Category Archives: Partnership

Appreciating the dedication of teachers

Paul FGlobal Visionaries is fortunate to have the support of many amazing teachers throughout the Puget Sound area, many of whom have been contributing to GV for several years in ways unseen yet crucial to our shared success. One of these educators is Paul Fischburg, a teacher of Junior IB History of the Americas at Chief Sealth International High School.

Previous to becoming an educator Paul enjoyed a twenty-year career in architecture, construction, and community development and lead a non-profit organization that built affordable housing and community facilities in the Chief Sealth neighborhood. With a rich background of experience to draw from Paul brings valuable perspective and leadership skills to GV, although he says learning to let go has been an important lesson he’s gained through working with youth.

“Now that I am a high school classroom teacher, the GV experience has helped me teach”  Paul said, adding that he is able to trust his students to take the lead, impact the direction, and to share the responsibility for where they go as a class.

Paul decided to get involved with GV after a neighbor participated in the first-year leadership program and he saw first-hand how the program helped youth realize their power and potential. Of this experience Paul says he was impressed by the way young people were given the support and autonomy to lead the organization to a new level. Since this initial experience Paul has stepped in to help in several roles both in Seattle and Guatemala.

Today, Paul and his family are hosting one of the Guatemalan staff here in Seattle for six months. Paul expressed how he adores the Guatemalan staff; “Most of the adults involved in GV – parents and teachers, don’t get to meet or know the GV staff.  They are wonderful, funny, professional, playful, brilliant, strong, compassionate, and giving”.  Paul looks forward to renewing these friendships each year when he returns to Guatemala as an immersion leader, which he says is his favorite part of serving at GV.

“Sharing this experience with a group of young people who become like family, to open up to the learning, growing and feeling that comes from being in a new culture has been so powerful and gratifying to me” Paul says. And we couldn’t agree more, Paul has become like family and we couldn’t be more grateful.


GV joins Treehouse in supporting youth in foster care.

DSC_0998This year, GV has entered into a new partnership with Treehouse, a local organization providing youth in foster care the academic and socio-emotional support to help them graduate high school with a plan for the future. With the support of the CFOS and Seattle Foundation, Seattle International Foundation and major donors, four Treehouse students were able to participate in GV’s First Year Leadership Program and two of the participants will be continuing on with GV for a second year as members of the Youth Board.

Our participants write below about their transformative experience in Guatemala.

“On my way to the airport my body started shaking with excitement and fear. This was my first time on a plane, my first time in another country. I couldn’t help but think that maybe this trip would be the trip that would change everything. And I was right; it was the trip that changed everything for me.”

“Thanks to Global Visionaries, a big part of me changed that night and I will never forget it.. This experience has inspired me to want to go to college and study physical and mental disabilities so that one day I can help people who are not able to help themselves.”

“My experience in Guatemala was unforgettable. I can now find the beauty in almost anything and I feel like I found who I am. The groups reflections were the most powerful for me, hearing others’ questions and theories makes you think about your own. They help you let go of whatever you have been holding back for years. There was this one reflection in particular, I could never forget about. We just got done with the hospital and we were talking about what happened and what you would have done differently. I thought of my experience with one of the Abuelas (“Grandmother”, the name given to female, elderly patients) at the hospital. I could not speak with her because I didn’t know what to say in her language and she was a woman without speech. I didn’t know what to do so I just stood there and did nothing. Later on, I realized that if she had been my grandmother, I would have wanted someone to talk to her, help her out, or push her around in her wheelchair. Realizations like this one, made me and my group cry. It was great because we all became so close during the trip that we were able to comfort each other. I also realized that we weren’t just pointing out what we did wrong in the hospital, we were pointing out what we can do next time, what we can change.”

