Robert Hernandez has a strong knowledge base in working with vulnerable youth populations and the impact of community trauma on healthy development. He aims to educate and engage in practice-driven research to address critical areas of society that continue to hinder communities from flourishing. His areas of interest include adolescent social issues, adolescent gang intervention, strength-based/resiliency and youth empowerment models of practice. In particular, Hernandez's work examines risk and protective factors within communities that are associated with vulnerable youth populations residing in trauma-exposed communities. He has focused on advancing marginalized populations through a range of practice approaches addressing violence related trauma through violence reduction, prevention and intervention strategies. In 2014, Hernandez was awarded the highly acclaimed Jane Adams Award at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work that goes to the instructor of the year as voted by the students. In 2014, he was recognized and awarded by the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly & Academic Culture Assembly as the most influential Professor of Color. He is constantly being summoned by cities, counties, and states nationwide to assist with their community violence reduction strategies and trainings; most recently Iowa, New Mexico, South Carolina, Sacramento, San Diego, Solano County, Orange County, Riverside, Ontario, and Los Angeles. These efforts have assisted in the development of several publications.
Ms. Acosta was born to parents who migrated from Mexico and was raised in the Northeast Los Angeles area. Dulce began her academic journey within various LAUSD academic institutions, at the age of seventeen she successfully completed high school and received vocational certification in the health field. She entered the competitive workforce at the age of nineteen. Dulce became employed by University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, where she currently administrates online education. Dulce pledged to continue her academic career, and returned ten years later to ELAC and received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Certification as a Recovery Specialist in Chemical Dependency. Dulce transferred to Cal State University Los Angeles in the fall of 2009, where she majored and received her B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Diversity and Inequalities in 2011. While attending CSULA, she also served as a peer advisor in the Sociology Department. She was recognized for her contributions to CSULA and her community by her advisor, and was nominated and received a Special Congressional Recognition by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard in March 2011. In addition, she was awarded and recognized in the “Latinas to Watch for 2012” by the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). She pursued her long life dream of a Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern California, where in May 2014 she completed her studies and was awarded the “The Order of Arête” of USC; she was selected from more than 1,500 graduate students university wide. The award represents the highest honor accorded graduate students upon completion of their academic program. Students are recognized for demonstrating significant depth and scope of responsibility in a campus or community leadership role. Members of the Order of Arête uphold value and meaning over individual achievement. Dulce is committed to strengthening and empowering her community by serving as a mentor and sharing her journey and narrative of resilience and trauma.
Julia Locklear is a California-based career coach and research psychologist with a focus on organizational culture and the challenges Black women face in positions of leadership in the private sector, due to their intersectional identity. She has taught graduate-level courses in quantitative and qualitative methods, an organizational culture and employee surveys.
Alfred Lomas, Founder-Executive Director, Inner City Visions
Alfred, raised in South Central Los Angeles, has succeeded in ways few thought possible. From his childhood in one of the worst neighborhoods in LA and his time as a gang leader to now running a transformational nonprofit for youth in the city, Lomas brings a unique set of skills and firsthand experiences to each challenge he encounters. His life is dedicated to breaking the cycles of poverty, addiction and gang violence that he was once entrenched in himself. Lomas has nearly two decades of experience working with at-risk youth and has earned the respect of his community, local schools, non-profit leaders and the city of Los Angeles because of his commitment to holistic, peaceful transformation. He has been nominated to the steering committee of The New Fund for Children and Youth and has built partnerships with local churches and Latin American countries to assist children targeted for exploitation. Lomas is an international peacekeeper, celebrated gang intervention specialist, humanitarian and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and executive director of Inner City Visions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to reducing gang violence, preventing human trafficking and creating opportunities for youth development in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles. Inner City Visions’ day program includes education, job training, rehabilitation and counseling and has an 85% retention rate. 92% of the systems-involved youth who have gone through the training program are now successfully employed, and the neighborhood has experienced a 43% reduction in violence and murders. Not only has the Florence-Firestone community been positively impacted by Lomas’ work, the city of Los Angeles has benefited as well. The L.A. Mayor’s Office trusts Lomas as a Peace Ambassador, and he is frequently called on by the city to mediate between transnational criminal gangs and interrupt the violence between African American and Hispanic gang factions. Lomas pioneered the Hardcore Gang Intervention and Collaboration Model and works to maintain ceasefire agreements between the three largest and most notorious gangs in the city. Lomas is a pioneer and practitioner of several other initiatives in the city, such as “Parks After Dark” and the “Safe Route to School” program, both of which have had significant success since their implementation. The “Parks After Dark” initiative increased physical activity, improved social cohesion and decreased violent crime in the community while the SRTS program created a safe passage for children to get to school every day. These initiatives are part of Inner City Visions’ logic model—a scalable framework that Lomas is using to create system-wide change through day programming, mental health services and community engagement. The model is designed for areas of conflict, and Inner City Visions is developing a culturally sensitive curriculum that can be used to prevent violence and trafficking around the world. Lomas’ vision is to share this model globally to help conflict-ridden communities become places of safety and success.
