Karena, drawn to the transformative work of trauma-healing, truth-telling, and rigorous accountability, centers the experiences of those directly impacted by personal and state violence and believes in community responses to harm. Karena has worked at the intersection of mental health and social justice for nearly twenty years in multi-stressed communities, with an emphasis the past ten on the impact of harm, accountability, and restorative practices in carceral settings. Holding the belief that well-being is integral to achieving community safety, Karena has trained hundreds of community members in the practices and principles of Restorative Justice and circle-keeping for Insight Prison Project (IPP), consulted with and facilitated racial justice processes for nonprofits and educators, as well as consulted on tertiary prevention in Central America. Karena is a founding member of and serves on the Leadership Team for the Transformative Prison workgroup (TPW), a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations that believes in the transformative and healing power of in-prison programs to break isolation, share ideas, and build political power - an integral step towards abolition. Karena received the Harriet Whitman Lee Partnership Award from the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC) and Oakland’s Finest Award from the LoveLife Foundation.
Karena received an M.A. in Integral Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Berkeley, CA.
Reach Karena at karena@WeAreStronghold.org