Portia Allie-Turco is a doctoral student in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of the Cumberlands. Her professional experience includes the roles of: Licensed Mental Health Counselor, counseling clinic director, college lecturer, chief diversity officer and clinical consultant. Her research and clinical focus is on healing generational, historical and racial trauma.

Rev. Mary Sue Barnett is a Catholic woman priest, ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. She is founder and president of the Louisville Coalition for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) a grassroots nongovernmental organization that seeks to implement the rights and principles of this United Nations women’s treaty on the local level. She also serves as a chaplain at a psychiatric hospital. Barnett recently published Crisis and Challenge in the Roman Catholic Church (2020).

Melissa Brennan, M.A., LPC, is currently completing her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at University of the Cumberlands. Her areas of interest include school counseling, social justice, gender studies, diversity and equality, child and adolescent counseling, and online teaching and counseling.

Angela Cowser earned her PhD at Vanderbilt University and is currently Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry programs at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky. She previously served as Director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience and Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Chicago, Illinois). She was ordained as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of Word and Sacrament in 2006. Her publications include Radicalizing Women-Centered Organizing and Power in Post-Conflict Namibia: A Case Study of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (Saarbrucken: Scholars Press, 2013), “Leadership Amidst Poverty: A Mixed Methodological Analysis of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia” (Journal of African American Studies, 2017), and other articles. She is a member of the Association of Black Sociologists, the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, the American Academy of Religion, and the Chicago Organizers Guild.

Rev. Diane Dougherty is an ordained priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. She is a lifelong Catholic, former religious sister of 23 years, lay minister of education in Catholic schools, and former Director of Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. She is an activist working to promote equality for women and those marginalized by unjust systems in the home, on the street, and in the state.

Dorislee Gilbert, J.D., is an experienced prosecutor and victim’s attorney. Dorislee was a prosecutor at the Louisville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for 15 years, where she served in the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Unit and as the Chief of the Appellate and Research Division. For more than two years, Dorislee was the Executive Director of the Mary Byron Project, a Louisville-based non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing justice to end intimate partner violence. While there, she spearheaded a program to provide free expert legal representation to survivors of intimate partner violence in appeals related to the intimate partner violence. She also helped launch a training program—the Mary Byron Legal Fellows Program—to train attorneys to provide pro bono appellate advocacy to survivors of intimate partner violence. Dorislee has trained judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, victim advocates, and other justice-system participants throughout the Commonwealth and across the nation. She has written on topics including domestic violence, appellate law, and trial and litigation strategy. Dorislee is currently a candidate for Jefferson Circuit Court Division 10. More information is available at www.gilbertforjudge.com.

Kristi Gray is an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Louisville and has been with that office since June of 2004. She is currently assigned to the Special Victims Unit. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Ohio State University in 1991, and her Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School in 1994. From 1994 until 2004, she served as a Staff Attorney and Directing Attorney for the Department of Public Advocacy in Pikeville and Paintsville. Ms. Gray currently serves as the Sexual Assault Liaison and is the point of contact for Human Trafficking cases within the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. In addition, she is a member of the Louisville Human Trafficking Task Force and the Louisville Sexual Assault Response Team. She also serves on the Kentucky Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Task Force and has been involved in the implementation of policies and procedures to address the rape kit backlog in Kentucky. She regularly provides training to law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice professionals in the areas of sexual assault and human trafficking.

Tammy Hatfield, Psy.D. serves as a Professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of the Cumberlands. Her areas of expertise and interest include online teaching, intersectional feminist pedagogy, diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, feminist therapy, gender studies, body image, identity development, first generation students, and Appalachian culture.

Sarah Johansson, M.Ed, is a middle school counselor and associate professional counselor, and has worked as a K-12 school counselor for over a decade. With a strong interest in student advocacy, specific experience and interests include LGBTQ+, poverty, equity, and inclusion.

Sandy Kirkham, the author of Let Me Prey Upon You, currently serves on the board of the Council Against Child Abuse. She has spoken before the Ohio Senate, a Maryland court, and appeared on a Boston television show. Her story, “Stolen Innocence,” was told in a documentary produced by the Hope of Survivors. Sandy works with survivors of sexual abuse and has participated on SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) conference panels, sharing her perspective from the non-Catholic perspective.

Francoise Alisha Knox-Kazimierczuk earned her Ph.D. from Miami University and is an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati in the College of Allied Health Sciences. She is an experienced clinician with over fifteen years of clinical dietetics experience focusing on chronic disease management. Dr. Knox-Kazimierczuk is trained in mix methods and the principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to address racial health disparities through a critical race theory lens. Dr. Knox-Kazimierczuk is a trained Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Competence Development Inventory (IDI) and has eleven years of experience facilitating Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) workshops. She has two funded studies focused on addressing racial health disparities.

