People of color have been critical in advancing psychedelic healing in science, policy, and the community yet they are often relegated to behind the scenes invisible positions. Chacruna recognizes that people of color make difference in these vital areas. We have composed a list that represents only a fraction of many dedicated people of color whose voices are often unheard due to stigma and exclusion. These accomplished individuals are available for media interviews, speaking engagements, conferences, lectures and so forth. Do check back in as we will be updating this list regularly and on a rotating basis.

Kwasi Adusei is a psychiatric doctor of nursing practice and the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York. While managing the Psychedelic Society, he led the development of the Sanctuary Project, a grassroots psychedelic harm reduction program modeled after the Zendo Project. Additionally, he organized events like the Global Psychedelic Month of Service and the Global Psychedelic Earth Day Cleanup. He is also on the Psychedelics Today advisory board and a trainee in the MAPS MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training for people of color. 

Area: Community, Harm Reduction, Psychiatry

Selected Publications:

Popular Press:

Links:
psychonautsoftheworld.com

Contact: kwasiadu@buffalo.edu

Ismail Lourido Ali is Policy & Advocacy Counsel for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where he supports the development and implementation of strategies to create legal access to psychedelic substances in medical, sacramental, and personal contexts. Ismail is licensed to practice law in the state of California, and presently sits on the Advisory Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund. Ismail has previously served as Chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Board of Directors, and has worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project, as well as for the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he received his J.D. 

Area: Advocacy, Community

Selected Publications:

Selected Presentations: 

Popular Press:

Links:
www.maps.org
www.ssdp.org
http://ayahuascadefense.com/

Contact: askmaps@maps.org, ismail@maps.org

Camille Barton

Camille Barton is an artist, writer, and cultural somatics educator, working at the intersections of wellness, drug policy, and transformative justice. Camille is the director of the Collective Liberation Project and the creator of a trauma informed approach to diversity and decolonization work that centers the body and lived experience. Camille works as an advisor for MAPS, ensuring that MDMA psychotherapy will be accessible to communities of color, most harmed by the war on drugs. They work closely with Release in the UK on drug policy reform, and in 2018 co-produced RE:GENERATE, an arts festival on drug policy, racial justice and liberation. Camille was the project manager of the Psychedelic Medicine and Cultural Trauma Workshop, hosted by MAPS as a precursor to the first MDMA Psychotherapy training for therapists of color in 2019. Camille has written for Vice, Talking Drugs, the MAPS Bulletin, and DoubleBlind on drug policy & racial justice. They have presented on these issues at conferences including Psychedelic Science (2007), The International Drug Policy Reform Conference (2017 & 2019), and Harm Reduction International (2019).

Area: Harm reduction, racial justice, access and inclusion.

Selected Publications:

Selected Presentations:

Popular Press:

Links: www.camillebarton.co.uk

Contact: camille.barton5@gmail.com

Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey, is a critically acclaimed spraypaint artist. His visionary murals and art exhibitions have appeared all over the globe at museums, galleries, and public events. Chor also serves as a consultant and facilitator for interactive art installations, creativity workshops, and flow state exploration. In 2017, he was awarded the role of lead artist in an NEA grant with the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, to mentor a group of underserved high school art students through a professional-level mural project. In 2014, Chor experienced a profound soul healing within a traditional Bwiti ceremony using the medicine of his ancestors, iboga, a powerful visionary sacred plant medicine from Africa. He then traveled to Africa to experience the traditional Bwiti initiation, rite of passage, and immersive healer training. Chor integrates traditional African imagery and elements of his iboga visions in select contemporary works, visually transmitting the very heart of the medicine and the Bwiti culture of healing. Chor is passionate about including the voices of indigenous relations and teachers in the global psychedelic renaissance. 

Area: Arts, Community, Spirituality 

Selected Publications:

Selected Presentations:

Popular Press:

Links:
www.chorboogie.com

Contact: studio@chorboogie.com

NiCole T. Buchanan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University and Clinical Director and Founder of Alliance Psychological Associates, PLLC in East Lansing, MI. She is a trainee in the MAPS MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training for communities of color and anticipates offering MDMA-assisted psychotherapy when clinical trials are completed. Dr. Buchanan is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, four separate divisions of the American Psychological Association, and has received numerous national and international awards for her research, teaching, clinical work, and professional service. She is an accomplished speaker, writer, and scholar with more than 70 journal articles, book chapters, and research reports, and her work has been highlighted in hundreds of media outlets, including CBS News, the Huffington Post, and Essence Magazine, and she has been a featured speaker for several programs, including TEDx and National Public Radio (NPR).

