This is how all the threads of my life and career weave together:
My professional and volunteer life is comprised of administrative leadership, direct service, and community building in non-profits that provide programs for a variety of marginalized populations, including teen mothers, at risk youth, the aging, children with disabilities and special needs, the LGBTQIA community, and people who are isolated and/or houseless due to addiction, poverty, and/or mental and physical disabilities.
I committed to this work for the past 20 years because I am committed to social justice and seek liberation, justice, and inclusion for all.
More and more, I’m noticing we’re doing this work in groups online.
We’re assembling around our commitments and doing our own personal growth work in Facebook groups, in membership communities, and on Mighty Networks.
These transformative, independent, grassroots groups are often founded by committed, conscious activists, solopreneurs and thought leaders. They grow rapidly and organically because they meet us where we are: online.
And often group leaders feel under-resourced and overwhelmed because of the time, emotional labour and skill it takes to steward these transformative online spaces.
To answer that call, I’ve translated my two decades of community-building, belonging, and facilitation work into practical, compassionate, and effective strategies, skills, and practices that can help you tend and facilitate your online groups.
This is my Community Stewardship Consultating with you.
I am also writing a book on belonging. As part of that book, I’m undertaking a research project interviewing people about their experiences of belonging, or lack thereof, and how it impacts our quality of life.
Here’s how I came to this work (see my Lineage/Resources here):
My past work around community-building and nurturing belonging includes:
- We Are The Culture Makers Facebook Group – Community Steward.
- The Impropriety Society – Producer, Hostess, and Staff Trainer for an all volunteer organization producing sex positive events. Leader of the Vibes crew, whose responsibility it was to welcome, include, and address challenges in a hospitable way.
- Humboldt Pride – Co-Chair, Board of Directors and Event Producer for local organization that created the county’s annual Pride event and other activities.
- SHARP House – Co-Founder for a home for teen mothers and their children.
- The Maybelle Center for Community – Office Manager & Community Builder for an organization that provides relationship and community for people who are poor, addicted and/or disabled, and live in isolation in downtown Portland, OR.
- Trumpet Behavioral Health – Support Services Manager for Behavioral Health Clinic for Children with Special Needs. As the nexus of the department’s operations, it was my responsibility to hold space and manage constant change as effectively as possible for our 130 families and 100 clinical staff in two locations.
- EWOC: Education, Work, Opportunity, Community – Director & Instructor for Welfare-to-Work Job Training Center. Created a soft-skills curriculum to support my students in managing the shift from poverty consciousness to being engaged members of the community.
- Camp Fire USA & Discovery Museum – Administrative Director & Event Organizer for a youth organization providing a variety of education and recreational programs.
- Area Agency on Aging & Volunteer Center of the Redwoods – Administrative support for all programs and events serving elders and volunteers in two counties.
Whether I am nurturing an online community or an in-person event, my mission is to create belonging spaces where everyone is welcome…
…and where change is managed with intention, boundaries and compassion.
* * *
I bring my lived experience to this work — and of course my identities inform how I lead.
I am fat and body neutral. Intersectionally feminist. Sex positive. Queer and married to a queer/ genderqueer person. I’m learning how to live as a birth mother in a radically open adoption, while simultaneously learning how to be an empty-nester. I was a single mom to two queer children of color who are now young adults following their dreams.
I am an artist, writer, and community builder living on the margins both by choice and cultural imperative.
I delight in living out on the edges of culture where things are weird and intense and beautiful.
I believe this is where our future lives — in the people who envision and experiment with new possibilities.
In the people who nurture transformation in themselves.
In our communities as we build each other up and and build out our radical lives and actions.
I learn and grow by walking out on the edges where humans are exploring everything that is possible, especially in the realms of human connection, relationship, and belonging.
I bring all of the gifts I was born with and the many skills I’ve learned in 20 years of professional and volunteer service to the work I do now.
When you see these possibilities — and the future! — in your groups and you want concrete support and practices to help foster belonging and skill-building, I’m here for you.
Let’s belong. Let’s begin.