About the partnership

Due to the unique challenges faced by youth in foster care, less than half graduate from high school on time, and fewer than two percent will continue on to graduate with a four-year degree. GV’s programming engages youth in a manner that supports Treehouse’s goal to ensure that by 2017 foster youth will graduate high school at the same rate as their peers and will have a plan for their future. Participation in youth-led advocacy and leadership programs like GV have been shown to significantly impact foster youth’s sense of identify and community. GV is proud to work with Treehouse to help foster youth get to graduation day and beyond.

Our supporters

Scholarships were funded by support from the CFOS, Seattle Foundation, Seattle International Foundation and individual donors.


New school year, new approach.

Global Visionaries Summer Institute August2014With summer winding down and a fresh school year rapidly approaching, teachers across the state are working to fine-tune curriculum and establish educational goals for the year ahead. As part of this preparatory process, nearly twenty educators traveled from all corners of Puget Sound and beyond in early August, to participate in the very first Global Leadership Summer Institute.

One participant emphasizes the positive impact of the Summer Institute’s content on their existing teaching plan:  

“It was really great to revisit my plan for the beginning of the school year in the context of the Institute and in conversation with others. I was able to strengthen the beginning of my year and add rich flavors that I otherwise would have missed out on.”

Another participant asserts,  

“This is what I came to learn. I am excited to implement these tools in my classroom.”

Facilitated by Global Visionaries Executive Director, Chris Fontana, and experienced global educators, Vicki Weeks and Noah Zeichner, this weeklong program was created as a result of the enthusiastic response to last year’s single day workshop.

About the Summer Institute

The Summer Institute provides educators from all backgrounds with the tools and techniques to cultivate a climate of mutual respect and shared ownership, in which student leaders become engaged global leaders, both in and out of the classroom. The Institute is interactive and allows participants to collaborate with each other, discuss the pedagogies presented to them, and practice their implementation throughout the course of the workshop. At the end of their weeklong experience, educators come away with a myriad of ideas and resources to bring back to their school and fold in to their current pedagogical practices.

The Institute from GV offers educators professional development in the field of global studies and youth leadership.

  • Presentations and discussions center on how to engage youth in social and environmental issues pertinent to our culture today.
  • With a combination of face-to-face training and mentorship, the Institute demonstrates how to develop an atmosphere of youth entrepreneurship and leadership amongst student bodies.

Outcomes for teachers returning to their classrooms include the opportunity to lead school transformation through global awareness, volunteerism, and youth led initiatives.

Our supporters

The Summer Institute is the result of continued collaboration and support from GV’s sponsors, Seattle University School of Education, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Seattle Public Schools; as well as GV’s educational partners, Center for Teaching Quality, World Affairs Council, Global Weeks and Facing the Future, all providing facilities and resources to the Institute. And with funding in part from the Bezos Family Foundation.

To find out more about our teacher programs visit our website.

Haley’s Blog – Post 5

By definition, development is “the state of being created or made more advanced.” Inherently, our global society has developed with the passing of time, but what characteristics embody this “development”? What or who has the ability to define what “development” is?

On Sunday, half of the Intensive students visited Segunda Cruz, a rural farming village among the hills of Pastores, a town just shy of an hour away from San Miguel Escobar. Here, the steep rocky ascent gives way to lush green hills speckled with tall, cartoonish trees and tin-roofed shanties. In the distance, a red schoolhouse establishes the center of the village. Seven years ago, Global Visionaries constructed this building, with the physical and moral support of the local community. The families of Segunda Cruz greeted us warmly as we gathered in the lot next to the schoolhouse. After being introduced to the members of the village, we divided into three small groups. Each group followed a separate family onto their rolling plot of land where their corn and beans sprout from the earth. These plants, in essence, are the livelihood of these families. The wealth of the family solely relies on the health and growth of their produce.

My group worked with a woman named Doña Juana and her three youngest children. With her dainty, delicate hands, she demonstrated how to properly uproot weeds from the groomed furrows that comb through the hillside. The rest of us followed her demonstration and proceeded to remove the weeds that scourged the crop of beans that sprawled before us. After completing our task, we had the opportunity to share lunch with Doña Juana and her sons. The students had prepared a few questions to explore but, instead, decided to engage in conversation with her family.

