Our team is skilled, passionate and excited to engage the community in meaningful connection for collective wellbeing through our various modalities.
Liberty Gonzalez (They/Them)
Consultant, educator & coach for liberatory
community change creators, artist & musician.
Andy Prescott (he/him)
Trauma-informed massage therapy, reiki, and sound healing for all bodies.
Co-Facilitators & Consultants
Let us introduce you to the incredible team of folks who make the dream of Awakening Creatives a reality.
Raquel Busa (She/Her)
My story does not begin with me. Actually, I'm not sure where it starts. Somewhere in Puerto Rice, after centuries of colonialism, my Grandmother on my father's side was born into extreme poverty. I found her name listed on an old census. She was a maid. She had six children, and three of them died of hunger. My Grandmother on my mother's side lived in the Dominican Republic on a small farm that sustained her family, but they didn't have enough money to send their children to school. And somehow, my parents immigrated to the United States, married, and raised seven children. I am the youngest. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree. I traveled worldwide, and finally settled down with my wife and dog in Howard Beach, Queens, originally Canarsie and Munsee Lenape indigenous land. My name is Raquel Busa. My pronouns are she/her. I am a queer illustrator.
Khi Giles (They / Them)
Co-facilitator & Intern
Khi Giles (They / Them) is a nonbinary, Black radical that studied music theory, sociology and social work with an emphasis on trauma informed care that utilizes strength based, motivational interviewing. Working in nonprofits for 8+ years, their experience lies in confronting houselessness, providing peer LGBTQ+ education, navigating mental health, and advocating for individuals in crisis. As a queer, trans*, Black individual Khi imagines a world where every person is wholistically and unapologetically loved. Khi believes that every person is worthy of dignity and respect and it is important to lead our lives protecting and advocating for revolutionary care. Native to St. Louis, Khi currently bartends and spends their time playing and reviewing video games with the company of their two cat sons (Rootbeer and Popcorn).
Lazarus Jameson (They/Them)
Pastor Tori Jameson (they/them) is a radical trans(nonbinary) queer/lesbian, sex (body+kink) positive, process-liberation practical theologian and community organizer/chaplain. They have a master of divinity (MDiv) from Andover Newton Theological School (Boston, MA) where they studied interfaith community ministry, and served in a variety of progressive Christian and Unitarian-Universalist settings.
They spent much of their undergraduate years in a fundamentalist Christian cult (ask them about it and about leaving!) and have a bachelors degree in technology education (after spending their final semester teaching woodshop to middle school students). Pastor Tori is not a native St. Louisian but does love provel cheese and the monkey house at the zoo. They are a proud cat parent to two chonky rescue tabby cats. If they are not running around the city with a community member, Tori can often be found playing board games at the sex-positive coffeeshop (Shameless Grounds), in the streets protesting, or supporting friends and community members at drag king night at Grey Fox.
Yi-Li Godfrey (she/her)
Music Therapist and Facilitator
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Yi-Li (she/her) is an immigrant, Taiwanese/Chinese American, and an artist of color. Yi-Li is a living testimony of the incredible resiliency of our humanity – that oppression, colonization, loss, trauma, and unspeakable despairs from previous generations can be re-written. As a Juilliard graduate and music therapist, she was motivated to create The Hudson Symphony to serve both as a training ground for young musicians as well as affordable tickets where diverse socioeconomic community members could come together for a shared experience.
Today, Yi-Li works with individuals and groups with diverse identities. She is a certified Core Energetics practitioner and joins her husband at their private practice Radical Aliveness Philadelphia which helps people deeply transform to live authentic and fulfilling lives. As a Staff Facilitator at StirFry Seminars and Consulting, she facilitates diversity conversations with government agencies, colleges, organizations, and companies.
Myriesha Barber, MA (She/Her)
My name is Myriesha, an artist, poet, chef, gardener, writer, studying herbalist, scholar, and creative from Toledo, Ohio. I am currently obtaining my Phd in Depth Psychology with a specialization in Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychology.
My creations encompass my relationship to nature and the community that has been created through this work of remaining in relationships with all beings in the creative process. My themes of nature-inspired pieces accompanied by creative writing has allowed for an authentic expression of my relationship to the work but also encourages others to engage each piece more deeply as they meet parts of themselves. My collection of art titled, We Are Beautiful Creations, encapsulates my desire to bridge each element of creation including the natural world, and emphasizes the beauty that lies in each living being as we continue to create our beautiful lives together in community, as Family.
Jamilah Shabazz, MA (She/We)
Hello Family. My name is Jamilah Iman Shabazz and I go by Dream Doula Jam. I am an Ontological, Experiential, and Transformational Coach. What that all that means is I support people in discovering themselves deeply and shifting their own awareness of themselves so that they can live their best lives and actualize their wildest dreams.
