I am thrilled to announce the four individuals who have stepped forward as volunteers to participate in the Healing Trauma program launch at Lockhart Prison. Each woman brings a wealth of knowledge, lived experience and heart to this project. It's my hope that together we can make Healing Trauma a regular part of the programming at Lockhart prison. It will be the first and only trauma-specific curriculum on the facility, which houses close to 1,000 women.
MARNIE CASTOR is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and certified end-of-life doula. She also has a certification in Urban Zen, a yoga therapy healing modality. Since November 2013, Marnie has volunteered at Travis County Correctional Complex, working with the Rise Up and Power Programs, teaching yoga to men incarcerated for drug and alcohol offenses.
SANDY MACNAMARA is a licensed chemical dependency counselor who has worked in the addiction/recovery field for more than 20 years and has been in personal recovery for more than 25 years. In 1989, Sandy began a three-and-a-half-year sentence in federal prison for a drug possession charge. After her incarceration, she enrolled in the Chemical Dependency Counselor Program at Austin Community College. She has spent 20-plus years working as a primary counselor in a variety of settings, including corrections, reentry services, medical in-patient treatment centers and, most recently, in private practice offering long-term care for chronic relapsers.
TRACY FIRSCHING has taught classes on re-entry inside Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities since 2011 with the Austin-based nonprofit Truth Be Told. Motivated by the limited options available to women re-entering society after incarceration, Tracy began a mentoring program in 2017 working with women prior to their release and continuing support as they re-enter society. The program emphasizes working with a team of mentors who are specifically suited to meet her needs. Also, in 2017, Tracy founded Santosha Properties to provide housing to individuals with criminal records, of low income and in need of transitional housing after incarceration. The emphasis of Santosh Properties is to use social enterprise methods to fund the housing units.
VIKKI TAYLOR is a mind-body teacher who shares the wisdom gained from her own healing journey through her teachings. A licensed You Can Heal Your Life® workshop leader, Vikki is also certified to teach Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga and Yoga and Resiliency training for First Responders. She also earned a specialty certification to teach Yoga for Stress, Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You can learn more about Vikki and her work at www.healinglifeyoga.com.
To read more about and donate to the Healing Trauma Program Launch, click here.