Area: Psychology

Selected Publications:

Selected Presentations:

  • Buchanan, N. T., Settles, I. H., & Dotson, K. (2018, July). Epistemic exclusion: Academic hazing of faculty of color. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Culture Ethnicity and Race (Div. 45), Austin, TX. https://youtu.be/jY0owXj2WEw
  • Buchanan, N. T. (2017, April). Excising a virus of the mind: Individual and institutional responsibility for reducing implicit bias. Invited presentation for TEDxMSU at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. https://youtu.be/b5UUBPA1-FU
  • Buchanan, N. T. (2016, January). Bias and its role in social inequity. Invited presentation for the symposium, Sharper Focus, Wider Lenson The Nature of Inequality, Michigan State University Honor’s College. www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6zxPCGI64A

Links:
https://drnicoletbuchanan.com/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/nicole-t-buchanan-alliance-psychological-associates-pllc-east-lansing-mi/179963
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nicole_Buchanan

Contact: nicole.t.buchanan@gmail.com

Marca Cassity has over twenty years of experience in the healing arts, working with renowned therapists, spiritual teachers, artists, academics, and medicine people from around the world. After completing a BSN at the University of Oklahoma and working as an emergency room nurse for several years, their journey as a therapist began overcoming their own trauma and cultivating resilience as a two spirit, queer, mixed-race Native American who grew up on the Osage reservation of Oklahoma. In addition to a depth of personal work, and study of trauma-focused therapies, Marca has found healing in Peyote ceremony of the Native American Church, and for the last eighteen years has been deeply involved with ayahuasca healing and integration work. Their clinical training was at the Native American Health Center of San Francisco, with additional training at the Indian Country Child Trauma Center at the University of Oklahoma studying under Dr. Dolores Bigfoot. A critically acclaimed songwriter Marca delivers inspired folk rock spirit songs with Native nuances, that speak to overcoming hardship through resilience, in connection to nature, humor, love, compassion, spirituality, and heritage. Marca works as a therapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon. They sit on the advisory board on diversity for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and are completing training in MDMA assisted therapy. 

Area: Counseling & community

Popular Press:

Links:
www.cassitycounseling.com

Contact: marca@cassitycounseling.com

Terence Ching is a US-based Chinese Singaporean currently completing his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut (UConn). As a function of his clinical and research training, as well as his personal lived experiences, Terence has academic and clinical interests in the intersections between obsessive-compulsive and related disorders; anxiety disorders; stress, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder; cultural diversity based in race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, etc.; and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Terence has also assumed a co-therapist role in a prior MAPS-sponsored trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, in which he infused the research process with culturally-informed recruitment and assessment procedures. Terence is currently working on his doctoral dissertation, with an emphasis on examining possible differences in efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD between White participants and participants of color across MAPS-sponsored study sites. Terence will also supplement his dissertation scope with a mixed-methods case study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in a participant of color, with the goal of uncovering novel mechanisms of therapeutic change via qualitative analysis.

Area: Psychology

Selected Publications:

  • Ching, T. H. W., Lee, S. Y., Chen, J., So, R. P., & Williams, M. T. (2018). A model of intersectional stress and trauma in Asian American sexual and gender minorities. Psychology of Violence, 8(6), 657– 668. doi:10.1037/vio0000204 
  • Ching, T. H. W. (in press). Intersectional insights from an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training trial: An open letter to racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities. Journal of Psychedelic Studies.

Selected Presentations:

  • Ching, T. H. W., Williams, M. T., Kisicki, M. D., Reed, S. J., & George, J. R. (2017, November). MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant PTSD: MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 findings & cultural considerations for Phase 3 trials.Poster presented at the 2017 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention, San Diego, CA. 
  • Williams, M. T., Reed, S. J., Ching, T. H. W., George, J. R., & Wetterneck, C. T. [discussant] (2018, November). Psychedelic therapy for people of color. Panel presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Washington, DC
  • Ching, T. H. W. (2019, August). MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for participants of color with PTSD: Does it work?  Presentation at the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Training for Therapists of Color, Louisville, KY.

