Peer Counseling

for Queer Black and/or Indigenous, and People of Color

(BIPoC) 

What is Peer Counseling?

Peers are not therapists or psychiatrists. 

Peers are people who have had similar experiences with mental health offering confidential support. 

We offer validation not commonly found in professional relationships.

We are qualified and trained. We may have certifications, Master's degrees, and professional experience in Mental Health.

Our ethos for supporting peers like you are built on mutuality and compassion. 

We're here to help you create strategies for self-empowerment and a healthy life. 

You deserve affirming Mental Health care, safety, peace of mind, belonging, love, and pleasure.

FREE UNTIL JULY 3ST

TESTIMONIALS

Proud to have offered services to 500+ Trans/Queer BIPoC who've signed up! 

"You are doing the Lord's work. The Lorde as in Audre Lorde."

-Ali

“I enjoyed every second. I thought it was super helpful to receive your affirmations and validation. I wouldn’t change anything. This was super amazing! I felt really heard, seen, and loved. I really needed it because I’ve been stressed out.”

-Sen

"This is my first time with peer support. It was eye opening and comforting. I like that you were able to hear me without bias. I like when you are able to share your perspective. I can tell you are giving me honest feedback." 

-Alexandra 

"You’re a good listener. Your format has a lot of flow. I appreciate the way you hold space for people. You’re very non-judgmental and organized."

-Jasmine 

"In the past when I have gone to counseling they have capitalistic minds. I wanted to talk to you because I didn’t get that impression. I really enjoyed that after we talked you confirmed with me that you were listening. I like that you gave an agenda because before when I’ve done therapy most of time it feels more loose and not specific. "

-Anonymous 

-Anonymous 

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OUR

TEAM

WE POLITICIZE AND DECOLONIZE MENTAL HEALTH!

We do not call or peers “clients”. We are a community. We are comrades.

We offer counseling from a place of non-hierarchy, mutuality, solidarity, and compassion. 

 

We work continuously to learn about gender identity, gender expression & sexual orientation. 

 

We may advise peers to exist with and heal through their trauma more, and “treat it” less.

 

We may explore your migration stories.

 

We may unpack Intergenerational trauma, decolonizing our minds, intersectionality. 

 

We will work on our shit. 

FREE UTIL JULY 31ST

Read Our Bios

Jia Hurd

They/She 

My work is to creatively come together to undoing systemic harm on our bodies and mental wellbeing. To tap into joy, empowerment, and deep healing. 

Naajia “Jia” Hurd (also known as Jia Justice) is a Black non-binary femme from the South Bronx with a creative energy that seeks to fill every medium it can. They/She is a creative, community/ event organizer and Mental Health advocate.

She is certified in Mental Health First Aid, and is pursing a Masters in Clinical Social Work. I have 6 years of program management experience at non-profits in NYC. For 3 years, Jia has provided mental health advocacy, and mutual aid organizing for Queer Black and Brown folks for Cookie’s joint, an NYC-based grassroots group. 

They have volunteered with wellness organizations like Harriet's Apothecary  and New York Visiting Nurses Services as a hospice volunteer, The Wellness department at The New School, The New York Botanical Gardens, etc. They have provided emotional support and compassionate hand massages to hospice patients who are expected to die in 2 months or less. 

She is currently being trained to be a holistic wellness partitioner at The Reciprocity Center in NYC. She is expected to obtain her Masters in Social Work in 2022.

Jia has collaborated with non-profits and grassroots groups for the past 6 years on successful social justice movements.

 

Since 2014, I’ve aided NYC based social justice organizations with community organizing or volunteering such as BUFU, Sadie Nash Feminist Foundation, Black Lives Matter, The Audre Lorde Project, BYP 100, and F2L.

Background:

Healing framework:

They/She is committed to using evidence-based practices (EBP); Motivational Interviewing (MI), Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), critical time intervention, and boundary setting, to help my peers achieve their goals. 

