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Geri's flexible Bio resource 2020
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Dr. Geri Lynn Peak provides evaluation (34 years) and facilitation (46 years) services via Two Gems Consulting Services (founded in 1997) to strengthen programs and support social innovation.  She brings a culturally responsive and equitable lens, evaluating efforts in the spirit of service, promoting  wellbeing and maximizing community potential to transform society for the betterment of all people.  Her Insight Facilitation approaches promote true understanding:  identifying meaningful questions; "listening" authentically to stakeholders wisdom and needs; applying diverse, customized methods; gathering and mining information with openness and detachment; and presenting findings in accessible forms, trusting in and helping stakeholders invoke their own insights to continually improve their efforts. Her primary interests are collective powerbuilding/societal change, healing racism, multiculturalism,  youth development, reproductive health and rights and community leadership, particularly youth, in the learning/action/reflection process, leveraging the Virtues Project™ as a restorative and affirmative data gathering and meaning making support.  

As a Virtues Project™ Master Facilitator, she leverages the Five Strategies of the Virtues Project to improve organizational quality and measure outcomes as well as share the strategies to help people and programs become their best.  The combination of intentional training in and application of the Five Strategies to add power to the evaluation experience led to the Virtues Evaluation approach, which is dynamic and forming.  She also conducts workshops, training and coaching for virtues enthusiasts.

She has actively worked on eliminating racism and all forms of prejudice since her teens; working specifically during the 1990s with the Institute for the Healing of Racism developed by Nat Rutstein, which inspired the Awareness to Action consulting partnership with his son, Tod Rutstein.  Geri later joined the Equity Matters collaborative, which promotes racial justice and health equity by working to transform individual character and systems, leading both the evaluation portfolio and Virtues Project integration to observe, codify, document and advocate for equal access to power and privilege and the social, emotional, spiritual and physical benefits that result.  

As a member of the Bahá'í community, she participates in a global enterprise focused on learning through collective nonpartisan, nonsectarian community building which focuses on the enlivenment of individuals through a unified effort to balance material and spiritual development by continual personal transformation, learning to read reality and address common issues at the level of the neighborhood to serve the organic transformation of society, contributing to the discourses of society to help transcend barriers to the realization of the oneness of humanity so as to uphold our collective “first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation.[1]

She volunteers on the board of directors of both WombWork Productions and DewMore Baltimore, advises New Lens, Inc. and Wealth Reclamation Academy of Practitioners and serves on the elected governing body of the Baltimore Bahá'í Community and as an appointed Assistants to the Auxiliary Board, supporting cohesion and growth in Baltimore.  She co-founded the Center for Applied Research and Technical Assistance and Baltimore Youth Initiative High School.  More recently, she has been collaborating and supporting colleagues in East Africa through Bright Jamii Initiative and WombWork TZ and envisioning new initiatives focused on liberatory evaluation practice with colleagues from Equity Matters, Kindred Wellness and Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle and on transformational learning with LEEAD scholars and a colleague in Norway. She maintains a growing list of books to write and is expanding her international portfolio just when she should be slowing down in life.

Education, mentoring, coaching and accompaniment are areas of constant learning and mastery and a source of ongoing humility and wonder.  Geri began learning about peer support and teaching others in the 1970s as a Girl Scout, dancer, gymnast, through service in diverse faith settings and in organizing spaces in college.  After settling into public health in the mid 1980s, opportunities to guide youth, mentor graduate students, teach evaluation and build power with clients and communities increased. As a trainer she is most comfortable with interactive approaches and has studied techniques for accommodating various learning styles and transforming education.  She has experience teaching evaluation and research skills, modern and middle eastern dance, gardening and various handcrafts to all ages both formally and informally.  She led the youth advisory council at Advocates for Youth for two years and focused on peer education in a variety of settings.  She has taught evaluation in intensive institutes, sexuality education to middle and high schoolers, trained recipients of federal funding and been a guest lecturer, often focused on the impact of systemic racism on health and research.  As programs sought to incorporate arts in healing, her craft arts skills became more utilized in public health and community building as, for example, in the Baltimore Healthy Start “Belly Buddies” enrichment program.  She became a trained Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program animator in the 2000s, became a Square Foot Gardening certified instructor around 2010  and co-founded and ran Baltimore Youth Initiative High School from 2012-2016 and for its four years served every role from principal to janitor with a combination of fear, courage and pride.  With peer professionals, she has supported masters and doctoral students, trained and coached professionals and clients, worked with TAs in teaching and programs and currently serves Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity in her third formal mentoring cycle and will provide a practicum post for the first time exploring liberatory evaluation.  At TGCS she often coaches professionals and lay-practitioners in evaluation, facilitation and the Virtues Project and hires program participants to amplify the authenticity and power of evaluations.  Most recently she has been co-coordinating healing and respite spaces, noticing that these have great potential as “unconference” spaces within professional meeting and training venues as well as forming the basis for collective and individual coaching experiences.  She has also been collaborating with a young scholar in Norway exploring transformational learning and is honored to have recently been named to the doctoral committee of the impeccable Shawna Murray Browne, whose.work is completely transformative in integrative, liberated counseling, training and coaching.  Let our children lead us!

Geri is a passionate artist who deferred her choreographic dreams to focus on social transformation.  She began formal dance training at 4, pursuing a dance double major in college, increasingly shifting attention to ethnic dance studies, developing mastery in Middle Eastern and West African dance, studying with Diamano Coura in San Diego and going on to continue both forms while exploring bharatanatyam and afro-caribbean styles, often studying with Linda Johnson while they gained separate master’s from UCLA. She has performed solo and with community dance companies over 4 decades, including N.A.P.S. and Moving Spirit in Baltimore.  She writes songs, poems and adds melodies to sacred writings.  She was a member of the India Street/No Street Poets founded by Jesus Papoleto Melendez; She has a much neglected wearable art business founded in 1982, jamila designs, through which she provides occasional craft education and objects.

A fiber-artist, jewelry designer, poet, dancer, drummer and avid organic vegetable gardener, this native of Los Angeles resides in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. with her delightful husband, two mysterious cats, many inscrutable computing devices and lots of clutter; while her insightful twin daughters, the O.G. Two Gems, make their way in the world from the confines of their birth home during the age of COVID-19.

Personal Bio

craft-y (spinner/crocheter/knitter/metalsmith-ish/beadworker/dyer/weaver/sewer) designer, poet, african/modern/middle eastern dancer, djembe drummer, handpan newbie, guitar pretender, avid organic vegetable gardener, cat whisperer, native angelina, baltimore import, world traveler, introvert, nerd/blerd, trekkie, techie, gamer, afrofae, wisdom conjurer, spiritual warrior, collaborator, action-taker, maker, evaluator, coach, guide, degree-holder, entrepreneur, daughter, mother, wife, elder, learner, empathetic, recovering-sarcastic, baha'i, black/pupil-of-the-eye, cis woman transforming.

Updated March 11, 2021

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[1] Shoghi Effendi (1938), The Advent of Divine Justice, Baha’i Publishing Trust.