Peer Support Series, Session 2: Setting the Stage for Creating Safe Spaces

Session 2 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 Session 2, join us in collaboration with facilitator Evelyn Clark, and peer support specialists Alex Ferguson, Danny Leonard, and Shaun Worthy who will all speak to creating safe spaces for peer support providers within agencies. This affinity group opens opportunities to discuss ongoing support, career paths, anti-racist practices, and how BIPOC peers can navigate the field. It will also offer a space to learn from other peer specialists.



Learning Goals

  1. Create specific avenues for peers who identify as BIPOC
  2. Implement ant-racist strategies within peer support delivery
  3. Identify career paths for peer specialists




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. 


About the Presenters  

Alex Ferguson

Alex FAlexander is 35 years old and originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Alexander is of mixed race. His father's side is of Afro/Indigenous heritage from Central America and his mother's side is white from New Jersey. Growing up, Alexander spent most of his childhood in between New Jersey, New York & Vermont. He attended school at The Institute of Audio Research & Technology. During this time in life, Alexander lived in Brooklyn with a family from Trinidad & Tobago. This is when he began working in reggae music & production. After graduating; Alexander spent time traveling and learning about himself, exploring different cultures and communities; becoming more conscious of his own heritage and roots. Upon moving back to Vermont in 2013, he began working with Pathways Vermont. He has worked in Vermont’s peer support/mental health services for eight years. Previously he was Team Lead at the Pathways Community Center. He has been an organizational trainer for five years and is now a statewide trainer. Alexander is currently a Team Lead on the Pathways Vermont Support Line. He also facilitates a weekly BIPOC Co-reflection which he helped to develop in 2021; highlighting the unique experiences of BIPOC Peer Workers.



Danny Leonard 

My name is puyuyixʷ, which means “Bend In The River” I’m also known as Danny Leonard. I reside on the Puyallup Reservation and work for the Puyallup Tribe’s Re-Entry

ProDLgram as a Peer Specialist. This position allows me to use my skills of empowerment, lived experience and, most of all “culture”. I’ve been in recovery for 20 months with taking all the transitions to obtain long term recovery. This includes Detox, Impatient, PHP, Oxford Living, and now to my OWN place. My director has given me the opportunity to grow in so many ways in this field of work and I’m beyond grateful. The Re-Entry program has three support meetings a week and I facilitate the “Saturday Morning Talking Circle” in our office. These are Wellbriety meetings that help people with alcoholism and addiction find their way back to the Red Road to Recovery. I look forward to meeting you all on how our department facilitates our groups.


Sean Worthy 

S WorthyShaun Worthy is a full custody father, entrepreneur, author, and thought leader. The CEO/Owner of IAMWORTHY & Associates LLC is a purpose-pushing youth development professional. He is using his life experiences, contagious passion, and good trouble mentality to impact his community and the field of youth development. Shaun has dedicated his life to social justice work and being a servant to worthy causes. Some of his goals are to help others become professional youth workers, become a leader in youth development, and impact as many lives as possible. Shaun wants to inspire, provoke thought, and provide value to anyone he can.




The presentation for this session can be viewed and downloaded here.  

Starts: Feb 22, 2023 10:00 am
Ends: Feb 22, 2023 11:15 am
Registration Deadline
February 21, 2023
Event Type
Webinar/Virtual Training
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