Real change begins in conversation.


We are a small group of dedicated partners committed to providing high quality training, facilitation, consulting and professional development, with a special focus on reflection and dialogue.

Our mission is to support and engage individuals, organizations, and communities in creating a more meaningful, inclusive, and just world through practices of reflection, dialogue, and shared inquiry.

The Covey Group engages a team of contract facilitators and trainers on a project-by-project basis to support a variety of audiences and client needs–from small group discussions to large-scale events.

Our Services

Facilitation & Meeting Design

From staff retreats to planning meetings to board meetings, community conversations, and large-scale dialogue events, we can help you design and lead conversations that support a variety of goals.

Reflective Dialogue & Reflective Practice

In today’s world, having conversations that explore differences, deepen understanding, and build relationships are essential to effective and meaningful action. From discussion series to one-time events, we design reflective dialogues that educate and engage people with different perspectives on a variety of issues and themes. 

Facilitation Trainings

Facilitation is an essential skill for all professionals. We offer half day, one-day and two-day facilitation workshops focused on reflective discussion, with customized content tailored to the specific goals and needs of our clients.

Reading & Discussion Programs

From a discussion series with students on James Baldwin and Audre Lorde to a one time book group with mediators on Ta Nehisi Coates "Between the World and Me" to AmeriCorps members reflecting on questions of service and civic engagement, we help organizations support continuous learning through reading and discussion programs. These customized programs offer opportunities for reflection on values and choices, a chance to build relationships with others, and support equity and inclusion efforts in communities, schools, and organizations.

Consulting & Coaching

From program implementation to individual coaching, we specialize in helping organizations and groups integrate dialogue and reflective practice into the life of their organizations and communities.

We seek to strengthen and develop our practice as educators, leaders, managers, counselors, mentors, students, learners, advocates, caregivers, artists, healers, givers, servants, and changemakers. 

Our Impact

Leadership Development

Create thoughtful, compassionate, inclusive leaders who can embrace diverse perspectives, listen deeply, and engage others in exploring questions of meaning, value, and purpose


Build authentic relationships and support teams and communities in being more equitable, inclusive, and able to work together across lines of difference

Equity and Inclusion

Develop a critical consciousness among individuals and organizations by asking challenging questions, exploring differing perspectives, and generating new ideas


Develop essential leadership skills of facilitation, dialogue, empathy, and conflict resolution

Reflection and dialogue are essential to equity and inclusion work. What is the world we envision? What will it require? Who benefits?

Kelli L Covey
Principal & Founder

Kelli Covey is a trainer, facilitator, mediator, coach and organizational development consultant with over 20 years’ experience working with both nonprofit organizations and corporations.

Kelli was previously the Associate Director of the Center for Civic Reflection where she trained hundreds of facilitators in the practice of reflective discussion, from teachers to probation officers to AmeriCorps members to librarians to organizational and community leaders.  She also developed the Civic Reflection Fellows program, a year long dialogue program with college students, in partnership with local colleges and universities and presented regularly on topics of reflection, dialogue, experiential learning, and civic engagement.  She also served as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Teach for America-Chicago (TFA), a large educational organization focused on educational equity. In this role, she was responsible for vision-setting, organizational strategy, and professional development to support a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

Kelli is also a certified mediator through the Chicago-based Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR).  She mediates regularly in the Cook County court system and handles a variety of mediation cases, including victim-offender mediation and restorative justice. She also leads conflict management workshops for CCR and serves on the continuing education committee.   She is also proud to serve as a board member of the American Indian Center, one of the oldest urban-based Native membership community centers in the United States.


Certified Mediator - Center for Conflict Resolution
Board Member - American Indian Center


Email -
Twitter - @covey_group
LinkedIn - Kelli Covey

Rebecca Brown
Facilitator / Trainer

Rebecca Brown is an experienced facilitator and trainer who forged her professional path as a program manager, trainer, and discussion leader for 12 years with Literature for All of Us, a nationally recognized, award-winning literary arts organization. Additionally, Rebecca has worked for over 10 years with the Center for Civic Reflection and now THE COVEY GROUP as a facilitator and trainer in the art of reflective dialogue. She has led community and school-based conversation circles in Chicago, and nationally, with members of diverse groups such as: youth in alternative high schools, community centers, and the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center; social service/AmeriCorps volunteers; probation officers; and nonprofit professionals.

Rebecca is a poet whose first published piece is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review as winner of the Spring 2017 poetry prize. She recently returned from a 6-month sabbatical in Panama City, Panama, and is completing her first chapbook entitled The Animal of Memory. Rebecca loves words, and silences, deeply.


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Thomas Toney
Facilitator / Trainer / Consultant

Thomas Toney is an independent trainer, facilitator & consultant who has being working in the nonprofit sector throughout Chicago since 2009; bringing together academic, business, and nonprofit organizations to confront issues related to poverty, diversity, education, and community development.  Thomas’ work centers on training facilitators, leading discussions, and assisting individuals and organizations in integrating reflective practices into their work and communities. More specific areas of focus include volunteer management & program evaluation, values based leadership, community engagement, and diversity & inclusion.

The past few months Thomas have been serving as a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialist at an area high school, helping coach teachers and support 9th through 12th students in cultivating emotional intelligence skills and post-secondary transitioning.

Prior to that Thomas was working with Teach for America (TFA) - Chicago as a training partner then as its Manager of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusiveness (DEI) helping coordinate and execute its DEI initiatives and internal staff professional development around developing critical cultural consciousness.

Before joining TFA, Thomas spent 4 years with Chicago Cares working to develop relationships with existing local agencies, schools, and churches to increase their collective mission work capacity through strategic community volunteer engagement, including giving keynotes and presentations on best practices in community engagement and volunteer management.  Thomas developed over 30 new ongoing programs throughout Chicago’s Southside with various community organizations.

Additionally, throughout the past 5 years I’ve worked as an independent trainer and facilitator; training individuals and organizations in areas such as volunteer management & program evaluation, values based leadership, and reflective community dialogue. Prior to that, Thomas led a team of corps members in executing City Year Chicago’s high school-aged leadership development & service learning programming, serving students from Chicago’s South and West sides.

Some of our Clients: