Our Speakers and Performers

Tonier Cain

Trauma survivor and internationally recognized trauma informed care expert.

Tonier works tirelessly to raise the awareness about trauma informed care around the world. She has trained providers in all 50 states. Tonier is an advocate and educator, speaking all over the world on trauma, addiction, incarceration, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health. Her work has been used as a model in other countries for the establishment of their trauma informed care protocols.

Tonier was the former team leader for the National Center for Trauma Informed Care, with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Director. Currently she works to create international leaders in the field of Trauma Informed Care. She hosts an annual national conference to update and enlighten providers on current best practices. Tonier’s methods have proven to be effective, resulting in numerous awards for her work. She has been honored by two governors, a mayor and a state attorney with proclamations naming days after her, because of her help to transform their city and state.

Tonier is the C.E.O. and Founder of Tonier Cain International, Founder and President of Neen Cares, Inc. A 501 C 3, Founder and Co-C.E.O. of M.E.T.-R Integrated Health Global, as well as the Founder and C.E.O. of Purposeful Entertainment, a media production company.

She is an award-winning Film Producer that is the Creator and Producer of the upcoming tv show Restoration, Executive Producer of the film Walking Thru Bullets, subject and Co-Producer of the Award-Winning Film Healing Neen, along with being featured in the Documentary Behind Closed Doors: Trauma Survivors in the Psychiatrist System and advising on the film Like Any Other Kid.

Learn more at her official website: toniercain.com and find her on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter): @toniercain

Anthony Townsend

Anthony Townsend is a trauma-informed community activist, mentor, leader, motivational speaker, businessman, philanthropist, leader and father. He has won numerous awards for his work in areas such as community engagement, safety, youth development, human rights and more.

He is the pioneering Head of Safety and Risk Management for a national nonprofit housing developer, CEO of Kinship Villages, a company dedicated to creating innovative safety solutions andFounder of youth-led and youth-driven community benefits organization, Safe & Sound. He is also the Owner of Make It Look Easy Entertainment LLC, Co-Owner of Lissa’s Libations LLC, and Father, Managing Member and CFO to 10 Year OldDream, of Dream In Color Clothing LLC

He is a Nationally Certified Gang Prevention Specialist and Trainer, Certified Balance and Restorative Justice Practitioner and Circle Facilitator who is genuinely concerned about people. 

Breakout Session Facilitators

Melissa Ferrer - Breakout Session "Art of Surrender"

Rooted in the practical and the possible, Melissa Ferrer (&)’s spoken word poems and songs are mostly meditations and responses to the world around her and her own internal journey. She has performed on stages internationally, competitive and non-competitive. Recently, she’s been yearning to set down her ego and replace it with a jubilation of the spirit. You can celebrate with her on instagram @mamma_orso7.

Crystal Rozelle – Bennett, LMSW - Breakout Sessions "See My Color: Why Racial Color Blindness is Unethical" and "Death by a Thousand Nicks- Healing the Wounds of Racial Trauma" CE/CU credit

Crystal Rozelle – Bennett, LMSW is the founder and CEO of
THRYVE, LLC, bringing over 20 years of experience
with youth and families to the role. She is committed to advocating for and empowering individuals and communities.  Through coaching, consultation, presentations and workshop facilitation, Ms. Bennett has worked with thousands of professionals, across the nation, to promote the delivery of trauma informed, culturally inclusive and person-centered strategies and services.  Her areas of expertise include Human Trafficking, Suicide Prevention, Child Trauma/Maltreatment, Motivational Interviewing, Racial Trauma, Cultural Humility and working to dismantle systems of white supremacy to promote equity and justice.

Dr. Deborah Wilcox, PhD - Breakout Session "Emotional Emancipation"

Dr. Wilcox is the Founder/ Chief Executive Officer of Confluency Consultants and Associates, a consultancy enterprise that provides comprehensive Multicultural Organizational Development and Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching services. The primary mission of her consultancy is to integrate multicultural competency into organizational life by bringing people together across cultural differences in the workplace and within communities, and to enhance decision-making through the sustained deliberative dialogue.

