Connecting Kids: Exploring Diversity Together

Celebrate spring with your own copy of Connecting Kids: Exploring Diversity Together: our classic guide to engaging kids of all ages in collaboratively creating welcoming cultures of inclusion in classrooms, after-school programs and children’s groups of all kinds. Now in it’s fourth printing Connecting Kids is available as a bound printed book or a pdf e-book. All proceeds go to supporting children, youth and families to participate in our Sept 28 to 30, 2018 annual Inclusive Leadership Gathering.

Connecting Kids by Linda Hill makes diversity education with children as easy as Ready, Set, Go. Get ready by selecting a skill. Get set by selecting an activity.

Now GO exploring!

What an enjoyable adventure life can become when children feel safe and respected enough to share their unique gifts, choose how to be and develop Inclusive Leadership skills through co-operative games, creative arts, and outdoor education.

Cost: Bound book is $25.00 plus postage. $15 plus postage for orders of 10 or more. PDF ebook is $5.00 per single user license.

Click here to order:

Here’s a few reviews to inspire you to to purchase this resource.

“Seriously packed with amazing wisdom, resources and activities!” (Kathy Whittam, Education Matters)

An invaluable and practical guidebook for anyone seeking to build community and connections between children of different ages, abilities and cultures…A key resource for anyone seeking to strengthen a circle of friends.” (Inclusive Solutions)

“We are very pleased with this book and its objectives.” (End Youth Violence)

“Recommended for all leaders and teachers. Connecting kids should be in all school library professional collections and all public libraries.” (BC Teachers Federation)

“A bonus for anyone working with children. It is an excellent resource for the classroom and contains may ideas which should be shared with parents.” (Resource Links)

“Demonstrates how to guide children from various backgrounds in exploring and celebrating differences, including culture, lifestyle, religion, and physical ability, to name a few. Lists ways to build an inclusive culture in order to reduce bullying, exclusion, and violence.” (Redleaf Press)

“An informative, inspirational, practical, and thoroughly fun resource manual for everyone involved in guiding children. Works well in day camps.” (American Camping Association)

“We want you to know that we love it! We work with a very diverse population and Connecting Kids always has ideas for effective activities.” (Valerie Mayes, Edmonton Parks and Recreation)

“A unique compendium of games and activities for children that foster connecting skills to bridge differences.”(The Anger Management Counselling Practice)

“An excellent resource for preventing violence by promoting fun in today’s culturally diverse schools and communities.” (Green Teacher)

“A gift, a surprise, and something that enhances our world, and encourages loving relationships – my four most favorite things. I know two other people from our church are using the book at Girl Guides and our Sunday Program.” (Cathy Bone, United Church Minister)

Perfect for teachers, administrators, parents and outdoor educators of children ages 6-14. (Acorn Naturalists)

“Prevent social problems such as exclusion, intolerance and bullying by guiding children to connect in safe ways through the use of cooperative games, creative activities and exploring the wonders of nature.” (Quaker Books)

“Connecting Kids helps children explore and celebrate differences, building acceptance and an inclusive culture that prevents and reduces prejudice and discrimination. “(Tide: Teachers in Development Education)

“Hundreds of games and activities for bringing people together – a chaotic, but cracking resource.”(University of Minnesota Extension Service)

“Cooperative games, creative activities and nature experiences organized according to skills that are especially important for learning to be welcoming and welcomed.”(Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission)

“Games and activities to help children explore differences in culture, language, heritage, religion, physical ability, and lifestyle.” (Norfolk Education and Action for Development)

“Have children of various backgrounds appreciate the benefits of inclusion and teamwork. Its fun and wide-ranging activities (including art, drama, poetry, and cooperative games) aim to develop these skills through demonstration and cooperation… with groups of various sizes (after-school programs, summer camp, etc.)” (Professional Resource Book Review)

“Selected as one of the years best professional resources.This book is a bonus for anyone working with children. It is an excellent resource for the classroom and contains may ideas which should be shared with parents.” (Beverly Fitzpatrick)

“Over 200 fun games and activities that teach social, “connecting” behaviors.” (Book Counter)

“An inspirational, practical and lively book written for adults who want to create an atmosphere that is inclusive, safe and fun for children. “ (The Rhode Island Early Childhood Newsletter)

Voice of Women Peace Education Award Presented to Dr. Linda Hill

submitted by Linda Hill

I was thrilled to be one of five women honoured at the annual Canadian Voice of Women for Peace banquet in Toronto, March 8 2018. I received the The Dr. Anne Goodman Peace Education Award which is based on Anne’s commitment to peace-building and peace education that took her to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Slovakia, Israel, Croatia and other countries. Anne’s view was that transformative learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in thought, feelings and actions – and building strong relationships with each other. Anne believed that by working together we can create that culture of peace of which we dream.

