The Trauma-Conscious Equity Foundation is a 501c3 in partnership with the Trauma-Conscious Yoga Institute.

We envision a socially just, equitable world where all people have equal access to holistic, body-mind, trauma healing resources outside of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status.

OUR MISSION: We fund training for mental health clinicians and helping professionals from underserved communities in body-mind, trauma-informed healing modalities, in order to increase access to holistic, trauma-informed care within underserved communities nationwide.

OUR VISION AND AIM: A socially just, equitable world where all people have equal access to holistic, body-mind, trauma healing resources outside of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status. Our goal is to fund, train and certify more than 500 mental health clinicians and helping professionals from underserved communities in The Trauma-Conscious Yoga Method in the next five years. In partnership with The Trauma-Conscious Yoga Institute we will continue to support many of these clinicians in their continuing body-mind education through mentorship and ongoing yoga, body-mind, or somatic training and certification. We hope to usher many of them into our 200 hour trauma-informed yoga teacher training coming in 2024.

💫 Through these endeavors we aim to increase accessibility to embodied, trauma healing in underserved communities and bridge the health disparity gap between socially oppressed and socially privileged groups.


“Who’s on our board of directors?” Please check back, we’ll be adding pictures and bios of our esteemed board members soon.


People belonging to marginalized communities, specifically BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and those at the intersection of the two, experience disproportionate rates of trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder* (PTSD). This includes but is not limited to, trauma that is a direct consequence of systemic violence perpetrated by oppressive systems, and historical and generational trauma. Concurrently, these same communities experience increased barriers to healthcare access and holistic, body-mind, trauma-informed care that is human-centered, compassionate, and/or evidence-based. Yet, integrative, holistic and somatic (promoting body-mind connection), trauma-informed healing modalities are of necessity in healing and recovering from these complex traumas, as is the support of safe, trustworthy, and effective mental health providers who can offer these modalities. 

When BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folx do have access to such care, they report feeling most safe and able to engage when paired with mental health providers from their same community (i.e. same racial, or ethnic background, or sexual/gender orientation)*. This speaks to the need for more BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ clinicians who can offer these holistic, trauma-informed modes of treatment. Yet, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ mental health providers experience the same systemic barriers as do the clients they serve- for example, greater student loan debt than do their white counterparts*. These financial barriers oftentimes make access to continuing education (specifically more specialized: holistic, body-mind, and/or trauma-informed modalites) inaccessible. 

Current research supports the necessity of somatic, bottom-up interventions, such as the Trauma-Conscious Yoga Method, to effectively resolve trauma*. The cognitive-based interventions still offered in most graduate degree programs do not effectively resolve trauma alone. Therefore, it is critical that BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ clinicians receive this training and bring it back to their communities.

The Trauma-Conscious Equity Foundation was cultivated to serve this exact purpose.

💫 OUR INITIATIVES: Please check back to learn more. We’ll be announcing this shortly.

Joy L. King


Joy L. King is a tenacious and energetic Operations Executive with a proven track record for influencing growth-driven change matrixed nonprofit, corporate, and academic environments. She has a passion for designing and implementing groundbreaking programs that sustain organizational goals while propelling continuous improvement efforts.

Throughout her career, Joy has served as a subject matter expert and change advocate to initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and accountability. She thrives in highly visible roles that allow her to connect with her clients and provide a seamless experience during major organizational and personal transformations.

Joy is change leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for people. She is a social justice champion who bridges disparate perspectives and fosters thriving cultures that focus on well-being and progress. She is adept at organizing and mobilizing resources to minimize process gaps and streamline workflows to unlock organizational growth and profitability.

Joy is currently the Founder & Business Coach of Suite Life Business Coaching, a business consulting firm where she equips clients with essential strategies and solutions to help businesses profit and flourish. She provides hands-on consultative leadership to aid clients in growing client base, generating new sales, and driving overall revenue and profit growth. She is also the Founder & Lifestyle Architect of Lifestyles by Joy, a full-service luxury project management firm that architects interior design concepts and expert experience curation for individuals and companies ready to manifest abundance and infuse joy where they live, work, and play delivering peace and freedom to clients one project at a time. 

A Chicago native, Joy has a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from DePaul University, Master of Arts in Educational Administration with an administrative certificate from Governors State University, and is a certified Organizational Development professional.

Joy serves as the President on the Board of Directors for The Trauma-Conscious Equity Foundation and has served on a number of charter school boards including Chair of Sela PCS, Vice Chair of City Arts and Prep PCS, and is a member of Charter Board Partners Network.

Joy was a featured speaker at the STEMconnector annual summit, a roundtable Cyber panelist at the CityLab annual conference, and served on a host of other workforce development, cyber security, education panels, and has had a number of speaking and keynote engagements. Notably, Joy was featured in a Roadtrip Nation segment on PBS released in July 2020 (check it out here:

Regardless of the work setting, Joy has consistently been driven by her passion for ensuring that all people enjoy basic human rights in an effort to dismantle inequitable systems and create pathways to success. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, napping, spending quality time with her family, and brunching with friends. Fun facts: She speaks Japanese and is classically trained in ballet.

Denean Rivers

DEI Director

Denean Rivers is a global patient advocate, DEI leader, inspirational speaker, and medical social worker.  Her expertise is maximized throughout the Carolinas and abroad with emphasizes on children’s health, minority health disparities, and health equity.  

Recognized for over 20 years of promoting healthcare advocacy, volunteerism, empowering patients to use their voices, and facilitating emotional intelligence workshops.  

Currently, Denean serves with South Carolina’s largest not-for-profit health organization Prisma Health Midlands Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council, Prisma Health Patient Care, and Safety Committee.