As many had astutely noticed earlier, there had recently been a road paved that carved itself through the village. One student began to ask if this had improved or declined the development of the village’s productivity or well being. Doña Juana paused and pensively glanced downhill toward the white concrete below. The road ends halfway through the village, trailing off into a rigid path. Originally, the road had instilled hope in the people of the village, creating means for access to healthcare, clean water, and jobs. But its incompletion acts as a symbol of their disconnection from Western society. The road is a vehicle for change, but with this change, the people of Segunda Cruz may just lose their cultural identity.

Doña Juana told us that among traditional Guatemalan villages, like Segunda Cruz, this type of development isn’t always necessarily beneficial for the community. While it provides opportunity, it also physically and metaphorically creates a barrier between the village and their livelihood. The road, and the change that naturally follows, is not something they’re yet willing or ready to embrace. But who’s to say the people of Segunda Cruz need to conform to the Westernized idea of “development”?

Seattle Repertory Tickets Available Through GV

Bagley Wright Theater
Bagley Wright Theater

September 30 marks a nine year partnership between GV and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. To celebrate this anniversary a limited amount of preview tickets will be available for purchase through GV, featuring four performances in the Bagley Wright Theater.  A massive discount is offered, costs going as low as $10. All proceeds will be directed to the GV scholarship fund.

Upcoming shows that are available through GV are:

The Servant of Two Masters: 9/27, 9/29, 10/1 (Friday, Sunday and Tuesday) at 7:30pm

The Hound of the Baskervilles: 11/15, 11/17, 11/19 (Friday, Sunday and Tuesday) at 7:30pm

Venus in Fur: 2/7, 2/9, 2/11 (Friday, Sunday and Tuesday) at 7:30pm

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: 4/18, 4/20, 4/22 (Friday, Sunday and Tuesday) at 7:30pm

A scene from the Servant of Two Masters

The first show, Servant of Two Masters, is a comedy by the Venetian playwrite Carlo Goldoni written in 1743. The story revolves around an exceptionally quirky and comical character, Truffaldino, who is always complaining of an empty stomach, and always trying to satisfy his hunger by eating everything and anything in sight. Tickets are available for showings on 9/27, 9/29 and 10/1 (Friday, Sunday and Tuesday) at 7:30pm.

For further inquiries and to purchase tickets please email the GV office manager at For more information on this play and other upcoming plays please click here.

GV Youth Board Surpasses Goal at Come to the Table

WP_20130309_019The Global Visionaries Youth Board and 110 Consulting co-hosted 12 fundraising dinners for their friends and families on March 9 and 16. All funds raised will support program scholarships for students in our First Year Leadership Program and ensure the accessibility of our programs to all students in the Greater Seattle area.

Youth Board is a group of 35 students who have completed our First Year Leadership Program and are continuing their involvement with GV as leaders and mentors to first year participants. The Come to the Table dinners this year were a remarkable success! In addition to funding 15 program scholarships, they’re also an opportunity for YB members to grow as leaders and expand the GV community by sharing our mission with new audiences.

110 Consulting, a Puget Sound-based business and technology consulting firm, has partnered with GV as our technology advisors and as co-hosts of our Come to the Table fundraiser. The owners, Dan Kearney, Kyle Katt and Heinrich Montana challenged the YB to reach their goal through a generous matching donation of up to $10,000!

Our fundraising goal was $10,200 for this year. The Youth Board and their guests took the challenge head-on and more than doubled the goal by raising $21,500! In addition to the $10,000 matching gift from the owners, 110 Consultant guests contributed an additional $1,800, for a grand total of $33,300 raised!

