Association Building Community


 because how I connect becomes who we are


Please visit our Newsletter Archive to learn a bit more about our history.


Who Is ABC?


Community On Purpose

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Building community on purpose leads to humanity becoming more humane. Association Building Community is a modular intentional community providing peace training, learning "conflict done well", and developing the process arts, the field of group process study, design, and facilitation. We provide strategic consulting and professional leadership training, develop community resilience projects, and support associated colleagues in creating and sustaining community-building initiatives. We are committed to practicing these values and sharing them with decision-makers, children and the adults who help them grow, and opening doors of opportunity so that conflict-process skills may be developed both locally and internationally.



There are at least two more ways of responding to the question "Who Is ABC?" 

One response draws the boundary of our identity firmly at the core group--those who meet regularly and create the consensus decisions which move us in a particular direction. This voice might also add, "and ABC projects are those in which the core group collaborates". In this way, the Community Building Facilitator Training we offered, and may again, was an ABC project.


Another response draws the ABC circle more widely to include those who have been an active part alongside those who have expressed interest or contributed every now and again over time but are not connected on a daily basis.  This voice might speak of ABC in a way that values its function as a process arts aggregator and include in its scope those projects which include only one or two ABC members, because it is through those members that any other ABC contributor might become connected with related work. In this way, the work of individual members in the world, often supported in one way or another by other ABC members, is related to ABC because we tell each other what's going on and invite each other to participate. In this way, ABC includes the potential to follow Leon into a connection with an East Bay meditation group, or emeritus board member Iris into supporting local disabled activists, or Brandon into the group practicing aikido at UC Berkeley or Martial Nonviolence through Free Aiki Dojo.


Read what others are saying about our work


Our Team

Here are the people with official and informal responsibility, who have agreed to work to build community and the process arts in a structured way, including Board members, administrators, interns, and volunteers.


If you'd like to join our team, please investigate our available opportunities here.

To explore our workspace (online work area), please click here.


Board & Officers

Team+President CEO

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Brandon WilliamsCraig

Peace practices, community building and conflict facilitation; mediation and negotiation; social benefit organizing and administration, ensemble creation, and team building; spoken and media-based communications and performance; academic learning and administration; supervision and management.

Team+Secretary Treasurer

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Dianne Rush Woods

Dianne Rush Woods Ph.D. has the distinction of being appointed as the first Diversity Officer for California State University, East Bay since 2013. In her role as Diversity Officer, Dr. Woods coordinates efforts to foster and support diversity, equity and inclusion as core values throughout all aspects of the University community. Her work emphasizes diversity-oriented programs and initiatives including implementation of the University Diversity Plan to ensure that actions are taken to fulfill its commitments. She previously served as the Chief of Staff to Dr. Leroy Morishita, President of Cal State East Bay. Joining the faculty initially as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Dr. Woods was appointed as a tenure track faculty member in 2001. A founding member of the Department of Social Work, Dr. Woods served as its chair from 2007-2010. As a professor and active scholar in Social Work, Dr. Woods is recognized regionally and nationally for her work in the areas of race, gender and equity issues in the academy; photo-voice, community empowerment; and the overlap between domestic violence and animal abuse. In addition, Dr. Woods has served as the principal or co-principal investigator on a series of Title IV Education Department grants and California Social Work Educational Consortium II Mental Health Department grants.

Team+Board Chair

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Philip Emminger

Founder, President, and CEO of Emminger Commercial Interior Fabrication and Fine Millwork

Emeritus Board Member of Aiki Extensions and Project Manager for innaugural Training Across Borders seminar in 2005.



Team+Board Members

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Leon Regelson

Leon was born near Cleveland as the Great Depression was getting underway. His family moved to Palestine for several years but in 1936 returned to settle in The Bronx. At age 17 Leon entered the military for a short tour. He has worked and made his home in the San Francisco Bay Area since the early 1950's. When Berkeley was becoming known for growth of the  counter-culture he was drawn further into meditation, activism, and the campus milieu. He entered the conscious search for a way of being in the world that accepts the individual and invites loving co-creation of relationship and has been a part of personal and collective transformative efforts ever since, including:  the Community Liaison Group (1967-1968), the Cultural Integration Fellowship (1971-), the Pea Soup Community (1972-), the World Citizens Assembly (1974-), the International Cooperation Council (1975-1977), Communal Grapevine (1981-), PeaceMAP (1984-1985), Peace and Environment Coalition (1984-1985), ongoing Community Building circles, and the Dedicated Weekly Group (1997-1998).