Links:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Terence_Ching
https://today.uconn.edu/2018/05/mdma-opens-door-ptsd-patients-work-trauma/

Contact: thwching@gmail.com

Dawn D. Davis calls herself a Newe, an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She is an Indigenous researcher who has spent over a decade focusing on the declining populations of peyote (Lophophora williamsii) in southwestern Texas. She brings unique insight to the field by sharing her Indigenous perspective and her knowledge as a member of the Native American Church (NAC). Her research includes inquiry into sustainable practices of peyote and examining peyote populations in North America using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to determine the existing and potential habitat. Dawn’s work offers recommendations for policy and environmental practices by peyotists and members of the NAC. Her research has been shared among Indigenous, academic, ethnobotanical, and psychedelic audiences nationally and internationally. Dawn is also knowledgeable on water policy within the state of Idaho, particularly as it applies to Federal Indian Water Rights.  Additionally, she is Co-Editor of the Journal of Native Sciences, an online publication focused on Indigenous research, where individuals can share, access information, and humbly offer strategies for issues facing Indigenous, Aborigine, American Indian, and First Nations peoples. She is also the CEO of BigTree Environmental LLC, which provides a wide variety of environmental, anthropological, and social science services. 

Area: Conservation and community

Selected Publications:

Selected Presentations:

  • Davis, D. D. (2017, April). Conservation strategies for sustainability of the peyote gardens: What is the indigenous approach? Oral Presentation at Psychedelic Science 2017 Conference, Oakland, CA.   

Popular Press:

Links:
https://www.bigtreellc.org/
https://www.nativesciences.com/about.html
https://www.facebook.com/indigenousresearcher

Contact: davisdawnd@gmail.com

Belinda Eriacho is a from the Diné (Navajo) and Ashwii (Zuni Pueblo) lineages.  He maternal clan is Honágháahnii (One-Walks-Around) and was born for the Naasht’ézhí (Zuni Pueblo) people.  Her maternal grandparents clan are Dibe lizhiní (Black Sheep) and her paternal grandparents are Naasht’ézhí (Zuni Pueblo). She is the child of the Mula:kwe (Macaw Parrot) on parental side. Belinda was born and raised on the Navajo reservation.  She holds degrees in Health Sciences, Public Health, and in Technology. As an adult Belinda journeyed through her own inner and physical healing. She then recognized her gifts as a healer and her true calling.

Area: Native American education and healing; Community

Selected Presentations:

  • Eriacho, B. (2019, August). Native American Legacy: Intergenerational Trauma. Presentation at the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Training for Therapists of Color, Louisville, KY.
  • Eriacho, B. (2019, February).  Native American herbalism: Diné perspective. Presentation at the 2019 Psychedelic Conference in Tempe, AZ.
  • Eriacho, B., & Slim, D. (2018) Diné philosophy, The cycles of life and the role in healing. Presentation at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ.
  • Eriacho, B. (in press). Considerations for psychedelic therapists when working with Native American people and communities. Journal of Psychedelic Studies.  

Popular Press:

Links:  
www.kaalogii.com

Contact: beriacho@cox.net

Dr. Charles Flores LPCC, LAADC-S, CEO of Vital Puma Integral Recovery, is a California licensed and nationally certified psychotherapist, and a state and internationally certified advanced drug and alcohol counselor who has practiced in multiple settings in the field of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders for over 25 years. He has directed several multi-million dollar substance abuse and mental health treatment programs in the Bay Area. He is currently the Psychedelics and Addictions Fellow for the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. He is also professor of Chemical Dependency Studies at California State University, East Bay and has taught psychology at John F. Kennedy University and several other universities for the past 15 years. Dr. Flores is a Board Director of the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals, where he serves on the Executive and Legislative Committees. Originally hailing from the South Bronx, Dr. Flores obtained his BA from Vassar College in International Studies and Philosophy, his MS in Counseling Psychology at Fordham University, and gained additional training and certifications in Family Counseling in Iona College, the Ackerman Institute, Gestalt Associates, Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, Sophia University, and his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Integral Studies in multicultural, humanistic, and spiritual psychology. He has published and presented on the topic of Integral Psychology and somatic psychology in conferences in the US, Europe, and India. Dr. Flores has had a long-standing passion for harm-reduction Recovery from substance mis-use, and the use of technology and meditation and other spiritual practice to support individual and societal change. He is excited about the prospects for the use of psychedelic therapies for Recovery in this “psychedelic renaissance”, and directing these therapies to the underserved and traumatized populations that most need them.