Tom holds a Master’s degree in social work, bachelor’s degree in business, and a C-MAT certificate in drugs and alcohol. As a young man, Tom became a successful entrepreneur with a proven track record in small business ventures in the greater New York area. About 20 years ago, Tom started to spend less time in the business world and more time helping those who suffered, as he did, from negative childhood messages. “I believe that experience and expertise go hand in hand.” He is a regular on many Sirius XM radio shows, particularly the Jenny McCarthy show, and on the TBN television network. Tom has also been a speaker for T.D. Jakes at Mega fest and has appeared on Dr. Oz. Tom is the bestselling author of “The Problem Was Me” with Dr. Abraham Twerski, and “Don’t Put Your Crap in Your Kid’s Diaper,” the cleanup cost can last a lifetime. His expertise is teaching a methodology which has helped many individuals, couples and parents build healthier relationships with themselves and each other. Today he is a keynote speaker and facilitates groups for parents, recovering addicts and consults with couples as well.
Bullying and School Violence Advocacy Program
Karyna has been an active advocate for at-risk youth and families for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and is trained in Bullying and School Violence Advocacy. Karyna is certified in domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. As a mental health counselor II for the Bullying and School Violence Advocacy Program through the San Fernando Community Mental Health Center, Inc., she supports victims and families seeking healthy and supportive solutions to their needs. Ms. Gonzalez’s professional experiences regularly garner both local and international speaking opportunities to share her overall leadership philosophies and team-building strategies. Ms. Gonzalez strongly promotes the idea that the development of healthy families leads to healthy communities. In furtherance of this goal, Ms. Gonzalez educates and mentors community leaders to cultivate programs that promote the well-being of all individuals within their communities
Valene Gresham, PsyD is an adjunct instructor in the online campus of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Gresham began her career in the field of marriage and family therapy through her work in community counseling with at risk foster youth. She later obtained her doctorate degree from Alliant International University where she completed her pre-doctoral internship at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Long Island, New York. Shortly after, Dr. Gresham returned to California where she joined the mental health department of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In addition to her service in the field of correctional psychology, Dr. Gresham expanded her expertise by consulting with the Ventura County Superior Court on issues such as competency to stand trial. Additionally, she continues to consult with federal Social Security by evaluating patients’ suitability for disability benefits. Currently, Dr. Gresham resides in Paris, France, where she owns and operates a private practice dedicated to the mental health and well-being of both the English and French speaking communities.
Andrew Pari is a nationally recognized sexual assault trauma recovery expert known for his work in understanding the “taboo” in sexualized violence. Founder and Director of Sexual Assault Awareness, LLC, he is a psychotherapist with over 25 years’ experience treating survivors, including specialized populations in the sex trade and victims of trafficking. His focus on the “gaps” that others in his field don’t talk about have led to advances in sexual assault treatment earning him a reputation as one who won’t shy away from many of the experiences with which sexual assault survivors struggle.
From his work on arousal and orgasm during sexualized violence, to his unique understanding of how repetition compulsion moves survivors to re-enact their trauma, he remains focused on his mission to end shame in sexualized abuse and assault. Andrew believes in and practices from a sex-positive, shame-free, science-based, feminist perspective. In addition to running his own agency, he is on the Board of the Center for Positive Sexuality and serves as the Program Director for their Sex-Positive Professional Certification. He serves on multiple planning committees for national conferences, including the Institute for Violence, Abuse, & Trauma (IVAT), and Embracing Diversity with GLBTQ+ Youth (EDGY). He consults and trains forensics and mental health professionals internationally, is available for expert testimony, and has developed national policy on sex work and commercialized sex trade. His wide and varied career has gone from working with gangs in South Central Los Angeles, to creating and leading the crisis response team for L.A. County Department of Mental Health, becoming one of the NASW’s “1000 Experts” on sexual assault, disaster, and trauma, and spearheading the first research on arousal during sexual assault and other “taboo” topics, all while continuing to serve girls and women suffering from abuse and assault. Andrew has hosted the largest ever public discussions on topics related to sexual abuse and rape and is a moderator for forums on rape and recovery. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences on sexual trauma, including the National Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW), and International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD). He was co-creator and host of the Los Angeles radio show, Chasing the Why, where he covered a wide range of social topics from the Japanese tsunami disaster to the international SlutWalk movement. Andrew does enjoy down-time and practices the important principles of self-care through his singing, acting, and improvisational comedy. He sings a wide variety of Broadway songs...ask him to fire off a round of Hamilton’s “My Shot.” He's trained in comedic improvisation and has performed in and directed comedy troupes all around Los Angeles...and even Hawaii. He won a Los Angeles regional theatre award in 2015 for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” And, while he enjoys training and speaking on sexualized violence, challenging taboos, and using positive sexuality in recovery, just please…don't call him "The Rape Guy." Andrew is passionate and dedicated to the mission of addressing and ending sexualized violence.
