author, speaker, trauma therapist, racial and social justice advocate and facilitator, Co-Founder
Growing A New Heart
JAC is a trained body centered trauma clinician, who has worked with sexually trafficked women and children in over forty countries. She facilitates the international Growing A New Heart retreat series for women, including Happy and Hard to Fool. These retreats have been featured at the Omega Institute, the Art of Living Retreat Center and at retreat centers throughout the UK.
JAC is the author of three books on discerning destructive relationships through Penguin/Berkley) including culturally specific versions in Japanese and Polish). She has authored peer reviewed bulletins on working with the faith community and building a victim assistance academy as well as articles on restorative and parallel justice. JAC has a weekly column and local television show featuring stories of change, transformation and community connection. Her newest short films on poverty domestic violence are called Making Change and Before White Settler Money.
JAC’s current efforts include offering national trainings in Dialogues Across Differences, to promote skillful, transformational dialogue across profound differences of social location. JAC has a weekly column and local television show featuring stories of change, transformation and community connection. Her newest short film on rural economic poverty is called Making Change.
Author, educator, Executive Director
Tanisha Arena is a Black woman in community leadership as the Executive Director of Arise for Social Justice in Springfield, Ma. She holds a Masters n non-profit management from Baypath University ( a private women’s college in MA.) Ms. Arena is an experienced educator at Growing A New Heart, where she trains regularly on Holding Space: holding affinity, anti-racism, self-education and support groups and on Dialogues Across Differences of social location, including race and ethnicity. Ms. Arena has deep roots in the field of anti-violence work, specializing in community advocacy and responses to intimate partner violence within the LGBTQ community. Ms. Arena is a published author whose current projects include an award winning podcast called “Unapologetic,” where she discusses current racial activism and politics in a way that explores racial realities with courage, clarity and humor.
Estoy Aqui LLC
My name is Ysabel Garcia and I am a first-generation Dominican immigrant with a bold and ambitious mission to dive heart first into raw and honest conversations about mental health, equity, and suicide prevention. I am a social justice educator, skilled dialogue facilitator, wounded healer, and disruptor of systems of oppression.
As a psychiatric system survivor, I have witnessed the harmful effects of mainstream mental health practices, which often ignore the social and cultural factors underlying mental health issues. Still, I show an endearing sense of humor during typically dark discussions and have the ability to talk openly about my experiences of pain to inspire others to do the same.
I embody my messaging and personality through Estoy Aqui training spaces where I offer clarity, compassion, and culturally responsive support to organizations and institutions serving the Latino/x and Black community.
I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Child Psychology and a Master's Degree in Public Health from Bay Path University.