Area: Psychotherapy, Addictions, Consciousness Studies

Selected Publications:

  • Flores, C, (2010). Appropriation in integral theory. In S. Esbjorn-Hargens, (Ed.), Integral theory in action: Applied, theoretical, and constructive perspectives on the AQAL model. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  • Flores, C., & Gleig, A. (2014). Remembering Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: The forgotten lineage of integral yoga. In M. Singleton & and E. Goldberg (Eds.), Gurus of modern yoga. New York City, NY: Oxford University Press.

Popular Press:

Links:
www.vitalpuma.com

Contact: drcharlesiflores@yahoo.com

Jamilah R. George, M.Div., a Detroit native, singer, dancer, and actress obtained her bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, completed her master’s training at Yale University, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, PTSD and the psychological effects of discrimination and racial trauma on people of color, the neurological underpinnings of these disorders, and the potential promise of psychedelic medicine as a means to healing. Recently, Jamilah was a MAPS-sponsored phase 2 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy co-therapist whose site focused on treatment-resistant PTSD among people of color and was the only site with this focus. Jamilah’s passion for social justice and equality issues fuels her work as she advocates for the mental and holistic wellbeing of socially disenfranchised groups, including women, people of color, impoverished domestic and international communities, and the intersections thereof.

Area: Psychology

Selected Publications:

  • George, J. R., Michaels, T. I., Sevelius, J., & Williams, M. T.  (2019). The psychedelic renaissance and the limitations of a White-dominant medical framework: A call for indigenous and minority inclusion. Journal of Psychedelic Studies. doi: 10.1556/2054.2019.015
  • Williams, M. T., George, J., & Printz, D. (in press). Behavioral health service delivery with African Americans. In L. Benuto, F. R. Gonzalez, & J. Singer (Eds.), Handbook for cultural factors in behavioral health: A guide for the helping professional. New York City, NY: Springer

Selected Presentations:

  • George, J. R. (2019, August). Let justice roll down: Relinquishing psychedelic healing for people of color. Presented at the Psychedelic Medicine & Cultural Trauma Community Workshop. Louisville, KY.
  • George, J. R. (2019, February). Healing racial trauma with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy: A call to expand the psychedelic narrative. Presented at the Arizona Psychedelic Conference, Tempe, AZ.
  • Williams, M. T., Wetterneck, C. T., Reed, S., Siu, W., Ching, T. & George, J. R. (2018, November). Psychedelic therapy for PTSD in people of color. Panel presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Washington, DC.

Popular Press:

Contact: jamilah.george@uconn.edu

Mellody Hayes is a physician-writer who trained in Sociology at Harvard College before training as a physician and anesthesiologist at UCSF.  Known for her heart-centered, powerful public speaking, her writing, speaking, coaching, and work in palliative care serves to encourage us to develop a better relationship to human suffering, be it anxiety, depression, pain, or end of life crisis.  She believes that each person has a story of possibility, even in the presence of great pain, to be uncovered that is part of their personal medicine.

Area: Medicine and Community

Selected Presentations:

  • Hayes, M. (2019). Poetics of healing. Listening to Listening Colloquium Panelist. San Francisco, CA, 2009.
  • Hayes, M. (2019). The nocturnist [Live storytelling]. Brava Theater. San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/14cFTX-lZmJeF_kLAM_8xh2LbNwZ-FTkx/view?usp=drivesdk
  • Hayes, M. (2019, March). Oakland Decriminalize Nature Rally [Keynote speaker]. San Francisco, CA.

