Dr. Ross Ellenhorn has spent his career creating treatment modalities that help people achieve meaningful changes in their lives outside of institutional models, and treatment formed by diagnostic assumptions. Cardea is the latest step along that lifelong journey, a model that resists the current encroachment of the Western medical model on psychedelic care.
Trained as a sociologist, psychotherapist and social worker, Ross is a pioneer and leader in the development of community integration services, types of care that empower individuals diagnosed with psychiatric and/or addiction issues while they remain in their own communities. He created the first fully operating intensive hospital diversion and wrap-around program in Massachusetts and later developed one of the first public programs for Assertive Community Treatment teams in the state. He is also the founder and owner of Ellenhorn, the most robust community integration program in the U.S., with offices in Boston, New York City and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
Dr. Ellenhorn has authored two books on human behavior. Parasuicidality and Paradox: Breaking Through the Medical Model (Springer, 2007) addresses psychiatric hospital recidivism and techniques for diverting hospital use. How We Change (and the Ten Reasons Why We Don’t) (Harper Collins, 2020) takes a deep dive into the dynamics that influence all human change. His third book, Purple Crayons: The Art of Drawing A Life (Harper Wave, 2022) is an update on the 1955 children’s classic that explores ways adults can live their lives as art, summon more inner aliveness and resist the ever-growing pressures to conform.
Dr. Ellenhorn is the founder of the Shifting The Paradigm conferences, a biannual series that addresses humanistic and empowering changes in behavioral healthcare; and is the cofounder and president of the Association for Community Integration Programs (A4CIP), a professional association promoting programs dedicated to empowering clients who are receiving services while living and participating in their community. Dr. Ellenhorn is the first person to receive a joint Ph.D. from Brandeis University’s prestigious Florence Heller School for Social Welfare Policy and Management and the Department of Sociology.
Aisha Delfaus, PMHNP-BC
Space Holder, Dialogic Facilitator
Aisha is a dedicated Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, wellness advocate, and holistic healer. Her client-centered approach is grounded in her diverse background in psychiatric-mental health nursing, yoga, and holistic wellness. Aisha is deeply committed to providing compassionate, empathetic, and open-minded care while collaborating with clients to address their mental health needs.
Throughout her career, Aisha has provided comprehensive care to individuals experiencing various mental health issues, often co-occurring with substance use, medical conditions, or psychosocial challenges. She strives to deliver care that embraces a holistic and humanistic approach, intentionally nurturing the mind, body, and soul in an integrated manner.
Aisha earned her Master’s degree in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from Hunter College School of Nursing. Prior to her current role, she served as the Lead Nurse at Ellenhorn, where she supported clients with severe mental illnesses within the community and their homes as part of an assertive community treatment team. Her formal training includes Motivational Interviewing, Mentalization-Based Treatment, Open Dialogue, and Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy.
Complementing her academic and professional background, Aisha continually seeks wellness training to enhance her holistic practice. She completed a 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training at Yogamaya and a 300-hour Kaula Tantra yoga and shamanism course at Durga’s Tiger School in Ecuador. Aisha is also a trained Thai yoga bodywork practitioner, offering gentle healing touch to clients. Her extensive education, training, and experiences have equipped her to deliver exceptional mental health care to those in need.
Aisha’s mission is to positively impact the quality of her clients’ lives by remaining curious, caring, and empathetic toward each individual’s unique experiences.
Space Holder, Dialogic Facilitator
Kayvon Pourazar was born in Tehran and spent his formative years in Iran, Turkey and England. He immigrated to the US in 1995, graduated with a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase in 2000 and has resided in NYC ever since, working as a contemporary/experimental dancer and teacher. Kayvon has collaborated and performed in the works of numerous NYC-based choreographers and dancemakers. In 2010 he received a Bessie Award for Performance. He has served as Adjunct Faculty at Bennington College and The New School, has taught classes frequently at Movement Research and as a guest artist in several universities and festivals domestically and internationally.