GV is extremely grateful for all involved, the Youth Board, 110 Consulting, guests and staff. With the next cohort of participants on the horizon, the security of scholarships and two years of Come to the Table events under our belts, we are looking forward an even more successful year to come!


“I felt a great sense of accomplishment from Come to the Table because I was able to help create opportunities for others to participate in GV, which for me was a life-changing experience.” Michael Cannon, Youth Board Member.

“Meeting people who were interested in giving to a program that gave me so much was incredible. Talking about GV is always enjoyable, but knowing that it was going to give someone else a chance to experience what I experienced made it all that much better, especially since I went on a full scholarship.” Annie Chan, Youth Board Member.

“Throwing events is something I thoroughly enjoy doing, especially if I am passionate about the cause and the people. Both of these were true so enjoying the entire event was great. I really enjoyed GV and the youth were awesome.” David Goecke, 110 Consulting.

“I was blown away by the dedication of the Youth Board and 110 throughout the entire process. The youth are the face of GV and a clear manifestation of how GV provides an incredible experience for young people. GV is able to open their eyes to the global community and to instill an interest and passion to make the world a better place. GV is a rare and wonderful opportunity for young people and one that’s helping to create a generation that cares.” Angie Marshall, Global Visionaries Youth Board Coordinator.

GV to Take Part in Third Annual GiveBIG Event on May 15, 2013

TSFGiveBIG2013_color_block_dateGlobal Visionaries is proud to announce that on May 15, 2013, from midnight to midnight (Pacific Time), we will once again take part in The Seattle Foundation’s third annual GiveBIG event. We are joining more than 1,300 other nonprofit organizations on this one-day, online charitable giving event, which aims to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations like GV, who make King County a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

Amplify Your Gift

Join thousands of new and returning individual donors and make an online gift to GV on May 15 and boost your donation even further through matching funds made possible through the generosity of The Seattle Foundation, individual donors, and sponsors like Seattle International Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Boeing, Microsoft, Medina Foundation, Starbucks and others.

Follow us on Facebook! Start now by “Liking” us and stay tuned for details. Share our page and help spread the word about our good work.

Remember: only donations made between 12 a.m.-12 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15 through our page on The Seattle Foundation’s website will be eligible for matching funds!

We recommend that you bookmark it so that it’s easy to find on the BIG day.

GV in the Spotlight

It’s a great feeling to be recognized for your contributions, wouldn’t you agree?  In case you missed it, Global Visionaries was highlighted in not one, but TWO publications in the past few months.

wizard of us 2013GlobalGivingGuide_cover

Jean Houston’s “The Wizard of Us” uses the story of “The Wizard of Oz” as a backdrop to teach us about the individual’s journey of transformation; that within each of us is the potential for greatness, if we choose to unlock it.  Once we’ve liberated our inner heroes, we can use our unique gifts to make the world a better place. Sound familiar? That’s because this very premise sits at the core of GV’s mission to empower youth to bring positive change to our world.  The book spends some time showcasing our executive director, Chris Fontana, in his own journey of transformation and how Global Visionaries came to be. Learn more about the book on its Amazon page!

We’re also extremely proud to share that our partner organization, the Seattle International Foundation, gave us an honored place in their “2013 Global Giving Guide,” which, “features the work of 20 high-impact Washington state charities doing important work” and “connects caring citizens with high-impact, local organizations working around the globe to reduce poverty and improve lives.” Read more about the guide and request a copy.

Teach English In Mexico And Get Paid!

Hey GV alumni—are you ready for your next international adventure?

Then you should consider the Global Leadership English School, located in Temascalcingo, Mexico. Here in this picturesque town in the central Mexican highlands, you will have the opportunity to live, work, and study for a year.

The Global Leadership English School, founded and directed by former GV Program Manager Aimee Duran (previously Aimee Hibbets), is now accepting qualified candidates to teach English and leadership skills to local youth.  You can work, earn money, and improve your Spanish, all while having an in-depth, authentic experience in this small community.

