The Peerpocalypse Planning Committee is pleased to announce the 2020 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.
Braunwynn is a Black Woman with lived experience in regard to mental health, incarceration and gender-based violence. She has advocated nationally in the peer mental health and prison reform communities, and is dedicated to making a difference in these communities. She has worked with and trained individuals in various settings, as well as in several states in peer support, peer wellness and other health-related peer services. She has a Bachelor's degree in Health Care Administration. She sits on many service agency Board of Directors. She has been a member of the Oregon Consumer Advisory Committee (OCAC) for over 3 years.
David W. Oaks has been a psychiatric survivor human rights activist since 1976. Both his grandfathers were coal miners, and he was raised working-class in Chicago’s south side. David attended Harvard on scholarships, including from his father’s union. While he was in college, David was placed in psychiatric institutions five times, where he experienced forced psychiatric drugging and solitary confinement. Harvard’s student volunteer agency placed David as an intern with one of the early psychiatric survivor organizations, Mental Patients Liberation Front. David found mental and emotional recovery through family closeness, exercise, peer support groups, nutrition, counseling, wilderness trips, protest, employment, and more. In 1977 he graduated from Harvard with honors and chose to be off all psychiatric drugs. With support from other MPLF leaders including author Judi Chamberlin, he started one of the first user-owned and run psychiatric survivor community drop-in centers. David moved to Oregon in the 1980’s and helped start the nonprofit that became MindFreedom International, one of the main independent human rights coalitions in the mental health field. He served as MFI’s Executive Director for 25 years and spoke in a dozen countries. In December 2012 David experienced a severe accident; he fell and broke his neck and became a quadriplegic with a disabled voice using a powerchair. David lives with his wife Debra in Eugene, where he is an activist for a nonviolent revolution not only in mental health, but in challenging climate crisis denial. He has now launched a green disability consulting business, Aciu! Institute.
DeAndre Kenyanjui works for Multnomah County Health Department’s Office of Consumer Engagement. But not too long ago, he said, his life looked much different. After experiencing mental health and addiction issues, he found community through Central City Concern. Now, his heart is in Giving back to the people who suffer from the disease of Addiction.
Born in Portland he has experienced the Trauma, Gangs and Criminal Justice System Intergenerationally. DeAndre is a survivor of Gang Violence. He started using alcohol at the young age of 12 and started his Recovery Journey at the age of 29.
DeAndre is on Various Boards, Committee’s and Councils such as Luk Dorf Peer Advisory Council, Oregon Community Advisory Council, Oregon Peer Delivered Services Advisory Council, Mentors Advisory Council, Community Peace Collaborative (CPC), Central City Concerns- Housing Employment Services Advisory Council (HESAC) just to name a few.
His goal is to Change Lives and Systems through his Lived-Experience.
Christina Peirsol draws experience from a rough childhood, being over-medicated as a teenager, and the compounded struggles of young adulthood. Chrissy started volunteering as a young child and found healthy and safe attention with positive reinforcement that she couldn't get from home. Later, as a youth activist, Chrissy attended every training, conference, and community event she could. She feels in many ways her activism/volunteer work has not only given her a free education, but also filled in so many of the emotional intelligence deficits from a traumatic upbringing. Now at 33, there are still struggles but ones Chrissy knows how to cope with and feels strong in knowing her authentic self. She understands her skills and passion that help her find the energy to complete the goals she set for herself. Chrissy is currently a co-chair of the Oregon Consumber Advisory Council and has been on OCAC for almost ten years. She has grown so strong in those years and has found honor in the person she has become, and in how she treats others. Chrissy can barely hold onto the potential of her energy and the positive changes she can influence in the world.
DR. NADIA RICHARDSON
Dr. Nadia M. Richardson is a health equity educator focused on fighting health disparities. She is the Founder of No More Martyrs, a mental health awareness campaign that seeks to build a community of support for Black women and girls. Through No More Martyrs, Dr. Richardson hosts signature events such as the annual Minority Mental Health Awareness Summit that attracts participants from across the United States and Canada. She is an innovative educator and committed community organizer. Her professional experiences includes over 15 years working in nonprofit organizations and various educational institutions. As a university instructor, she has developed and taught courses on diversity, social justice leadership, health disparities, bioethics, culturally responsive care and academic potential. She has also led mental health advocacy workshops at universities such as Providence College, Bucknell University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Auburn University and Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. Richardson is a member of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHRC) Community Advisory Committee. In 2017, she spoke at a 2017 congressional briefing on Black women and mental health on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC by invitation from the Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly. The briefing was organized through the Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls. In addition, in 2017, the National Minority Quality Forum selected Dr. Richardson as a top 40 under 40 Leader in Health.