Vahisha Hasan, MDiv, MA
TRACC CORE ORGANIZER & Rapid Response Coordinator
Vahisha Hasan (she/her) is a faith-rooted organizer moving at the intersections of faith, social justice, and mental health. She is the Executive Director of Movement in Faith, a project of Transform Network. She is a powerful public speaker, transformative facilitator, social justice trainer, minister, and writer with a deeply prophetic voice and imagination for how faith communities can be an active part of healing and collective liberation.
She is the Director of the SEAL Initiative at American Baptist College in Nashville TN (SocialJustice, Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership). Vahisha is also a core team member of TRACC4Movements (Trauma Response and Crisis Care) providing supportive tools for wellness for those who labor in freedom and liberation. She also serves as an associate minister at Christ Missionary Baptist Church, under Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, Senior Pastor, where she was licensed and ordained June 23, 2019.
Vahisha holds a dual Master’s of Divinity and Master’s of Mental Health Counseling with an Education Specialist Certification from Gardner-Webb University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Interpersonal Organization from The University of NorthCarolina at Chapel Hill.
In addition to penning book reviews, journal articles, online publications, and writing a bachelor’s curriculum in Applied Psychology, she has curated and co-edited three editions of Resipiscence: A Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy, 2018-2020.
Alexis Francisco, MSW
TRACC CORE ORGANIZER
Alexis Francisco (he/him/his) lives and works at the intersections of spirituality, healing and social change work. He lives his commitment to the wellbeing and liberation of Black people throughout the diaspora and all oppressed people through his work as a community organizer, facilitator, therapist, contemplative and spiritual director.
His spiritual well draws from the waters of his training and practice in Christian liberation theology, Lucumi/Orisha tradition and AfroCarribean ancestral veneration. Alexis holds a Masters in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a Masters in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Alexis is engaged in community organizing that aims to improve the material conditions of Bronxites and shift the dynamics of power and oppression in New York City.
He has experience in organizing and grassroots community work in a variety of areas including alternative to incarceration programs, equitable economic and community development, health justice and police accountability. As a therapist, Alexis supports the mental health and wellness of NYC based workers as they organize for equitable conditions and the transformation of their industry.
Teresa Mateus, LCSW, E-RYT 200
TRACC Co-Creator/Director, CORE ORGANIZER
Teresa Mateus (she/her/hers), MSW, E-RYT 200 is a graduate of NYU's School of Clinical Social Work where she graduated in 2007. She spent nearly 10 years working with combat veterans and survivors of military sexual trauma at the Vet Centers, a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her work there informed her knowledge and practice modalities for treating and healing trauma. While at the VA she received the NYU's Recent Alumna Award for integrative approaches for trauma treatment for programming she created to heal trauma utilizing trauma-conscious yoga, creative arts, and equine-facilitated psychotherapy. Her work with combat and war trauma has extensively informed her understanding and response methodology for movement trauma - as she has seen a parallel between the symptoms and manifestation of both kinds of trauma and trauma response.
Teresa's work over the last 10 years has centered at the intersection of activism, healing and spirituality and she is the co-founder of The Mystic Soul Project (BIPOC/QTPOC-centered spirituality, activism and healing) and TRACC 4 Movements (trauma response and crisis care for movements). She speaks, writes and trains at these intersections across the United States.
Teresa's work with trauma and crisis response for movements has included education and trainings for activists and healing care providers. She provided trauma response care at Standing Rock and in Charlottesville, VA. She has also provided consultation and support for a variety of other movement, action and protest-oriented healing care response and currently is coordinating crisis response, community education, and training for practitioners during this COVID-19 and movement Uprising moment with her organization TRACC4Movements.
Teresa is also the author of three books: Mending Broken: A Journey Through the Stages of Trauma & Recovery, Sacred Wounds: A Path to Healing from Spiritual Trauma, Going Naked: The Camino de Santiago & Life as Pilgrimage.You can learn more about Teresa and her work at www.teresamateus.com , www.tracc4movements.com, www.mysticsoulproject.com. You can also find her on social media (fb, twitter, instagram) @teresamateuschi.