Debra Meyers received her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and is a full professor at Northern Kentucky University teaching a variety of courses in gender studies, history, and religious studies. Meyers has published eight books and dozens of scholarly journal articles and encyclopedia entries. She recently published Crisis and Challenge in the Roman Catholic Church (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020) and is currently working on her next book, Gender, Love, and Religion in the Early Chesapeake. Meyers earned the distinguished Milburn Outstanding Professor award at Northern Kentucky University in 2019 for her distinguished service, exceptional scholarship, and excellence in teaching.

Donna Pollard successfully advocated for improved legislation in Kentucky and other states putting an end to child marriage through parental consent. She continues her advocacy both nationally and internationally, most recently having traveled to Finland as the keynote speaker for the Zonta International Centennial Conference, highlighting the devastating implications of child marriage and critically needed global reform. As a survivor herself, Donna realizes the need for healing and support for victims. She founded Survivors’ Corner, a nonprofit that provides this connection and empowerment. Her personal journey can be accessed through the A&E Documentary, “I Was a Child Bride,” and interviews in Glamour, NPR, US News and World Report, PBS, CBS News, and many other outlets. She is a frequent panelist and presenter and has given numerous keynote speeches and testimony before legislative committees.

Kimberly C. Rhyan earned her BS and MA degrees despite the fact that only 3% of foster youth graduate college and she is currently completing the licensure requirements to become an art teacher in Ohio. She is a studio artist, writer, and teacher. She has exhibited her paintings in New York and Ohio, including group shows with her son. She is currently working on a series of paintings that unravels her journey as a survivor. In 2021, she created the cover artwork for Hating Girls: An Intersectional Survey of Misogyny. In addition to teaching, she is currently writing her memoir as a means to dispel stigma and defy statistics that foster youths are burdens on society. She proves that trauma doesn’t have to stay a part of our DNA – survivors can thrive and achieve many successes. Please visit her website at kimberlycrhyan.com

Meredith Shockley-Smith received her PhD from the University of Cincinnati in Educational Studies. Dr. Shockley-Smith is an assistant field professor at the University of Cincinnati Medical School focused on building stronger and more equitable relationships in the community. As the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Strategies at Cradle Cincinnati and Queens Village she seeks to work with Black women to co-create sustainable communities that help to reduce stress and in turn lower infant mortality in Cincinnati communities.

Tara M. Tuttle, PhD is the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of the Lewis Honors College with a secondary appointment as Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is also an affiliate faculty of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Equality and Social Justice. Her research examines the intersections of religious belief and female sexuality in contemporary American culture and the deployment of scriptural rhetoric to challenge oppression. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Studies in Popular Culture, and The Journal of Catholic Higher Education.

Johanna W.H. van Wijk-Bos is Professor Emerita of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, where she served for 40 years as Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Faculty Liaison for the Women’s Center. She received her PhD in Hebrew Bible in 1976 from Union Theological Seminary in New York and was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in the Downtown United Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York in 1977. Van Wijk-Bos is the author of eleven books and many articles, her most recent books are three volumes in the trilogy A People and a Land; The End of the Beginning: Joshua and Judges; The Road to Kingship: 1-2 Samuel; The Land and its Kings: 1-2 Kings; with William B. Eerdmans in Grand Rapids, 2020. She is currently writing a commentary on Deuteronomy in the Wisdom series, edited by Barbara Reid, to be published by the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota.

Rev. Stephanie A. Welsh, BCC is an ordained elder in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, where she served as a pastor in the Gary District from 2010-2018. She is a Board Certified Chaplain serving as a staff chaplain at the University of Chicago Medicine. She supports the critical care and trauma patient population. Rev. Welsh is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a Master of Business Administration from Benedictine University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Rev. Welsh is featured in the CNN article, “Hospital chaplains are bridging the gap between patients and grieving families who can’t stay by their bedside during the coronavirus pandemic” (April 26, 2020). She was also featured in the Crain’s Chicago Business, “Crain’s 2020 Notable Health Care Heroes” (June 29, 2020). Rev. Welsh is committed to justice, equality, and uplifting the voices of women and the disenfranchised.

Available Now! 

Spiritual Healing from Sexual Violence: An Intersectional Guide is a collection of essays from survivors, scholars, activist reformers, spiritual leaders, and social justice practitioners offering numerous intersectional and culturally competent options for women, men, and non-binary conforming adults to explore and to create their own safe healing conditions and establish pathways for recovery. These chapters provide many culturally unique survival stories that can raise awareness of the issues involved in healing after sexual assault while influencing society’s values and belief systems that currently hinder victim’s ability to heal. In a classroom setting, these chapters deliver both the culturally grounded knowledge and the skill sets necessary for recovery.

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