japan-spiral-symbol_318-30378Denise Lynette Drake / Didi
citizenship: United States and the United Kingdom
resident:  Valencia, Spain and available for work locally, nationally and internationally
email: dd<@>laiguana.org
web: actbelievechange.wordpress.com & planetapalomitas.es

About this blog

My professional profile – what I offer

Education and Training for Social Action and Community Building

  • Over 20 years experience using creativity to facilitate learning about and organizing for social justice in diverse settings — schools, universities, community education and grassroots groups
  • Design educational programs, facilitate learning, evaluation and follow-up, student-advising, and mentoring, monitoring and evaluation
  • Fields I work in:  Group-process, Nonviolence campaigning, Creativity, Clown and body work, Personal and collective well-being, Zapatismo, Intercultural communication, Human rights observation and international solidarity, Social sciences and English as a foreign language
  • International and local project management

Translation and Writing

  • Spanish to English translation – articles, video, and NGO reports, literature
  • Short stories about personal and collective change and art interventions

Where I’ve worked and what I’ve done

VALENCIA, SPAIN / 2016 March to present

Freelance group-learning facilitator and translator, clients include Ecodharma Centre, Ulex Project, L’Horta Cabanyal, Valencia Acoge, UK Zapatista Translation Service and others

  • Developing processes, systems and content for a new training collective Ecodharma Ibérica; consulting on the Ecodharma’s new project, Ulex; I facilitate “Regenerative Activism and Sustainble Organising” and “Mindfulness for Social Change” among others
  • Volunteer instructor “Pedales for Freedom“, Valencia Acoge and Gardening Basics with children from CEE Ruiz Jimenez, L’Horta Cabanyal
  • English / Spanish translation of newspaper articles and videos

LONDON, ENGLAND / 2006 January to January 2016

Group-learning facilitator, nonviolence trainer, volunteer co-ordinator for Turning the Tide (TTT) and freelance

  • Developed, co-ordinated and facilitated bespoke one-off workshops and comprehensive courses in nonviolence, ranging from strategy, building the alternative, and effective group process to nonviolent direct action
  • Co-ordinated and mentored a network of activist trainers in the UK
  • Designed and facilitated training of trainers courses in the UK, Belgium, Kenya, South Korea, South Sudan and Western Sahara
  • Wrote text for TTT website, my blog, events publicity, hand-outs, training materials; War Resisters’ International ‘Nonviolent Campaigns Handbook’, 2nd edition editorial team

MEXICO / 2000 May to 2005 November

Group-learning facilitator, campaign worker, human rights observer and intercultural trainer for Witness for Peace (WfP) and freelance

  • Researched and wrote reports and campaign text on forced migration, free trade, indigenous rights, labour, counterinsurgency warfare and violence against women
  • Designed and facilitated people-to-people exchange visits between US and Mexican civil society and mainstream interests
  • Expanded WfP work from solely on the conflict in Chiapas to fair trade, biodiversity, gender, migration and labour
  • Did human rights observation in communities in the conflict zone in Chiapas

JAPAN / 1990 July to 2000 March

Professor, Kitakyushu University and freelance group-learning facilitator for Kitakyushu Women’s Centre, the Japanese Red Cross, Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme and others

  • Developed university courses on Human Rights and Current Events, Conflict and Peace-building, and Changing Gender Roles in Japan
  • Published articles on gender, empowerment and learning, UN policy and women’s rights, and maximizing intercultural opportunities when studying aboard
  • Facilitated community courses ‘Study into Action” connecting the 12 points from the 1995 UN Beijing Women’s Declaration to local women’s actions
  • Prepared volunteers, students and professionals for overseas work and study

Education and Study Abroad

  • “Certificado profesional — Docencia de la formación profesional para el empleo” (National Vocational Qualification); Fevecta, Valencia, Spain, 2022
  • Masters — Applied Linguistics & Intercultural Communications; Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA, 1994
  • Bachelors — Political Science & Latin American Studies; University of Pittsburgh, USA, 1989
  • Field research — Youth participation in politics, Santiago, Chile, 1989
  • Field research — Gender images in music, Cuenca, Ecuador 1987
  • Exchange student — Rotary Club International, Villavicencio, Colombia, 1984


  • ENGLISH: Mother tongue
  • SPANISH: Fluent spoken and written, excellent translation and interpreting
  • JAPANESE: Conversational spoken and basic reading and writing