Tag Archive for: landmark tmlp


The Oshun Project – Rigorous Contribution to Haiti



At-ten-TION! For-ward MARCH! Pre-sent ARMS!

One may associate these strict military commands with the rigor you experience when you have Akeisha Johnson on your team as Team 2 Team Lead. She has her collection of all Team, Management, & Leadership Program (TMLP) design statements, Communication distinctions, and any tool you need at her fingertips ready to pass along to someone unknowingly craving for the information. She interrupts conversations, an accepted common practice from Team 2’s, to insert the integrity that’s missing. Nothing is left ambiguous with Akeisha holding us accountable.

Imagine what you can accomplish using this rigor in your life outside of Landmark. Akeisha applied her skills and tools to her Game in the World called “The Oshun Project”. The Oshun Project is a project in Haiti which empowers communities to rebuild their villages in a sustainable fashion. The first project started during her Team 1 term where she installed a water filtration system in Haiti. In partnership with Chavanes Casseus, Director of MP3K in Haiti, they provide education classes to inform the community how to best use their filtered water. Additionally, they deliver filtered water to nearby schools in the town of Rhe, Camp-Perrin.

Being unstoppable is no longer a concept for Akeisha; she experiences herself as unstoppable simply by being in action and having conversations.

I was standing in front of a group of about 100 people in rural Haiti celebrating installing a water filtration system that I caused for a community plagued with cholera and I was in tears. Realizing that I had achieved what I had envisioned 8 years prior.

When I first thought of doing projects in Haiti I was an undergrad and thought that empowering Haitians would empower me, but I had NO CLUE how I would do it. It was when I did Landmark’s SELP 6 years after I thought of the idea, that I had the blueprint for putting something together to make a difference for Haitians. In the program I identified that our work would empower communities already up to doing things. What our program would do is partner with these communities and bring sustainable resources to them. In SELP and later in team, I got coached around creating structures for what I wanted to accomplish. That’s how we installed a solar-generated filtration water system for over 15,000 people in a remote area of Haiti. Once I understood that what there was for me to do is tap into communities of people and then map a plan and take action on it, I was on my way!

Playing big games also mean we get hit with BIG breakdowns. So I ask Akeisha, “What’s the biggest breakdown you had and how did you overcome it?” Breakdowns are not experienced as breakdowns anymore for Akeisha because she’s gotten used to them and all it means is that something is missing.

Until people started dying.

During the installation of the water filtration system, it was rainy season high in the mountainous southwestern region of Haiti (specifically Rhe, Camp-Perrin). There’s a large river bed that the people in the community need to cross to access the market. The river bed overflows and they lose about 5 to 10 people every season when local Haitians cross this river bed. This was a breakdown that knocked out the rigorous, unstoppable Akeisha. She was scared and thought herself an idiot for thinking she could make a difference in a place like Haiti that had so many problems, where others have thrown their hands up and given up on. She felt responsible for the loss of these people’s lives.

Fortunately, with the skills she’s acquired through Landmark’s programs and, more importantly, her two coaches, she’s able to regain herself and get back into action. Her coach Clay Kilgore, who is also the program’s fiscal sponsor and Team SF’s former Classroom Leader, is the one who made the difference for her by reminding her of her commitment and the possibility she created. Her Team 2 coach, Elizabeth Miller, also reflected back to Akeisha her possibility and outcome. Additionally, her committed colleagues, Margaret and Bee, helped her see who she is for others.

Following this incident, she decided to expand on her project. She is now opening a market at Rhe, Camp-Perrin so the locals will have access to groceries and other necessities within their own community and taking out the necessity to cross the dreaded river bed. The market is being created as a social enterprise with the revenue going towards local school kids’ tuition.

When Akeisha first created her game, she knew it was big and didn’t think she would accomplish it. It didn’t seem real to her until she started talking to people and found team members. Akeisha and her team keep each other accountable and, a mere idea manifested into reality for herself and the families in Haiti.

The Oshun Project’s new website launches May 30th, please visit them at www.theoshunproject.com!

Photos supplied by Akeisha Johnson, with her commentary:

IMG01205-20140326-1146 (1)

Frantz St. Forte is the chief operator to the water filtration system and the Executive Secretary of MP3K, the organization The Oshun Project is partnered with in Haiti. He also conducts the educational classes to inform community members on best uses for the filtered water.

IMG01201-20140326-1144 2

Water to be delivered to local schools distributed by MP3K.


This building is where the local market will go. The building requires finishing (this is what we are working on completing now). A section of the building is where the filtration system is. Like a specific window in a store.  –Akeisha

(Building a local market in Haiti.)

Transformation for Education

The following story is about Humberto Patiño’s project to introduce a new educational model to Mexico, created as his game in the world in Landmark Education’s Team, Management, and Leadership Program.