Put It In Perspective, LLC
Felicia Reed is a certified Life Purpose, Spiritual and Christian Coach as well as a Holistic Wellness Advocate. Ms. Reed has realized in recent years that she is the product of a destructive toxic family upbringing which led to adult abuse survivorship. She has survived every form of abuse starting at the age of 5 to 51. Ms. Reed endured the final episode of abuse by her immediate family at 51 which included cyber misuse, gaslighting, emotional trauma, stalking, and a home invasion as part of a severe multi-layered attack. She now works with groups and individuals to promote positive and constructive life changes and healing modalities hoping to bring about self-awareness, inner peace, accountability and hope. She has a firm belief that the better we feel, the better we can live productive lives. Ms. Reed is a survivor of several life-altering traumatic experiences as a result of abuse and firmly believes that coaching and self-healing techniques saved her life. She understands building the required determination, willpower and desire through challenging times to move forward. She works to provide coaching and healing services to clients virtually and in person. Ms. Reed is also the WBTVN host of her “Females Without Fear Life Mastery” segments where she invites other females to share their stories of overcoming fear. Ms. Reed is a member of cyber consortiums, art leagues and domestic violence entities to bring awareness from a grassroots perspective as a survivor. She is an international speaker, fiber artist, instructor and a quality management professional. Ms. Reed welcomes opportunities to appear as a presenter, panelist, speaker, coach, artist, and moderator.
Kristin is a dedicated human rights activist with a passion for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. She is a state-certified advocate as well as a coach and mentor devoted to those she helps. She began her career in 2009 helping to build San Bernardino's Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation (C.A.S.E.) in an essential role providing a survivor’s perspective to the collective. During this time, she was a first responder and an educator providing group and individual support services to victims in Juvenile Halls. Now, with over 10 years in the movement, she has worked with countless non-profits in a variety of roles from consulting and advocating to outreach coordinating and public speaking. Being a leader in the movement she has personally built a nationwide network of nonprofit organizations and survivor leaders to make resources more easily available and has also developed a curriculum for long-term healing. Being a survivor herself, Kristin had dedicated herself to empowering other survivors and educating to increase awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
Andrea Elam holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, specialization in African American Studies, Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development, specialization in Child Development, from the University of Pacific Oaks College and an AA Degree in Child Development from Los Angeles Southwest College. Andrea’s work has been inspired by the impact of her role models that cared about her during her formative years in her community. Andrea has been a person of passion working and developing programs that inspired education through creativity to build lovers of knowledge and life learners. She has been the educator that understands the importance of one’s foundation of early childhood and community. Her own experience has been the beginning of her passion; her amazing Black strong and caring role models played an intricate role in establishing who she was to become. Andrea knows and believes that the work she does has its great rewards when children who can work on becoming their best self because of a solid stable foundation during their formative years of development. Bronfenbrenner’s Social Ecological System has also given her the understanding of the importance of knowing the social and environmental effects/experience of children when working with them in any setting. Andrea’s work related experience as a Family Childcare Provider of 20 years in the community, working for the underserved Black and Brown population for Substance Abuse Women and Children program during the crack epidemic, the fastest growing era of foster care and continued education has brought her full circle to the era of mental health and our underserved Black and Brown population. Andrea’s most compelling moments and experience has been being entrusted with many young lives that depended on her to provide them with a foundation that would impact their lives forever in navigating through this life as a thinking decision making individual with the understanding of having choice. She has embraced the opportunity to continue her growth and development in her career as a mental health provider with South Central Training Consortium.