I'm my clients' personal hype woman who is very skilled in being a mirror to their best selves by asking powerful questions and helping connect dots. I naturally and effortlessly fan the flames of people's passions. My clients have leveled up their lives as a result of our time together. Some have become better parents, some have created their dream careers and businessesn and some have become better coaches. All of my clients end our sessions feeling renewed, powerful, embracing their authenticity, and feeling that their dreams are within reach.
As your Dream Doula, I want to support you in giving birth to all your dreams, regardless of whether you have a birthing body or not. We all are able to create and manifest. If your dreams are to improve your relationship with yourself or others, build a business, start a new career, go back to school, travel the world, personal development, spiritual bliss, improve your health, self-discovery, or boost your self-care, I'd love to go on this journey with you and co-create the life of your dreams. Book a Discovery session whenever you're ready to live the life of your dreams.
Mack Mercury (They/Them)
Macklan King is a marketing consultant, graphic & web designer, digital artist, and tarot & astrology reader based in St. Louis, MO. Macklan’s marketing work spans the breadth of the industry, including everything from marketing strategy and brand development to public relations, social media, website SEO, and email marketing. They thrive in end-to-end marketing projects, guiding clients in developing a brand strategy, translating the strategy into tangible actions, executing those actions, and using analytics to guide the strategy’s evolution.
Macklan’s creative work includes everything from logo design to social media graphics, content development, branded website design, and digital art. They use their creative skills to communicate ideas, moods, and themes visually, and balance a keen eye for detail with unbridled creativity.
Outside of their marketing, design, and art, Macklan is also a tarot and astrology reader. Their empathy and intuition are major sources of growth and healing in their own life, and they are passionate about sharing them with others to help them connect with themselves and their own inner knowing, make aligned decisions, and connect to additional sources of guidance and healing.
Brittney Shawnee (She/Her)
Brittney is a 200HR certified yoga teacher, licensed massage therapist, energy medicine practitioner and wife. She believes self-care to be an important practice for managing good health and well-being. Helping people tap into their personal power to heal and improve quality of life is her passion as she believes that to be the foundation for building sustainable communities.
Inspired by growing up in a family with its share of health issues including her own, Brittney began a process of self-study and came to realize the impact of natural healing. Yoga and other forms of self-care started to become a part of her lifestyle routine when she decided to start on the holistic health career path. She focused on incorporating the knowledge from her psychology background with her skills as a massage therapist in order to address the whole well-being of a person.
Brittney received her certification for massage and energy therapy through the Healing Arts Center in St. Louis, MO. Now practicing for over 3 years, she specializes in mind-body reconnection and relaxation using an integrative approach to bodywork and energy therapy. She received her yoga training by Stacy Berry, ERYT500, of Yoga Pipeline STL paired with The Collective STL. She favors Gentle and Yin styles which are great for all levels of yogis with reduced risk of injury and brings a balance to the yang-style classes that are primarily available.
Latriece Clark, MA (She/Her)
Latriece Clark, M.A., is a Ph.D. candidate at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Adjunct Instructor and Project Coordinator/ Co-organizer for the Grassroots Reparations Campaign.
Matt Sanders (He/Him)
Tech and Marketing Consultant
Matt is an event organizer, tech consultant and marketing extraordinaire based in St. Louis, MO. He was instrumental in helping to relaunch Awakening Creatives and get systems on board. He also happens to be quite fashionable and is responsible for the delightful blue bowtie featured in many of Liberty’s headshots.
Mariah Simpson, MA (She/Her)
Mariah was born and raised in the western Sierra Nevada foothills. She graduated in 2013 with a BA in English with an emphasis in American literature and a minor in ethnic studies from CSUS. She is currently pursuing an MA from Pacifica Graduate Institute in depth psychology, with a specialization in community, liberation, indigenous, and ecopsychology. Mariah is a certified hatha yoga instructor, k-12 yoga instructor, council carrier, and dream tender.
For five years, she worked to help protect beautiful landscapes and critical habitats from development. For the last three years, she has worked in an administrative role with The Ojai Foundation, which provides programs to help individuals deepen connection with self, others, and nature, with an emphasis on the practice of council. She also currently works for Granite Wellness Centers as an addiction counselor, accompanying clients on their journey through the underworld.
VP Wright (She/They)
Vee has a bachelor’s degree in comparative ethnic studies with a minor in pop culture & women’s studies from Washington State University. Vee is currently finishing up 60 hours worth of official coach training from Inner Glow Circle and has been certified by the International Coach Federation in July 2020. Vee is attending Berklee School of Music Online for her masters in music business. She is expected to complete her studies by 2023.