Concurrently with his performing and teaching career, Kayvon has engaged in and developed a lifelong self-guided interoceptive somatic practice that he calls “Pleasure Palace”. The public facing aspect of this practice is a guided mediation entitled “Guided Bodily Reverie” which is currently being offered at Cardea to complement the psychedelic experience.
Dimitri Mugianis, harm reduction advocate and psychedelic practitioner, musician, writer, and community organizer, became the face of using underground Ibogaine to kick heroin addiction in the United States. He developed a hybrid modality of administration that integrates the ceremonial and musical elements of traditional ibogaine ceremonies with the best safety protocols of Western medicine. His story is the focus of the documentary I’m Dangerous With Love. Even though Ibogaine is still prohibited in the United States, it is attracting avid interest from researchers all over the world and becoming accepted among care providers and clinics.
Dimitri has led over five hundred Ibogaine ceremonies and supported numerous individuals with their problematic habits. He’s also performed thousands of ceremonies using sound, art and psychedelics – especially Psilocybin and MDMA – to help individuals break with their psychological suffering and to spark spiritual awakenings.
Immersed in the psychedelic space for the last 20 years, Mugianis is an expert in both the potential and limitations of psychedelic medicines. A respected icon in the field of harm reduction, he co-created a holistic program at New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE), a groundbreaking Harlem-based community organization bringing together acupuncture, ritual, sound meditation, reiki, bodywork and other treatment modalities for people experiencing homelessness, active drug users, sex workers and the formerly incarcerated.
Julie Holland, MD
Medical Advisor, Ketamine Space
Julie is a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology, with a private practice in New York City. She majored in the Biological Basis of Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania and received her M.D. in 1992 from Temple University School of Medicine. At Mount Sinai Medical Center, she completed a residency program in psychiatry, where she launched a research project that treated schizophrenics with a new medication. In 1994, she received the Outstanding Resident Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. From 1996 until 2005 she worked weekends running Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric emergency room, and she’s penned an autobiography of this time, Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER. Holland is the editor of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide – A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA, and The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. Holland also provides expert testimony and forensic consultation on a range of drug-related behavior and phenomena, with a focus on PCP and MDMA.
Founder, Sound Director & Space Holder Ceremonialist
John Maclean is an experienced ceremonial guide and space holder, as well as an internationally touring musician and producer. He is an expert on the intersection of music, sound, vibration, and psychedelics, and creates music and soundscapes specifically for these types of experiences. He has extensive experience and training in both indigenous ceremonial practices and modern, science based applications of sound healing. John believes in the “Iso Principle,” a concept from music therapy that values an attuned approach to each person seeking help. He applies this theory in his work, straying away from fixed playlists, and instead focused on curating and improvising the guiding sounds to each person’s ‘set’ and creating a ‘setting’ that is optimal for healing and exploration. Whether it’s playing vibrational instruments live during the process, or preparing recorded passages tailored to the recipient’s needs, he creates the optimal sonic platform for consciousness transformation.”
Le' Jai' La Troi
Space Holder Ceremonialist
Le’ Jai’ La is a medicine woman based in Mexico who works with sacred plants and modalities to help others come back into alignment. She is a writer, reiki master, herbalist, and channel who accesses the Akashic Records. Her understanding of various indigenous and traditional healing practices allows her to bridge the connection with modern medicines and technologies to empower individuals to discover their highest selves. Le’ Jai’ La is the founder of Akashic Remedies, a regenerative conscious collective; that assists a growing community in living in their missions while expanding through healing sessions, coaching, ceremonies, wellness programming, and brand consulting.
Zach is a Clinical Social Worker, licensed in the state of New York. He is a graduate of Tulane University with a BA in Philosophy, and of Rutgers University with a Master of Social Work. He completed an intensive Ketamine assisted psychotherapy training through Polaris.
