Alisa Zipursky, she/her/hers
Alisa Zipursky is the founder of HealingHonestly.com and the author of the upcoming book Healing Honestly: The Messy and Magnificent Path to Overcoming Self-Blame and Self-Shame out in June, 2023. Through her work, Alisa offers survivor-to-survivor support for people who've experienced childhood sexual abuse in a way that feels approachable and not so damn scary. Healing Honestly and The HEAL Project both believe in the power of reducing shame and stigma for survivors, finding humor in the healing, and talking about the hard stuff in a way that is compassionate and deeply validating. HealingHonestly.com | IG @AlisaHealingHonestly | FB @Alisa Zipursky
Alisa's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Humor. Alisa loves being able to find moments of laughter and levity, especially in dealing with such difficult work. The laughter helps us point out the bullshit of rape culture and feel the warmth and love from one another.
Sexual Liberation means releasing the shame and stigma that is imposed upon us by the world around us. By releasing that shame, and recognizing that it isn't actually ours to carry, we can begin to understand more clearly what we really desire, how we feel and what we need and want.
LèMíng Yocum, they/them
LèMíng Yocum is a non-binary queer Chinese adoptee working as API Chaya’s Queer Network Organizer, as well as serves as a core member of the QTBIPOC collective Alphabet Alliance of Color and the anti-imperialist Chinese diaspora group PARISOL. They organize for a world free from violence and exploitation; where workers, survivors, and QTBIPOC of all generations can heal and thrive. LèMíng loves to write poetry, create visual art, pole dance, travel, and share food with loved ones.
LèMíng's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Collective Spirit. There’s a saying,” 海内存知己, 天涯若比邻。If in the world you have a close friend, the ends of the earth will seem like neighbors.” LèMíng believes we carry our loved ones and communities with us no matter how far we go or what we’re doing. And this collective spirit makes us stronger, kinder, more at ease, because we are never alone in struggle, in healing, or in liberation.
Sexual Liberation is teaching youth, adults, and elders about consent, boundaries, bodily autonomy, safety, pleasure, and self determination in all the ways we explore intimacy, sex, and healing. It requires an end to all state repression and oppressive conditions that enable child sexual abuse and other forms of violence and exploitation to foster. Sexual liberation is the journey and the destination.
Lourdez Velasco or Puti'on, they/them
Lourdez Velasco is a queer, non-binary CHamoru parent, artist, organizer and survivor of CSA. Intergenerational healing, joy and collective care guides and centers all their work. Lourdez is a co-founder of Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network and two queer and trans artist collectives: Guma’ Gela’ and flower flower. Lourdez loves parenting their child, cuddling their pittie and being a goofy tender virgo. IG @tendervirgo @tendervirgofarts
Lourdez's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Empathy/Compassion. Lourdez is in the practice of extending empathy and compassion to myself, so Lourdez can continue to extend compassion in my artistry, parenting, friendships and to their inner child.
Sexual Liberation means having choice to access my pleasure as a survivor: on my terms, in my queerness, in my erotic power, in my bodily autonomy and in my healing.
Maya Williams (ey/they/she)
Maya Williams is a religious Black multiracial nonbinary suicide survivor who is currently the seventh poet laureate of Portland, Maine. Ey also serves as MaineTransNet's Community Care Program Coordinator working with trans survivors of violence. MayaWilliamsPoet.com | IG @emmdubb16 | TW @emmdubb16
Maya's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Active Listening. Because it continues to teach Maya the value of the type of questions that best serve whoever Maya is communicating with.
Sexual Liberation means to me the right to comfort and pleasure in our bodies, reclaiming our bodies' narrative, and the ability for our bodies to heal.
Meagan Ingerman, she/her/hers
Meagan Ingerman is a paraprofessional and early interventionist in special ed classrooms. She also has more than 10 years of experience working one on one with children and families as a nanny, tutor, and childcare provider. Meagan spent 4 years working in CSA prevention and is passionate about prevention, survivor support, and sex positivity. TW @IncogNeato111
Meagan's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Flexibility and the one that is serving Meagan the most. Meagan's work requires me to be many things and in many places, flexibility allows Meagan to adapt and assist others.
Sexual liberation to me is about addressing the root causes of sexual oppression and working to end all forms of oppression. It is also about creating spaces and possibilities for victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse to understand sexual trauma and generate sexual futures. Sexual violence is commonplace and as such Sexual Liberation and preventing childhood sexual abuse are linked for QTPOC who experience unique forms of vulnerabilities
Nicole Epps, she/her
Nicole G. Epps is the Chief of Staff for the Osborne Association, a social services agency that works to transform the lives and communities of those who have been affected by the criminal legal system. She is the former Executive Director of the World Childhood Foundation USA (Childhood USA), after 5 years as the Managing Director of Programs and Policy. Before joining Childhood USA Epps has been a non-profit leader in the anti-trafficking and street-affected, vulnerable youth population, both domestically and internationally. Epps is a Steering Committee member of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. She has been appointed to the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. Epps is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, earned an MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry School of Business. She recently earned her MSW with a certificate in Promoting Child & Adolescent Well-Being from Rutgers University School of Social Work.
Nicole's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Listening. Because you are actively engaged and learn more about what others are sharing.
Sexual liberation is the ability to share your sexuality authentically and without judgment.
Sara Hassan, they/them
Sara Hassan is a mad, abolitionist social worker who supports young people in healing from interpersonal and state violence and in building safe, life giving, and liberatory relationships with themselves and others. They are deeply invested in the work of imagining more just, compassionate worlds through transformative interpersonal relationships and are thrilled to be working with the Heal Project. Sara loves dabbling in various art forms, frolicking in nature, being a khala to all their loves’ pets and children, and changing their mind.
Sara's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Mindful Presence. Because Sara has found that intimacy and connection are built in moments where we can be deeply attentive to ourselves and others at the same time.
Sexual liberation feels like curiosity, communication, growth, excitement, vulnerability, openness. It looks like a world where we all have access to information about our bodies and about sexuality, to health care, to safe housing and all our other basic needs from the time we come into this world. It looks like a world without shame and where each of us can name people in our lives who we trust and feel safe with. It looks like a world where we can make mistakes and be supported in learning. In a world where we have access to all these things, children would be far less vulnerable to experiencing childhood sexual abuse and people who cause harm would be able to get their needs for connection and touch met in other healthy ways, without shame and secrecy and without causing immeasurable harm to other people.