Links:
mellodyhayes.com

Contact: mellodyhayes@gmail.com

Kufikiri Hiari Imara was born and raised in Oakland, California. He grew up in an Oakland very different than the one we see today; it was an Oakland with a broader and more embodied sense of community. He grew up the youngest in a household with parents who are both Bay Area natives, both of them born in San Francisco. In addition, both his parents, growing up, were active in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of San Francisco of the 1960s & 70s. So, he grew up in a home and a community environment that strongly emphasized social awareness and social responsibility. Play that forward to an older, wiser individual who unfolded his path through a love of the arts, and his own personal healing spiritual journey. That path led him to volunteer to work with Green Earth Poets Society, bringing poetry to incarcerated African-American youth. He is one of the early members of the Entheogen Integration Circle, a support group in NYC with a focus on marginalized communities within the psychedelic community. He is currently involved with the Sacred Garden Community’s facilitators workshop to deepen his work as a ceremonial facilitator working with ethnically diverse communities. One of the reasons he got involved with the Decriminalize Nature Oakland (DNO) initiative is access. And, as head of the DNO committee focused on Outreach, Education, & Access, he wants to see broad access when it comes to the opportunity to profoundly change one’s life for the better through working with entheogens. Paying special attention to Oakland’s ethnically diverse and marginalized communities, he is actively working with individuals and organizations doing the work in these communities for a better tomorrow. He stays actively engaged with the offices of Oakland City Council members to see a better Oakland for all. Access has always been his message, and was the focus of his talk when he spoke at the CIIS/Chacruna Symposium, Cultural and Political Perspectives on Psychedelic Science, in August of 2018 in San Francisco. He also gave a talk hosted by the San Francisco Psychedelic Society, in March of 2019. He continues to work towards accessible choices for ethnically diverse and marginalized communities in their quest to heal themselves. 

Area: Arts, Advocacy and Community

Selected Publications:

  • Imara, K. (2018). The psychedelic renaissance will be decided by access. Chacruna.net Retrieved from https://chacruna.net/the-psychedelic-renaissance-will-be-decided-by-access/

Selected Presentations:

Popular Press:

Contact (Instagram):  @kufikirihiariimara

Joseph McCowan

Joseph McCowan, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, currently working in Los Angeles as a co-therapist in the MAPS sponsored Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. He is an alumni of MAPS’ MDMA Therapy Training for Communities of Color, held in August 2019. Joseph is deeply passionate about furthering education and awareness of the healing benefits of psychedelics for communities of color and in working to improve mental health outcomes for historically underserved communities. Additionally, Joseph works as a therapist, educator, and clinical supervisor with the non-profit St. Joseph Center in Venice, California, which provides mental health and housing resources to homeless individuals and families across Los Angeles County. There, he provides individual and group supervision, along with ongoing training and education in trauma-informed care, harm reduction, and cultural humility. Joseph received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Area: Psychology, Psychedelic Therapy

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

  • McCowan Joseph, Wright, Drea, James, Charlotte, Adusei, Kwasi, Valdez, Heather, & Taus, Lauren. (August 2020). Transformative Justice and Psychedelics: Harm Reduction, Anti-Racism, Ancestral Healing and Spiritual Bypassing. KDome Microdome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5nXIO6r-aI.

Contact: drjmccowan@gmail.com

Marcela Ot’alora G. was born and raised in Colombia, and currently living in Boulder, Colorado.  She has an MA in Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Marcela began her career as an Installation artist and teacher and after completing her training as a psychotherapist, she started a private practice working primarily with trauma with diverse populations. Her interest and focus on trauma has led her to understand the healing process as an intimate re-connection with one’s innate essence through love, integrity, acceptance, and honoring of the human spirit.  In addition to working with trauma and PTSD, she has dedicated her professional life to teaching, and research.  She uses art as a vehicle for deepening connection to self and the world and since 1999 has worked for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as a co-therapist and a principal investigator in various studies using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD and as part of therapist’s training. Additionally, she is a trainer and supervisor for therapists working on MAPS studies. She is deeply grateful for home, loved ones, making art, and the privilege to stop and smell the flowers.

