My first Master Teacher was the concrete and titanium structures of Robert Fulton and Edenwald Housing Projects in New York City. My families—I claim three, as one family informally adopted me and tried to rescue me from being a chronic runaway—were simultaneously survivors and perpetrators of extreme violence, neglect, and betrayal. Collectively, with uncanny humor, we have endured many joys and accolades. These have padded many instances of family and interpersonal violence, cut-offs, addictions, rapes, and countless murders.
My second Master Teacher was a self-proclaimed widow, ex-junkie, ex-con, incest survivor, who suffered from chronic PTSD. She loved me and taught me everything she knew about survival, addiction, recovery, resilience, self-respect, and dignity. She also taught me the value of a strong work ethic, precision, attention to detail, and how to care for the self holistically when the work you are called to do on this earth will likely kill you if you don’t learn how to take care of yourself while doing it.
My third Master Teachers come from the Coast Salish Territories as well as many other Indigenous communities in Canada. These are the folx who have supported my growth and development in understanding and naming genocide. They have trained my mind to think broadly and have interrupted the myopia of the white supremacist culture that I was indoctrinated into when I became a social worker with a fancy degree from Fordham University. These Master Teachers have gifted me with resources which connect the person, with the political, the spiritual, and the ancestral all within the therapeutic holding environment.
My contemporary Master Teachers are all of YOU—you know who you are. If you have ever been in a classroom with me (as a student); if you have ever allowed me the privilege of entering your home, sat on a stoop or a park bench with me; walked around a park or a river with me; or sat in a crack house, shooting gallery, or abandoned building with me; if you have ever humbled me by sitting in a room and trusting me with your personal moments of sublime excellence or all seven layers of your own personal hell—you are my teacher, and for that I have sincere and profound perpetual gratitude.
From a lineage of many excellent Master Teachers, I share what I have been taught. I teach the polarities of pleasure and pain, truth and lies, power and depression/oppression/suppression. Most recently I have taught human sexuality and interventions for anti-Black racism to graduate-level social work students, Indigenous complex, vicarious, and intergenerational trauma interventions to child welfare workers, domestic violence interventions to undergraduate students, the woes of chemical use, abuse, and dependence to youth and youth development workers all over New York City, and gender and sexuality 101 to prospective foster and adoptive parents.
I work with all kinds of organizations and institutions. My expertise is varied, and my interest in providing you with the education you desire can and will be tailored to your specific needs. Please be advised that I am not a lecturer. My preferred style is to work intimately with small or mid-size groups with significant space for experiential exercises and processing to balance out the didactic content.