The Peerpocalypse Planning Committee is pleased to announce the 2019 keynote speakers! Please note that the keynotes are in alphabetical order by last name, and not in order by schedule. The presentation schedule will be included in the program.
Debra Buffaloboy is Hunkpapa-Lakota, enrolled member at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, North Dakota. Debra is also the founder, administrator and co-owner of Multicultural Consultants, Ltd. In Salem Oregon since 1997. She is also the Elder and co-founder of White Buffalo Lodge and a coordinator for MetroPlus Association of Addiction Peer Professionals (MAAPPs).
Debra has 37-years of professional experience in addiction counseling, treatment, training, program design, curriculum development, clinical supervision, administration and consulting. She is also known as an international, national and state presenter/trainer in cultural competency and proficient in culturally-specific addiction treatment for Native Americans, women, adolescents and incarcerated populations. Debra also has 27-years' experience as a Professional Peer Development Specialist and Mentor. She is also an ACCBO Board Member & Ethics Committee Member.
Cee Carver has worked at Mental Health Association of Oregon as a Peer Support Specialist, Program Coordinator, Supervisor, and currently as Director for EVOLVE West, where Cee oversees multiple programs. Cee is a member of the Washington County Behavioral Health Council, the Oregon State Hospital Seclusion and Restraint Committee, the Tri-County Committee for Managing High ED/EMS Utilization, and the Metro Area Crisis Action Council. Cee has overcome a host of challenges, including a three year hospitalization at a state hospital from the age of 18 to 21, where Cee received multiple diagnoses. During this time Cee was considered “medication and treatment resistant,” and it was not expected that Cee would ever leave the institution. Cee became a recipient of Social Security entitlements at 18 based on the diagnosis of permanent psychiatric disability from “severe and persistent mental illness,” and continued to receive those entitlements until the age of 35. Cee struggled and stumbled for years while attempting to come to terms with a history of neglect, poverty and abuse, and made multiple suicide attempts. There was never any expectation or hope expressed among practitioners that Cee might recover. Despite this, Cee worked diligently to become educated on the variety of alternative treatments and skills that can increase resilience and lead to post-traumatic growth and has put them into practice. Cee’s work with peers expedited this process and Cee is now fully adapted to living life on life’s terms. Cee believes in the inherent right to live a self-determined and self-directed life, and that, with a little hope and positive mentorship, recovery is possible for anyone.
"I've been diagnosed as a schizophrenic, as psychotic, as manic-depressive, and as psychotic depressive." -Kevin Fitts
In addition to his responsibilities as Executive Director of the Oregon Mental Health Consumers Association (OMHCA), Kevin Fitts serves on the State of Oregon Consumer Advisory Council (OCAC), State of Oregon Addictions and Mental Health Planning and Advisory Committee (AMHPAC), Unity Center for Behavioral Health Advisory Committee, Multnomah County Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse Advisory Council Executive Committee (AMHSAAC), and “A Home for Everyone” Coordinating Council.
Kevin has a lot of energy and a lot of knowledge from a variety of roles in mental health services over the years. His first experience of the mental health field occurred when he was a patient involuntarily committed to Damasch State Hospital at 19 years old. Kevin found peer support and developed ways to cope with his challenges with self-care especially self-management of diet, exercise, and sleep. Kevin eventually started using his lived experience to help others.
Tony Vezina identifies as a person in long-term recovery from alcohol and drugs and has been sober since July 20, 2012. He is the co-founder and current Executive Director of The 4th Dimension Recovery Center (4D), an innovative non-profit youth recovery center that serves over 500 young people each month with comprehensive recovery support services, including peer-mentoring, sober social events, recovery advocacy projects, mutual aid support meetings and much more. 4D is the first youth-led recovery community organization of it’s kind in the United States. Tony is also co-founder and steering committee member of Oregon Recovers, a statewide advocacy organization leading Oregon in recovery reformation. Additionally, Tony is helping to start Oregon's first Recovery High school, and he sits on various public commissions and committees related to addiction and recovery services. He attributes his recovery to the love and support he has received from the recovery community. He is also the proud father of two girls, Ava and Bella.
Wilda L. White is a justice activist, attorney, and businesswoman, who writes and lectures on the intersection of psychiatric oppression and racism. From 2015 to 2018, she served as Executive Director of Vermont Psychiatric Survivors (VPS), an advocacy organization whose mission is to end psychiatric coercion, discrimination and oppression. Before joining VPS, she was Executive Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University Of California Berkeley School Of Law, where she convened groundbreaking symposia focused on the intersection of race, sex and gender. She was also an Assistant City Editor at the Miami Herald during the time that the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, served as a global management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and was a name partner in a San Francisco plaintiff’s litigation law firm. She is licensed to practice law in New York, California and Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont, a Juris Doctorate from UC Berkeley School of Law, and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, from which she graduated with honors. Wilda lives in Poultney, Vermont.