We believe the possibility for healing, restoration and connection exists – even when it seems unattainable.


To equip and inspire people of all ages to build trusting relationships through restorative thinking and practices.

The Wilkens family reunited, July 1994



We pursue our mission by exploring the successes and struggles of the nation of Rwanda and through first hand accounts of communities that sought to heal the brokenness of their own story and become whole again.


Storytelling, listening, and compassionate curiosity are the interwoven elements of our methodology. Our storyteller Carl Wilkens, along with his wife Teresa, moved their young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990 to pursue development and humanitarian work. While the stories he shares happened during the genocide, his presentations, book, and documentary are not really about genocide. They are about the choices people made, actions people took, courage people showed, and sacrifices people gave in the face of genocide.

But the story doesn’t end there. World Outside My Shoes shares stories of present-day Rwanda that are packed with inspirational strategies of how they are rebuilding their nation through a restorative justice lens.

All across the globe, these stories have contributed to healing and restorative experiences.


Through all of our work, we aim to:

  1. Understand how the mind works and why we respond in certain ways
  2. Safely navigate ways to repair broken relationships with intention
  3. Model and create a culture of belonging
  4. Build sustainable communities

World Outside My Shoes is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and professional development organization committed to engaging communities through stories, and exploring the potential of building interpersonal/community relationships through compassionate curiosity that leads to human connection.



Our stories and strategies of respect, empathy, and belonging have engaged a wide range of communities. 

  • From large gatherings of educational, business, and faith communities to intimate conversations at client appreciation events.
  • From professional development workshops on restorative practices to fresh looks at forgiveness and when reconciliation is possible or not.

Stories and strategies are always tailored to your specific needs. Whether you want to know more about how it works or you already have dates in mind, we want to hear from you!

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