John Noltner – A Peace of My Mind // Stories that Inspire Hope, Compassion and Healing.

“John Noltner and his virtual presentation of “A Peace of My Mind” to the Conserve School students is exactly what high schools need to be talking about, thinking about, and listening to in these times of great change. His messages of inclusion, the power of stories, the power of listening, and how our differences make us shine even brighter against the darkness, are the most on-point and powerful messages my students heard all year. His hour with my students will last a lifetime in their hearts and minds.” Jeff Rennicke, Conserve School

Frustrated with all the angry voices that ask us to focus on what can separate us, photographer John Noltner drove 40,000 mies across the country asking people the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” in an effort to rediscover what connects us. The result is a powerful collection of stories that inspire hope, compassion and healing.

A Peace of My Mind offers remote portrait sessions to facilitate dialogue and connect participants while they are apart.

Your course comes in three parts:

– A 20-minute training video streamed into your community for an unlimited number of users for 30 days. There Is Only Us with John Noltner is a powerful way to address how we get along. Featuring memorable stories, powerful images, and sincere storytelling, this video will open the door to honest dialog about empathy, civility, and inclusion. There Is Only Us was created to generate conversation.

– A 30-page discussion guide that the instructor can use to facilitate conversations based on the video with their students.

– A 1-hour Q & A video call (using the platform of your choice) with author and photographer John Noltner.

Key lessons:

-There is only us

-We are all shades of gray

-See through someone else’s lens

-Stay at the table

Additional resources:

Our discussion guide includes individual and group activities that can be led by the instructor as well as links to additional online resources where you can hear the original interviews as audio clips and find even more discussion questions. There is Only Us offers a unique entry into conversations about conflict resolution, civic responsibility and social change. It’s interdisciplinary approach makes it accessible and relevant across a broad range of subject matter.


“Very few programs can engage and challenge those who have worked in this field for 5, 10, or over 20 years but There is Only Us is creating something meaningful and intentional, and allowing it to breathe into something more. Thank you for giving us the safe space to share our stories.”
Alyea Pierce, Rutgers University, Department of Leadership & Experiential Learning

“This video is fantastic. The message is clear and heartfelt, the photography is great, and of course, the personal stories eminently compelling.” 
Dave Panetti, Foreign Service Officer, Embassy of the United States of America, Baghdad, Iraq

“One word: Phenomenal.
More words: Professional, thought-provoking, compassionate, real, tip-of-the-iceberg.”
Ken Ericson, Senior Manager of Organizational Development, Philips

“Wow! Indeed, let us all sit with uncomfortable realities and stay at the table together. There Is Only Us and John Noltner are a bridge to help us do that.”
Dr. Chris Gilmer, President, West Virginia University at Parkersburg; Founder, National Institutes for Historically-Underserved Students

“Our world seems fixated on what divides us and this begins to permeate our own imagination as well. There Is Only Us attempts to recalibrate our imagination toward ‘Us.’ As we listen to the life stories of one another, we live into the “goodness” that God first imagined for us. 
Chad Brucklacher, Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center, University of North Dakota

“This video is AMAZING!!! I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t NEED to see this video.
Students, faculty, small groups, and large corporations could all benefit from this with regards to diversity and leadership training. It is specific enough so that we can all relate to it, but general enough that everyone can learn from it!” 
Shelley S. Brown, Faculty Head, Service and Leadership Village Tennessee Tech University

“John Noltner’s view of the world is contagious. I can’t think of anyone who won’t benefit from watching this video and searching for the peacefulness that’s inside every one of us. Now I’m wondering…what does peace mean to me? Enjoy!”
Paul Batz, CEO and Founder, Good Leadership Enterprises, Author: How Goodness Pays

“This is a great video – the message will be heard!”
Carl Haave, Vice President – Client Support Services at Guy Carpenter

“There Is Only Us offers a profoundly hopeful way of seeing and living in these troubled and tumultuous times. This is exactly what a fractured world needs, what each of us needs, to nourish the better angels of our nature.” 
Chris Johnson, PhD, Founder & Principal, The Milkweed Group, LLC

“Working on challenging dialogue issues for a decade reminds me of the truths present in There Is Only Us. When people choose to listen deeply, stay engaged, and open their hearts and minds to the life in front of them, a priceless sense of “us” emerges.”
Rachel Welborn, Associate Director, Southern Rural Development Center

“For me the video was transformational. We are a part of a complex world that too often focuses on our differences rather than our commonalities. Messages like this, if heard enough times by enough people, will make a difference in this world.”
Gordon Olson, Co-Founder Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry

“There Is Only Us uses empathetic, clear-eyed, self-reflection to help humans both understand their implicit biases and move forward from them. For anyone concerned about the state of polarization and civil toxicity in the US today, this video is a breath of fresh air — a lesson for why and how we should ‘stay at the table’ when disagreement arises.”
Jules Hotz, Communities Manager, Solutions Journalism Network

Course Content

Video Training
Discussion Guide
Live Q&A - Group Virtual Meeting (60 Mins)