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace has tirelessly advocated to create the mutual respect and understanding necessary for the peaceful resolution of international conflict for over 55 years. Their work and research on peace and women’s issues locally, nationally, and internationally, especially with the United Nations provides a means for women to exercise responsibility for the promotion of world peace and justice through education, advocacy, democracy, and co-operation.

I was nominated in October, 2017 by the Cowichan Valley Quakers to honour my dedication to Peace Education through cultivating Inclusive Leadership. In February 2018, “The Board of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace unanimously confirmed …that Dr. Linda Hill’s life work is beautifully reflective of the ideal behind the Anne Goodman Award for Peace Education. We wish her to receive this special award.” (Janis Alton, Co-Chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

“Congratulations to  Linda Hill on being presented  today with the Peace Education Award by the Voice of Women for Peace.” (Nola Landucci).

“Linda’s Inclusive Leadership workshops were very influential to my family and me. It was also wonderful being part of engaging all of Mt. Prevost School students in the project. Kudos to Linda for the positive difference she has made in so many ways in our world. Betty Polster was a committed member of Voices of Women for Peace, as were many of Dave’s and my peace mentors. Betty would have been thrilled. Gratitude to you Linda and congratulations on a well deserved award” (Genevieve Singleton, Dave Polster and family)

Thank you so much to Inclusive Leader Ayodele Moffet (right hand side of this photo beside Inclusive Leaders Glaucia Desrochers and Linda McDaniels). Ayodele, a Toronto resident who lived in the Cowichan Valley,BC, Canada for a number of years, attended the Voice of Women event to accept the Dr. Anne Goodman Peace Education award on my behalf. “The Voice of Women for Peace event went well; It reminded me of Cowichan Intercultural Society events.  I felt at home, had great vegetarian food and met wonderful people. I shared your speech and shared how we met during an International Women’s Day event in Duncan which included us responding to a bomb threat by hiding under a desk. This story brought laughter to all. Thank you for the experience of accepting an award.” (Ayodele Moffet)

Here is my acceptance speech: “I am thrilled to be this year’s recipient of the Anne Goodman award for peace education. Like Dr. Goodman, I have dedicated much of my life to building an International Culture of Peace, fostering dialogue and working toward social and environmental justice. My work is done through the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative and the international Earth Charter. Like Anne Goodman, I believe that peace begins at home. I apply Participatory Action Research methodology to bring youth and adults from diverse cultures and other backgrounds together to learn with and from each other. Together we all develop skills, awareness and action plans for living, learning, and leading more inclusively in our diverse communities. I’ve been doing this work on Vancouver Island in partnership with the co-founders of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative since 2002. We have recently begun online peace education courses based on the same Inclusive Leadership practices and are now educating emerging leaders from around the world.” (Linda Hill).


Feb 2018 Inclusive Leadership Adventure

Thank you so much to our intergenerational team of 16 experienced Inclusive Travel Guides who did such a fabulous job of guiding 40 new Inclusive Leaders to explore, share and celebrate diversity. All along the way we all shared leadership in building a welcoming culture of inclusion. Within this safe, respectful, accessible and FUN container, we experienced fabulous participatory learning activities, GREAT workshops, Heart to Heart Groups, and so many conversations between people from very different backgrounds. Through this Participatory Education Process we developed our Inclusive Leadership skills for connecting with differences, communicating with compassion and responding to difficult situations with Anti-discrimination First Aid. We learned so much with each other and from each other about topics such as Coast Salish Territory, shifting from fight/flight/freeze reactions into mindful, flexible responding; what it is like to live with epilepsy, how to bring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into our daily lives, what is inclusive masculinity?, how to make public spaces safe for families with young children and for youth, how to use a computer to communicate and so much more.

This all led up to an incredible Inclusive Community Celebration on Saturday evening with music, poetry, drama, and so much laughter.

And did we tell you about the snow?


Sunday was all about Action Planning.  Action Planning is a process of bringing together our Inclusive Leadership skills with our concerns and our passions.   Safe Youth Cowichan created an action plan for finding and creating more safe indoor and outdoor spaces for families to gather with their young children and with youth.

