Mary Dutcher has served on the board of directors of Capacitar for the last eight years, and is presently Treasurer. She has been practicing as an immigration attorney since 2002. Mary is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Bay Area Coalition for Immigrant Victims of Crime. In accordance with her long-term commitment to public interest work Mary continues to serve at a variety of organisations dedicated to social justice. For the past ten years Mary has also served at the National Farm Worker Ministry, which supports farm workers organising for justice in the United States. She loves her cat Minky.

Back to top

Valerie Bengal, MD

Valerie Bengal, MD

Valerie Bengal, MD, is a family physician in Santa Cruz, California. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Natividad Family Medicine Residency Program, she has had a long career in academic medicine (Natividad Family and Community Medicine Residency Program) and public sector clinics, primarily in the agricultural Salinas and Pajaro Valleys of California. Her interests in medicine include global health, medical ecology, liberation medicine, and social determinants of health. She has served on the boards of the Monterey County Sanctuary for Central American Refugees and the International Medical Relief Fund, and is a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for a National Health Program, and the American Medical Womens’ Association. Currently she works at the Cowell Student Health Center of University of California, Santa Cruz.

Back to top

Wendy Ostrow

Wendy Ostrow, Since I have been a part of Capacitar I have been so impressed by the caring for one another and the self-care that it’s taught me. How universal it is, you don’t need languages or need words, Capacitar trains the teacher and the leaders of the communities so they own it. It’s something that is transmitted down and owned by it’s own country and community. It works for people who have nothing, absolutely nothing, no utilities, water, nothing. They can have tools instantly that calm their blood pressure make them feel better. As a health-care provider myself I’m so delighted that there are effective practices that can meet people where they are and give them just what they need when they are in crisis. It works for children it works for people of all ages. I love where I live Santa Cruz is a paradise. I like to take walks in the mountains, be by the ocean. I love being with my wonderful friends in the Capacitar network and with my own family. I have two lovely grand-children. Being with people and being of service is in the fabric of my soul, this is why I’m a part of Capacitar.

Back to top

Juliet Spohn Twomey

julietteJuliet Spohn Twomey, recently retired, has a long history of working with many non profit organizations working on issues of peace and justice. For 20 years she worked with the American Friends Service Committee working with the Peace Education Committee, regionally and nationally, on issues of the Vietnam War, Nuclear Disarmament, and Middle East Peace. She was the program director for the Northern California Ecumenical Council, including serving on a national, joint project with the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches holding hearings around the US on Racism as a Violation of Human Rights. She coordinated the reporting of the project at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva and the UNHR Committee in NY. Juliet served as the Coordinator of the Justice Education and Advocacy work group at St Anthony Foundation, a Franciscan social service agency in San Francisco. From 2001 to 2015 she served as the Associate Director at La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center in Santa Barbara, a ministry of the Immaculate Heart Community. At La Casa she established and coordinated an ongoing yearly, four-part training program led by Capacitar International graduating certificate trained participants for over 10 years. During those years she travelled with Pat Cane, twice to the Middle East bringing Capacitar trainings to Israel and Palestine.

Juliet’s academic background: a BA from Santa Clara University in Philosophy, an MFA in book design from California College of Arts and Crafts, and an MA in Spirituality from the Institute for Creation Spirituality from Holy Names College. She is a member of the Immaculate Heart Community, a lay, ecumenical community of women and men. She lives in Monterey and enjoys spending time with her three sons and six grandchildren – the loves of her life.

Back to top

Ree Taylor, CMP

Ree Taylor, MA, is the Parish Director at a church in Orange County,  managing all the business functions for both the parish and school.  Ree has enjoyed a long career in meeting and event management in southern California and Detroit, Michigan. In addition, she has supported          non-profits in marketing, public relations, and event management.

Ree graduated from the Capacitar training at La Casa de Maria in 2012.  In many ways her training changed her life, giving her focus and serenity in her hectic life.  She uses the diverse practices of Capacitar to control minor health issues caused by stress and tension.  Ree is committed to healing mind, body, and spirit through Capacitar, and connecting with people across borders in solidarity, understanding and reconciliation.

As a member of Capacitar’s Board of Directors, Ree coordinates the    active SoCal Network of Capacitar facilitators. Ree also conducts        Capacitar workshops for churches and senior citizens in southern California.

Ree’s academic background:

She has a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology from Loyola   Marymount University (Los Angeles), and is a member of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for theology.  She also serves on the Advisory Board for LMU’s Graduate Theology Council.  She has a BA from California State University, Fullerton.  She graduated from the Protocol School of Washington in 2010 as a Protocol     Officer and completed an Advanced International Protocol Course in 2013.  Ree is also a Certified Meeting Professional.

Back to top

Sharon Kuehn, BA, MHRE

sharonSharon Kuehn, BA, MHRE serves as the Executive Director of Mental Health America of Oregon (MHAO). MHAO is a peer-run, grassroots organization dedicated to empowering consumer/survivor voices to drive services and policies that foster wellness and full participation in life choices and recovery. Her experience as a peer recovery leader, facilitator, community organizer, and public speaker powers her work to achieve a vision of health as connection, purpose and inclusion in community.

Sharon’s academic background: includes Community Studies, Organizational Systems, Intentional Peer Support, and Capacitar Multicultural Wellness Education. Sharon shares trauma healing practices as part of her unique approach to peer support and wellness through the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). Through appreciative advocacy, Sharon focuses on moving toward what is desired.

Her current passions include: developing a statewide Peer Support Coalition in Oregon and promoting Reconnect! – a facilitated approach to enlivening change and alternatives for social justice and a compassionate, life-sustaining society. Sharon enjoys yoga and time in nature in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She has served on the Capacitar International Board since 2007.

Back to top

Emergency Kit

logoIn 2005, we responded to Hurricane Katrina by putting together this kit of simple basic practices for immediate use to help people deal with challenging situations, such as natural disasters, violence or chronic stress. Since then it has been translated into more than 20 languages and used in countries after tsunamis, earthquakes, floods and areas of ongoing conflict.

Click here to download.