Dr. Wilcox has conducted numerous professional development workshops and applied research projects. Dr. Wilcox was recently awarded the 2020 The New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) Board of Directors Quincy Boykin Memorial Award for her contributions to mental health recovery, empowerment, and integration of the full diversity of all people with mental health and trauma-related challenges. She was also awarded the 2014 Multicultural Award of Distinction from the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA), which recognizes her outstanding contribution to the field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Her research areas include Mental Health Wellness and Recovery, African-Centered Rites of Passage a Therapeutic Approach for Youth and Families, Group Process; and Wellness and Resilience Story Circles

Dr. Wilcox serves on a wide variety of professional councils and boards. She holds a Doctorate Degree in Education (PhD); Master’s Degree (M.Ed.) in Community Clinical Counseling from Kent State University Graduate College of Education, Department of Counseling and Human Development. She also has a Masters Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A) from the School of Business and Management at Kent State University, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in Sociology and Political Science from Fisk University, Nashville, TN.

Natasha Ellis - Breakout Session “Laughter Yoga”

Natasha Ellis is a Midwestern native who recently relocated to Los Angeles. She is in long-term recovery from mental health diagnosis and addiction, with over 19 years clean time. Natasha discovered her infinite love of helping to heal and support others when she served in the Domestic Peace Corps in her youth.
Natasha is a certified Mental Health and Addiction Support Specialist with over 15 years experience in working with and supporting different populations including trauma survivors, addicts, those with severe mental health diagnosis, youth, and senior citizens. Natasha has worked in drop-in settings, public and private mental health sectors, treamtment centers, primary care/ emergency care settings, and in efforts to combat human trafficking.

Erica Baker - Breakout Session “Mental Health: Coping and Conquering"

Erica Baker is an entertainment lawyer that has an interest and passion for all things creative. As a singer, songwriter, and musician, Erica is invested in the arts community, which affords her a unique perspective and approach to the practice of law. Erica earned a Bachelor’s degree in music with a minor in business from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and a Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University School of Law. 

Attorney Erica Baker is passionate about educating and representing the arts community at large. She understands the perspectives and needs of creatives, and she uses her legal knowledge to help protect and advocate for them. Her commitment is to fight for clients just as hard as she would fight for herself. She believes that law doesn’t have to be complicated, and she wants clients to gain understanding and be empowered. In her opinion, no business is too small and all creativity deserves protection. 

Cecilia Ananya - Breakout Session "The Black King & Black Queen Joy: Written Journeys to Healing and Wholeness"

Cecilia-Ananya Belser-Patton is the Principle and Culture Curator of JUST Systems, a systems change management, capacity building and sustainability consulting firm who specializes in Restorative Practices, specifically REDI+A: Race, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion + Accessibility Development; Restorative and Social Justice framework and implementation; leadership development and strategic systems change.

JUST Systems provides lectures, workshops, organizational development, transformative leadership coaching, and grassroots strategy development and coalition formation designed to build equity and create systems change.

As the Director of Leadership Development for Alive & Well Communities, Cecilia is committed to the Social Emotional Wellness of all stakeholders, and applies these practices through a Trauma Informed and Restorative lens. She advocates strongly for everyone’s ability to empower and advance themselves through awareness, organization, mobilization and action.

Chandra Green - Breakout Sessions "Confronting Traumatized Black Leadership" and "Generational Trauma"

Chandra Green has been an advocate for the wellbeing and holistic health of her community for over 15 years. With a focus on human rights and trauma, Ms. Green has worked as a community educator, case manager and therapist for those experiencing domestic violence and various types of abuse and trauma. She provides trauma informed leadership coaching as the CEO of SoulMine LLC and is the Director of Alive and Thrive Wyandotte County, which focuses on awareness and education of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), Pair of ACEs, and trauma in Wyandotte County. 


Pages d. Matam - Breakout Session “How to Properly Cook Rice”

(They/He) is a genderqueer award-winning multi-hyphenate, born and raised in Cameroon, Central Africa, blossomed in the DMV and residing in Los Angeles. They are a polyglot National poetry slam champion, National Fair Housing Alliance Cultural Ambassador, Callaloo Fellow, Google x Guardian Rising Voices Awardee and multiple recipient of the DC Commissions Arts and Humanities Fellowship. Additionally, Pages is a gummy bear elitist, anime fanatic, and fried plantains connoisseur whose work centering Queer Black liberation, immigrant stories, recapturing the imagination, and using art as a tool to craft healing spaces, is fueled by the words of Toni Morrison: “the function of freedom, is to free someone else.”

Brian Be - Breakout Session "Having InterDependence"

Brian Be is an artist & wellness advocate, autism self-advocate, performer, writer, public speaker and group facilitator. As a Poetry for Personal Power (P3) Project Manager for several years in our Colorado region & beyond, he is a proud co-developer of the P3 Wellness & Resiliency Story Circle method, advancing community-based wellness.

His P3 work continues with program design, networking, implementation and fidelity monitoring. He fosters Peer Support along with Shared Risk & Protective Factors for strengths-based community stakeholder leadership.

