Team

Biographies

Dr. Lisette Garcia — Executive Director

Lisette Garcia has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Tufts University in Psychology. Her expertise lies in the areas of memory, decision-making and the effects of culture and identity on these processes. She taught at Harvard, Barnard and Columbia University before pursuing a Post-Doc in Forensic Psychology at the City University of New York at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Lisette has worked independently since 2004 as a trial consultant, a certified family and divorce mediator, and a clinician doing psychological evaluations for people going through the Immigration process.

She has trained in compassionate communication, conflict resolution, peacekeeping circles and hostage negotiations. Dr. Lisette Garcia specializes in identifying trauma and explaining the emotional ramifications of adverse life events to lawyers and juries. She provides expert training and testimonies on police techniques, especially treatment of eyewitnesses. The breadth of her experience has given Lisette the keen ability to work with victims of crime, trauma, immigration, and survivors of attempted suicide, and she is sought out for these services.

Lisette is a voting member of the Latin Grammy’s for her contributions on musical projects in South and Central America. Most notably known for her production work with an indigenous tribe in the Peruvian Amazon, she has also collaborated with her husband, Barrett Martin, playing various percussion instruments on his albums.

Lisette is also a writer, her first book is due out in the fall of 2020 and is entitled “Ponderosa: Conversations with Extraordinary Ordinary Women.”

Dr. Chelsea Bailey — Director of Operations 

Dr. Chelsea Bailey is a scholar in the field of education with expertise in the areas of curriculum theory and design, teacher preparation and professional development, and organizational design and program assessment. She began her career teaching in the immigrant rich Tenderloin area of San Francisco which has informed a career dedicated to social justice and human rights grounded in connection and meaning between and among children, educators, families, and the larger community. In pursuit of this commitment, she received her Ph.D. from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where the scholarship and thought leadership of the program strongly influenced her thinking and practice and provided theoretical and applied tools for deepening her social change work.

She was a professor and program director in the Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University. During the 8 years in this position, the focus of her work was on cultivating meaningful, connected experiences for teacher education students and building just community partnerships across public, private and community-based institutions. In 2005 she left the academy to work with communities in the US and Asia to design, develop and assess educational programs emphasizing equity, justice and holistic well-being. She is a life-long activist for social and ecological justice, a sincere student of meditation and mindfulness practices, and a member of the LGTBQ community. Her current area of inquiry is on the power of radical stances of love as a practice to challenge and unravel the exploitative and extractive systems of colonialism, imperialism and the oppressive mechanisms of late stage capitalism through educational systems and practices. This work is informed by the theories and practices of restorative justice, systems theory, radical eco-justice, and Mahayana Buddhism. She has lived in Olympia, WA since 2016.

Alma C. Garcia, LMSW — Program Director

Alma Garcia graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso and has been working as a licensed social worker since 1997 and a licensed clinical social worker since 2011.  She has extensive experience conducting thorough psychosocial evaluations in different settings with various populations; victims of crime, trauma, health care, mental health, and with the disabled. Alma is trilingual: English, Spanish and Sign language.

The psychosocial assessments she has conducted have been used to determine hardship cases, disability benefits, medical equipment needs, and as supplementary support for Primary Care Providers in determining proper care.

She has extensive experience in using mental health assessment tools as delineated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, and has over 23 years of experience.  Alma also provides therapy to clients varying in age from 14 years old to senior citizens in a range of life transitions. Alma has helped keep over 100 immigrant families together.