Area: Psychotherapy & Research

Selected Publications:

  • Ot’alora, M., Grigsby, J., Poulter, B., Van Derveer, J. W., Giron, S. G., Jerome, L. … & Doblin, R. (2018). 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized phase 2 controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 32(12), 1295–1307.
  • Ot’alora, M. (2018). Between two worlds. Psychotherapy Networker.42(5) . Retrieved from https://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/magazine/article/2309/between-two-worlds

Select Presentations:

  • Ferriss, T., & Ot’alora, M. (2019, November). Becoming a psychedelic therapist [Live podcast interview]. Interview conducted at Psychedelic Science Summit, Austin, TX.

Popular Press:

Link
https://maps.org

Emailmotalorag@comcast.net

Nicholas Powers is a literature professor, poet and journalist. He has written about politics, psychedelics and the counter-culture. His book “The Ground Below Zero; 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street” was published by Upset Press in 2014. 

Area: Literature & Poetry

Selected Publications:

Select Presentations:

Popular Press:

Links:
https://indypendent.org/authors/nicholas-powers/

Contact: powersn@oldwestbury.edu

Sara Reed, MS, MFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist at Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Tolland, Connecticut and a Study Therapist for the Psilocybin-assisted Psychotherapy for Major Depression study at Yale University. She is also a member of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Advisory Board. Sara also served as a Sub-Investigator and Study Coordinator for MAPS’ Phase 2 MDMA Clinical Study of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She is a member of Chacruna’s Racial Equity and Access Committee.

Area: Psychotherapy 

Selected Publications: 

Selected Presentations:

  • Siu, W., & Reed, S. (2018, April). MDMA-assisted psychotherapy: “Our experiences as subjects in an FDA-approved clinical trial.” Sponsored by UConn Students for Sensible Drug Policy, University of Connecticut.
  • Reed, S. (2018, November). Ego dissolution, racial wounds, and the female body: A journey home. Women and Psychedelics Conference, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA.
  • Williams, M. T., Wetterneck, C. T., Reed, S., Siu, W., Ching, T. & George, J. (2018, November). Psychedelic therapy for PTSD in people of color. Panel presentation for 34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Washington, DC.

Popular Press:

Links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXkFnnj_F3w&t=157s

Contact: sarajreed1@gmail.com

Sensei Kevon Simpson is an ordained Minister, multidisciplinary artist, international Two Spirit Medicine Man, a Shotokan Karate black belt, and founder of the Entheogen Integration Circle (NYC). He is from a lineage of Jamaican spiritual healers, and in the spirit of Sankofa he calls upon his Taíno and Akan ancestry often. He is also initiated through ‘dieta’ into the path of curanderismo, the ancient sacred healing plant medicine shamanism of the Amazon Rainforest, and Andes. During his extended stays in Pucallpa, Iquitos, and Chavín de Huantar, Perú, he learned the techniques of guiding ceremonies from fellow indigenous keepers of the Earth, with the intent of bringing the experience back to marginalized communities. He has traveled as far as Taiwan, Jamaica, Canada, and even Japan within his path as a medicine guide and high dose solo sitter. Known as one of the leaders of the underground psychedelic renaissance, clinical psychotherapists often come to him for advice with their clients. Since 2018 he has graced Chacruna’s stage twice as a speaker and panelist at their psychedelics and science conferences. In 2019 he opened the world renowned HORIZONS psychedelic conference as the ritual voice of spirit. He is a Reiki Master, who also has over 15 years of guiding meditation experience, and often combines the practices of mindfulness with poetry, dance, and sound healing, in order to lift people out of their wounds, and into their divine purpose. Kevon’s whole life changed in 2017 when he became public with his HIV status, and has since been an advocate to help lower the stigma through articles, appearances, and more. In his spare time you can find him practicing medicine songs and icaros, playing his handpan, or doing live feeds of spiritual upliftment under his social media handle Medicine Sensei, or by following the hashtag #planetocatch.

Area: Shamanism & Arts

Selected Publications:

  • Simpson, K. A. (2012). Trick or treat: A guide or success for LGBTQ community. New York, NY: Author. Trick or Treat 
  • Simpson, K. A. (2013). Grammatology: A blending of science, spirit, and poetry. New York City, NY: Author. 

