature of group creativity, especially as it pertains to children and teens. Her most recent performances have included venues such as the Moxie Theatre Company at the La Jolla Playhouse Studio Forum and Moxie’s
Rolando Theatre Space.


David Deitch

Dr. David A. Deitch, a Clinical and Social Psychologist, has more than 40 years experience in the development of drug abuse treatment systems for adolescents and adults. He is currently a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at UCSD and Director of the Addiction Training Center. In the non-profit public health sector, he was Co-founder of Daytop Village, Inc., and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Phoenix House’s Foundation. In the academic sector, he has had faculty appointments at Temple University, the University of Chicago, and UC San Francisco, as well as serving as Chief of Substance Abuse Services for UCSF. In the government sector, he has served as Coordinator of Curriculum and Faculty for the United Nations East Central European Drug Abuse Treatment Training Project. He continues to consult for a variety of Departments of Corrections and Ministries of Justice and Health in Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Europe. David served during the Johnson Administration as a consultant to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Crime and Juvenile Delinquency, and the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. During the Carter Administration, he chaired the White House Task Force on Prevention. He chairs (1993 to present) the Curriculum Development Committee of the National Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (see Technical Assistance Publication Series 21 – The Addiction Counseling Competencies: “The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice”). He further serves as an advisory board member for the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse – Mentor Project. At UCSD, he serves on various education committees (Medical Electives, Allied Health) and is a member of the UCSD Health Sciences Academy of Clinical Scholars. He has numerous publications (and videos) in the field and is currently the principal investigator on three federal grants.



Margaret Garber

Margaret Garber holds dual bachelor degrees in History (UCSD) and Biology (UCSC) and a doctorate in the History of Science and Science Studies (UCSD) and is currently Associate Professor of History of Science at California State University, Fullerton. She has received a number of fellowships, including the John Haas Fellowship from the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia in 2002-2003, a Linda Hall Library of Science and Technology Fellowship in 2005-2006 and, currently, a Long-Term Dibner Research Fellowship in the History of Science and Technology for the academic year 2010-2011 at the Huntington Library in Pasadena.

Her teaching interests include early modern history of science, ancient and early modern history, 20th century topics in science and society, and gendered aspects of science and technology.

Her research focuses on early modern scientific societies in the Holy Roman Empire with specific attention to their engagement with early chemistry (chymistry), matter theory, and the epistemic and gendered dimensions of their work. Other research interests include the cultural and intellectual history of early modern science.



Cindy Moore

Cindy Moore has a Masters in Computer Science and has been working in the field for nearly twenty years, with experience in programming, website development and support, database management, and system administration. She has been involved with several nonprofit groups and in 1998 founded Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue (www.sclrr.org) whose website she developed and continues to maintain after having served on its board, initially as secretary, then as president. Cindy has always had a strong interest in fostering and developing a sense of community and is pleased to be involved in the creation and development of WMD.


Danielle Edberg

Danielle Edberg holds a BA in Business Economics and has worked in marketing for the past eight years. Her skills include writing, editing, web development, social media, and project management. Danielle has studied abroad in West Africa and has volunteered in the past for the American Cancer Society, Meals On Wheels, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.




Terry Hertzler

Terry Hertzler has worked as a writer and editor for more than 30 years, writing for magazines and newspapers, as well as producing sales, marketing, PR and technical documents for a variety of commercial and non-profit organizations. He has taught writing—including composition, poetry and technical writing—at the university level as well as for The Writing Center and the Southern California Writers’ Conference. His work has twice been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and his poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology; In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop; North American Review; Margie; Nimrod; and The Los Angeles Times. Terry’s work has also been produced on stage, for radio and television. His publications include The Way of the Snake, a book of poetry on the Vietnam War, Second Skin, and several other books of poetry and fiction. He owns Caernarvon Press, which has been publishing poetry, short fiction and nonfiction since 1985, and was a founder of the San Diego Writers’ Cooperative (www.sandiegowriters.org). He has also owned two bookstores and sells rare and collectible books on the Internet. Terry served with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, 1969-1970.




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