trauma

Moving Beyond Fear and Embracing your Experience

This week’s episode, with special guest Nurjahan Boulden, is so important and powerful.  Nurjahan was 21 years old when she was shot with an assault rifle in an attack that killed the man next to her. That one night changed the trajectory of her life. Even as she moved on to become a teacher and mother of three, PTSD and complications from the bullet wound continually threatened her future. 13 years later, she is now recognized as America’s leading coach for survivors of gun violence who are ready to Feel Safe Again.

Nurjahan and I talked about perseverance (especially through fear), facing reality, navigating trauma, and reclaiming your voice. I was moved by Nurjahan’s honesty and openness as she shared her truth in this interview. Plus, we also talked about her love of dancing.

Nurjahan’s story has been featured in a number of publications, including Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. In addition to paving the way to recovery for survivors around the world, she hosts online support groups and community resilience workshops, and is partnering with mental health professionals to bring gun violence prevention and recovery programs to schools and organizations across America.

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Consistency, Genuineness, and Boundaries with Sumiyah Mshaka

My guest this week is double-duty social worker and fitness guru Sumiyah S. Mshaka. Sumiyah and I talk about a bunch of complex social phenomenon including trauma, experiential change, and social work.

Sumiyah is a LCSW and group fitness instructor who comes from a family with a legacy of social justice. After graduating from the UCLA MSW program in June 2004, Sumiyah began her extensive career in social justice advocacy, youth development and mental health treatment of adolescents in foster care and juvenile justice. This has included serving most recently in a mezzo social work position in the new DMH Division, Continuum of Care Reform, Interagency Placement Committee (IPC) program.

Sumiyah is active in her community, serving on the Governance Board of CAIR-LA and volunteering with L.A. AIDSWalk, Islah L.A. and Islamic Relief’s Disaster Response Team. For the past five and a half years, Sumiyah has taught Group Fitness classes at 24 Hour Fitness.

You can learn more about Sumiyah’s work by connecting directly with her via Facebook!

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Imagination, Identity and Representation with Michón Neal

Our guest this week is trailblazer and representation activist Michón Neal. In Michón’s own words ze is “ an autistic BlaQueer impossible alien Othergender Dragon what tattoos trees with the queerest most sinister ink and hurts all over, all the time.”

Michón shared on a wide range of personal topics with me; we talked about hir projects in the Metanoiac portal, Cuil Press and the importance of media representation, as well as the imagination and how it ties into trauma.

Michón is a Public Speaker and Accountability Counselor at Postmodern Woman, Sensitivity Editor and Founder at Cuil Press, and Trauma-informed Domme, Builder of Communities of Care and Educator at The Metanoiac Portal.

You can follow Michón via hir website or listen to hir podcast.

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