FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ERICA WOODLAND (HE/HIM/HIS)
Founder & Executive Director
Erica Woodland is a black queer/genderqueer facilitator, consultant and healing justice practitioner born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker committed to working at the intersections of movements for racial, gender, economic, trans and queer justice and liberation. For the past 17 years, Erica has worked as a community organizer, case manager, therapist, life coach, facilitator, trainer, social worker, program director, researcher and clinical supervisor with youth, people of color and LGBTQ people from Baltimore to Oakland, CA where he currently resides. He has done extensive work in prisons, jails, group homes, psychiatric facilities, schools, non-profit organizations, community-based clinics and grassroots groups giving him a wide range of experience to draw from in his practice. From 2012-2016, Erica served as the Field Building Director for the Brown Boi Project, a national gender justice organization transforming the way communities of color experience gender. He has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he provides psychotherapy and clinical supervision. In 2017, Erica was awarded the Ford Public Voices Fellowship and had his work featured in Role Reboot, Yoga International, and Truthout. Also, in 2017, Erica was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders Fellowship.
ARIANNA HARRISON (SHE/HER/HERS)
Arianna Harrison is a child of Iranian & Danish immigrants, raised in Los Angeles, California - and now a transplant in Seattle, Washington. Her extensive experience with administration tasks in both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds have allowed her to align her skillset with her passion for justice. She deeply believes that the vision-casters for social change are BIPoC and QTPoC - and that world change can come swiftly when they are unburdened with administrative tasks and details.
Arianna serves on the Hope & Hard pills team, exploring practical insight on racial justice and social change. She serves as an Executive Board member for Dressember, whose vision is a world without slavery. Arianna lives with her nerdy husband and two energetic children, surrounded by pretty trees in the PNW.
ANJALI ALIMCHANDANI, BOARD CHAIR
Anjali Alimchandani, Ph.D., MPP, (pronouns: she/her) is an Indian American, cisgender, queer-identified psychologist, currently working in both the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team and the Transgender Care Team at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center (GLA VA), as well as in private practice. She completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at New York University in late 2015 and a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at Harvard University in 2006. Her clinical and research passions include the provision of culturally responsive, justice informed psychotherapy for marginalized populations facing a multitude of complex mental and social health issues (PTSD, complex trauma, substance use disorders, psychosis, etc.), intersections of oppression with trauma and other mental health issues, contributing factors to resiliency within oppressed groups, and the intersections of psychology practice with social justice advocacy. In addition to helping develop the transgender care team services at the GLA VA, Anjali has provided multiple trainings/presentations on client-centered care for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals to psychiatry, psychology, and primary care staff members and residents/trainees at GLA VA, and is invited annually lecture on this topic for first-year medical students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine. She held a Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor position at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in 2018-2019 and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor position within the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to coming to the field of psychology, Anjali worked in a variety of fields aimed at social justice promotion, including public policy/human rights advocacy, domestic violence prevention/response, international development, and direct social services with refugee and “at-risk” youth. Her commitment to healing justice began in the wake of recognizing that in the context of structural oppression, healing, in and of itself, is a form of activism, that psychological healing and resilience are integral to building community-driven sustainable social justice movements, and that healing compassionate justice can liberate us all.
Bio coming soon!
Shane’a Thomas, LICSW, has been practicing for more than 10 years in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area and has done extensive work with people in the underserved communities, people living with HIV/AIDS, people of color, and/or LGBTQI folks. Currently, Shane'a does intensive office and home-based therapy work through Whitman-Walker Health and the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing specializing in the areas of life transitions, bereavement, depression, and various sex and gender identities. She is a Senior Lecturer for the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Studies (Education Track) through Widener University in Chester, Pa. Shane'a's overall goal in therapeutic treatment is to show all people that they have the right to love and be loved without pain or persecution.
Violeta is a spirit, human, and black woman and femme invested in deep soul work, intergenerational trauma, and generative healing. Her commitment to this work is rooted in systemic change and ancestral backing. She is clear that systemic harm robs us of our wholeness and our ability to see ourselves in our fullness. As a healing justice practitioner and mental health professional, she deeply believes that community-care and self-care are dialectically linked - one informs the other and that decolonial therapy practices can amplify that healing at the biological, psychological, social, spiritual levels
Violeta's training comes greatly from personal experience, intuition, and communal guidance and space-sharing. In 2013, she deepened her spiritual path from an African diasporic perspective through study she pursued in Brasil and continued in Luanda, Angola from 2014 to 2015. From 2016 to 2019, she was a core collaborator within the Detroit-based women of Color collective, "Healing by Choice!". As a Reiki practitioner within HbC!, she worked with groups like the Allied Media Conference, Mothering Justice, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation, the Queering Racial Justice Conference, and the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan in the creation of healing justice practice spaces for Detroiters and those entering to hold space for radical work. With all of this, some of her most important movement work has come inside her family as a co-caregiver and story-holder.
Violeta will graduate in December 2019 from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with an MSW focused on Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health. Trained in substance use disorders and actively sober, she is especially passionate about the spirit and mental health of a person in the throes of addiction particularly while experiencing systemic oppression and day to day pain points. Sense of connection to ourselves, each other, how we relate to the known and unknown, and how we connect to our environment are paramount to building equitable and pleasurable futures. In her personal and professional life, she has co-facilitated some of these conversations in community spaces, at universities and invited talks, and at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
When Violeta is not in deep Sagittarian thought about holistic and integrated health, she is usually on the phone with her mom, cacklin' with other Black folx, or resting as resistance.