About Me, April Cheri.

I am a Community Steward. I create and nurture radically inclusive spaces — in person and online — for community to come together and transform.

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, people who are poor and isolated or houseless, children with special needs, and the LGBTIQ community.

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.

And more and more, 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 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 and 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 Work 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:

My lineage includes the teachings of bell hooks (critical consciousness, love, oppression, education, and community), Audre Lorde (intersectional oppression and social justice), Christina Baldwin (circles), Martin Luther King, Jr. (Beloved Community), Peter Block (community), M Scott Peck (self awareness & psychology of community), Parker Palmer (belonging & circles of trust), Carl Jung (self awareness & archetypes), Caroline Myss (archetypes), John Welwood (relationship as spiritual practice), Andrew Solomon (identity and inclusion), Charles Eisenstein (sacred economics),  Lewis Hyde (gift economy),  Frances Weller (grief and ritual), and more.

As a soul and a professional who is always pushing my edges and evolving, I’m currently studying and skill-building in the Alive Program for harm reduction and nurturing intimacy in relationships; and the 4 Skills Workshop  for Relationship Competency with Dr. Jenn McCabe.

I’m currently working as a Community Steward for We Are the Culture Makers on Facebook, and my past work around community-building and nurturing belonging includes:

  • 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 and include. 
  • 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. 
  • Macdonald Center – 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 for a youth organization providing a variety of education and recreational programs.
  • Changing Tides Family Services – Respite Services Specialist serving families with children who have special needs.
  • Area Agency on Aging & Volunteer Center of the Redwoods – Administrative support for all programs and events serving elders and volunteers in two counties.
  • Open Door Community Health Centers – HR Generalist for the primary health and dental care provider for people who live in poverty in Humboldt County, CA.

Whether I am nurturing an online community or an in-person event,  my mission is to create belonging and 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 and steward our groups.

I am fat and body neutral. Intersectionally feminist. Sex positive. Witchy. 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 as a Community Steward.

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 to be your community partner and Community Steward.

Let’s belong. Let’s begin.