Politics:

Her politics include Intersectionality, fat positivity, Black Lives Matter, No Borders, Indigenous Resistance, Free Palestine, anti-capitalism, Pro Sex work, Pro Choice, Socialist, abolitionist, Queer liberation, 

Ashley Lagrange

They/Them

Ashley is a Queer Fat Black Dominican non-binary femme from Queens, New York currently residing in Philadelphia. They were born and raised in Corona, Queens, one of the communities being impacted heavily during this time.

 

They left home for college to pursue a Bachelors in Psychology and Gender Studies after experiencing impactful events surrounding their Fatness, Blackness, Queerness, and life as a mentally ill person.

 

Their academic work has focused heavily on grief within the Black community, eating disorders in communities of color, identity development and BIPOC access to higher education. With the goal of working directly with community, with a focus on youth, they are completing their Masters in Counseling Psychology this May.

Background:

Healing framework:

Their framework utilizes a Modern, Intersectional, Humanistic, and Ecological approach using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as the base.

 

They firmly believe that everyone deserves to fulfill their journey towards self actualization through creative reflection and radical vulnerability.

Politics:

Their politics include all forms of liberation and abolition for communities impacted by white supremacy and has been influenced heavily by the identities they hold and the largely undocumented neighborhood they grew up in.

 

Ashley seeks to guide and hold space for folks as they go through their own journey during these difficult times. During their free time, Ashley practices vulnerability through radical journaling and collaging, with a collection of journals dating back to 2012 when they began their journey towards self actualization.

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Phoebe VanCleefe

She/Her

Background:

Phoebe is a Black Femme currently living in Philadelphia. Phoebe is a Subject Matter Expert on Black Queer living disparities and has experience surrounding youth collaboration. She also functions as a Trans Health activist and a Homlessness and Sex Work advocate. Phoebe identifies as an artist who in her spare time has a love for personal expression through writing and singing.

Healing Framework:

Phoebe recognizes the layers behind every individual's identity and utilizes an Intersectional approach to her work. She also emphasizes the importance of healing and trauma informed care. She believes in recognizing, honoring, and providing support to the Femmes in her community. 

Politics:

Phoebe politically leans towards Abolitionist views of the world. She recognizes that there are systems in place that do not support everyone and wants to help bridge the gap in resources. She seeks to empower members of her community and help amplify their voices, experiences, and expression. She believes in the power of other Trans folks and acknowledges that Black Trans women deserve support and accolades as they are the root of our movements.

Bianca N Martinez

They/Them

Bianca is a white passing, queer, pansexual, nonbinary femme, proud Boricua warrior and mental health advocate by way of New York.

A creative, educator, facilitator, event organizer and activist - Bianca has a bachelor’s degree in Gender & Sexuality and Latinx studies and has spent much of their years working with QTBIPoC folx, youth, fellow peers and using their online presence to share resources and intimate stories about their own experiences battling mental illness. Bianca is a BPD, Bipolar 1, PTSD, eating disorder warrior/survivor amongst other diagnoisis 

While currently aspiring to become a NY Peer Specialist, Bianca is a co-producer of a new media platform called eres. and the host of its video podcast eres. Tea Talks. Bianca is using their gifts to bring light into the lives of those they encounter as they themselves work on their own recovery.

A poet by design, Bianca is a lover of all things nature and believes beauty can be found in the darkest of corners which has led them to the anti-colonial, anti-patriarchy and anti-white supremacy work amongst others.

 

Background:

Healing framework:

I am committed to a person-centered approach that entails active listening and reflective responding and the use of evidence-based practices; Motivational Interviewing (MI), Trauma Informed Care, Harm Reduction and Suicide Prevention. I believe in using my personal experiences to move and empower my fellow peers as they work towards achieving their own goals and overcoming their own challenges. I also am a huge believer in “alternative” medicines like herbs, crystals, reiki and various other forms of non-Western care. I want to find what works for you in your recovery.

