Sharon A. Suh is professor of Buddhism in the department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University. She is author of: Being Buddhist in a Christian World: Gender and Community (University of Washington Press, 2004); Silver Screen Buddha: Buddhism in Asian and Western Film (Bloomsbury Press, 2015); and Occupy This Body: A Buddhist Memoir (Sumeru Press, 2019). Her academic work explores racialized trauma experienced by people of color and emphasizes the importance of embodiment practices such as meditation and yoga that can increase the capacity for resilience. She is focused nowadays on somatic awareness and the generative possibilities of mindfulness, neuroscience, and trauma-informed yoga for healing.
She serves on the Board of Directors of Yoga Behind Bars and has completed the YBB Trauma-Informed Yoga training; Yoga 4 Trauma certification and extensive work in trauma-informed yoga for transcending sexual assault. She is also a Level 2 Mindful Eating-Conscious Living trained teacher through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness and completed her 200 registered yoga teacher training. She is deeply committed to social justice and trauma-informed yoga and trauma-sensitive mindfulness. And for fun, she also teaches barre. A popular speaker on the topic of feminism and Buddhism, she has also developed and presented workshops on mindful movement, meditation, body image, body acceptance, and mindful eating practices.
Regent Brown, is a multiracial, multicultural, dynamic, unapologetic womxn who works with those who wish to be active participants in change; by looking internally, acknowledging our role in systems, and then moving through difficult learning to remove barriers to reaching our fullest potential. After receiving her Bachelors in organizational Psychology and Masters in Social Psychology, Regent broadened her career as a Human Resources professional with over 15 years experience creating equitable workplaces within non-profit, government, and private sector organizations. Regent currently is the Director of People & Culture for EnviroIssues; along with being principal of Fostering Real Opportunities consulting firm. Utilizing developmental strategies, restorative practices, and trauma-informed principles, Regent strives to build a culture of belonging, accountability and collective leadership that can foster opportunities of change. Regent primarily focuses on racial and disability equity; partnering with those who wish to collaborate to create equitable and thriving communities.
BJ STAR (they/them) is an experience designer and consultant invested in transformational leadership, building powerful movements, and collective healing. BJ came alive as a trainer with Generation Waking Up and The Work That Reconnects, and has grown several organizations that build capacity for Black, POC, womxn, and youth leadership. Today they are a Lead
Facilitator at the Wildfire Project, founder of Black Folks Dinner Seattle, and a consultant at Moral Choice.
BJ currently supports organizations such as Color of Change, 350.org, National Bail Out, Amazon Watch, Young Women Empowered, SustainUS, OPAL, and more.
10 years of facilitation, 18 years of praxis, and 34 years inside a queer black body have elicited keen sight, grounded presence, and a tendency toward blessed unrest.
Yoona Lee is a Korean American visual artist, writer, and racial justice activist based in Seattle. Her creative practice deals with marginalization, cultural hybridity, and collective liberation. Yoona’s work can be viewed at www.rhymeswithrace.com.
With over 15 years of leadership in the healthcare and wellness industry in the Pacific Northwest, Michelle strives to put the “we” back in wellness. Acknowledging that we can’t heal alone; we heal best together and in community. They have held post on almost every rung in the healthcare industry’s ladder. Michelle has launched an oncology clinic for UW Medicine as well as spent a few years training as a hospital chaplain many years ago.
Michelle is currently seeking licensure as a clinical mental health counselor for the State of Washington at Seattle University and is a grounded servant leader on campus and in the community.
While serving as chaplain, Michelle discovered the connection between reflective praxis also called mindfulness, spiritual and emotional connection and physical and mental health.
Michelle has facilitated focus groups, conflict resolution and staff training for students, interns and clinicians using expressive arts, earth medicine and humor. Michelle’s passion and clinical interest is supporting wellness for all helping professionals, building a thriving practice around self-love and care first, burnout and compassion fatigue prevention and supporting highly-sensitive people in the workplace and academic settings. Michelle is particularly interested in combining narrative therapy or storying and expressive arts to create transformational community healing rituals and retreats. Michelle respectfully requests they pronoun and possessives in reverence and linkage to their unnamed ancestors pronoun and possessives in reverence and linkage to their unnamed ancestors of unknown lineages, languages and genders.
Sierra has a passion for accessible Sangha building. At the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) — a donation-based, social-justice Buddhist center that Jack Kornfield has called “the most diverse Sangha on the planet” — she has been serving as a long-time Coordinating Committee member of the People Of Color Sangha, a weekly sitting group offering safe(r) space for POC practitioners, and currently sits on the Programming Committee for EBMC at large. Holding a three year term on Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s board of directors, Sierra is a web weaver who sees networking as an intentional act of love connecting us together in reciprocal support.
Christopher Peguero is in a unique position at City Light, one that was born from his motivation to provide a voice for under-represented groups in our community. As City Light’s environmental equity advisor, Christopher uses the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) as a tool to implement a culture shift in the way that City Light does business. As the founder of the City of Seattle’s SEqual affinity group, Christopher also advocates workplace equality for all City employees, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Christopher has been with City Light for 10 years, and he holds a degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. He lives in Beacon Hill with his husband Anthony Potter and their children Alexander and Adela. In this week’s Seattle City (spot)Light, Christopher talks about how (and why) issues of equity became the focus of his job.