Vee has completed over 100+ hour of 1:1 hybrid-style mentorship hours with clients since February 2018. Vee has also planned over 500 virtual concerts, speaking events, and workshops since August 2016. While working with her clients and mentees, and diligently working to increase the visibility through writing and engagement with the creative community in Houston, Vee has been featured and heavily involved in various publications and organizations, such as: MSNBC, Voyage Houston, NowThis Politics, NPR, Societygal, Girlboss, American Express, ifundwomen, and Yahoo Finance
Tina Grecchi (She/Her)
Born in Italy and growing up in the forests of New Jersey, Tina Grecchi is multi-passionate creative currently based out of Portland, Oregon. She holds a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, a UX Design Professional Certificate from Google/Coursera, and is a certified yoga instructor, herbalist, master gardener, and volunteer naturalist. She is endlessly inspired by learning, creativity, psychology, diversity, and what makes us vitally human at the intersection of technology, design, ecology, and culture.
With over ten years of experience working with successful creative companies, organizations, and individual artists, she takes a holistic approach to building & elevating visions and brands with the goal of creating a better and more equitable world.
With a solid package of digital design, online course creation, UX/UI design and strategy, digital marketing, relationship building, and creative business expertise, she is on your side no matter what stage you are in your creative business.
Lee Mun Wah (He/Him)
Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folkteller, educator, community therapist, master diversity trainer and producer of the acclaimed social studies documentary "The Color of Fear." For more than 25 years he was a resource specialist and counselor in the San Francisco Unified School District. He later became a consultant to private schools, working with students that had severe learning and behavioral issues.
Lee Mun Wah is now the Executive Director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on issues pertaining to cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation, and conflict mediation techniques. Thousands of people from government and social service agencies, corporations and educational institutions have taken Lee Mun Wah’s workshops and partnered with Stirfry Seminars & Consulting on their diversity initiatives.
Brenna Bell (She/Her)
Brenna brings to her work a lifetime of passion for the Pacific Northwest, twenty years of organizing experience, and an extensive background in environmental law and education. Her involvement with Cascadia Forest Alliance and the campaign to save Eagle Creek led her to Lewis & Clark Law School, where she graduated cum laude.
Brenna has worked with numerous non-profits and is a co-founder of Tryon Life Community Farm - a community sustainability education center. She also lives, and is raising her two children and many goats, in Cedar Moon - the intentional community at TLC Farm.
Christine Moses (She/Her)
Christine is a community builder, change manager, and facilitator who believes everyone should win.
She brings people together to solve complex issues. As a facilitator/change manager, she helps people hear each other so they can find solutions to their social justice, equity, inclusion, communications, and strategic planning issues. She has worked with Fortune 100 corporations to help them connect with their local communities and has worked with the smallest non-profit organization to find its niche in its market. She’s even helped school districts pass their levies and build support for bonds. She helps each client find the message that resonates with its audience.
She firmly believes that when we address our equity issues and create inclusive education systems and workplaces, everything else falls into place. Work performance, innovation, creativity, and learning cannot happen unless there is safety in the classroom or work environment. Her goal is to facilitate the creation of safer places so everyone can thrive.
Jenny Leis (She/Her)
Jenny is a spark of enthusiasm! She has 20-years experience developing organizational systems for grassroots non-profits, facilitating collective group process, managing volunteers, organizing campaigns, raising funds and hosting events. Immersed in the “movement of movements” since 2001, she is inspired and informed by innovative social change efforts that foreground healthy group process as a necessary foundation for creating external change.
Jenny’s master’s degree in Whole Systems Design is accompanied by decades of practical experience in learning what makes groups and individuals thrive. After a decade of working with small non-profits, Jenny is now focusing her skills, energy and experience on facilitating, teaching and supporting individual and group changemakers. She specializes in consensus decision-making, visual thinking (translating ideas into folk graphics), facilitated reflection, and helping people thrive (even have fun!) as they navigate complex social and interpersonal issues.
Jenny lives in the Cedar Moon intentional community located at Tryon Life Community Farm, a 7-acre non-profit sustainability/anti-oppression education center, which she co-founded in 2005. She recognizes this is the stolen land of the Multnomah Chinook, Kalapuya and Clackamas peoples.
Dr. Mary Watkins (She/Her)
Professor and Graduate Program Co-Chair
Mary is chair of the Depth Psychology Program, Co-Chair of the Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco- Psychologies Specialization (CLIE), and Coordinator of Community and Ecological Fieldwork and Research in CLIE. She was trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist and was an early member of the archetypal/imaginal psychology movement. She has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings and with groups on issues of peace, diversity, social justice, reconciliation, immigration, and the envisioning of community and cultural transformation.
