Areas of expertise:
the vital conditions for community health & well-being
The thread throughout my career has been work with communities on improving the vital conditions necessary for health and well-being. With Thrive, I am able to offer my skills in training and instructional design, coaching, organizational development, and building effective community campaigns to nonprofits and other community-based organizations. I am also offering life coaching to widowed parents. Areas of expertise that I've developed over her 25 years as a nonprofit leader are listed below. Read some of Thrive's current client case studies or contact us today for more information and to discuss how I can support your work in equity, justice, and community well-being.
Safety and Support
My career began by bridging community mental health education and clinical work in child and family trauma. Formerly, I have served as Director of Education at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, as a family therapist at Advocates Community Counseling, and at Crisis Services of Buffalo and Erie County, where I helped to launch the area's first crisis chat line for kids. During my time as a co-founder of Prevention Educators, I provided hundreds of hours of training to families, teachers, and youth on bias-based bullying, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault prevention, intervention, and recovery. As a lead curriculum developer for the Center for Development of Human Services at Buffalo State College, I've designed programs that trained thousands of caseworkers across New York State in child protection, adoption, and foster care. Today, I am working with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, affiliated with Duke University and UCLA, to redesign their core foster parent trauma training, which will be used across the US and internationally. I am also proud to support the work of the Ovarian Cancer Project, a support network for women with ovarian or other gynecologic cancers.
I can also provide coaching, training, organizational and curriculum audits, instructional design and product development, motivational speaking, and more in this area.
As an instructional designer, I have developed products for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and professional workforce development. I am skilled in creating both traditional classroom training as well as synchronous and asynchronous online learning, Previously , I have supervised a design team of 14, including graphic designers, videographers, and multimedia specialists. I understand how to work with a range of media to tell compelling stories and advance learning. I prefer to use ADDIE as a framework to guide my instructional design approach and a rapid prototyping process to get projects underway.
In addition to creating formal training programs like this one for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, I have also led community campaigns for awareness and education to change societal conditions that harm communities. I have spoken before government commissions on sexual violence, met with politicians to push for legislative change on varied health topics such as food apartheid, epilepsy, and compassionate end-of-life care, and drafted policy recommendations for candidates and councils alike. I especially enjoys giving sermons and lectures.
View some of the educational products I've created here.
For the last 10 years, I have been nvolved in environmental movements in the Western New York area. Thriving communities cannot exist in a world where we do harm to the Earth. I have helped to lead community campaigns to prevent and intervene in decisions regarding potentially toxic and known toxic waste sites, including stopping a proposed asphalt plant from being built in Hamburg and Niagara Falls, NY. I have created educational awareness campaigns on why race and place matter when looking at who gets breast cancer and why. During my time with Grassroots Gardens of WNY, I worked in solidarity with communities contributing to the local food system in building community gardens. I've organized and convened activists in Buffalo to create a people's policy on reclaiming vacant land towards establishing an ethic of communal care for it. With community gardeners and mental health partners, I have also established the first community-based therapeutic gardening program in Western New York and perhaps the first of its kind in the country that applied a trauma-informed approach to a community garden network the size of Grassroots Gardens. I've been lucky to study horticultural therapy with the New York Botanical Gardens and have spoken and written on environmental justice, therapeutic gardening, and fearless community conservation.
Finally, I guided Grassroots Gardens WNY through their accreditation as a land trust. I am available to help other land trusts do the same. I can also can assist land trusts, nature preserves, and gardening groups in considering how they can be more inclusive, equitable, accessible, and community-led.
Grassroots Gardens Accreditation Celebration, August 2021
Civic Belonging, Grief and Loss, and Worthwhile Workplaces
I work in solidarity with community members who have been marginalized and I am committed to working with organizations that want to transform their practices to create more welcoming, inclusive spaces. Often, I am invited to create and present interactive, scenario-based workshops for my clients, whether on sexual harassment, supervision strategies, or diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have a deep commitment to racial justice and creating affirming communities for LGBTQ youth, topics on which I have also trained extensively. As a parent advocate, I have championed the rights and needs of LGBTQ+ youth as well as bereaved children and families. I have spoken extensively the last few years on grief and loss. I also provide coaching to community leaders who want to better their own influence through my Compass Coaching program.
Call Thrive today to discuss howI can help you advance your personal or professional goals around community belonging.