There are times when just one healing practice or modality won’t achieve the balance and healing that some need. Omitosin, The Spiritual Curator, brings many gifts, spiritual tools and workshops to help her clients with their personal transformation…Her collection of healing tools is vast and she supports clients on their path with loving kindness and non judgement. Using intuitive Ifa readings, reiki, chakra balancing, ritual, coaching, as well as crystals, and other tools, Omi assists clients in getting an understanding of their own energy and healing.
Her intuitive and mediumship gifts help them “see the unseen”, as well as gain confidence and confirmation of their own gifts.
Omitosin is a graduate of the Innervisions Institute for Spiritual Development (IVISD), where she studied Spiritual Life Development and is also an initiated senior priest in the West African indigenous tradition of Ifa (Meaning the wisdom of nature). She practices and is in leadership through the Obafemi Institute for the Divine Study of Ifa (OIDSI), based in Houston Texas. She was initiated into the priesthood in Ode Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria in 2010.
Omi’s diverse background allows her to provide clients with a wealth of wide-ranging resources. Her compassionate, full-hearted love of people, love of self and love of LOVE creates an atmosphere in which her clients can truly flourish. Her down to earth, practical, solution-driven nature and deeply intuitive insights combine to support people in loving themselves, embracing their visions and bringing them to life! Ase!
Dr. Katrina Sanford is a Psychotherapist with a background in Clinical Psychology with specializations in Trauma and Sex Therapy. Dr. Sanford uses her trauma informed background to challenge social injustice for her clients and community, particularly racially induced inequities. In her private practice, which is located in the new African-centered healing arts space called Nile’s Edge (www.nilesedge.com) that she co-owns, Dr. Sanford treats couples and individuals with a focus on issues related to sexual health difficulties, alternative lifestyles/relationships (polyamory/non-monogamy,) members of the LGBTQ community, anxiety and mood disorders, womyn’s issues, gender identity struggles, and trauma, including different forms of abuse. She is also the Executive Director of Earth Pearl Collective, a queer black womyn nonprofit organization dedicated to healing their community through creative collaborations (www.earthpearlcollective.com).
JM Wong is a seeker, a lover, a healer and a convener. A sense of connection to homelands and the resiliency of transpacific ancestors ground them in the present, and the mysteries of our unfolding moments keep them inspired about the future. They find peace and joy in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha and the various manifestations of these jewels in their lives humble them. They are grateful to be in community with BIPOC healers.
Ngọc Trân “Nikki” Châu was born in Viet Nam and immigrated to the U.S. as a child refugee, an inheritor of the legacy of colonial and war violence in Southeast Asia. She comes from a land of fog wrapping around pine trees in the morning, hilly streets, coffee trees, and avocado trees in her grandmother’s front yard. Her work as a designer and community organizer is anchored in anti-oppression, anti-racist work. Her major indulges include cats and durian.
Tracy L. Stewart is mindfulness based mental health therapist at the Nile’s Edge wellness collective and activist in Seattle, WA. She currently serves on the board of SURGE a BIPOC centered reproductive justice organization, Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) – Seattle, and has served on three Social Justice Fund (SJF) giving projects. She sees her role in community as working to create supportive, safe space for BIPOC folx in discovering their gifts through mindfulness practice and social justice awareness. Her cup is filled by the outside places, silly friends with microphones, passion for life, and folx sharing their good medicine with each other. “My focus is learning to be a good elder in order to support those out in the community fighting for all us to BE. In my work, I see a lot of suffering of black and brown folx who are warn from fighting to be their full selves. With Gathering Roots, the intention is creating a place where that burden can be released, people can fill their cups with joyful learning and the beauty of the Earth, witnessed and empowered to be all that they are.”
Bio Coming soon…
Karen Toering moved to South Seattle over twenty years ago. She works at the intersection of culture and justice to build systems that nurture our spirit and connected lives. This includes work in the fields of philanthropy, media justice, food justice, and arts and culture. She is the co-founder of Sankofa Film Society, a film and discussion series in Seattle and founder of the Gary International Black Film Festival in her hometown of Gary, IN. Karen is also a managing partner in Black and Tan Hall, a food and cultural venue in Hillman City, South Seattle. She works in a variety of capacities, as a consultant, catalyst, and cultural worker, but her favorite role is as grandmother.
Earth Pearl Collective is rooted in the exploration of the unknown and untold stories of the African Diaspora through a black woman centered aesthetic. We support the work of women living at the intersections of the African Diaspora who are dedicated to healing their communities through creative collaborations.We collaborate with artists, activists, businesses,non-profit organizations, and any entity that has expertise, skills, or desire to build bridges with and/or for queer women of the African Diaspora. We understand that it takes a village to do anything worth doing, so we infuse our projects with community members, students and elders to advise us and inspire us. www.earthpearlcollective.com