Not belonging to organizations but exploring individual paths of growth developed his sense of the necessity for inclusivity and the individual in co-creation. Through all of these things Leon was looking for something and becoming disappointed. A longing for "something really decent, without all the skeletons in the closet," and disinclined to unravel as a result of relational glitches. Trying to find peace happening within peace-making organizations seemed more and more unlikely, activists displaying an inclination to "fight like cats and dogs" within their ranks. The foregoing resume suggests some "flashes of glory" but misses a central theme from Leon's life - the longing for deeply rewarding relationships, community, and the co-creation of a more decent world. He is particularly drawn to combining the uses of silence with applied communication skills. 




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Cheyenne Barr

Cheyenne is inspired by the impact of personal responsibility and empowerment through community building, and that is one of many reasons why she came to Association Building Community. Her ongoing support of the work by Get That You Matter reflects these values.
She is particularly interested in raising awareness and motivating inward looking through events and workshops to help people confront where lack of responsibility is causing injustice and planet-wide degradation of both human life, and environmental health. She has run hundreds of events since 2003, most of which related to her particular interst in social justice and feminism.

She loves creating things with her hands, and learning and sharing how to create things from scratch or by upcycling to limit dependencies on corporations and build interdependencies through local communities. This is what started her business, Deconstruction Crafts and supports the world's largest clothing swap and DIY workshop event, Swap-o-Rama-Rama.

Working five years the Office Manager for Cafe Gratitude with over 200 employees and nine locations, and successfully closing the larger organization to open three independent companies through the mucky waters of lawsuits and financial crash, she grew to fully understand the potential of a strong and resilient community even (and especially) through extreme hardship, and the core need of strong leadership throughout. Through this, she believes in community building through authentic and transparent communication styles where acknowledgements, requests, and apologies are everyday activities. 


Skills include: event coordination/programming, office management, social media and marketing management, project management, team building, sacred commerce, hand thrown pottery, website management (joomla, wordpress...) and more

Team+Book Keeper

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Naomi Keepin

Naomi Keepin, following professionally in her mother’s footsteps, began her bookkeeping career while still in high school. After graduating from Mills College in Oakland, California with a B.A. in Economics, Naomi specialized in accounting work for nonprofits and fiduciary attorneys. A Vermont native, she is pleased to assume her new role, leading the professional staff at Even Keel and supporting the businesses and organizations that make Vermont’s economy vibrant.




Team+Data Manager

We are looking for a Data Manager. If you, or someone you know is interested in this work, please visit our invitation here.

Team+Web Developer

We are looking for a web developer. Please contact us at administration [at] abcglobal [dot] net if you would like to know more.



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Brandon WilliamsCraig

Peace practices, community building and conflict facilitation; mediation and negotiation; social benefit organizing and administration, ensemble creation, and team building; spoken and media-based communications and performance; academic learning and administration; supervision and management.


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John O'Connell

John has forty years of experience and expertise in facilitation, organization development, training, teaching and coaching: 

