About RUPI

The Right Use of Power Institute (RUPI) is a global force, guiding people to utilize their power with awareness, wisdom, compassion and skill.

Founded in 2011, RUPI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

RUPI was formed to further the reach of the Right Use of Power™ mission. We serve the general public, professionals, and members of the Right Use of Power™ Teacher’s Guild.

Our Vision

We inspire and support people in using their power ethically, with accountability, strength and heart.


Our Founder

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Dr. Cedar Barstow

Founder & Executive Director Emerita of the Right Use of Power Institute

Learn more about Cedar’s additional contributions to the world on her website, www.CedarBarstow.com.

Cedar (she/her) is a consultant and teacher on ethics and ethical issues. She has been designing, developing, and teaching this approach since 1994. Cedar’s background includes 30 years as a psychotherapist and 25 years as a teacher.

She is the author of books and articles on ethics, counseling with elders, women and independence, and psychotherapy and spirituality. Cedar is also a Hakomi Experiential Psychology Trainer and a member of the Naropa University Adjunct Faculty.

She maintains a private psychotherapy and ethics consulting practice in Boulder/Denver and teaches both Right Use of Power™ and Hakomi nationally and internationally.

The Right Use of Power™ educational materials and exercises were developed by Cedar over a period of 20 years and dozens of trainings.

These teachings have been influenced by many sources in Cedar’s background. She is particularly grateful for her extensive experiences as an administrator, therapist, and trainer of the the Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy, chair of both the Hakomi Institute International Ethics Committee (HIEC) and the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy (USABP) Ethics Committee, ethics expert contributor to GoodTherapy.org, consultant to numerous organizations, and ceremonialist with the Earth Song Ceremonial Dance Community.

Our Team

We are a small and mighty team of humans, woman-founded and gender-expanisve-led. We are aware that our history is rooted in a white-cis-woman identity that was focused on personal and role power. It is our intention and our vision to create a collaborative organization of many identities dedicated to the exploration of all types of power including status, collective and systemic power.

Many of our staff and contractors are currently white or white-presenting and we acknowledge the disparity of perspective this creates. We acknowledge we are not immune to identity supremacy, particularly white supremacy, as many of our staff are from the United States and have been socialized within that context.

We are actively pursuing a power-conscious and diverse staff - that is not only racially diverse but is also as internationally diverse as our community. Our focus is to continually give and receive feedback and grow individually and collectively into right relationship.

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Dr. Amanda Aguilera

Director of Vision & Abundance

Amanda is a consultant and facilitator in the area of power-and-equity consciousness and conflict resolution. Driven by her core values of curiosity, courage, and connection, Amanda is adept at putting things together in new ways, creating visuals that help make learning more accessible, and communicating complex ideas in simple ways.

Amanda has a commitment to be courageous in the service of reducing and repairing harm in relationship and promoting the cultural shift toward power-and-equity consciousness, conflict positivity and conflict competency.

At the core of her academic and personal passion is the advancement in understanding social power dynamics and deepening the personal and collective uses of power in the world with wisdom and compassion.

Her doctoral dissertation focused on the dynamics of shame and power in the justice system and she continues to develop theoretical models in the intrapersonal and interpersonal experiences of power dynamics, including the integration of neurobiology, contemplative practices and restorative practices as they relate to power differentials. 

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Melynn Barber

Director of Communications

Melynn (she/her) is an ambitious and driven media studies graduate from The University of Colorado, Boulder. I am originally from Austin, Texas and is currently living in Denver, Colorado. She is passionate about our mediated world specifically among photography, video editing, content creation as well social media management. She is eager to use her skills to strengthen The Right Use of Power Institute’s digital presence.

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Dau Windwater

Director of Ecosystems

Dau (they/them) is a contemplative practitioner, systems thinker, and lover of the living world. They bring pragmatism from a past career in bookkeeping and a big heart from their deeper interest in community and belonging. Through Dau’s work, they foster the awareness and exploration of power and paradox in order to empower and encourage multicultural understanding. As a facilitator, their style is infused with ritual, reflection, and space to experience the relationship between our inner and outer landscapes.

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Veronica Borgonovi

Director of Client Services

Veronica (she/her) is a seasoned organizational and project leader, manager, mentor, and coach, with experience supporting over 40 client projects in management and social sector consulting across multiple countries. She continues to guide a multi-year effort to transform organizational culture around equity and inclusion across multiple geographies, and is experienced in strategy development, evaluation and learning, facilitation, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

She is a certified coach through Leadership That Works, a graduate of Right Use of Power Institute’s teacher training, and a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory. She is also an experienced meditator and currently studying the application of Buddhist contemplative psychology toward psychosocial change efforts.

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Dinorah Avendaño-Curiel

Director of Training

Dinorah (she/her/ella) was born and raised in Mexico City and her mom immigrated to the U.S. when she was 10 years old. Figuring out her path through high school and college, she completed the IB program and started to travel at the age of 17. She went on to pursue her dual degrees along with language minors and other certificates at CU Boulder and in 2016 moved to Denmark to complete her Masters in Journalism and Globalization.

She is an avid traveler and strongly believes there are more good people in the world than bad. She has traveled to more than 30 countries and lived in more than seven. Her international experience has broadened her perspective for understanding and learning from people from all walks of life. She loves spending time with her nieces and nephews, her friends, and is looking forward to the day she can live more permanently closer to the ocean.

