“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can.”

__Martin Luther King Jr., 1964 Peace Nobel Laureate

At a time of societal crises, doing what we each can to maintain and engage in dialogue with others and in our communities is our best contribution to establishing societal harmony, contribute to peacemaking, and put our shoulders to a movement toward a better future for all.

The Foundation is hosting a series of conversation entitled, A Bridge Between US, to take part in this important effort of building dialogue. Read more & join us.

Toward Greater Social Harmony

Our societies in the U.S. and around the world are facing today multi-dimensional crises of historic proportions. There is deepening polarization around personal and community issues of race, ethnicity, gender, in addition to a widening divide along political and economic lines and in how we coexist with our natural environment.

A Bridge Between US consists of a series of conversations to help rebuild dialogue, by taking a closer look at our own inner fears and polarizations, so we can as people and communities overcome our fears, see and value the deep humanity in each harbor, learn from history, and create together a brighter future, welcoming to all.

About The Program

Civil discourse is at the core of working democracies.

The US has often been named (a bit presumptuously perhaps) a beacon for democracy. Yet, intensifying polarizations and deepening social divides across our communities appear to be limiting (if not crushing) its people’s ability to engage in civil dialogue as a people.

It is nearly impossible to be part of a constructive dialogue if both sides of that dialogue are stuck and adamantly inflexible. No dialogue can lead to meaningful outcomes if either side wants to have its views embraced wholesale by the other at all costs or to win regardless of whether (or only if) the other loses—whatever the repercussions might be.

Re-establishing conditions for a civil dialogue and engagement is a must. Is that a real possibility today, in the midst of our political and societal conflicts in the United States and around the world? And what would it take to get there?

Our conflicts in society remind us of conflicts among internal parts of ourselves. Behaviors are manifestations of assumptions, belief systems, and fears—often unfounded. By helping uncover these various parts, IFS has shown us a way to resolve internal conflicts. By extrapolation, might these notions of engaging parts and tapping into qualities of Self leadership, assumed to be universal, help bridge the worrisome chasm that is widening among our people? And if so, how?

This is the general theme of a new program of conversations that the Foundation will launch on September 3, 2021, for five consecutive Fridays at 3 pm Eastern US for 75 minutes to explore the possible role for IFS as a model for social harmony.

Foundation board members and friends of the Foundation will be hosting online conversations with guest authors and thought leaders from the IFS community around a range of topics relevant to society today, including returning to civility and fundamental values, finding strength in differences, engaging in compassionate activism, overcoming racism, and transforming conflict.

All sessions will be recorded and available to the public. You are invited to donate $25 USD (or whatever you can) to the Foundation for every conversation you watch (live or asynchronously). Click here to make a donation.


Please note that you need to register for sessions separately from making a donation. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Friday, September 3rd
3 pm - 4:15 pm Eastern US (UTC - 4)
(75 minutes)

From Fight or Flight to Dialogue: Turning Inward Toward a Path to Civility

David Medeiros, MSW, LICSW & Vicki McCoy, MA

Register | Donate

Friday, September 10
3 pm - 4:15 pm Eastern US (UTC - 4)
(75 minutes)

Compassionate Activism: Promoting the Common Good in a Conflicted World

Frank Rogers, PhD & Kelly Gaule, CAP

Register | Donate

Friday, September 17
3 pm - 4:15 pm Eastern US (UTC - 4)
(75 minutes)

The Impact of 'isms' on Identity: From Self-Awareness to Healing & Action

Rahul Sharma, PsyD & Requina Barnes, LICSW

Register | Donate

Friday, September 24
3 pm - 4:15 pm Eastern US (UTC - 4)
(75 minutes)

Facing & Overcoming Racism: From "Other" to "One Another"

Tamala Floyd, LCSW & Jon Schwartz, MEd

Register | Donate

Friday, October 1st
3 pm - 4:15 pm Eastern US (UTC - 4)
(75 minutes)

A Polarized World: Exploring the Role of Self Leadership in Peacemaking

Hugh O’Doherty, MA, MEd, EdD & Lester Fagen, MA, JD

Register | Donate


From Fight or Flight to Dialogue: Turning Inwards Toward a Path to Civility - David Medeiros, MSW, LCSW and Vicki McCoy, MA

A conversation around how we might establish much-needed civility and dialogue today in a world that seems to be snubbing both.

Held Live on September 3, 2021

Compassionate Activism: Promoting the Common Good in a Conflicted World - Frank Rogers, Jr., PhD & Kelly Gaule, CAP

A conversation about what it means to bring compassion into activism, why to do so, and what it might look like.

Held Live on September 10, 2021

The Impact of isms on Identity: From Self-Awareness to Healing & Action - Rahul Sharma, PsyD and Requina Barnes, LICSW

A conversation about meaning and awareness of personal and collective identities, issues and pain attached to them, and what healing might look like.