Andréa M. Jones
Andrea, a third generation Latinx, earned her Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis in Community Organization and Program Administration from the University of Southern California, as well as a Bachelor’s of Music Education in Choral Music. She has experience working with specialized foster youth, transitional-age youth, adoption services, wraparound, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and also as a classroom teacher. Throughout her work, Andréa has partnered with VICE squads, US Homeland Security, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Public Social Services, Department of Mental Health, and other entities serving the human trafficking population. Andréa has been a member of Human Trafficking Task Forces in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Compton; she has a decade of experience working with sex-trafficked minors and adults. Andréa specializes in trauma-based mental health for individuals of all ages. She utilizes a client-centered approach, meeting each individual where they’re at and nurturing healing through the mind-body connection. Andréa is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based practice for treatment of trauma and reduction of PTSD symptoms in children. She’s also Level 2 certified in the Trauma Resiliency Model, which focuses on biological factors as well as the interconnectedness of the mind and body. Andréa currently runs a thriving private practice, which serves a diverse population. She specializes in serving BIPOC individuals and approaches cultural influences with humility and respect. Andréa has partnered with Inner City Visions as a consultant for trauma-informed services; she’s passionate about the ways in which her holistic approach may strengthen and renew the community’s sense of vitality and life. She seeks to decenter any “standard practices” that fail to acknowledge the resiliency and sustainability of treatment outcomes in black and brown communities. Andréa also focuses on community as the vehicle for healing individuals who make up its unique identity. When viewing human trafficking as a public health issue and symptom of greater systemic issues, she promotes the reclamation of one’s own healing and resiliency from individual, community, and global perspectives.
Sam is a filmmaker and sexual abuse survivor advocate based in Chicago. He is a Weekend of Recovery alumnus, a member of Taste Media Group, and the founder of Super Tiny Magnet, a production company that creates intimate documentary films and targeted video content for advocacy and non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and progressive companies. In his hometown of Salt Lake City, he was a member of the video team at The Younique Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preventing childhood sexual abuse and providing healing resources for female survivors. He is the director of an award-winning short film, A Gift of Life, which chronicles the stories of three remarkable people involved with the Body Donor Program at the University of Utah.
Drew is a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner practicing in Salt Lake City. As a survivor of childhood sexual victimization, he understands firsthand the suffocating cultural climate male survivors must navigate to sustain healing. Drew's passion is catalyzing American cultural transformation toward a mature masculinity and ensuring that male survivors are seen, heard, and believed. He uses his reclaimed voice to empower others by facilitating group teletherapy for male survivors and sharing his story at MenHealing events throughout the country.
The Self-Care Lab Boxing & Fitness Club
Nita L. Watson is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern as well as a Certified Personal Trainer and a U.S.A certified boxing coach. She received her B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, Inland Empire, before eventually becoming a supervisor of the Therapeutic Behavioral Services department with Ettie Lee Homes, Inc. After her eight-year career as a therapist and supervisor there, Ms. Watson accepted an independent contractual position with Heritage Homes, Inc. while she prepared to open her private practice (Watson Family Counseling Services). In addition to starting her own private practice, she is now working with victims of trauma at the Veterans Affairs office. In January 2017, she opened The Self-Care Lab Boxing & Fitness Club (Pomona), a full-service boxing and fitness club, designed to target poor self-image, anxiety, depression and impulsive behavior. Ms. Watson not only assists individuals with their personal fitness goal, but she also trains professional and amateur boxers as well. She was inspired to open The Self-Care Lab after her own struggle with anxiety led her to seek a form of self-care. Refusing to give up on herself as well as on her goals and aspirations, Ms. Watson started boxing to try and improve her mental health. She quickly saw the benefits it had with her anxiety and wanted to help others discover the multitude of benefits that exercise has to offer. She purchased the space in November of 2016 but did not open until January of 2017 because she wanted to make sure it was the best it could be. Since opening The Self – Care Lab, Ms. Watson has trained over 500 individuals with mental health issues ranging from Depression and Anxiety, all the way to Schizophrenia. She is a pillar of her community and donates her own time and financial resources to improve the lives of everyone she interacts with. Ms. Watson and her team have hosted multiple workshops in and around the community of Pomona. She has presented at Chaffey College, Just Us 4 Youth, and the Pomona & Palisades School Districts, just to name a few. Her ultimate goal is to shine a spotlight on self-care through her innovative approach of combining fitness and mental health awareness. Her goal of expanding and opening multiple gyms will bring additional community support to families, supporting foster and juvenile delinquent youth.
Jacqueleen graduated from UCR with my undergraduate degree in Sociology, and recently graduated with her Master’s in Forensic Psychology from TCSPP. She has always had a passion for understanding the human psyche and what makes a person the way they are. She chose this field so she can be a force of change and stop the stigma against mental health and therapy practices.