Selected Presentations:

Popular Press:

Links:
https://kevonsimpson.com
www.patreon.com/medicinesensei 

Contact: Kevon@kevonsimpson.com

Licia Sky, BFA, LMT, is a Boston based somatic educator, writer, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation in movement, theater exercises, writing and voice as tools for attunement, healing and connection. She is a regular instructor in trauma healing workshops at Kripalu, and Esalen. In the course of over 25 years of bodywork practice, she developed her methods of vocalizing for embodiment in physical and emotional healing when she began using her voice with her bodywork clients by vocalizing and toning – to help them release the constriction from repressed vocal expression. She found that breathing, toning and vocalizing led to profound beneficial changes of physical and emotional state. She has been teaching workshops on these subjects around the US, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Egypt, Israel, and New Zealand. 

Selected Presentations:

Popular Press:

Links:
liciasky.com 

Contactlicia@liciasky.com or her Angela Lin: assistant@besselvanderkolk.com

Cristie Strongman, M.A., is Director of Chacruna’s Racial Equity and Access Committee. She is a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the program of counseling psychology with a concentration on diversity, and multicultural, bilingual competencies. She holds two master’s degrees from Columbia University, with a third on the way. The first one is from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in regional studies of Latin America and the Caribbean (2018), where her research focused on the mimesis of indigenous rituals in urban landscapes by contemporary shamans. Her second master’s is from Columbia’s Teachers College in mental health counseling (2019), and her third is in counseling psychology, expected in 2020. Her bachelor of arts degree is in sociology from Hunter College, City University of New York (2016), where she studied the sociology of drugs in the USA. She is a trainee of the MAPS MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training for communities of color and a night attendant for the MAPS phase 3, FDA approved, clinical trials on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in New York City. Cristie is a classically trained opera singer who enjoys performing compositions that employ unique tunings and instrumentation, including homemade instruments, as she did in several performances in Carnegie Hall. Cristie is originally from Colón, Panamá in Central America. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her orange cat Gustav.

Area: Psychology & Community

Selected Presentations:

  • Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Multicultural Considerations. 2019 American Psychological Association. Psilocybin FDA Breakthrough Status-Psychedelic Health Literacy, Ethical, and Multicultural Topics, Chicago, IL. August 10, 2019.
  • Decolonizing Psychedelics for Latinx and Afro Caribbeans. Symposium Cultural and Political Perspectives in Psychedelic Science. CIIS/ Chacruna Institute. San Francisco, August 18-19, 2018. Available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMSJHhfoeQM/ (Video: 17:48)

Popular Press:

Links:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cristiestrongman/

Contact: Cristie.Strongman@Columbia.edu and Cristie.Chacruna@gmail.com

Joe Tafur, M.D., is a Colombian-American family physician originally from Phoenix, Arizona. After completing his family medicine training at UCLA, Dr. Tafur spent two years in academic research at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry in a lab focused on mind-body medicine. After his research fellowship, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. There he worked closely with master Shipibo shaman Ricardo Amaringo and trained in ayahuasca shamanism. In his new book “The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine,” through a series of stories, Dr. Tafur shares his unique experience and integrative medical theories. The book strives to illuminate the intersection between biology, emotion and spirituality. He is Co-founder of Modern Spirit, a nonprofit dedicated to demonstrating the value of spiritual healing in modern healthcare.

Area: Medicine & Ayahuasca Shamanism

Selected Publications

  • Tafur, J. (2017). The fellowship of the river: A medical doctor’s exploration into traditional Amazonian plant medicine. Phoenix, AZ: Espiritu Books. 

Selected Presentations

Popular Press

Links:
modernspirit.org
drjoetafur.com

Contact: joe.tafur@gmail.com

Kaylie Tejeda

Kaylie Tejeda is a Latinx, queer certified registered nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA). Born and raised in New York, she more recently finds herself calling California’s Central Valley home, where she practices and teaches anesthesia. She also just started a non-profit to provide housing, compassionate transpersonal care and community for houseless individuals. She has been in the healthcare field going on 9 years and recently began her PhD at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she is studying Integral and Transpersonal Psychology. Kaylie serves as the moderator of the Psychedelic Social Justice Collective (PSJC) discord server and is a member of the Intercollegiate Psychedelic Network’s Social Policy & Impact Spore. Her passions, while diverse, are predominately centered on social justice advocacy, with an emphasis on justice, ethics, and equity in the psychedelic field and healthcare at large, rewriting societal narratives, and participating in initiatives that support communities historically, and currently, plagued by systemic inequities.