Zach previously worked for 3.5 years at Ellenhorn LLC, a Program for Assertive Community Treatment, with a team of clinicians using a model that focuses on the trauma experienced by people who have been diagnosed as suffering with psychiatric symptoms. Employing a compassionate Harm Reduction model, he acted as the Integrative Dual Diagnosis Therapy Coordinator for the program’s New York City location, supervising all cases involving clients in complicated relationships to substances.
Zach has also worked for 3 years in a harm reduction setting with BronxWorks, providing therapeutic services to clients in frequent extreme states of mind and mood. His caseload consisted of clients with a history of chronic street homelessness.
He has over 13 years of experience within psychedelic communities as an advocate and proponent of psychedelic harm reduction.
Zach also maintains a caseload of private therapy clients.
Zach has focused his work on supporting individuals who have been harmed by the medical model of mental health. His therapeutic style is born from an acknowledgment of the vastness of the human experience and the sacredness of the individual within their community. His passion is caring for people who have become isolated due to the harmful stigma generated by prevailing ideas around mental illness.
Zach is interested in supporting and bearing witness to a shift from the guilt and shame of being “mentally ill” or “broken,” to an empowered stance which honors the reasonable pain of operating within systems which cut us off from meaning and purpose.
Medical Director & Lead Physician, Ketamine Services
Mike is a licensed and board-certified Family Medicine physician living and working in New York City with interests in primary care, psychedelic medicine, harm reduction, and social justice.
Having previously worked as a case manager with marginalized individuals struggling with homelessness and substance use issues in the Bronx, Mike graduated medical school from Georgetown University School of Medicine with distinction in Health Justice Studies. He then completed residency training in Family Medicine with the Institute for Family Health/Mount Sinai Hospital in Harlem.
Mike’s experiences with psychedelics over the past several years, and the personal growth he has seen has led him to further explore training and education in the field to find different opportunities around their therapeutic potential. This ultimately led him to Cardea.
Mike has certification in medical cannabis prescribing in New York State, Ajna Light therapy certification from Chiang Mai University School of Medicine, and has completed multiple trainings around the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes. In addition to being Cardea’s Medical Director & Lead Physician, Mike serves as a Senior Clinician for participants at OnPoint NYC (a joint project of New York Harm Reduction Educators in East Harlem and Washington Heights Corner Project). OnPoint NYC is an organization dedicated to improving the health, safety, and well-being of marginalized people who use drugs or engage in sex work, and it currently operates the country’s first and only supervised consumption sites. Mike is facilitating a connection between Cardea and OnPoint NYC which will allow Cardea to provide services and training to OnPoint participants and staff. Mike publishes regularly writing on topics at the intersection of health and social justice.
Chief Operations Officer
Jill Reick was drawn to Cardea after witnessing the powerful and transformative psychedelic journeys of people close to her. She has seen the often harmful effects of the current mental health and addiction fields and is committed to creating a healing environment that values the agency and complexity of individuals. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the business operations of Cardea.
Jill obtained her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University and began her career as a clinician at a community mental health agency in New Orleans. After relocating to the New York City area in 2013, she worked at Children’s Aid Society managing a team of social workers and oversaw permanency planning of children in foster care.
Jill continued her career at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) as part of the Division of Prevention Services. At ACS, she was involved in city initiatives to reduce homelessness and stabilize housing and public benefits for families in the child welfare system. In her most recent role as Deputy Director of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis, Jill oversaw the launch of new systems, managed data collection, analysis and reporting procedures, worked on policy improvement, and developed trainings for contracted child welfare agencies.
Tim-Haley, CPA, CFP
Chief Financial Officer
Tim brings 25-plus years of financial and business management experience to his role at Ellenhorn. A licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Tim earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Miami and his graduate degree from Bentley University where he graduated first in his class and received the Professor E. Dandes Award for Graduate Academic Excellence.