Humberto Patiño has always been a great athlete. In high school he competed in pentathlons. Pentathletes compete in shooting, swimming, fencing, equestrian, and cross-country running. They are considered to be among the most skilled athletes, and their training was often part of military service—each of the five events in the pentathlon was thought to be useful in war or battle. Humberto is inspired by sports and a love to make a difference in his country. Read more


Promoting Peace through the Arts

by Steve Schapiro

“I was at war with war,” says Dhamay Kanthan.

Growing up in Sri Lanka, where civil war was an element of life, Kanthan became cynical at an early age about war and those who participated. “[Soldiers] were stupid. I spent a lot of time making them wrong.”

Then, she took the Landmark Forum. “On Sunday [of the Forum] I got a glimpse at how my life’s been,” she said. After the Landmark Forum she accepted the choices of the soldiers as their self-expression, and got
present to the possibility of being a stand for peace.

In the Self Expression and Leadership Program, Kanthan created Feel the Connection, a group of volunteers committed to promoting peace through music, dance and poetry from around the world with the goal of inspiring audiences to feel the connection to each other, our community, and the world as a whole; and to realize that peace is possible now and it begins with each one of us.

The first show was in September, 2007 at a small community theater in Toronto. The program included Bharathanatyam (classical Indian dance) by Calai Chandra from Chicago, an Indonesian shadow play by
Me and My Shadows, African drumming by Mutadi World Drummers, and Hip Hop artists Little Empire.

After the event people demanded she create more events. Despite living inside of a commitment for peace in the world, her response to those requests was, “Are you kidding… that took so much already. I have no time.”

She was at a crossroads. How could she fulfill on creating peace given her concerns and disempowering conversations?

Kanthan gave up her resistance and conversation about time and joined the Team Management and Leadership Program as an opportunity to get the training that would have Feel the Connection expand and fulfill her commitment to make the difference in the world.

“I saw that communication was access to peace on the planet. People get more incomplete in war,” she said. The distinctions from the new model of communication “creates conversations where people are left complete.”

Inside of the possibility of being effortless excellence, inspiring leadership, and delightful fun, Kanthan continued Feel The Connection as her Game in the World. Being in the Team Management and Leadership program has given her training and development to create teams and teamwork with anybody.

“Before it was just me and it was work. Now I have a few hundred people on my team and partnerships with Rotary Clubs. There is no way that would have happened before TMLP.”

Now that there is a team helping to create Feel the Connection, there have been two lively shows and another event is scheduled for September 2010. Kanthan’s team includes a partnership with community organizations and preparations are under way for a four-day outdoor international festival in July as well.

As a member of Team Toronto, Kanthan now distinguishes her life as one of protecting and defending herself, her children, her opinions, and her way of being.

Her experience of leading Feel the Connection has also shifted from having a project outside of herself, to being the clearing for the possibility
that the organization fulfills. She now experiences herself as powerful and able to take on being accountable with ease. “It has shifted from
being a game to being myself.”

Living Dreams Through Song

Karen Maynard was about to sing the song “Big Fat Daddy,” at the request of her friend. But she “wasn’t feeling it,” didn’t really think she was that good, and was really just doing it because she has promised her friend she would.

This song was a breakthrough, however. “The full energy from the audience was there,” Maynard said, “and I sung it like I never sung it before – I was excited and joyful for the honor and privilege of being able to sing to them.”

As she started to sing the audience responded, and for the first time she listened to that response, instead of the doubts in her head. “I opened my mouth and they totally got me to another space. If I hadn’t given it my all, it would be like passing someone bleeding on the street and not calling an ambulance.”

Karen is a music teacher working in the New York City Public Schools for the last 25 years. As part of her participation in the Landmark Education’s Team Management and Leadership Program, she is also fulfilling on a lifelong dream by creating and producing her debut CD, Dream.

Karen is clear: “Singing always was my dream, being a music teacher was safe.” In the Team Management and Leadership Program, she gave up the point of view that she didn’t know what to do, and would probably get ripped off along the way. She gave up the thoughts that this could never happen to her. Using the training and encouragement from her Team in New York, she attended the “Artist Boot Camp” and found Lenora Helm as a singing and career coach. Karen’s first step was ending business relationships that weren’t working.

“The people on that orignal team were around for the money, not the love of the music. They were the wrong people, and I was embarassed to do anything about it. Instead of finding the right people, I questioned my talent and thought it was something wrong with me.” Karen, with Lenora’s support, realized she needed to work with people who supported her
dreams and vision.

“You are too close to let your dream die,” Leonora said. Karen saw that the closer she got to realizing her dream, the more the questioning and doubts kicked in. Leonora reassured her that this was common. She
gave up her concerns for looking good, gave up avoiding, and took on saying what’s really going on inside of her—she began to let people into her world.

With the first CD ready, Karen is now planning her new career – a recording every 18 to 24 months, singing and traveling, and transforming lives with the power of her music. She will be on the next “Artist Boot Camp” panel as a coach. And with her newfound confidence, a Grammy nomination is a milestone in her new career as a musician.

by Patricia Hernandez