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William L. Silvaneus is an ordinary guy who grew up in Nebraska. Although he was raised in a fundamentalist community where there were labels a plenty about other people, his grandmother Maud Cole, knew the danger of this habit. Instead, she modeled loving every human being and not shunning anyone because of a label. Because of her, William learned to look behind the labels and learn about the human reality that exists there.

  • The life challenges faced by individuals with developmental, or emotional deficits/disorders;

  • The reasons for homelessness;

  • The struggle to overcome addictions;

  • The thinking processes of individuals who have become disenfranchised;

  • The effects of unplanned or prolonged unemployment;

  • The aftereffects of war on the long-term life of veterans;

  • The dynamics of working with mentally impaired students; understanding the present cultural shift’s effect on churches and society and the difficulty in meeting those challenges;

  • The facilitation of cross-cultural relationships and personal development within organizations;

  • Effective coordination with government agencies;

  • Coalition building and lobbying both legislators and bureaucrats as a tool for education and buy-in;

  • How to do effective community building;

  • How to create community empowerment.

In his role as Director for World Relief, William worked with Bosnian refugees learning coordination and advocacy in a highly charged political setting, how to handle the trauma of working with the traumatized, and how to connect communities through sharing our common traits as human beings.

From his experience as a pastor to working in nonprofits/charities to substitute teaching to executive leadership, William has gained a unique insight into:

He saw that in Bosnia, dehumanized labels were used to justify violence, sadism, and mass killings in a terrible, hateful war.

He is afraid that here in the United States, we already hear echoes of those same justifications. They come from both sides. They have crept into our governmental institutions and political processes. He understands how us/them labels have turned our national conversation from dialog to all-out war.

William clearly sees how dehumanized labels are impacting the very fabric of our society, businesses, social services, churches, government, and the political establishment.

That is why William gets out of bed in the morning and has turned his retirement into a new career. He is on a mission to help recover the national conversation from its war footing to becoming a service to “we the people.” He wants to return labels from being instruments of war to tools of dialog so that we do not become the Bosnia of the North American Continent.

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