Lorena Vázquez Santiago Psy.D., MRC, CRC, CA-III
Dr. Lorena Vázquez Santiago is a Nuyorican, Latina, Clinical-Forensic Psychologist, and a Rehabilitation Counselor. Alumna from The Chicago Professional School of Psychology, Los Angeles Campus, and the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She is currently working in her private practice Starfish Psychological Services in Puerto Rico. Her clinical background includes community mental health services, in-home therapy, telephone crisis intervention, in-home crisis interventions, psychiatric hospitalization, juvenile offenders evaluations, sex offenders’ evaluations, and trauma. Her research interests are related to crisis, gender issues, human sexuality, trauma, and offender’s rehabilitation. Dr. Vázquez received her Master in Rehabilitation Counseling from University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She is a licensed counselor in Puerto Rico and licensed clinical psychologist. Lorena holds different certifications including: Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Interventionist and Prevention of Domestic Violence, National Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Therapeutic Addictions Counselor. She received her Doctoral Degree in Clinical-Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, California. She is currently working towards a Certification in Sexual Abuse. Dr. Vázquez’s employment history includes: Teacher, Assertive Community Treatment Specialist, Clinical Liaison, Crisis Therapist, Counselor and Crisis Specialist, Graduate Program Coordinator, Graduate Program Professor, Clinical Director, Chief Executive Officer, and Clinical Forensic Psychologist. She has a broad array of population experiences including: Youth at Risk, Severe Mental Ill population, Juvenile Offenders, Adult Offenders, Family Preservation, Family Reunification, Sex Offenders, and Crisis Interventions both in English and Spanish.
Raven Savoy-Juan Ferrer Rossetti
Raven Savoy-Juan Ferrer Rossetti received her EdD in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University in Los Angeles California. She is a 23-year United States Air Force (AF) veteran whose interest in psychology peaked midway through her military career where she earned a BA and MA in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Psychological Research from National University. Dr. Rossetti’s bilateral commitment: military and tertiary education, proved advantages for the AF as they solicited her expertise with launching the first Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Division at Andersen AF Base Guam. She served as a recurring panel member with the Women Veterans Strategic Alliance Agency and advocated for veterans and family members struggling with and healing from trauma. Dr. Rossetti is currently working at South Central Training Consortium as a Psychological Assistant, Lead Post-Doctoral Intern advocate and liaison for seven Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) schools. Dr. Rossetti is a psychoeducation catalyst, who introduced mental health and wellness to the ICEF community utilizing Tianna Woolridge’s mental wellness initiative, “Embrace the Mind.” Dr. Rossetti modified the mental wellness curriculum incorporating creative platforms; art, music, video, and dramatizations, giving voice to their diverse and often traumatic narratives. The initiative shifted the community’s fear-based stigma to one of a progressive and hopeful perspective. Raven Savoy-Juan Rossetti, EdD is a qualitative researcher and published author, who dedicated more than a decade examining colorism. Her phenomenological research entitled, “Kitchen Table Talk: Unmasking the Silence of Skin Tone and Intraracial Colorism among African American Women” triggered candid dialogues among diverse spectrums of academia, thus securing an editing and co-authorship placement for an imminent academic textbook, for Sage Publishing Company, entitled, “Diversity, Race and Skin Color: From the Living Room to the Classroom.” She intends to utilize her research platform to educate and heal centuries of cellular oppression.
Rev. Monsignor Richard S. Sinacola
Richard S. Sinacola, M.S.W., M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and lecturer, Department of Psychology at Cal State University San Bernardino – Palm Desert Campus. He is a retired professor of psychology at The Chicago School of Psychology and Cal State University Los Angeles. He is a Catholic priest in the Liberal Rite and pastor of St. Giles Catholic Community of Altadena and Palm Springs. Fr. Sinacola maintains a psychology practice in Palm Desert and serves as a psychological consultant for Audio Digest Corporation in Glendale.
Deputy Chief Blake Chow was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department in 1990 after having served as a San Jose Police Reserve Officer. After graduating from the Los Angeles Police Department academy, he was assigned to Operations as a Police Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant in Areas such as Pacific, Central, Rampart, Southwest and Southeast Areas.
Chow was promoted to Captain-I in May 2003 and assigned as the Commanding Officer, Central Patrol Division. With this promotion, he became the highest-ranking Chinese-American officer on the LAPD and the first Asian captain assigned to Central Area. In this position, he provided leadership and management to a patrol force of approximately 250 officers.
In May 2005, Chow was promoted to Captain II, Commanding Officer, LAX Field Services Division. In this assignment, he manages the LAPD officers assigned to LAX who address crime and airport safety and transportation issues, including terrorism. In December 2005, Captain Chow was promoted to Captain III, Commanding Officer, RACR Division. The RACR Division is LAPD's first 24/7 fusion/information processing center. RACR operates as a 24/7 emergency operations center where resources, situation status of the city and developing tactical incidents are tracked. Additionally, RACR personnel also provide detective support to Areas and complete analysis on emerging crime patterns 24/7. RACR Division maintains liaison with other local, county, state and federal agencies. In May 2007, he was assigned as the Area Commanding Officer at Hollenbeck Area. In March 2009 he was transferred as the Area Commanding Officer at Central Area. This assignment involved leading approximately 430 employees both sworn and civilian in the Downtown Los Angeles Area. This community includes Staples/LA Live, Financial District, Historic Core, Civic Center, Skid Row, Artist Lofts area, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the Fashion District.