  • Beginning in 1971 as a Consultant to the Federal Corrections Institution (Male 18-26yo,) Milan, MI and working as a Consultant and Senior Counselor in an innovative juvenile delinquent program for teenage girls in Ann Arbor, MI, while in the grad school program in “Planned Change” founded by Ron Lippit and James McConnell at the University of Michigan.
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director of the NEW GAMES FOUNDATION, AND Co-author of “The New Games Book,” “More New Games,” and Leadership Development Through Games,” w/Dr. Bill Michaelis, Ph.D.
  • Lead Designer, Head Trainer and Chief of Publicity for “The New Games Training Program” – approximately 75,000 persons trained, in the US and Internationally,) from education, recreation, business, youth development programs, 
  • Mediator and Director of Mediation Services for American Intermediation Services.
  • Founder, Principal and Managing Director for Interplay Network, IN) Organization Development and Training Services, working with managers and Executive Teams in companies from a 6 person start up to Fortune 10 companies.
  •  Served as Consultant to the Leadership and Management Teams and later Senior Vice-President at UCSF – Stanford Medical ($1.5B annual budget, 15,000 employees) where he introduced Whole-Scale Strategy Meetings to bring together Executives, Senior Managers and Frontline Managers to plan and coordinate the integration of four major hospital groups to become the premier medical centers in California.
  • Managing Director for Catalyst Consulting Team, Soquel, CA (along with MD for IN)
  • Founder and Executive Director of The World Peace Campaign and the 50-Year Time Out for Peace Plan, a 501c3, not for profit, public benefit corporation.

He is currently writing “The World Peace Campaign and the 50-Year Time Out for Peace Plan: Saving the World, Saving Our Children, Saving Ourselves!

John holds a Sandan Certificate in Aikido (3rd degree Blackbelt, 1986, Robert Nadeau Sensei, Aikido of San Francisco). He was introduced to Aikido by Nadeau Sensei in 1973 and began training regularly at Aikido of SF in 1978, after moving to SF.  He trained extensively with Frank Doran, Terry Dobson, Bruce Klickstein (he was Uchi Deshi to Bruce Klingstein Sensei) and Bill Witt Senseis, along with many other senior instructors from around the US and the world. He recieved his Shodan in 1980, his Nidan in 1982, and his Sandan in 1986.

1n 1986, John Co-Founded Aikido of Noe Valley (SF, CA) with fellow mediator Tony Piazza, acting as “Dojo Cho,” Senior Instructor until 1999, after which he turned over that roll to Stevan Gengo, Godan.

John currently trains at Aikido of Alamo, with his friend Scott Berg, Rokudan and is currently semi-retired from consulting and lives in Oakland, CA.


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Julian Wilner

I began practising Aikido at the age of 11 and quickly grew to love the rigorous yet welcoming culture of the Dojo. Within a few years I found myself assisting with the children's classes, and by the age of 15 I regularly taught at least two of the three children's classes each week. In contrast with my own intense and often chaotic learning process, learning how to work with and teach kids served to ground my ambition, humbling me and forcing me to refine my own practice again and again. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been afforded such a privileged opportunity so early in my Aikido career and I am excited to renew this passion as an assistant and instructor with Peace Practices under Brandon WilliamsCraig.



 See our recurring weekly schedule here

We are hiring! If you would like to teach with us, please go here to learn more



Community On Purpose 64750 icon Building community on purpose leads to humanity becoming more humane. Association Building Community is a modular intentional ...

Formed in 1999 and incorporated in 2001, Beamish Process Arts d.b.a. Association Building Community has put its mission into practice by offering strategic consulting to professionals in positions of leadership, coaching, professional referrals, and conducting private and public dialogues and deliberative processes. ABC also connects process arts practitioners with individuals and groups ready to work through conflict toward defining peace as "conflict done well". Every minute and dollar donated to ABC deepens and strengthens communities responding to difficulty and difference in ways that make daily life more humane.











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There are three windows through which to look in order to see the actions we take and, therefore, what we value--the issues and themes which ...


Process Arts
    The "Process Arts" are a range of participatory practices and facilitative disciplines which welcome disagreement, listen to the repressed, and access ...






Fictions looking for feet.     _____________________________________________________________________________________________  

Association for Cultural Movement in Education
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Community is the supportive web of relationships that happens when people are at peace because they choose to do conflict well.




If you would like to look into a Conflict Done Well training for your business, or Peace Practices for your school, ...



 These are events which may or may not be officially connected with ABC but which we would like to bring to your attention. Please consider ...


Here are the people with official and informal responsibility, who have agreed to work to build community and the process arts in a structured way, including ...


A place for cultural study, not necessarily stuffy. Please link to all manner of good stuff on this page, which serves as an index.   ...


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Bulletin Board

Network Members seeking

Help with housing
There is a request for 2-3 weeks of temporary housing for a friend-of-a-friend's family, starting in mid-August.