Jodi Ann Moser
Director of Hospitality, Retreats
Jodi-Ann is the owner and founder of our partner retreat space, Kotch Villas, with her Husband James. A big part of our mission at Kotch is to create experiences that allow people to reconnect with nature and themselves. When James and I started these villas, creating wellness experiences was always at the forefront of our hearts and minds. We have a commitment in Treasure Beach to what is called Community Tourism, a mode in which a community has full ownership and management of tourist experiences, ensuring that the economic benefits of tourist business stays within the community.
Community Outreach & Partnerships
Paige Rothaus graduated from Penn State University with a focus in Organization Psychology and Marketing. Paige brings ten years of corporate consulting, client services, and sales experience in the areas of recruitment, human resources, leadership and culture development across various industries. She has successfully partnered with fortune 500 companies to strategize and deliver on custom workforce management solutions to achieve optimal department performance and employee satisfaction through improving culture and retention. Throughout her corporate services she built a strong sense identifying root causes of organizational problems, by focusing on each individual’s strengths and motivations, and bringing teams closer together on common goals through curated workshops. Committed to breaking old corporate patterns of treating people like machines, and creating culture where one can bring their whole self to work, Paige found herself digging deeper into healing corporate and societal trauma and found her own passion in using psychedelics as tools for deepening self-awareness and raising consciousness. Paige assists Cardea with developing retreats and managing clients experiences, as well as wholistic marketing, and fostering community partnerships.
Bodywork, Space Holder Ceremonialist
Devin is a soulful singer-songwriter, a studied massage practitioner and a mindful energy facilitator. He graduated from Bluff Cliff Massage College in New Orleans Louisiana and has successfully navigated an energy practice for 19 years. He has worked professionally in the music industry as a background vocalist and vocal producer traveling the world with several pop stars. Devin is also a budding recording artist whose focus is the agency of alignment. Despite the medium he believes we can achieve active oneness through balance.
Space & Design Author
Randy Polumbo is an installation-based artist who lives and works between Joshua Tree, California and New York City. His artwork has been shown nationally and internationally across metropoles and natural landscapes such as deserts, ruins, and caves. He is a graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art, as well as a LEED accredited master builder and serves on the Board of Directors of New York Live Arts.
Randy joins us with decades of experience in building spaces and immersive environments, using polished metal and blown glass, reishi mushroom mycelium, kaleidoscopic grottos, and cast glass. His projects range from museum installations to public sculpture, to monumental renovation of New York mansions and apartments for clients and design luminaries around the world.
Randy has designed and built our Tribeca Ketamine Space in New York City to enhance the calming, novel and imaginative environment for transformative experiences. The space’s design materializes our concept of “radical hospitality,” which places the guest and their goals at the visual, tactile, and acoustical center of the experience. All sensory interactions have been considered, from lighting, sound, scents and textures, leading each moment of a journey to a new discovery.
Randy first began growing and casting mycelium at the COVID. This led to his monumental installation at the Brooklyn Museum and myriad other mycelia projects including Cardea!