Our Board of Directors


Bárbara Castro


Bárbara, with an accent on the first “á,” was born in the lands of the Mexihcah indigenous peoples and is grateful to live and learn from the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations.

About 20 years ago, she was formally introduced to contemplative practices. Since then, as a passionate Leader and Mentor, she has expanded her knowledge and practice in mindfulness, EQ, authentic leadership, and awareness of power while accompanying and inspiring emerging leaders, immigrants and refugees. 

Over the past 15 years, she has collaborated with start-ups,  non-profits and corporate institutions within advertising, events, education and technical apparel, to name a few.

Bárbara’s superpower is “connection.” As an athlete, she enjoys outdoor activities in the mountains. Her purpose is to inspire humans to practice intraconnection while recognizing the interconnection between sentient beings and nature.

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Jeff Couillard


Jeff Couillard holds an M.A. in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University and is the founder and chief facilitator at Attainability Group, a small consulting firm dedicated to building incredible teams of professionals in organizations big and small in a wide range of sectors.

Attainability Group focuses on bringing Right Use of Power™ principles into organizations
to improve employee engagement, develop leadership capacity, and achieve better client outcomes. From team development to conflict resolution, leading multi-disciplinary teams of professionals tackling the complex issues of addiction and mental health, to sharing stories on the TEDx stage, Jeff is focused on creating highly functional individuals, teams, and communities.

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Farzin Farzad


Farzin Farzad is an Organizational Justice practitioner with experience in higher education, trade associations, local government, and the private sector. Holding two master’s degrees in international affairs and diplomacy as well as a certificate in conflict resolution skills, Farzin leverages his unique academic background, extensive travel experience, and experiential knowledge to provide comprehensive, thought-provoking local and global approaches to his work.

In addition to training and education programs, Farzin is a seasoned project manager with expertise in developing strategies that build equitable workplace environments and government services, as well as build internal capacity.

Farzin is the founder of Critical Equity Consulting, LLC, a boutique Organizational Justice consulting firm focused on helping organizations rebuild with a primary focus on creating equitable outcomes and seeking justice.

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Dr. Sherri Taylor

Sherri Taylor, Psy.D. is a contemplative, teacher, end of life doula, consultant, and facilitator. She completed her undergraduate education in Feminist Studies at Stanford University and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.
Her scholarship and research interests include contemplative leadership, dreamwork, the intergenerational transmission of benevolence and resilience, and the somatics of belonging and unbelonging. She is also the guardian of the soulstudiolab and Black Womxn’s Dream Lab.
The soulstudiolab offers relevant and meaningful group trainings, playshops, and workshops for community and professional audiences that integrate innovative approaches and practices from the contemplative traditions, expressive arts, and psychology, with a special focus on the psycho-spiritual importance of creativity and embodiment to inspire personal growth, interpersonal understanding, and social justice.
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Jamelah Zidan

Jamelah Zidan is the Restorative Community Coordinator at Naropa University. She was born in New York City to Palestinian parents. She earned her B.A. in Political Economics from Sarah Lawrence College, where she was the recipient of the Scholarship for the Environment. She then pursued her M.S. in Education from Sarah Lawrence, where she was the recipient of the Regina Arnold Memorial Scholarship.
For several years, Jamelah worked as a teacher in New York City. Desiring to work in a more spiritual atmosphere and impact the quality of people’s lives, she later changed careers, taking up a position as Assistant Director at the Abode, a Sufi and Interfaith retreat center in the Berkshires.
She moved to Colorado in 2020 to be with her husband, Netanel Miles-Yepez, and is now happy to be working with the compassionate and skilled staff, students, and faculty of Naropa.  She’s currently a fellow in the Emerging Leaders Fellowship, and volunteering in the Restorative Justice program of the Boulder County DA’s office.

Sari Ajanko

Sari Ajanko is deeply honored to join the board and is committed to assist and support advancing “The Right Use of Power” across the spectrum of professionals.
Sari’s professional career is rooted in hospitality management. Twelve years as a leader in the language service sector was an integral step for Sari in learning how to thrive in client-focused consulting services. Since 2008 Sari has worked in professional coaching and training services. In 2013 she became the founder and CEO of Diversitas Oy (Ltd).
Her company and client offerings are the vessel of fusing her passions, leadership development, professional coaching and personality models and maps. Sari’s mission has been to take the D & I discussions to the next level including the less visible aspects of diversity that we all share. Sari’s book on ”Leading multiplicity – Leader’s self-awareness as it’s core” (in Finnish) was published in 2016.
Sari is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certified by ICF (International Coaching Federation), Certified Business Coach Master, and Trainer/Mentor of Coaching & Leadership skills. Sari also holds certifications as a WholeBody Focusing Trainer and as a Enneagram Teacher in the Narrative Tradition.
Sari is always looking for new concepts and modalities to make her training and coaching more impactful. Sari is excited about the potential of somatic therapies, currently progressing through certification with Hakomi Mallorca. 
Sari lives in Helsinki beside the Baltic Sea with her Canadian husband, Jim Grant, who is also a RUPI teacher, and their “power pawsitive” Office Manager Reiki (Shih Tzu).