About Peter Dunn
In the past, I asked myself at times: " Why is it so difficult for us in California, in America, in the world to change our actions, our priorities, our daily behavior, even in the face of massive evidence for the need to change?"
I have come to believe the answer may be relatively simple, thanks to the insights of the likes of David Korten, Michelle Alexander, Rianne Eisler, Gerald Horne, Vandana Shiva and George Lakoff, all of whose writings resonate with my own personal life experience. Without our conscious awareness, most of us have embraced, at a deep subconscious level, and in our very bones, stories which separate us from our higher selves, our higher potentials as human beings. And what are these false stories, these false cultural myths? You know them.. Here are a few: “The suffering poor must deserve it, for God has chosen to make them suffer.” “We are no longer citizens, but consumers, consumers who need only to purchase our way out of that empty feeling inside” "Humanity is innately selfish and competitive; dominate or be dominated.”
I believe that if we can embrace, deep in our hearts, new authentic stories rooted in the great potential within all of us...stories that express humanity’s greatest examples of genuine prosperity, empathy, connection, community, cooperation, and meaningfulness…then the old stories in our hearts will no longer hold sway. I think we have this choice before us. We can evolve as a species by focusing on and acting on our higher potentials, or we can devolve by letting fear, hatred and conventional cynicism blind us to these. Mother Earth, and youth everywhere, are imploring us to find a way to evolve.
And then let's go much further than hearing stories, telling stories… yes let's engage in peaceful demonstrations as needed, but let's go beyond that. Let's engage in bold acts of compassion, bold acts of community building, bold acts of localization of our livelihoods, our economies , and our food, all rooted in the higher potentials so many have forgotten…In other words, thru our actions, let's provide stories for others to tell... and maybe, thru our actions we can help inspire others to reconnect to their basic humanity…and our actions will make clear that, contrary to conventional thought, this is what humanity really looks like…we are what humanity looks like.
Peter began his non-profit executive career working as Director of the Environmental Political Action Committee of Wisconsin, while still in college. He then joined the renowned nonprofit consulting firm Community Counselling Service (www.ccsfundraising.com). While serving as an Executive Director with CCS Peter directed 10 successful capital/endowment/development campaigns for healthcare, educational, and church-related organizations across the continent. His clients included Merrit Peralta Medical Center in Oakland, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in St. Louis, King’s College in Edmonton, Alberta, and Villa Maria Academy in Brownsville, Texas. Turning down an invitation to become CCS Vice-President for Western Canada, Peter left the firm to work more closely with community-based organizations large and small.
He then provided valuable counsel and guidance to numerous non-profits including California Symphony, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, and Haight Ashbury Free Clinics. He also served as Vice-President for Resource Development with the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium. More recently, working as contractor, Chief Development Officer, and Executive Director Peter has provided guidance and direction to Relief International, Cesar Chavez Foundation, National Farm Worker’s Service Center, Valley Community Clinic, California Dance Institute, and Communities for a Better Environment, to name a few.
Born and raised in Chicago, Peter is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he earned a BA/BS in English with a minor in Computer Science. He is also a graduate of the Annenberg Foundation's year-long Alchemy/Alchemy+ nonprofit executive certificate program. Having studied in Mexico City for a year, Peter speaks fluent Spanish.
His informal but formative education included life guarding in the inner city with the Chicago Park District for 5 summers, and 4 years being an active member of the Ferryville, Wisconsin 4-H club. Today, in his spare time you will find Peter playing pick-up basketball on local courts, playing piano/guitar/singing, being active in the local dance community and hiking in the wild natural spaces around San Francisco.