Artistic Director & Space Holder Ceremonialist
Paul Caldron is a writer, teacher, and actor. He has worked with such film luminaries as directors Quentin Tarantino; Steven Soderbergh; Spike Lee; Martin Scorsese; Alan Taylor; Abel Ferrara; Sidney Lumet; and actors Robert De Niro; Robert Redford; Al Pacino; Harvey Keitel; Christopher Walken; and Ed Harris; among others. His stage credits include Broadway & Off-Broadway; and is an OBIE AWARD recipient. He is a Lifetime member of the Actors’ Studio. In 1992 he co-founded the LAByrinth Theater Company; where he directed productions starring Philip Seymour Hoffman; Sam Rockwell; John Ortiz and Stephen Adly Guirgis. Currently, he is co-artistic director of the Primitive Grace Theater Ensemble, for which he has written and directed three full-length plays. Over the years he’s been on faculty at NYU Tisch Graduate Film School, The Lee Strasberg Institute; The School of Visual Arts; and The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. He is a certified instructor in the Healing Tao system founded by Mantak Chia; as well as a certified yoga instructor.; and has facilitated workshops at the Esalen Institute and the Kripalu Center; as well as leading Freeing the Artist Within workshops at the Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Brian Campbell, MBA
Director of Operations, Retreats
Retired Major, Brian Campbell, brings to CARDEA fourteen years of service in the Jamaica Defense Force as a military pilot and eighteen years as a senior manager and consultant to corporate Jamaica. He has a wide range of experience in real estate, finance, logistics, food and beverage and entertainment sectors from the perspective of start-up operations to large conglomerates. Brian was trained as an officer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, United Kingdom and as a pilot at the 3 Canadian Forces Flight Training School, Manitoba. He holds an MBA from the Cranfield University, United Kingdom. Brian is married with five children
Rebecca Wolfe, M.Ed
Psychedelic Host, Retreats
Rebecca Wolfe, M.Ed is highly trained in psychedelic support with over 25 years of experience working as a psychiatric and substance abuse emergency services clinician in hospital emergency rooms, mobile community crisis teams and for the past eleven years embedded full time as the clinical co-responder with the Arlington Police Department in Arlington, Massachusetts. She has also co-taught, with a police partner, the mental health and substance abuse curriculum in the Massachusetts Police Academies. Rebecca created the first police department-based opiate overdose outreach program and has assisted police departments and communities across the country in creating their own
Space Holder Ceremonialist, Retreats
Johanna Verley is a Reiki Master, Certified Sound Healing Practitioner, Yoga Nidra Practitioner and Breathwork Facilitator. Johanna is also the Founder of Darmae Essentials. She uses various healing modalities to create a container for the individual to explore their self-discovery, to encourage their optimal well-being and to empower them with the tools to strengthen their own innate ability to heal. All this to unlock true freedom and lasting happiness while on the journey to the best expression of self.
Brian Murphy, M.Ed, LCSW, is a New York City-based holistic psychotherapist who works with people who are preparing for psychedelic plant medicines, have taken them, or are considering them as an option. He is a graduate of the New York University master’s degree social work program, and has been working with psychedelics since 2003, utilizing the internal family systems therapy and the clean language approaches. These modalities are radically different from regular ‘talk’ therapy, and they are well suited for processing the emotional/spiritual experience of a psychedelic session. Before entering private practice full time, Brian was director of Mental Health, and then head of Holistic Health, at New York Harm Reduction Educators, a syringe exchange operating in East Harlem and the Bronx. In this location he used meditative and holistic approaches in his work with marginalized and stigmatized populations. Brian has published articles on psychedelic issues and treatment in Reality Sandwich, Psymposia, Alternet, and Psychedelic Times. His website www.afterthemedicine.com, is a resource for people exploring psychedelic plant medicine experiences
Christine Fitzsimmons is a nurse practitioner with a passion for the therapeutic use of psychedelics. She is dedicated to the pursuit of equitable mental health care. Christine holds a BFA in Theater from Pace University and an MSN in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from New York University. With more than a decade of nursing experience, she has worked in a variety of settings, from intensive and intermediate care units at Ellis Hospital and Mount Sinai of Queens Hospital, to psychedelic assisted detoxification clinics facilitating treatments with Ibogaine in Costa Rica and Ketamine clinics in New York City. She is a co-author of The Clinical Guidelines for Ibogaine Assisted Detoxification, with the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance. She also currently practices at the New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE) and Montefiore drug user health clinic, located within a syringe access program in East Harlem. She has training in Somatic Experiencing for trauma healing, and has completed level 3 of the practitioner certification.