TRACC CORE ORGANIZER
Xan West (she/her/hers) is the Executive Director at One Life Institute in Oakland, California which centers healing care and support for BIPOC/QTPOC and folks on the frontlines of social change. She considers herself a street theologian, a messy mystic, radical ritual holder, and spiritual trauma healer.
Xan holds a Certificate of Spirituality & Social Change from the Pacific School of Religion. She has been a participant and volunteer at OneLife for several years, and is part of the facilitation team for our Healing Black Lives retreats.
Proud to have been born and raised in Oakland, Xan has over 20 years of experience in social justice movement work, mostly related to police accountability, queer rights, Black liberation, and community healing. She lives with her partner M.J. and their toddler son Glory.
ADMINISTRATIVE & PARTNERSHIP COORDINATOR
Xeres Villanueva (she/her/hers) | TRACC ADMINISTRATIVE & PARTNERSHIP COORDINATOR | has deep roots in community building, social entrepreneurship and activism. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and various social justice groups. She has been in the worlds of freelancing, small business and non-profits throughout her career. Xeres is also a co-founder of the WE Empowerment Center, a grassroots financial receivership organization dedicated to support liberatory community and creative projects. Her interests are media and pop culture, cultural and art activism, liberation movements, economic empowerment and food.
HEALER NETWORK COORDINATOR
Petra Vega, LMSW (she/her/ella) is a community organizer at heart, facilitator, coach and an emerging politicized healer. As a student of social change, Petra has experience in grassroots organizing, school improvement initiatives, parent and youth leadership, and social work training. She loves asking questions (particularly about how long we have to live in this matrix), practicing community care, and learning about our collective ability to heal ourselves.
Currently, Petra is the Senior Program Manager, Coaching at LIFT-NY where she recruits, trains and supervises social work students to provide educational, career and financial coaching to low-income parents in the Bronx. In this role, she is committed to dismantling systems of power, privilege and oppression by investing in the dreams of the most marginalized as a way to co-create what the Zapatistas called "un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos (a world where many worlds fit)".
Petra holds a Bachelors of Arts in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in community organization, planning and development from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
LEAD SUPPORT, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & PARTNERSHIPS
Lamont Loyd-Sims (they/sher/he) is a queer Black healer-poet, scholar-activist, and emerging dance/movement therapist, living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/occupied Osage land. They have been invovled in radical political organizing among Black queer communities in the U.S. for nearly two decades. Lamont co-facilitates healing justice-centered high guided meditation for adults, with the use of weed, to destress from burnout in movement work. And they currently also work in arts administration.
Lamont received an M.A. degree in women's, gender, and sexuality studies, with a focus on social movements and dance performance studies from Georgia State University.
Cassandra (Cassie) Walker
JUST CHICAGO PROJECT COORDINATOR
Cassandra (Cassie) Walker (they/them/theirs) is a Black Queer Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist, activist, speaker, and aspiring podcaster. They hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Comparative Human Development. They are working towards Master Level NARM Certification and are also Certified in Hypnotherapy and NLP. They present a diverse array of intersectional topics related to race, gender, sexuality, BDSM and kink, mental health and social justice. Cassie provides therapy to adults, relationships and groups. They specialize in the intersections of trauma, identity, and mental wellness. Their podcast Woke Mental Wellness works to help provided information about mental wellness to Black LGBTQIA+ people and those interested in helping Black Queer communities. Cassie is the founder of Intersections Center for Complex Healing LLC with the hope to one day be a full Black Queer wellness center (Covid permitting).
In their therapy work, Cassie takes an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, trauma informed, relational approach to discussing identity, trauma, mental wellness and social justice to address how the legacies of slavery and other atrocities continue to ripple into current events and experience. From the levels of societal institutions to our internal experiences, Cassie recognizes that we will engage our survival styles, getting stuck in and perpetuating cycles of oppression and pain unless we work to change and embrace compassion, accountability, and authenticity. Through providing therapy, educating and facilitating, Cassie hopes to help people open themselves and their organizations to changes that improve personal awareness and institutional inclusion.
PROVIDER DIRECTORY COORDINATOR
Past HEALER IN RESIDENCE (2020)
Amy Turner (She/Her) is a community healer, who offers healing modalities rooted in Louisiana Creole culture and faith traditions. She believes in learning from the past to create a better future while using the present moment as the bridge that connects it all.