The team from Headway, Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre presented their plan for creating an educational video and for continuing to build a vibrant support group for youth and young adults who live with epilepsy.

Individuals shared many plans for integrating Inclusive Leadership into travelling, groups we facilitate, our work-places, our studies, and our life-long passions such as inclusive masculinity, bringing women together to learn about painless childbirth options, supporting people who live with Alzheimers and their families, and communicating with compassion.

Students from Cowichan Secondary School are developing plans for shifting the culture of their school in more inclusive directions. A few of the plans in the works are:

  • Students are planning to present what they learned at a staff meeting:“Kids teach teachers how to be more inclusive in an Inclusive Leadership workshop for staff. For example, we could teach teachers how to assess the situation so that they can figure out whether or not it’s just a joke or if it is bullying.”
  • Students will be asking teachers to help them create structured opportunities for students to get to know their classmates: “Older students paired with younger students. Celebrate new students. Open communication, smiling, talking to new people. Activities that help us get to know more people and connect with others, so we all come together as one. Let’s get students sitting at the lunch tables with someone new. More interaction with the whole school” 
  • Students hope facilitators from the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative will be able to bring Inclusive Leadership to their school. “We could have Anti-discrimination First Aid courses. We could do Inclusive Leadership activities in the flex blocks once a week such as practicing breathing and relaxing and flex lessons with a social focus.” 

Thank you again to everyone who was involved in our 2018 Inclusive Leadership Adventure. Thank you Debbie Campbell for all these wonderful photos.

Connecting With Diverse Dene Heroes

written by Linda Hill based on conversations with Nola Landucci and a visit with Mary-Anne Neal!

Nola is a member of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative who is a retired Human Rights Worker. Nola currently practices Inclusive Leadership on a daily basis through her involvement in healing and reconciliation, Quakers, family-based mental health support and community gardening.  Nola and Mary-Anne Neal first met when they were raising their children in Victoria together. They have been friends ever since. Nola invited me to meet Maryanne at a lovely open-house event in Sydney, BC.

Nola shared, “I am so proud of my friend!  In 1971, 19 year-old Mary-Anne Neal hitchhiked her way by bush-plane up to Colville Lake in the middle of the Northwest Territories to begin an unforgettable young adult adventure teaching and learning with the Dene people.” Mary shared, “Forty-four years later I returned to Colville Lake and was told this by the Elders: “We not only remember you,  Sayday Maree (which means “younger sister Mary), we have been waiting for you to come back and pay what we taught you forward.”

Mary began collaborating with the Dene people in 2015 to develop and nurture the Dene Heroes Publication Project which was recently awarded a $100,000 Arctic Inspiration Prize for building literacy and leadership skills among Indigenous youth and increase pride in the Dene people.

Two books have been published already. Mary is preparing a team of Indigenous youth to lead the development and publishing of a third collaborative book about Dene heroes that will be once again be distributed to all five communities in the Sahtu.

The Dene Heroes Publication Project inspires Indigenous students, community members, and out-of-school youth to write about someone they admire of Dene descent with contributors interviewing elders, talking about heroic qualities, writing about their heroes, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and reading what others have written.

Partnering with schools, community members contribute their ideas, stories and pictures to be published in the book that is then distributed at a celebration in each community. Each person who contributes to the Dene Heroes book receives two copies of their book – one copy for themselves and one to share with someone they admire.

For more information contact: Mary-Anne Neal, Project Director Email:



Diverse Reasons for Becoming Inclusive Leaders

ILC LogoWhat attracts people to an experiential education weekend focused on developing Inclusive Leadership skills, awareness and action plans?

Our Feb 23 to 25, 2018 Inclusive Leadership Adventure is full of youth, adults and elders from throughout Vancouver Island.  Our shared goals are to become more mindful and skillful in tending and befriending people and our planet  – starting with ourselves and our communities.

The 55 people who have registered come from many different backgrounds:

  • DIVERSE GENERATIONS: aged 5 to 75
  • DIVERSE CULTURES:  we come from many different ancestries, birthplaces, languages, life-styles, interests, experiences, economic circumstances, and other identities
  • DIVERSE CONCERNS: such as the United Nations Sustainability Goals, addressing discrimination, welcoming refugees, standing up for the environment, and concerns about bullying; loneliness; and the many violent conflicts throughout our global village.
  • DIVERSE ROLES: We all have vital roles to play in living, learning and leading more inclusively in our diverse communities. We are students, activists, support workers, educators and other professionals, volunteers, artists, athletes, farmers, families, friends and many more leadership roles.
  • DIVERSE TEAMS: We have several teams from families and extended famiies, teams of advocates and self advocates for people who live with disabilities and health challenges, a team called Safe Youth Cowichan, a team of socially responsible students from their high school, and a team of members of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative.