Space Holder Ceremonialist, Retreats
Paola Guerrero is a Caribbean Colombian-American who walks the medicine path as a shamanic ceremonialist, certified reiki master, herbalist, modern-day griot, and certified yoga instructor (200 HR RYT) specializing in Social Emotional Learning and Feeling (S.E.L.F). In addition, she is a wellness mindfulness practitioner with nearly 15 years of experience, practice, analysis, and implementation of various healing modalities for practical application. She utilizes these methods to liberate others to have the courage to take charge of their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Paola feels healing is a vehicle for liberation. She was born and raised in Queens, NY, and currently splits her time there and in Puerto Rico.
Space Holder Ceremonialist
Adam is a licensed master of social work and spiritual counselor living in New York City. He is an NYC native, by way of Caribbean parents, and brings his lived experience into a warm, humanistic, and inclusive healing space.
Adam brings his knowledge of Shaolin Wushu and Qigong into his work with embodied processing, mindfulness, meditation and movement for wellness. Adam is deeply informed by a sense of personal mysticism and believes that our healing is a matter of expanding our consciousness.
Adam has spent the last few years as the Wellness Coordinator and student clinician of a private mental health agency, and co-founder of their Social Responsibility Committee, dedicated to creating supportive spaces for marginalized groups and raising the consciousness of organizations. He continues that work as the creator of MakeYourMedicine. He remains culturally sensitive, and is trauma-informed.
Adam works with all people who are curious about healing and is especially welcoming to those belonging to at-risk and marginalized groups. In honor of his ancestors, Adam seeks to pay tribute to the role of Bohique: a healing spiritual figure of Arawak culture.
Creative Arts Psychotherapist
Laura (she/her) is creative arts psychotherapist based in Brooklyn, NY (traditional Lenape and Canarsie territories). She received her certification in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy from Integrative Psychiatry Institute (IPI) in Boulder, CO. She has experience working with the Queer and TGNC community, as well as Poly/Kink identities and altered states.
Guided by healing justice and revolutionary growth principles, Laura’s approach to therapy incorporates trauma-informed and person-centered care. Using her trained musical ear, she guides clients to become aware of patterns and narratives through listening with curiosity and openness. Sessions with Laura are eclectic, combining verbal processing with somatic experiencing and creative exploration. She considers the therapeutic process co-work, emboldening clients to connect with their deepest selves while confronting both unique and broad oppressive structures. Above all, Laura is passionate about growth, agency, and resilience in the quest to subvert pathologizing and colonized healthcare structures.
Aimee Meredith Cox
Aimee Meredith Cox is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of Anthropology, Black Studies, and Performance Studies. Cox’s first monograph, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship (Duke 2015), won the 2017 book award from the Society for the Anthropology of North America, a 2016 Victor Turner Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing, and Honorable Mention from the 2016 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize. She is also the editor of the volume, Gender: Space (MacMillan, 2018). Aimee is a dancer and choreographer. She performed and toured internationally with Ailey II and the Dance Theatre of Harlem and has choreographed performances as interventions in public and private space in Newark, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. Her most recent work, based on interviews with long time activists in Cincinnati, engaged hundreds of residents in a performance ritual as part of her research in that city for an ethnography entitled Living Past Slow Death. An accomplished yogi who teaches master classes internationally, Aimee has led several yoga retreats and teacher trainings. Her experience in this realm is the basis for her next ethnographic exploration. This project considers the intersection of race, what she calls, ‘spiritual theater’, and performances of healing and recovery within the context of rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn.