Area: Anesthesia, Transpersonal Psychology

Selected Presentations

  • Chacruna Institute. (2020). Ketamine Therapy: Promoting Access and Cultural Responsibility. https://chacruna.net/ketamine-therapy-access-responsibility-2/.
  • Tejeda, Kaylie. (2020, September 2016). How Experiences of Race can Influence Psychedelic Experiences. In Intercollegiate Psychedelic Network Journal Club [Zoom Presentation].

Contact: KTejeda@mymail.ciis.edu

Gita Vaid

Gita Vaid, MD is a board certified psychiatrist and psychoanalyst practicing ketamine assisted psychotherapy in New York City. She is a co-founder of the Center for Natural Intelligence, a multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to the exploration and research of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies. Dr. Vaid completed her residency training at NYU Medical Center, psychoanalytic training at the Pscyhoanalytic Association of New York. She trained as a fellow in clinical psychopharmacology and neurophysiology at New York Medical College and completed a research fellowship at NYU Medical Center. Dr. Vaid is a MAPS trained psychedelic psychotherapist and is on faculty at The Ketamine Training Center.

Area: Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis

Link: https://www.cni.nyc/

Contact: gvaidmd@gmail.com

Dr. Monnica Williams is a board-certified clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut. She completed her undergraduate studies at MIT and UCLA. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia. Her clinical work and research focus on African American mental health, culture, trauma, and OCD. She was the PI for a MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 study of MDMA for PTSD, with a focus on culturally-informed treatment for people of color. She has also received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Psychological Foundation (APF) for her research. Dr. Williams has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, with a focus on psychopathology and cultural differences. She has leadership roles in several international professional organizations, serves on the editorial board of two scientific journals, is an associate editor of two journals, and is currently a guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Psychedelic Studies, on the topic of Diversity, Equity, and Access. Her work has been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, The Washington Post, and the New York Times.

Dr. Williams is available for media interviews, symposia, keynote lectures, and plenary talks.

Area: Psychology

Selected Publications:

  • Michaels, T. I., Purdon, J., Collins, A. & Williams, M. T. (2018). Inclusion of people of color in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy: A review of the literature. BMC Psychiatry, 18(245), 1-9. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1824-6.
  • Williams, M. T., & Leins, C. (2016). Race-based trauma: The challenge and promise of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Bulletin26(1), 32-37.
  • Williams, M. T., Reed, S., & Aggarwal, R. (in press). Culturally-informed research design issues in a study for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorderJournal of Psychedelic Studies. doi: 10.1556/2054.2019.016

Selected Presentations:

  • Williams, M. T. (2018, October 6). Race-Based trauma: The challenge and promise of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.Paper presented at Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics, New York City, NY.

Popular press:

  • Sullivan, K. (2018, October 1). Black Americans Are Being Left Out of Psychedelics Research. Vice Tonic.
  • Bain, K. (2018, June 26). Psychedelics are going mainstream, because the mainstream needs them. Vice.

Links:
http://monnicawilliams.com
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking
http://www.mentalhealthdisparities.org/psychedelic-medicine.php

Contact: http://monnicawilliams.com/contact.php

Art by Karina Alvarez.


Disclaimer:

This page will be constantly updated, with entries removed if they become out of date. If you are a author, speaker, or researcher of color and want to be listed, please contact us. Your application will be reviewed by Chacruna’s Racial Equity and Access Committee. We are including those with expertise and excellence in Chacruna’s areas of interest. Some indications of  qualification may include the completion of graduate work; papers published in journals, books, or popular websites; public presentations in academic conferences or psychedelic events. Other evidence of accomplishment that does not fit into traditional structures will be reviewed and considered on a case by case basis. Please send your application with the materials above, and one paragraph with your biography, papers, and links to public presentations to: Cristie Strongman at: cristie.chacruna@gmail.com



Psychedelics & Native American Heritage Month Featuring Sutton King in conversation with Bia Labate Wednesday, November 25th from 12-1:30pm PST REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT...

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