She is the author of Waking Dreams, Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues, Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons, co-author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation, Talking with Young Children about Adoption, and Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border, and co-editor of Psychology and the Promotion of Peace.
Dr. David J. Ragland (he/Him)
David Ragland is Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Truth Telling Project and organizer of the Grassroots Reparations Campaign. Dr. Ragland is an educator, thought leader, human rights, racial justice and anti-war advocate.
He was recently inducted into the MLK Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College. David also served as the Sr. Bayard Rustin Fellow at the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Dr. Tod Sloan (He/Him)
Professor & Mentor
Tod Sloan served as Professor of Counseling Psychology from 2004 to 2018. He taught seminars on the social context of counseling, dialogue practices, social theory, advocacy and activism. He identified professionally as a community psychologist and is an internationally-recognized advocate for critical psychology.
Sloan’s scholarship involved developing systems to support activists and change agents in grassroots ecological and social justice organizations. He focused on how activists can be more effective in movements for real democracy and economic justice. For example, see the Facebook group OccuPsy: Critical Psychology for Decolonization and the Cascadia Center for Social Ecology. He was instrumental in the founding of Portland’s Social Justice Action Center before passing in 2019.
Dr. Nuria Ciafolo (She/Her)
Professor & Mentor
Ciofalo is Core Professor of the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, Indigenous Psychologies, and Ecopsychology specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Born in Mexico, she gained her B.A. and first M.A. in Clinical and Social Psychology in Germany where she specialized in psychoanalytic theories. Her M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning and Ph.D. in Community Psychology at the University of Hawaii immersed her in the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement and healing practices. She has worked with Indigenous communities in Hawaii, Northern, Central, and Southern Mexico for more than 40 years.
She teaches Indigenous psychologies centering Indigenous, cosmologies, epistemologies, axiologies and healing praxes in academic curricula applying participatory action research in partnership with communities. She has published in the areas of participatory youth action research, program evaluation, decolonial, depth community psychology, and Indigenous knowledge systems.
Dr. Melinda Salazar (She/Her)
Mentor & Co-Conspirator
Dr. Melinda Salazar is the Co-Executive Director of the Truth Telling Project. She is a retired professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire, Teacher Education at Western New Mexico University, and K-12 educator.
She is also the founder and director of the Seacoast Peace Academy and fine jeweler at Melinda Salazar Jewelry.
Jade Janai (She/They)
My name is Jade Harris and I am a 26 year old Graphic Designer and Web Designer. I help LGBTQ+ and BIWOC entrepreneurs and creatives to automate their systems so their businesses can work for them and scale their biz through my branding & web design.
My biggest goal in life is to help & serve people of marginalized communities around the world. I recently moved to NYC and currently reside on the upper west side in Manhattan.
Trace Barbour Aguila (They/Them)
Trace Barbour Aguila (they/them), is a CTP, CLC, MHFAC, CDC and founder of A Thrive Life — They are a mixed race Romani and Indigenous Muisca Healing Practitioner, Coach, Consultant, and Death Doula by lineage and training; focused on coaching, support, and guidance for grief and trauma healing with movement, mental health, spirituality, and community. Trace lives and works on the occupied land of the Lenape known as New York City, where they are also a writer, an educator, and a true enneagram 8, fiercely compassionate, a disruptor, vulnerable, and open to initiating and holding space for tough conversations.
They are the first generation child of a deported immigrant and is a transracial adoptee. Trace's coaching and healing work is anti-racist, anti-oppressive, uncolonial, non-pathologizing, intersectional, and a interdisciplinary approach of trauma-informed and healing centered engagement. Trace is a member of TRACC4 Movement Healer's Network, IDHA NYC - School for Transformative Mental Health, and the New York State Trauma-Informed Network.
Edith Venzor (They/Them)
As a queer and gender queer latinx child of immigrants Edith hadn’t found a lot of consultant firms that knew about the nuances of their identity, so, naturally, they decided to create one! Their mission is to help my community and marginalized individuals thrive! So QTBIPOC to the front!!
Edith has a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, my SIE, Series 7 and is currently working on their C.P.A. In school Edith wasn’t taught how policies and changes affect undocumented and other marginalized individuals or how to use policies to help those same individuals. However; as a child of immigrants, in their day to day, Edith saw the negative impact those policies had on their family and community.
It wasn’t until Edith started working in the business and finance field that they learned how to use the rules to help create personal wealth not only immigrants but to other marginalized individuals. When Edith isn’t studying new laws, tax changes or the stock market, you can find them trying to add stamps to their passport, at a park with their Corgi Lab mix, or lost somewhere in nature. Edith loves learning new skills & quite enjoys painting, ceramics, jewelry making, mixed media art & candle making.