Since people from diverse backgrounds do not gather together automatically, we know that each person who has registered has made a thoughtful decision to invest their time in developing their own Inclusive Leadership skills and their skills for facilitating and mentoring Inclusive Leadership with others. Here are a few of the reasons we have heard in the process of supporting people to register:

spaceship earth“Racism and discrimination has happened to me before and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. I think it’s important for everyone to feel equal and safe being who they are.”

“I am working on developing skills for trauma-informed conflict resolution/transformation. I I travel a lot and find myself in a lot of diverse communities. I find myself in many situations where a depth of understanding about inclusive leadership would be helpful to my communities.”

IMG_7398“I am a young adult interested in making a difference in the realms of addiction, mental health, nature therapy, and youth mentorship.”

“My initial interest in the Inclusive Leadership workshop was to support local groups such as Pride Day, our Men’s Support Society and environmental groups…Then, a friend recently introduced me to the term intersectionality, the idea that oppressive institutions (eg. racism, sexism, homophobia) are interconnected and addressing each in isolation has its limits.”

“I’m hard-wired to be inclusive. I believe that gatherings such as Inclusive Leadership, as well as other intentionally inclusive spaces, are medicine for our society.”

“I hope that Inclusive Leadership will give one or more of the youth I am bringing with me the head start it gave me back in 2005 when I was a youth. I want another person to discover the value and gifts they hold within themselves. I really believe being involved with Inclusive Leadership makes a difference. Developing youth so that they understand that they matter, and have gifts and can lead others to this teaching is a real worthwhile investment; and what I know to be the outcome of this training.”

“Inclusive Leadership feels like family to me. With everyone’s encouragement, I am getting more and more involved in my community.” 



Safe Spaces to Grow Through Our Experiences of Dissonance

Submitted by April Vance

(April is a Support Worker, Inclusive Leader and PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrow’s With Hope Facilitator who has been participating in Inclusive Leadership Education since 2012.  April explains that, “PATH is an artistic expression of your dreams and how you chose to proceed. I am living my PATH as we speak. There is something about putting intention out there and seeing it on paper. Then just watch the positive and possible unfold before your eyes.” In this post, April shares her observations about how Inclusive Leaders create safe spaces to grow and address our struggles to live inclusively).

The art of inclusion applies with all humans no matter gender, practices, age, race, creed or religion. Many people arrive at Inclusive Leadership with our own experiences of dissonance with what we have been taught or come to believe and our own determination to live inclusion in every aspect of our lives in peaceful manners with Love. Inclusive Leadership addresses struggles with ourselves and with others by being in a calm state and in a safe place to share and experience growth through the dissonance.

Our struggles are often with the people that we are closest to and with whom we have the least objective perspective. Many of these struggles confronting us are due directly to our practice of inclusion. Struggles range from expressing minor irritation and conflict to unloading grief caused by loss of deep relationships.

Participating in and practicing Inclusive Leadership Workshops or Online Learning Experiences provides opportunities to share strengths, and builds a sense of community, new friendships both international and domestic, ideas, and knowledge beyond our own corners of the world. 

Being in a calm state and in a safe place creates authentic opportunities to share, speak our truth and learn from each other. We go into the world having grown from being in a flight/fight/freeze state to more grounded, peaceful ways of living and interacting with each other with purpose and intention.

Calm and safe interacting births creative ideas for the variety of people involved for how they may go forward and practice these principles in their lives, feeling empowered to live our most authentic selves and to share, knowing we have made new friendships based on these principles that we can draw on. 

For more information about upcoming Inclusive Leadership weekends, workshops and online events go to our Events Calendar on our Home Page.

Click here for information about our Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential online course.

Something I Discovered About My Inclusive Leadership Potential


Click here to find out how to join our upcoming March 1 to May 3 Online Guided Group Expedition to Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential.  A self-guided version of our Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential online certificate course is also available for people who need a more flexible time-frame.

What will you discover about your potential to live, learn and lead more inclusively in your diverse communities?

Click here to find out how to join our upcoming March 1 to May 3 Online Guided Group Expedition to Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential. A self-guided version of our Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential online certificate course is also available for people who need a more flexible time-frame.