In December 2009, Chow was promoted to Commander and assigned as the Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-Central Bureau which has command of Central Area, Rampart Area, Hollenbeck Area, Newton Area and Northeast Area. In October 2010, Commander Chow was transferred as the Assistant Commander Officer Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau. The Bureau is responsible for the Counter Terrorism programs, Major Crimes Division, Emergency Services Division, Bomb Squad, Hazardous Materials, Metropolitan Division (SWAT, K9, Mounted), Air Support Division and Emergency Operations Division. In January 2015, Chow was assigned as the Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-West Bureau. In this capacity, he has responsibility over Hollywood Area, Pacific Area, West Los Angeles Area, Wilshire Area, Olympic Area and West Traffic Division. The Bureau covers approximately 125 square miles in which approximately 900,000 residents reside.
Chow was raised in San Jose California. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University Fullerton. He is also a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program.
Clive D. Kennedy
Dr. Kennedy is a Full Professor in the TCS Clinical Forensic Psychology Department. He has served over 30 years as an expert for the Los Angeles Superior Court Panel and on Administrative Boards and Committees for the American, California, and Los Angeles County Psychological Associations. He was a staff psychologist for over 20 years at the UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services Department and a private practitioner providing services in several communities throughout Los Angeles County. He has also served as the President of the local chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists. Clinical interests include cross cultural relationships, family violence, and addictive behavior.
Dana Langston is a transfer student from Argosy University in Arizona and now attending The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She has a Master’s degree in Adult Education as well as Clinical Psychology. As a practicum student at South Central Training Consortium (SCTC), she has worked with teachers to facilitate the Embrace the Mind curriculum to students, using this platform to build relationships with students and teachers. She has also worked as a counseling intern providing guidance in increasing well-being. Her interests include advocacy and human justice issues, peer engagement and unification, program growth and development.
Dr. Michael Levittan is an accomplished and recognized expert on domestic violence, anger management, child abuse, and PTSD. He is a licensed psychotherapist, director of a state-certified batterers’ treatment program, and serves as an expert witness in court. Dr. Michael teaches seminars at UCLA Extension, National Alliance on Mental Illness, International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma, Women’s Shelters, U.S. Marines, L.A. Superior Court, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, etc. He has appeared on the Tyra Banks Show, Starting Over, Bad Girls Club, Montel Williams, Hollywood 411, and wrote "The History of Infanticide" – a chapter in Violence in Our Society. He recently completed the soon-to-be-published “Essentials of Anger Management.” Dr. Michael believes in his work to further the cause of establishing safety in the family and peace in the world. His passion comes across in his presentations.
Jordan is a three-time Weekend of Recovery alumni who has become a passionate & accomplished advocate for sexual abuse survivor outreach across North America. His outreach work has brought him all over the country as a keynote speaker at events & conferences in partnership with many organizations and agencies in the field of mental health and sexual abuse survivorship. He currently sits on the MenHealing Board of Directors.
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
Mr. Murray is the founder of multiple organizations that has been assisting the Southern California community for years. One of those organizations is the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA), which is a grassroots organization that fights against child abuse and trauma on a national stage. Mr. Murray also is the founder of the National Association of Alert and Concerned Citizens and the Los Angeles Community Policing organization as well. Mr. Murray works diligently with these organizations to prevent child abuse and trauma due to the fact that he is a child abuse survivor himself. He is also a producer, director, editor, and writer for over 30 years with careers in both film/TV and journalism.
Urennaya Okoro is a third year PsyD student studying Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles (CSPP). With an emphasis in Multicultural Community Clinical Psychology, she has served in various settings to bring mental health to individuals and communities that would not otherwise have the opportunity or engage in services. Urennaya's areas of interest are Black Maternal Mental Health, Black Immigrants, and the integration of cultural influences on mental health services. While completing her BA in Psychology at St. John's University, Urennaya interned at the now New York City Children's Center creating a dance program for their inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy program. She went on to obtain her Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University of Belmont, California. During her graduate studies, she has interned with community mental health agencies, private practices, and now schools. Currently, Urennaya is fulfilling her practicum with the South Central Training Consortium in the ICEF schools. During COVID, Urennaya continues to support staff, students, and clients via Telehealth.
