Counselor & Researcher
Ana M. Salazar, MS, LPC-S (she/her/hers) is a board-approved Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Texas. She is a Latina, proud mother, first-generation college student, and doctoral candidate in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Her qualitative research agenda includes improving supervision and teaching experiences for counselors of color in clinical training, advocacy in mental health inequity, and dismantling the colonized practices of counseling. She has specialized training and certification in suicide prevention education and has numerous local and state presentations on a variety of mental health and advocacy topics. She views life, education, counseling, and supervision from a Relational Cultural Therapy perspective with an understanding of society through the lens of Critical Race Theory.
Director of Belonging at University of Souther California + Loneliness/Belonging Expert, Innovator, Author, Speaker, Consultant
Cat Moore the Director of Belonging at the University of Southern California and a belonging innovator across industries, from local start-ups to the department of defense. Yet, she spent the first two decades of her life chronically lonely and couldn’t make eye contact in public until she was 28. As a new mom in crisis needing community to survive, she learned in the cafes of LA how to create belonging for herself and others through the tiny acts of listening and caring. Now her life’s calling is to inspire people, in an age of historic loneliness, with the message, “You belong” and the tools to create lifestyles of belonging, personally and professionally, that make life bearable and beautiful.
I am the middle daughter of Dr. Hector P. and Wanda Garcia. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX, I was fortunate to work with my father in his office for 10 years prior to completing my physical therapy education at UTMB Galveston. I continue to practice in Home Health setting for Geriatric Rehabilitation. I established a non-profit organization, the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation, that currently has 10 distinguished board members, and has established endowments at universities, and assisted indigent care services. My first book, The Inspiring Life of Texan Hector P. Garcia was presented at the Library of Congress and has impacted over 6000 lives.
I could feel how the analysis of skin tone and humiliation by my friends and family about my skin color had impacted me deeply. I could feel how the inappropriate touch by several men had resulted in over-conscious self. I carry no pity for me rather I have been a fierce woman and turned my personal journey into my career. My narrative dictates why I am passionate about studying mental health and its intersectionality with social and political factors. I practice inter-disciplinary scholarly work to explore and promote the idea of mental health in the work of empowerment. Isn’t strange that developmental sector worked on empowering communities through millennium/sustainable goals for years without thinking about the psychological empowerment?
Philanthropist + Author
"Philanthropist/ Author/ Entrepreneur/Marketing Strategist/Global Wanderer. Lisa Swift-Young is a Renaissance woman. Her professional career extends through corporate, academia, and nonprofits. She has more than 20+ years of experience strategically growing businesses and driving change.
Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Louisville; a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and completed post-graduate doctoral coursework in Organizational Leadership from North Central University.
Among her peers, she is known as a strategic partner and innovative thought leader. She strongly feels her experiences have equipped her to embrace her most challenging, rewarding, and character-building role: Mom."
Communications Instructor & Women's Rights Activist
As a domestic violence survivor, young mom, and educator I am passionate about all things future. I strongly believe we have a duty as human beings to constantly strive for a better world. Whether it’s helping the youth find their voice, advocating for social change, telling my story so others can learn, or even just providing a safe space for growing I want to begin to write a better narrative for the world.
Comedian and Educator
Shawna Blake is a standup comedian and educator living in Oklahoma. She has been performing comedy for 7 years and teaching Communication courses for 6 because she loves a captive audience.