Leadership activities and services include PFA network Advisory Board, DEI Leadership Council, and PFCC partners. The Trauma-Conscious Equity Foundation, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Her education was fostered in South Carolina through graduate and undergraduate studies in Social Work.  

Denean enjoys all things sun, surf, and sand.  Beach therapy, sunbathing, grounding, journaling, and facilitating emotional intelligence workshops.  

Mantra: “Quality Healthcare is a Right, Not a Privilege”.

Dominique Lamb


Dominique Lamb is the Founder and Executive Director of We Teach Love, a non-profit organization on a mission to eliminate interpersonal abuse by teaching people how to have healthy relationships. Dominique is the author of What Happens In This House, an autobiographical book about her past plagued with domestic violence and abuse and how she grew to learn about and experience her first healthy relationship. Her story has also been featured in the Washington Post. 

A serial entrepreneur, Dominique is also the owner and principal broker of the Haven Firm, a full-service real estate brokerage, as well as Founder of Kola Trust, Inc., an intentionally accessible real estate investment corporation. In addition to serving on the Board as Treasurer of the Trauma Conscious Equity Foundation, Dominique also on the Board of Black Therapists Rock, an association dedicated to creating equity in the mental health field for BIPOC professionals. 

Erin R. Jones

Director of Research

Erin R. Jones, Ph.D., LP, NCSP serves as the Research Director for the Trauma-Conscious Equity Foundation.  She is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the SUCCEEDS College ADHD Clinic, a comprehensive treatment program for undergraduates diagnosed with ADHD and co-occurring mental health challenges at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Erin has a doctorate in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in School Counseling from Loyola University Maryland.  She has previously served as an Exceptional Children Teacher and Department Chair in Warsaw, NC and an Adult Secondary Educator in Southeast Washington, DC.  Additionally, she held roles as an ADHD/LD Learning Coach at UNC Chapel Hill and a Teach for America Corps Member Coach and Exceptional Children Content Lead in Eastern North Carolina.  Her research interests include educator and caregiver wellness, burnout prevention, sensory processing sensitivity and neurodivergence in girls and women of color, the implementation of school-based wellness programs and single-case design.

Fatima Mann, J.D.

Vice President and Director of Trauma-Informed Policies and Community Organization

Fatima Mann’s life’s mission is to assist others experience the full joy of loving and accepting themselves. Fatima learned how to serve others through joining AmeriCorps Vista in 2013, which catapulted her into a life of service. Her personal experiences and continuous service in the heart of systematically oppressed communities molded her into a cultivator of social equity.

Serving as an AmeriCorps Vista, pushed her to become involved in combating police brutality through co-founding the Austin Justice Coalition (AJC) an Austin based social justice organization. Her work with AJC allowed her to participate in the creation of the body wearing camera policy for the Austin Police Department. She eventually attended and graduated from Southern University Law Center (SULC) in 2018,. As a full time law student Fatima co-founded Counter Balance: ATX (CBATX) a Austin-based self-care and social justice organization. Fatima served as Executive and Policy Director of CBATX, receiving several awards, the 2018 National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year Award, 2018 Measure Austin Big Data & Community Policing Appreciation Award, and the 2017 Austin Community College Equity Activist Award. She also served as CBATX’s policy advisor and aided in the passing of the Sandra Bland Act. Upon graduation from law school, she recognized the need for advocacy through a healing lens and founded the Community Advocacy and Healing Project.

As a cultivator of healing and social equity she became an architect of experiences centralized in being mindful of people’s cultural needs. Her efforts to cultivate culturally mindful and healing-centered spaces led to the creation of the Community Restoration Project (CRP), during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a human-centered approach to disaster relief was born. Since 2017, she has assisted in facilitating the rescuing of over 400 people, fundraising approximately $30,000, collecting and distributing over three tons of supplies. She distributed portions of supplies in five cities in Texas, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Wilmington, NC, during Tropical Storm Florence. Under her management, CRP placed 40 families in hotels and Airbnbs instead of cots in shelters during Hurricane Harvey.

She has aided in almost every hurricane season providing people access to culturally mindful, healing, and human-centered resources and supplies since 2017. Most recently she managed a distribution facility that supplied food, water, and other culturally mindful resources during the winter freeze in February 2021 in Austin, Texas and coordinated efforts to feed people in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Franklin, Louisiana during Hurricane Ida the same year.

Fatima’s dedication to being a vessel and serving others caused her to be nominated for Austin’s 40 under 40 in 2016 and 2017, she’s received the New Leaders Council first Progressive Leadership Award in 2017, the 2017 Capitol Area Democratic Women Leadership Champion, and the Louisiana State Bar Student Pro Bono 2018 Award.

Fatima has since co-birthed consulting, training, and healing business Love and Healing Work. A space for people that take care of people to seek guidance, healing, and training. Love and Healing Work allows Fatima to utilize her law degree, yoga, trauma conscious practices and mindfulness to inspire others to love and accept themselves through cultivating various forms of experiences. Fatima’s skills and wisdom continuously inspire her to share her learnings and opportunities with others through public speaking and learning experiences.

Nityda Gessel LCSW, E-RYT.

Executive Director

Nityda Gessel is a somatic psychotherapist, trauma specialist, yoga teacher and educator, mom and heart-centered activist. Nityda is the founder of the Trauma-Conscious Yoga Institute, creator of The Trauma-Conscious Yoga Method℠,  and author of forthcoming Norton book on trauma healing and embodied spirituality (anticipated release, July 2023). Nityda’s integrative work over the past two decades has significantly contributed to the integration of the mental health and yoga/embodiment professions. Nityda has devoted her life to supporting the upliftment of others, working at the intersection of Eastern spirituality, holistic mental health, and embodied activism. During her time off, she loves getting dirty with her toddler, being in nature, dancing and traveling the world.