My lineage, teachers, and influences

Nothing that I say, teach, or do comes just from me. I can only do the work that I do because so many have done the work long before me, and I step onto the path others have laid. To say I’m grateful is an understatement. 

I want to name some of the people who have taught, mentored, shaped, encouraged and challenged me, and I know that I am inevitably forgetting some. 

My work comes directly from the fat activists who first demanded liberation and equity. 

Susan Wooley, for her early activism, giving me a relational image of who I could become, for calling on therapists to be outlaws, and for being a therapist who said “I love you”

Deb Burgard, for mentorship from a distance that grew into friendship up close. For critical thinking and skill with language that makes me swoon.

Sonya Renee Taylor, for her whole poetic presence, and how her work and her words make me uncomfortable in ways that call forward my best self. 

Desiree Adaway and Ericka Hines – for teaching me, daily, about anti-racist work, allyship and accountability, about doing the work and saying the thing, and about joy.

Vikki Reynolds – for showing up at the right time and re-orienting me towards resistance, justice-doing, and professional liberation.

Rev angel Kyodo Williams and Lama Rod Owens – for their teachings on radical dharma, and of the importance of being at each others back.

Teenagers  – for demanding my realness and teaching me more about leadership than any book ever could. 

The founders of the primary theories I pull from: 

Ignacio Martín-Baró, founder of Liberation Psychology

Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi

Jean Baker Miller, founder of Relational-Cultural theory

My work is also inspired by:

Padraig O’Tuama – reminding me to say hello to whatever is here.

Nadia Bolz-Weber – for blending the reverent and irreverent.

YoYo Ma – for talking about being a citizen artist. And for the music.


Connection is everything.

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