Peer Support Series, Session 5: Connection Building & Next Steps
Session 5 of 5 in the "Creating Safe Spaces for Peer Support Providers" Series (View series main page for full details)
This learning series asks: How can we create spaces where all peer professionals feel safe? How do we support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) peers and implement anti-racist practices within peer support?
In this last session in the series, we welcome peer support agencies and peer specialists to join a collaborative discussion and presentation by specialists in the peer support field, facilitated by Evelyn Clark. This closing session will focus on wellness and resilience for peer professionals and networking opportunities. The Pacific Southwest Center's Technical Assistance Specialist, Ms. Clark will elevate reflections on the ongoing supports and anti-racist practices that have emerged from this series and open the floor to participant input around how this program can continue and best serve BIPOC led peer support professionals throughout the region and country.
- Create specific avenues for peers who identify as BIPOC
- Implement ant-racist strategies within peer support delivery
- Identify career paths for peer specialists
About the Presenters
Kris Locus, CPRS, CTRC, Transitional Age Youth Coordinator, On Our Own of Maryland, (she / they)
Kris Locus is passionate about using their lived experience as a Nonbinary Queer BIPOC to highlight the necessity and value of peers in all spaces. Now, Kris works as the Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Coordinator for On Our Own of Maryland, working to advocate for the inclusion of young adults as equal partners in the process of systems change on local, state, and national levels. As the TAY Coordinator, Kris's work serves to empower young adults by connecting them to leadership and professional development opportunities, events, and trainings. They also develop and coordinate tailored trainings and technical assistance to youth-serving programs while mentoring aspiring peers and advocating through the peer recovery specialist certification process.
Naomi Herrera, CPC, MA (she / her)
Naomi is an esteemed and dynamic leader within the peer field, driven by an unwavering passion to transform systems and enrich lives through her wealth of personal lived experiences and acquired expertise. Naomi channels her energy towards empowering organizations and agencies when implementing and operationalizing peer services through one on one and group coaching, trainings, monthly webinars, and weekly office hours.
With an extensive background as a Peer Support Specialist spanning over a decade, Naomi has demonstrated her commitment to serving individuals in various inpatient, outpatient, educational, and corporate environments. In recent positions as a peer support supervisor, certified peer counselor curriculum trainer, and statewide peer support liaison, Naomi has championed workforce development, advancement, and peer expansion initiatives for agencies, advisory boards, and organizations across Washington state.
Outside of her work, Naomi immerses herself in her spiritual studies and practices. She likes to spend her free time exploring nature and is currently training for a 100-mile bicycle fundraising event showcasing her dedication to making a positive impact beyond her professional endeavors.
Walter L. Williams Jr., Young Adult Coordinator, Certified Peer Counselor, TACID (he / him)
I am 49 years old and was born and raised in Oakland, California and am a "transplant" to Tacoma, Washington. I have spent much of my life serving my community behind the scenes, all in service of youth and young adults. I have worked with organizations such as Northwest Leadership Foundation, where I was key in developing their new program, "Street Behavioral", Americorp Vista, World Vision and now currently, at TACID. Though it can be very dark sometimes, I love knowing and understanding the history of my people.
Peer support agencies and peer specialists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color who work in mental health and cross-systems. We also welcome allies and other roles to help support the BIPOC peer workforce.