Safe Space Speaker Series

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June, 2023 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Stephanie Miller

How can I better understand who I am and the reasons why? A deep dive into epigenetics may just be the answer.

Stephanie Miller, LPC, CCTP

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “Why am I like this?” or “Why does my family have the same problems?” A growing body of research suggests that trauma has the potential to be passed from one generation to the next through epigenetic inheritance. Epigenetics is the study of the biological control mechanisms of DNA, or essentially how or why genes are turned on or off. In addition to the role of epigenetic inheritance, cultural trauma and putative epigenetic mechanisms for the transmission of trauma effects through social mechanisms, intrauterine, and gametic pathways also present increased potential for intergenerational trauma.

Intergenerational trauma is composed of three components: (a) the degree and nature of parental traumatization, (b) the intergenerational transmission process of trauma, and (c) the behavioral and experiential characteristics of their children and subsequent generations (Felsen, 1998). Sexual trauma is the most common and visible example of generational trauma. Continued maladaptive behaviors and coping mechanisms, and predisposition for epigenetic signatures leading to increased potential for mental illness or chronic medical complications are all relevant concerns. Development of resiliency and adaptability are dependent upon understanding the implications of intergenerational trauma and epigenetic inheritance in the transmission of cultural trauma.

In this discussion we’ll break down the science of intergenerational trauma and explore how you can create positive change and healing for future generations.

March 9, 2023 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Safe Space Speaker Series March

Community Engagement, Action, and Activism in 2023: How are we impacting and creating real change in a virtual world?

Roy Tatem

Roy Tatem is the principal of Vanguard Strategies and Consulting, LLC, which he started in 2016, and offers strategic marketing and campaign solutions to political candidates, social movements, and businesses. With a personal passion to empower communities and address social justice issues, Roy has remained active with several community and civic organizations. He has held multiple leadership roles in his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, including president of his collegiate chapter at Virginia State and most recently, serving as president of Delta Tau Lambda Chapter in Phoenix. Roy is the immediate past president of the East Valley NAACP, leading a phenomenal team that is strengthening community relations with the police and implementing strategies to combat the school-to-prison pipeline in school districts. As a lifelong member of the National Urban League, Roy was recognized as its Top 10 Young Professional Leaders at their 2017 national convention. In 2019, Roy completed the Race, Equity, and Leadership in Schools Institute at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2021, Roy earned his Master of Science degree in Integrated Social Sciences. 

We are living in a new normal in America and in the world but that new normal still experiences racism, bigotry, and intolerance in our society.  The traditional approach of taking to the streets is still a tool utilized by many who want to have their voices heard, however, it may not be the most effective tool today.  There must be new tools incorporated into the tool kit.  One of my favorite quotes is extremely applicable today, Stokely Carmichael aka Kwame Ture stated that "we are not outnumbered, we are outorganized."  In this discussion, we will take a deeper dive into the success and failures of the modern-day social justice movement from Black Lives Matter to the George Floyd protest of 2020. We will discuss activism, social action, and civic engagement in 2023. 


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 Passcode: +ECe6$Z9


Dec. 8, 2022 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Monte Yazzie

Safe Messages with Meaning: Culturally Appropriate Digital Storytelling for Public Health Intervention in Indigenous Communities

Monte Yazzie, MA

Monte Yazzie, MA, is the Injury Prevention Program Coordinator for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Monte is working to increase the health status and decrease unintentional injuries within the Community in Salt River. Mr. Yazzie is a Child Passenger Safety Instructor and Yoga Instructor and provides public health guidance as an administrative leader for the Community Health and Wellness Committee. Monte is working to build an injury prevention program that promotes data-driven, culturally appropriate interventions that strive for effectiveness and efficacy to provide immediate prevention measures that will benefit the present and future client needs.

In Mr. Yazzie's spare time, he serves as the Festival Director for the Phoenix Film Festival and Vice-President of the Phoenix Film Critics Circle. Monte supports the educational efforts of young filmmakers, teaching film and media production at youth film camps while supporting local filmmakers' creative efforts in Arizona, assisting on film sets, and producing a variety of films.


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Passcode: Fvm.E8Ck

Sept. 8, 2022 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Erica Maxwell

Equity Begins With Firsts, Frustrations, and Faith OR The Fs of Equity: Firsts, Frustrations, Faith

Erica Maxwell, Founder, AHA Alliance

As the former first associate superintendent of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the Arizona Department of Education, and now a consultant and founder of AHA Alliance, LLC, Erica Maxwell represents more than 25 years of experience as a certified educator. In 2022, she published her first children's book, "Beauty With A Birthmark". Over her career, Maxwell served as a school administrator, an adjunct faculty member at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and as a faculty associate at Arizona State University. She is a co-founder of the annual Arizona Multicultural Education Conference, and she facilitated a series of community book discussions for Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. Her expertise and experiences have been highlighted in presentations throughout the state. 

Maxwell currently serves on the Arizona Juvenile Justice Commission, Children’s Action Alliance, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and the Human Relations Commission for the City of Chandler. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Childsplay and was the school administrator representative for Southeast Maricopa County’s First Things First Regional Council.

Recognized for her community involvement and excellence in education, Maxwell was a 2020 Diversity Leadership Alliance Diversity and Inclusion Nominee. She received the 2016 Outstanding Adjunct Award from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and the 2015 East Valley NAACP Education Advocacy Award.

In her free time, Erica enjoys watching movies, reading, traveling, hiking, and exploring the amazing beauty unique to Arizona. She cherishes time with her children, friends, and relatives. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she has two children and resides in Chandler.


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June 9, 2022 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Lewis Andrea Brownlee, PhD

Why Isn't my Income a "Safe" Space: Addressing Economic Injustice in STEAM Careers

Lewis Andrea Brownlee, PhD
Education Faculty, Education Studies, Mesa Community College

Lewis Andrea Brownlee, PhD is an educator who has taught in K-12 schools, Community College, and a University for over a decade. He worked as an engineer for over seven years. Dr. Brownlee started his early career as a Civil Engineer designing and building infrastructure projects and systems. Being an educator is actually his second career. Currently, at Mesa Community College, he teaches courses in Education studies and at Estrella Mountain Community College, as adjunct faculty, he teaches courses in African American studies and Ethnic studies. He has attended and graduated from all three State schools, finally completing his Doctorate from the University of Arizona. His passion is educating teachers in the art of meeting the holistic needs of students-of-color and other marginalized populations through critical reflection and challenging deep rooted dispositions of inequities. An avid coffee drinker originally from Atlanta Georgia, he is the father of two beautiful children, Athelyn Asenath Brownlee and Phoenix Lewis Brownlee.

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Passcode: 81bjk&=k