For more information about the program, fees and how to apply, see the Global Leadership English School website

Check us out on Facebook, or email .

Upcoming Diversity Workshop

Global Visionaries and The Mandala Center for Change present


A participatory workshop featuring Theatre of the Oppressed

Facilitated by Cheryl Harrison & Marc Weinblatt

When: Dec. 1-2, 2012; Sat & Sun 9 AM – 6 PM
Where: Seattle location TBA
Cost: $200


  • How does our gender, ethnicity, and other social group memberships affect our experience in the world and how others experience us?
  • How can we work together to create a more just and healthy world for all people?

This popular workshop invites an exploration of the frequently challenging issues that surface under the general term “diversity”.  Often associated just with race, this also includes gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, nationality, and more.  Whether it be around institutions or in your own personal life, develop deeper awareness about societal systems, your own social rank and its impact on situations, as well as strategies to be become a more effective ally to yourself and others.

Through story sharing and problem solving, our goal will be increased awareness, empathy, and empowerment towards action.  Primary tools include Theatre of the Oppressed and other participatory tools to generate an honest and humane dialogue on systematic oppression (power-based analysis of the “isms”) that divide people through inequity and injustice.  The process will be highly experiential and driven by the wisdom and needs of the participants. Despite the serious nature of the issues, the process is remarkably playful.

For anyone interested in re-humanizing humanity including community organizers, activists, teachers, social workers, therapists, workshop leaders, and more.

To register, contact:

Global Visionaries
T: (206) 322-9448

For workshop information only, contact:

Mandala Center
T: (360) 344-3435


Facilitator Bios

Cheryl Harrison

Former and founding member of Seattle Public Theater’s Theater of Liberation Ensemble, Cheryl has been active in anti-oppression and empowerment work with people of all ages since the mid 1980’s and has designed and facilitated workshops and trainings locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. Using music, theater, lectures, and a variety of experiential activities both Theater of the Oppressed based as well as non-T.O. based, Cheryl has worked with a wide array of organizations and communities such as homeless youth and other marginalized social groups, domestic violence survivors, school age youth, nurses, work transition programs (YWCA), as well as universities and colleges. Some agencies and organizations include the State of Washington (DSHS and Department of Labor and Industries) the International Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conferences in New York, Nebraska, and Ohio, University of Minnesota, Kellogg Fellows, ACLU, Amnesty International, Wheaton College, PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), University of South Florida, Global Visionaries, Power of Hope, Labor Center at The Evergreen State College, and the Eastside Domestic Violence Program among others. Through her work Cheryl is committed to facilitating self-awareness and empowerment for individuals and communities as a means to create a world which values equity, understanding and compassion for all peoples around the world.

Marc Weinblatt

Marc has been a professional educator, theatre artist, activist, and workshop facilitator since 1980 having extensive experience with both adults and youth. Formerly Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Public Theatre, Marc is an internationally recognized leader in the use of Augusto Boal’s ground breaking Theater of the Oppressed (T.O.) to stimulate community dialogue and social change. He has worked with diverse communities ranging from police to homeless youth, grassroots organizers and laborers to University deans. Internationally, Marc has worked with theatre activists in Canada, refugees in Azerbaijan, construction workers in South Africa, slum families in India, actors in the Republic of Congo, and victims of war, among others, in Afghanistan. Marc was recently named “Cultural Envoy” by the U.S. State Department for his work in the Congo in spring 2010.Marc regularly facilitates T.O. based diversity / anti-oppression workshops in a wide variety of contexts across the U.S. with a commitment to bringing a deep sense of spirit and humanity into social justice work. He also directs the multi-generational Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble which incorporates T.O. and Playback Theatre techniques to generate community dialogue on burning social issues. One of Augusto Boal’s “multipliers”, Marc has trained thousands of people in the use of Theatre of the Oppressed techniques through his classes and annual week-long intensive trainings since the early 1990’s.