2021 Keynote Presenters

Monday, June 7, 2021
9:30AM MT

We Keep Us Safe: Abolitionist Peer Support As a Pathway to Healing

Within a mental health “care” system that conflates treatment with punishment and criminalization, it can feel impossible for survivors to access healing. How can we trust a system that can oppress, traumatize, abuse, and violate consent in ways similar to the traumas survivors have experienced? Abolitionist peer support and care work is a critical pathway to healing that works to mitigate the violent power dynamics in our current system— grounded in values of collective liberation, mutuality, and decarceral emotional care.

Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu (they/she) is a Disability Justice cultural worker, educator, organizer, parent, somatic and ancestral healing practitioner, consultant, writer, and the Executive Director of Project LETS — a national grassroots organization led by and for folks with lived experience of mental illness, madness, Disability, and neurodivergence. Their work specializes in building peer support collectives and community mental health care structures outside of the state. Stefanie comes to their work from the positionality of being white, Latinx, Jewish, mad, autistic, Disabled, and a survivor of psychiatric incarceration. They have extensive experience as a facilitator, curriculum developer, and consultant for mental health policies, program development, and access-centered practices. Stefanie is invested in disrupting multiple carceral systems which disproportionately harm and kill our community members worldwide.

STEFANIE LYN KAUFMAN-MTHIMKHULU

Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu

Executive Director of Project LETS

Tuesday, June 8, 2021
9:30AM MT

Transforming the Culture of Power:  Indigenous Perspectives on Healing Trauma and Thriving

It will take dialogues across differences and community-building circle practices for these wounds to heal both those who harm, and those who are harmed.  Love, compassion, reframing how we walk in balance in our lives, empathy, humility, wisdom sharing, connecting to the land, sacredness, honesty, courage, truth, vision questing, and courage to change – these are the necessary ingredients to build a vibrant, thriving community based on equity for all.

Strong Oak Lefebvre, MSSA Executive Director and co-founder of the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition INC. She is a co-author of the Walking in Balance with All Our Relations teaching curriculum, a violence prevention approach that is based on transformative/restorative Circle practices and traditional values of indigenous people prior to colonization. Strong Oak has recently been named to the statutory Governor’s Restorative Justice Advisory Committee in Massachusetts to serve from 2018 to 2024. She teaches Circle process to communities, agencies, and providers working with those who are survivors of homicide victims, domestic and sexual violence; and those who are working to return to their communities’ violence-free after having hurt others.

STRONG OAK LEFEBVRE

Strong Oak Lefebvre

Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition, Inc.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
1:15PM MT

Join us for a closing panel lead by María Limón

“Toxic Narratives” Let’s be Honest – Reflecting, Learning and Growing

Far from homogeneous, our communities are made up of various communities within a single geographic area. Black, immigrant Muslim, Indigenous, and other marginalized groups contribute to the larger community, and their leadership is crucial to our movements to end violence. Our success in collaborating with and supporting these leaders rests with our ability to grapple with how the toxic messages promoted about these groups permeate our work—everything from policy decisions to intervention protocols.

Let’s be Honest offers an opportunity to re-think our approach and embrace perspectives from other cultures. Listening deeply promotes healing from the toxic narratives and opens new prevention strategies, policy implications, and intervention supports that can move our work forward in unprecedented ways.

This session features a conversation between service providers and leaders from communities that make up our state. Facilitator will guide participants to reflect on how the current political discourse affects our approach and may unknowingly cause harm.

About Our Panelist

María Limón currently works for the University of Colorado’s Center on Domestic Violence (CDV) in two roles.  She is the Rural Training and Technical Assistance Manager supporting and guiding rural communities around the country to develop Coordinated Community Response Teams (CCRT’s) to end gender-based violence.   More recently, Maria joined CDV’s END Violence team to develop and implement the newest component to our work in K12’s, a youth leadership program called Let’s Get Real.