Held live on September 17, 2021

Facing and Overcoming Racism: From "Other" to "One Another" - Tamala Floyd, LCSW & Jon Schwartz, MEd

A conversation about personal experience with racial prejudice, how to deal with its impact, and how to appreciate the depth of each other's experience with it.

Held Live on September 24, 2021

A Polarized World: Exploring the Role of Self Leadership in Peacemaking - Hugh O'Doherty, MA, MEd, EdD & Les Fagen, MA, JD

A conversation about meaning and awareness of personal and collective identities, issues and pain attached to them, and what healing might look like.

Held live on October 1, 2021


Requina Barnes, LICSW; Certified IFS Therapist (Boston, MA) serving women of color and couples & Adjunct Professor; Member of Board of Directors, Foundation for Self Leadership; Program Assistant for IFS Trainings

Requina has been in the field of social work for over 16 years. She has an array of experiences supporting individuals, groups, and families. and working with populations of all ages ranging from early childhood to late adulthood. She uses the IFS and EFT lenses to explore with her clients how attachment, codependency, relationship challenges and trauma impact one's interactions and relations in life.

Les Fagen, MA, JD; Partner, Law Firm of Cooley LLP (Co-Founder & Leader of Boston Office); Member of Boards of Directors: Foundation for Self-Leadership; Our Generation Speaks, an incubator and accelerator program for Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs creating companies together; and American Jewish Committee, New England; Practitioner & Teacher of Tai Chi

As a child of Holocaust survivors who were saved by Oskar Schindler, Les carries a legacy that combines both the depth of human suffering and the knowledge that extraordinary individuals can make a real difference. Professionally, he counsels and coaches creative business and social entrepreneurs developing new approaches to challenges of our times, with a focus on health and wellness; as a volunteer, he advises organizations that focus on overcoming differences and finding new models to address challenges of a polarized world.

Tamala Floyd, LCSW; Psychotherapist in private practice, IFS Trainer & Consultant

Tamala is a psychotherapist with 25 years of experience and expertise in women’s trauma, racialized trauma, depression and anxiety. She also provides business coaching and consultation to therapists.

Kelly Gaule, CAP; Strategic Development Consultant & Community Organizer; Member of Board of Directors, Foundation for Self Leadership

Kelly has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, strategic planning and political activism. She is the founder of PROMUS+ Consulting, LLC, and is experienced in all facets of development and nonprofit management. Kelly also has significant experience with political campaigns and community organizing.

Vicki McCoy, MA; Organizational Consultant; Board Chair, Foundation for Self Leadership

Vicki works with leaders and teams to unleash their talents and improve their cohesion in pursuit of shared goals. She specializes in work with U.S. federal agencies entrusted with responsibility for conservation of natural resources at home and abroad.

David Medeiros, MSW, LCSW; Psychotherapist & Published Author

David is proud to be part of the growing IFS village, through which he had the honor to co-present a 2018 conference plenary with Richard Schwartz, PhD, on IFS and Schizophrenia, and present the production of the show Good Grief in 2019. He recently authored a book on the importance and intersection of civility and IFS.

Hugh O’Doherty, MA, MEd, EdD; Faculty member, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; President, The Leadership & Peacemaking Global Network

Growing up in a Catholic family in Northern Ireland led Hugh to the field of leadership and conflict resolution starting with working as Program Director in the Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation and as Director of the Northern Ireland Inter-Group Relations Project. He is deeply committed to the establishment of a world that is free of patriarchy and led by morally enlightened men and women who make decisions on behalf of the whole human family, not on behalf of any specific group or nation.

Frank Rogers, Jr., PhD; Muriel Bernice Professor of Spiritual Formation and Narrative Pedagogy, Claremont School of Theology

Frank is a Senior Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion at the Claremont School of Theology. A certified IFS practitioner, he has a private practice and leads workshops integrating IFS with spirituality and social activism.

Jon Schwartz, MEd; Organizational Consultant and Former CEO IFS Institute

Jon served as CEO of three organizations over 25 yrs including the past 13 years as CEO of IFS Institute. With 38 years of professional leadership experience, he has developed and implemented organizational diversity initiatives over many years.

Rahul Sharma, PsyD; Founder of Strategic Inclusion Consulting, Psychologist in private practice, and Founder/Musician for award-winning Intercultural group Funkadesi

Rahul is a consultant, psychologist, musician, & keynote speaker with expertise in diversity, social justice, multiculturalism, emotional intelligence, leadership, individual/community health, violence against women prevention, music, and wellness. He is former Associate Professor at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, where he chaired its Diversity Concentration for 13 years.

All conversations will be introduced by Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director of the Foundation; Senior Founding Partner of Group i&i Consultancy; and Former University Professor of Physics & Engineering and Senior Research Officer