Susan is an attorney, author and motivational speaker who has worked to end violence against women for the last forty years. With the death of her nineteen-year-old niece Maggie, shot and killed in 1999 by her ex-boyfriend, Susan vowed to help victims move on after abuse as Maggie could not. She is the originator and facilitator of My Avenging Angel Workshops based on the idea that “living well is the best revenge.” Since 2001, her workshops have helped survivors take the journey beyond abuse from victim to survivor to thriver. In her presentation, Susan shares the motivational guidance she has successfully used over the last twenty years with hundreds of survivors including her “Seven Steps to Thriving After Abuse” and “A Road Map to Manifest a Life of Power and Purpose.” With easy-to-use worksheets, interactive exercises and thriver success stories, Susan’s innovative materials and books are valuable not only for victims and survivors of abuse but also for their families, friends, counselors and therapists in support groups and individual counseling.
Melissa is currently a third-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Pepperdine University. She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy rom Pepperdine University in 2016. Her career experiences and clinical interests include providing treatment to trauma survivors and culturally diverse populations in various settings. Lastly, for her research experience, Melissa has presented at dozens of national conferences that focused on topics related to trauma, substance abuse, and treatment for culturally diverse populations.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
With a double major in Psychology and American History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Canillas is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Los Angeles campus). He currently is also serving on the American Psychological Association's Task Force for Revising the Professional Practice Guidelines with LGBTQ Clients. He is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences on relationship issues, foster care, domestic trafficking of children, intimate partner violence, substance abuse, psychological treatment and ethnic minority populations and LGBTQ issues. He served as a program director at several nonprofit organizations, overseeing the child and adult therapy programs and pregnant/parenting teen programs. Dr. Canillas has also served as a children's social worker with the Department of Children and Family Services, as a clinical psychologist with the Department of Mental Health, and later as the clinical director of a family preservation program. He currently serves on the Commission on Youth and Children (Long Beach, California), a body that advises the mayor and city council on issues of importance to children, adolescents and families in that city.
Marcos B. Briano
Dr. Marcos Briano is an adjunct faculty member with USC’s Rossier School of Education Marriage Family Therapy program. He teaches creating communities of interest, theories in counseling, and group counseling courses. His clinical experiences span from K-12 schools and universities to community centers to acute psychiatric hospitals within diverse and multicultural settings. His research/academic interests include advocacy for LGBT & ally communities, resiliency, intersectionality, social justice, application of professional ethics with an emphasis in Spanish-speaking communities. He is currently a board member of the California Psychology Internship Council, California Community College Mental Health & Wellness Association, and ECP member of LACPA’s Ethics Committee.
Kenneth Adonis Brown
Kenneth Adonis Brown is a second-year MFT Marriage and Family Therapist student at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. He received his BS in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. He is currently working at South Central Training Consortium where they treat individuals who have experienced domestic violence and provide mental health services to students enrolled at the ICEF family of schools. He is passionate about being able to advocate for people who reside in the inner-city. He is also committed to assist individuals who have suffered trauma and is dealing with the impact of racial disparities in everyday life. His research interests includes African American communication style (ebonics, dialect, and code switching) and the impact of nature therapy on African American families.
Heather completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the PsyD Clinical Forensic Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Ms. Calhoon has experience working with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, beliefs and concerns. She has an interest in various diversity issues including issues arising in the LGBTQ+ community and working with marginalized populations, specifically those that are currently incarcerated or have been incarcerated.
San Bernardino County Courts
Robert Carey is a psychological evaluator. He has worked with a variety of client populations, but his current focus is primarily on adult survivors of child sexual abuse and young children with behavioral problems. With young children, he uses evidence-based techniques that improve behavior while strengthening child/parent bonds. When not working, he can usually be found building geodesic domes or excavating toy dinosaurs with his young son.
Lawrence is a 4th grade student who enjoys math and science. His dream one day is to become a paleontologist. However, for right now he settles for being a human marvel encyclopedia and playing with his faithful dog Orion “the force puppy.”
Rachyll Dempsey, PsyD, QME, APBB is a Forensic Neuropsychologist licensed in 2006 by the Board of Psychology; attained Board Certification through the American Board of Professional Psychology in Forensic Psychology in 2017; certified as an Independent Practitioner by the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) in 2012; became a Qualified Medical Evaluator certified by the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) in 2014, and was President of the Northern California Neuropsychology Forum (NCNF) 2015-16. She spent six years as a licensed psychologist working as Assessment Coordinator and supervisor for trainees at San Quentin State Prison and is currently CEO and Founder of Psychological Assessment, Inc., a corporation providing psychological testing and assessment in forensic and non-forensic domains, competency restoration program, sex offender treatment, and corporate services. In her career, she has thousands of psychological assessments and interviews, testified in numerous cases as an expert witness, taught assessment and forensic psychology at several universities, worked as a consultant for attorneys and psychologists, and has supervised psychology trainees.
