Teresa P Mateus - Executive Director:
Teresa is a trauma specialist, contemplative practice teacher, author, speaker, professor and co-founder/Executive Director of The Mystic Soul Project. Her work converges at the intersections of healing, spirituality and justice - with a focus on people/communities of color. She speaks on these intersections with a focus on indigenous reclamation as a means of healing from intergenerational trauma, trauma in movements/activism, the intersection of contemplation and action - centering the margins, religious/spiritual trauma, and spirituality and healing with a POC-focus. Teresa is the author of Mending Broken: A Journey Through the Stages of Trauma & Recovery and Sacred Wounds: A Path to Healing from Spiritual Trauma. Her third book on spiritual pilgrimage and The Camino de Santiago is currently in progress. You can learn more about Teresa at teresapmateus.com
Jade Perry - Board Chair:
Jade is a writer, speaker, and multicultural student affairs professional. She has been working formally in the context of religious higher education for the past few years. Her written work and speaking topics have included topics such as spirituality, race / ethnicity, sexuality, culture, identity, and more. Her formal mission is to offer information, ideas, & countercultural narratives that will empower readers to thrive and to lovingly & creatively challenge secular and sacred systems toward greater levels of inclusion! Follow her on Jadetperry.com or follow her on Twitter @Jade_T_P!
Alexis Francisco - Board Vice-Char:
Alexis Francisco serves as Assistant Pastor at New Day United Methodist Church, a Bronx based multi-racial faith community committed to connecting with God authentically, crossing boundaries and confronting social injustice. He received a Masters in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and is engaged in community organizing that aims to improve the material conditions of Bronxites and shift the dynamics of power and oppression in New York City. Alexis has a variety of experience in organizing and grassroots community work in a variety of areas including alternative to incarceration programs, equitable economic and community development, health justice and police accountability. Alexis is currently a Masters in Divinity student at Union Theological Seminary where he focuses on Latinx and Queer theologies and the intersections of spirituality and healing.
Hailey Mitsui - Secretary:
Hailey is the Director of Communications & Development at The Global Immersion Project, a peacemaking training organization with the mission of cultivating the American Christian Church to be instruments of peace and reconciliation in our homes, communities and world. She is mixed race and has spent her life navigating and negotiating the realities of privilege and marginalization; deconstructing her Western worldview and decolonizing her Eastern tradition. Hailey has a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Race & Ethnic Relations and a degree in American Cultural Studies. She is currently a student at the Living School and is focusing on how to ground her passion for racial justice and social equality in contemplative spiritual practices and self-care. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @mitsmitsmits.
Preeta Banerjee - Treasurer:
Preeta Banerjee is a yoga, Let Your Yoga Dance, meditation, and Kirtan instructor, reiki and crystal healer as well as Ayurveda and martial arts practitioner. She has spent 20 years in academia, coaching and consulting as an advocate, educator, researcher and author of the importance of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and social change. She is honored to have practiced with friends of various traditions including Jewish, Christian, Celtic, Wiccan, Indigenous, Muslim, Buddhist, Egyptian, Jain, Sikh, and Hindu. Please introduce her to your own practices as she immerses herself in curating experiences across these beautiful practices for all to enjoy. She has a PhD in Strategic Management from the Wharton School and BS in Computational Biology and Business from Carnegie Mellon.
Cicia Lee - Board Member:
Cicia Lee is the National Coordinator of Momentum, a training institute and movement incubator dedicated to studying and experimenting with popular movements. She grew up in Canada, and is currently based in Boston. Previously, Cicia worked for the Massachusetts Communities Action Network, which organizes congregations around racial and economic justice as a part of the PICO Network. She graduated from Wellesley College, where she spent her time studying feminist economics, political philosophy, and reading Asian-American authors. She is a 3-wing-4 on the enneagram and a taurus.
Michael Vazquez - Board Member:
Info coming soon.
Barbara has been professor, seminary president, and is author of two POC-centered contemplative texts: Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church and Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently. Her work has been an inspiration for POC contemplative seekers within the Christian tradition. She reminds us all that we have a right to a voice, place and point of view when it comes to naming, crafting, historicizing, and contextualizing our own spirituality & mysticism as people of color. Her texts have been the prominent works we have been able to resource to begin to envision, dream and imagine our own way forward. We are grateful for her teachings, her eldership and her wisdom -- now and moving forward her work & wisdom will inform us.
Therese Taylor-Stinson is an Elder Advisor for the Mystic Soul Project. A retired Federal Senior Program Analyst, where she also served as a lead mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity disputes across Government, Therese is an ordained deacon and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church(USA), and served as 2016 Moderator for National Capital Presbytery. She is a graduate of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and a member of the Shalem Society for Contemplative Leadership. As a spiritual director in private practice for over a decade, Therese is a founder, incorporator, and the Managing Member of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, Ltd., and a long-time member of Spiritual Directors International (SDI), where she serves on the Editorial Review Panel for SDI's Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. An author and editor, her most notable works are as co-editor and contributor to the groundbreaking anthology Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color, and solo editor of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Stories of Contemplation and Justice. Therese is also the founder and organizer of Racial Awareness and Mindfulness: A Mini-Festival of the Arts, Awareness, and Healing which is in its third year of promoting racial awareness and healing in the DC-Baltimore corridor, across generations and racial constructs. Therese is a speaker, workshop leader, Emotional Emancipation Circle facilitator, and leads contemplative practice in a variety of settings. She is married with one daughter and two granddaughters.