Vitae (In Progress)

_________ is a person whose lived experience and education are rooted in:

– Growing up in the deep woods of the American South in the latter half of the 20th century

– Being an unidentified differential learner with an identified speech impediment

– Severe childhood injury

– Being friends with animals, rivers, books and elders

– Adolescent psychiatry and experiential divergence

– Dropping out of Camden County High

– Graduating from college with a 3.84

– Wanting to change the world

– Parenthood

– Self-taught arts and creative resilience

_________has professional and voluntary experience in many different settings and has worked in mutual service with people afflicted by everything from being an abused adolescent girl to being elderly or having AIDS.

_________also knows how to inventory a hardware store.

_________’s first volunteer writing job was with the Burnside Cadillac newspaper [Portland, Oregon, c. 1997] where ______ hung out with houseless folks and worked with them to build content for the paper, which provided income to houseless vendors.

Every Saturday morning for two years, ________ drove around town picking up old bread and vegetables, and spent the day with Food Not Bombs, eating soup and stiff bagels in the park.

Years later, ________spent several seasons as a contract educator of human reproductive health and safety (“Sex Ed.”) in city and county schools, as part of _______’s employment at a health and science museum, where _______ also had to dress up like a voluptuous banana for a stage-show about the dangers of watching too much television, and occasionally as a dinosaur in a performance related to proper dental hygeine.

As a volunteer court-appointed advocate for minors in State custody, _________ was awarded the recognition of Guardian ad Litem (NC, District 28) of the Year in 2008.

For seven years, ________ has facilitated classes as a Certified Peer Support Specialist at a semi-rural Recovery Education Center in the western region of a southern state.

________ enjoys creating spaces for exploration of the ways our stories are formed and told, focusing on the dynamics of narrative and perspective, such as the ways a story may change when told in 3rd person, and how things might look differently if viewed very close up or from a distance.

________has a degree in Sociology and a MA in Psychology. __________’s research interests include the use of creative self-documentation as a tool in navigating one’s personal and social experiences, cognitive/emotive/meaning-making styles associated with both madness and creativity, and activism as a pathway to individual and collective healing.

________ is personally and professionally interested in the role of activism in mental health recovery, and in the structure and function of social movements.

As an artist and as a ________, ________ enjoys making pictures, sewing on paper, playing with honest words, good meals, and laughter while being outside.

________’s mixed-media artwork has been shown in several group gallery shows, including Mad Cartographies, at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, BC.

________ has crossed the country multiple times and once tried to prove something about God, geometry and language with pictures of clouds.

_______’s experimental autoethnographic archive, established in 2009, can be found at and may be of interest to those who especially appreciate chaos narratives or specious pictures of clouds.

________ actively works to support community mutual aid networks with the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective and the BeLoved Community.

A committed advocate for transformative social justice, ________ is involved to various degrees with several initiatives, endeavors, and beautiful, slowly building plans.



Formal Education

1994 – GED, Camden County, Georgia

1999 – BA, with Honors, Portland State University, Sociology with a minor in Black Studies

2006 – Coursework in Middle Grades Education, University of North Carolina, Asheville

2007 –2009 Western Carolina University, Part-time graduate level coursework toward a Master of Art Teaching degree in Special Education, with a concentration in Behavioral/Emotional Disorders.

2011 – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, coursework toward Certificate in Child and Adolescent Psychology

2015 – MA in Psychology, with a specialization in Transformative Social Change, Saybrook University,


Professional Experience

February 2011 – Present: Meridian Behavioral Health Services, Brevard Recovery Education Center, Certified Peer Support Specialist

Primary Duties: Within this position I facilitate recovery education classes with students receiving services in a semi-rural, state-funded community mental health and substance abuse recovery organization. I facilitate both evidence-based practices, such as WRAP, as well as elective courses that I developed, such as Creative Writing in Recovery, and regularly offered wellness electives, e.g. meditation. In addition to facilitating classes, I provide one-on-one peer support to socially and economically vulnerable individuals with highly diverse and complex experiences and circumstances.

July 2013 – December 2014: The Icarus Project, Local Groups Support Coordinator

Primary Duties: In this role, I developed strategies and implemented processes to support an expanded network of grassroots mutual aid groups organized by and for individuals who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illnesses. Additionally, as a member of the Icarus Project’s Organizing Collective, I offered support in areas of outreach, media creation, strategic planning, and communications.

April 2009 – May 2010: The Health Adventure, Science Educator

Primary Duties: In this position, I taught a variety of health and science-oriented classes to a broad range of grade levels in an interactive museum setting.  Additionally, I served as an instructor for the county-mandated Life Patterns series, teaching adolescents about human reproductive health and safety in public school classrooms.  I was also responsible for assisting with planning and teaching special programs, such as Super Science Saturdays.

December 2007 – April 2009: The Health Adventure, Guest Services

Primary Duty:  Facilitation of a positive and engaging museum experience for both guests and visiting school groups.   Additionally, I frequently worked in the museum’s Explore Store and assisted the Director of Guest Services with maintenance of data files and mailing lists.

January 2006 – June 2008: Asheville-Buncombe Education Coalition/Delta House Life Development Center, Paid Tutor

Primary Duty:  Working with academically/socially ‘at-risk’ youth to develop positive skills in areas such as time management and task process.  I worked with families and school faculty to establish goal-oriented communication and accountability.  Several times a year, youth were involved in community learning projects which were co-organized by youth and program mentors.

Recent Voluntary Work

2012 – 2015: BeLoved Community, Asheville, NC, peer support/mutual aid

Providing peer support and community support in a setting that exists to serve as a safe and supportive sanctuary and place of empowerment and connection for those experiencing houselessness, those who may be vulnerable to houselessness and those impacted by other economic and social injustices.

2011 – Sept. 2015: Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective, organizing member

Regularly helped to hold and facilitate open community mutual aid space for people with diverse perspectives on mental health and healing, as a means of nurturing community engagement, visibility, and activism opportunities for those who identify as having lives which have been significantly impacted by mental health struggles and involvement in mental health treatment settings. I also helped to organize special events, such as multi-media art shows, movie showings, and workshops and actively built relationships with other community groups to collaborate on trainings, dialogues, and other events.

2007 – 2010: Guardian ad Litem, Buncombe County, volunteer court-appointed advocate

Worked effectively as a member of Child and Family Teams as an advocate for adolescent youths in DSS custody. This role required that I submit a formal report to the Courts on a regular basis for review purposes, and any additional reports as needed. This role required that I develop and maintain appropriate, proactive and compassionate relationships with young men and women who had experienced profound trauma within their lives, as well as effectively work with a variety of professionals within the system of care.



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