Politics:

I believe in the freedom, liberation and over all human rights of all marginalized groups through an intersectional lens making me a socialist of sorts. I am a supporter of no borders, supporter of the undocumented community, am pro-choice, pro-sex & sex work, queer liberation and trans justice, pro-womxn, pro- earth, black lives matter, indigenous resistance, a return of stolen land, a free Puerto Rico, a free Palestine, and body and fat positivity, amongst other belief systems that veer left. 

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Vesna Antwan

Volunteer: She/Her

Background:

Vesna is a racialized, cis femme working as a coach, speaker and workshop facilitator in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada. She is a second generation Arab-Latinax (“Arabtina”) immigrant with parents of Honduran and Iraqi descent. She holds an undergraduate degree in Communications and a certificate in Personal and Professional Coaching. Her mission as a coach is to guide soul-seeking individuals in finding their way back to themselves and their inner compass. As a multilingual (English, French and Spanish) coach, she is at ease interacting with a variety of people and cares deeply about supporting her peers in reconnecting to the things that make their hearts sing. On top of her regular coaching offerings, Vesna has also designed and facilitated workshops on topics that are close to her heart such as self-care, boundary setting and burnout prevention. Before becoming a coach, Vesna worked as an admissions professional in the post-secondary education sector and as a communications expert. She is also a mother to a deeply loving and entertaining seven year-old. The common thread throughout her life and career has been a deep curiosity and interest in people.

Healing framework:

My approach is whole-person centered (mind, body, spirit) and sensitive to peoples’ identities, experiences, values and beliefs. I believe that coaching is a journey of discovery, one that brings out the possibilities within and shines a light on our unique stories. I like to incorporate stress-reduction techniques, mindfulness practices and self-compassion exercises into my work as a way to reduce stress and regulate the nervous system. I also believe that joy is an important element to the healing journey.

Politics:

I believe in sustainable self-care practices, decolonizing wellness, Black Lives Matter, intersectional feminism, climate justice, immigration, queer liberation, indigenous rights, decriminalizing sex work and rest as a form of resistance.

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Trae B

They/She

Background:

Trae is a Blaque, non-binary femme, QTBIPoC-liberation-polyam from Upper 9th Ward New Orleans. They/She is a mental health advocate and community accountability agent.

 

Her experiences with mental “illness” and disability, with diagnoses of Complex-PTSD, Clinical Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD as well as lived experiences as Blaque queer youth, sexual abuse & DV trauma survivor/warrior who bore witness to their community’s struggles led her to attain a Master’s degree in Clinical & Community Psychology with an emphasis on BIPoC mental health and healing. 

 

Trae is currently a mental health professional assisting BIPoC families, youth, and their peers with attaining resources and healing. They provide emotional support and person-centered healing with a focus on intergenerational trauma and systemic oppression. Trae is also involved in multiple online communities with the purpose of providing and maintaining safe spaces, resources, and healing for survivors of abuse within the BIPoC community. They do this while continually working towards their goal of obtaining their doctorate in order to further provide healing and growth opportunities to their community.

 

Trae specializes in creating and enforcing holistic, eclectic, transformative justice & liberation-based, mental health strategies to improve the psychological, emotional, spiritual, and living situations of the BIPOC communities. She emphasizes and uplifts the importance of decolonized forms of communication and speech in order to break internalized oppression cultivated by white supremacy. Trae does this with not just those she works with but also within herself and her social circle while advocating for community & personal accountability.

Healing Framework:

Utilizing personal experience and Empowerment-focused healing to help individuals realize their own internal strengths and abilities in order to access their healing and overcome internalized oppression; Committed to Evidence-Based Practices (EBP), Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Emotion-Focused (EFT), Healing through Nature & Art, and Mindfulness, with an intersectional and liberation focus, to help their peers achieve their mental, emotional, and social goals while creating a space for deeper decolonization    

Politics:

Intersectionality, QTBIPoC Liberation & Resistance, Black Lives Matter, Anti-Colorism, No Borders, Pro-Sex Work, Body & Fat Positivity, Pro-Choice, Anti-Imperialist & Anti-Capitalist, free Palestine, to name a few.

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