Yarelix Estrada, MSPH
Yarelix Estrada, MSPH, is a first-generation Central American, drug policy and harm reduction researcher, advocate, and community outreach worker. Yarelix works as a City Research Scientist with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducting community-based substance use harm reduction outreach and research. Her work is currently largely focused on implementation of the first higher-technology drug checking research study in New York City with local syringe service programs and overdose prevention centers. Yarelix is passionate about supporting people throughout the full continuum of drug use, from use for pleasure and healing to overdose prevention. She is dedicated to improving the quality of care for people who use drugs and historically oppressed communities by working to understand the intersectionality between health policy and the societal factors that impact the lives of people who use drugs. She is the Director of the New York City Psychedelic Society, is on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Recovery Alliance, the Board of Directors for the Source Research Foundation, on the Advisory Board of the psychedelic media group Psymposia and is an organizer with the Urban Survivors Union and the Alliance for Collaborative Drug Checking. She received her Master of Science in Public Health in Health Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Nicholas Powers is a literature professor, novelist and journalist. He has facilitated workshops from Occupy Wall Street, PEX, Burning Man and the California Institute for Integral Studies. Attendees are guided into meditation, primal scream therapy, role playing in order to delve deeper into autobiographical writing. Turning the self, inside out to jettison raw feeling into fresh language is the first step to rebuilding our relationship to ourselves and the culture we inhabit. His writings have appeared in The Village Voice, Huffington Post, The Raw Story, Truth-Out, The Indypendent, Business Insider, Chacruna, Double Blind and MAPS Spring 2018 newsletter. Recently he was interviewed by The New Yorker and The Root on psychedelics and race. His book The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street was published in 2014 by Upset Press. Thirst, his first novel is coming out in March.
Daliah Heller, Ph.D
Daliah Heller is a public health leader at the intersection of criminalization and community health, with a particular focus on drug use. Over more than two decades, she has designed and led innovative policy and practice efforts in the non-profit and government sectors. Dr Heller directs the Overdose Prevention Program at Vital Strategies, the lead partner in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ initiative to reduce overdose deaths in the United States. Previously, she established the Alcohol and Drug Use Bureau in the New York City Health Department as Assistant Commissioner and, before that, she built and led a nationally-recognized harm reduction services organization in the Bronx. Dr Heller has served as an advisor to state and local governments, community leaders, researchers, and non-profit organizations on social issues, including housing, policing, and healthcare access. She holds a PhD in Social Welfare from City University of New York Graduate Center, MPH in Population and Family Health from Columbia University, and BA in Political Science and Philosophy from McGill University. She is the principal at DHPHP, LLC, and currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Global Public Health at New York University.
John Sinclair is a renowned poet, writer, musicologist, and political activism from Flint, Michigan. He emerged as a leader in the counterculture and psychedelia movements of the 1960s and manager of the Detroit-based political rock group MC5, Iggy and The Stooges. He was primary founder of the White Panther Party in 1968, the anti-racist group during the civil rights movement. Sinclair is an influential figure in legalizing cannabis, pushing to successfully overturn his own jail sentence which helping inspire the first decriminalization of Marijuana in the US, and is considered an elder in the area of psychedelics.
Jerome LaMaar is Bronx-born and raised. He has been defying expectations in fashion, art and culture for 20 years. He has dressed A-listers, created “South Bronx Luxe,” collaborated with major companies, designed Beyonce’s Ivy Park x Adidas line and was featured as a key designer in Beyonce’s Black is King film. Mr. LaMaar is a polymath with experience as a Creative Director, Designer, Stylist and Futurist. His career began in 2001, at the age of 15, when he worked for Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons as a high school intern and later as the Junior Creative Director/Brand Coordinator. In 2008, he became a trend forecaster traveling the globe to contribute to, and guide, some of the world’s leading brands such as Adidas, L’Oreal, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein and Mattel, lending his perspective on art, culture, concepts and colors to push new ideas in technology and style. He created his own brand called 5:31 Jérôme in 2013. Two years later, Mr. LaMaar opened his luxury pop-up boutique in the South Bronx called 9J, which shifted the image of the Bronx by showcasing art, music, design and new thought, landing him on the cover of the New York Times. He recently created a state-of-the-art, hands-free interactive exhibit for Bronx Children’s Museum called Bronxtopia. Mr. LaMaar is also the youngest Trustee to join the board of The Bronx Museum of the Arts.