Brian Be is a LEND fellow and the Self Advocacy Coordinator for JFK Partners at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He serves as a volunteer on multiple community councils and programs.

His energy brings arts into community wellness programs with edutainment, “Because life can be rough, Let’s make Wellness fun.”


Andre Carbonell - Breakout Sessions “Word Portals” and “Social Justice: Practicing the Practice”

Andre Carbonell, better known as Hakeem Furious, is an international performance artist/writer, facilitating artist and community organizer. His work started in 2012, immediately after graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and becoming a member of Black on Black Rhyme, a community organization that contracts poets/writers for events and programming throughout the south.

He spent 4 years in Tallahassee, Florida attending Florida A&M University and performing at universities across the state (FSU, UF, EDWC, etc), teaching workshops in the local schools, and organizing community events centered around education, innovation, and liberation. He migrated to his birthplace Denver to grow his business and learning in 2016, where he launched his #TheUltraTerrestrialTour brand, working as an independent contractor to different grassroots organizations and nonprofits. 


Tyrei Woodbury - Breakout Session “Life is Art”

Tyrei started his creative expression writing poetry/spoken word as an outlet at the suggestion of his counselor. After relocating to South Kansas City from Leawood, KS, he experienced trauma resulting from racism and mistreatment by his peers. As a result, his counselor introduced him to a Langston Hughes and that opened up a new world. Tyrei has not looked back since and is now using his artistic platform to help others expressed themselves freely. Life is Art is a workshop birthed from his lived experiences that helps other not only create their stories with color but paint the picture they’d like to see.  

Tiara Nicole - Breakout Session "Story Circle"

Tiara Nicole is a 35-year-old Kansas City, MO native and spoken word/slam poet. She recently won Best Spoken Word artist at the 2021 Kansas City People’s Choice Awards in August. She plans to release her first book “Tell My Son, Thank You” and the follow up “ Was it Something I Said?!” in 2022. Outside of being a spoken word artist, Tiara is also a program coordinator for Poetry for Personal Power and the proud mother of a seven-year-old son, Tristian.


Ed Mabrey, Featured Slam Artist

Ed Mabrey is an actor, author, speaker and modern-day renaissance artist. He is accepted as the greatest poet in the history of poetry slam with over 500 wins in his career, including 4 individual world titles and 6 consecutive individual regional titles.

Ed has performed and spoken for Fortune 500 companies, universities and colleges, national ceremonies, and open mics while being featured in various television broadcasts and comedy showcases. He is an NAACP Image award nominee and Emmy nominee, two-time TEDx speaker, contributing author to a New Your Times bestselling anthology, two-time finalist in The World Series Of Comedy held in Las Vegas and 2019 APCA Spoken Word Artist of the Year. Ed has worked with over 200 colleges and five K-12 school districts to develop poetry curricula.

Ed is also the host of our JoyUs Gala.


Dianna Tyler, aka Goddess Warrior The Poet

Dianna Tyler, also known as Goddess Warrior The Poet, developed the courage to openly speak about the pain she endured as a domestic violence survivor as it spilled through her pen in 2012.  As a performing artist speaking out against violence of all kinds, she has captivated audiences for almost 10 years with her themes of faith, strength, determination and the sheer will to never give up. 

She is the 2021 Chicago Music Awards “Best Spoken Word Artist” and writer and co-producer of her own poetic short film, “The Toughest Job In The World.”  She is a published author, open mic host, director of a spoken word stage play, blog contributor, recording artist and mom to twin boys.

John Hypacrace Lewis

John “Hypocrace” Lewis, “your favorite poet’s favorite poet,” has been in the poetry community for 10 years. He has represented Kansas City with his team on a national poetry slam three different times.

Current slam master of “The Regulators” and the host of “I am Hypocrace Presents: Third Thursdays,” paying artists to feature slam or cypher. He has grown to be a crowd favorite at the local open mic “Soul Sessions” held on Mondays at the KC Juke House, earning him attention from media outlets such as 41 Action News and 38 The Spot.


Brandon "Amayzn" Nelson

Brandon “Amayzn” Nelson is a well experienced spoken word artist and SLAM poet from Kansas City MO. He uses his life experiences and writing to encourage people of all walks of life. Amayzn is a sponsored artist with Poetry for Personal Power and believes that writing has the power to heal.

Also performing:

  • Breakout Facilitator Pages Matam
  • Breakout Facilitator Melissa Ferrer
  • Breakout Facilitator Tiara Nicole