Author, Overcoming Obstacles and Living Your Dreams
Carol Sligh is an author, speaker and philanthropist. She is focused on developing, encouraging and empowering men, women and children to walk in their God-given purpose. Carol believes every person has been placed on the earth for a reason. This reason is the core of who they are and embodies their individuality. She sets the groundwork for people to identify their dreams, then encourages and teaches them to live a life where those passions take precedence. She believes once this has happened, life will be more fulfilling for both them and those around them. In Carol's newly released book, "Overcoming Obstacles and Living Your Dreams," she reveals proven techniques in overcoming obstacles and facing adversity. She has over two decades of experience in law enforcement and almost a decade in corporate, industrial and government settings. Whether combating everyday crime or providing groups or individuals with guidance on how to navigate through life challenges in personal situations or work environments, Carol has become adept at overcoming obstacles across the full spectrum of challenges in life. Within her chosen profession, Carol herself has experienced and overcome obstacles and helped others confront and overcome their situations. Her experience also includes teaching both youth and adults about purpose, life skills, safety and drug education. Carol has sat on several planning committees, some of which include: The Los Angeles Marathon and Bicycle Tour, an event that hosts over 30,000 participants; the Olympic Torch Run that ran through Los Angeles en route to Atlanta; and the 1994 Soccer World Cup Planning Committee that was held in Pasadena where she represented local city and government agencies. Carol believes all of her life experiences have prepared her to nurture others and encourage them to pursue their passions. Her philanthropic activities include globally partnering with other organizations and churches to address the AIDS epidemic, socio-economic development, entrepreneurship, community redevelopment and spiritual growth of individuals. She has spoken to groups in the United Kingdom, South Africa and throughout the United States, where she inspires and motivates others to take action. She conducts workshops, speaks at churches and schools, and provides individual coaching. Carol works with people who want to improve their lives and with organizations that encourage personal achievement and character development. She is a dynamic and powerful speaker that has been described as the “obstetrician to your life purpose...assisting with the delivery of a dream.” She captivates and infuses her audiences with high energy, sincerity, compassion and compelling enthusiasm.
Ebone is the founder and president of WE ARE R.I.S.E. Inc. and program director of R.I.S.E. Girls and Boys Mentorship programs in South Los Angeles. Through her nonprofit and programs, Ebone facilitates culturally informed workshops that focus on the enrichment of social-emotional development and life skills. As a native of Memphis, Tennessee, Ebone was raised primarily on family values and the importance of maintaining healthy relationships. Seeing the significance and heavy influence of family and relationships, Ebone pursued her bachelor's in Psychology and later pursued her master's in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. Throughout her career, she plans to continue to work with youth and families of color on setting foundations for cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with themselves and others around them.
Bikers Against Child Abuse
Sonny is the Los Angeles Chapter President for Bikers Against Child Abuse. B.A.C.A. International, Inc. (B.A.C.A.) is organized with a central contact person to receive calls from referring agencies and individuals. A recognized, authorized agency with which the child has had contact determines that the child is still frightened by his or her environment. The agency representative contacts B.A.C.A. or refers the individual to contact B.A.C.A. and the name and address of the child is given to our B.A.C.A./Child Liaison. The liaison verifies that the case has been reported and the authorities have been contacted, and the case is being processed within the system. The liaison contacts the family and an initial ride is organized to meet the child at their home or in some other location where the child will feel comfortable. The B.A.C.A. chapter rides to meet the child and he/she is given a vest with a B.A.C.A. patch sewn on the back. The child is free to wear the vest or not, and we support their decision. The child is also given bumper stickers, and other gifts that are generally donated by the public.
Jim serves as Executive Director of MenHealing/Weekends of Recovery. He has been working with male survivors since 1976. He was a pioneering co-organizer (1988) for one of the first national conferences to focus on non-offending male survivors. He was chair for several subsequent conferences and a founding member of the organization now known as MaleSurvivor. He joined the Facilitator Team for the Weekends of Recovery program in 2002. He was instrumental in launching MenHealing in 2017 and has served as Executive Director since that time. Jim is a nationally recognized workshop presenter. He has numerous professional publications, and is a dedicated social justice advocate for issues related to sexual violence as well as sexual and gender equity. In his free time Jim is a dedicated husband and parent to a wonderful dog, as well as an avid devotee of outdoor adventures including skiing, biking, and mountain treks.
Lee Sunday Evans
Lee is a veteran director and choreographer who has worked at institutions such as The Public Theater, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons and BAM, Evans has also worked with Waterwell for many years. Evans won an Obie Award in 2015 for directing Kate Benson's A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes. Lee is a long-time Waterwell collaborator, beginning as a teacher, director, and mentor of young artists in the Waterwell Drama Program.