Amplifying Women’s Stories in Recovery Advocacy

Aware Recovery

Proudly supported by SHE RECOVERS Trusted Resource, Aware Recovery Care

SHE RECOVERS® Foundation invites you to write a new story this March in honor of International Women’s Day.

As women, our stories of recovery are about self-compassion, growth and transformation. Our stories also provide a key to unlocking healing opportunities for everyone who listens. 

Together we can redefine recovery, smash stigma, break barriers and rewrite the stories for recovering women⁠ everywhere to become stories of renewed possibilities, inspiration and hope.

There is no greater source of inspiration or influence than women recovering out-loud.


  1. Redefine recovery by bringing awareness to intersecting issues specific to women’s mental health and addiction recovery
  2. Amplify women’s global voices in recovery advocacy
  3. Explore holistic and individualized approaches to recovery that embrace multiple pathways and patchworks of recovery
  4. Highlight organizations supporting women’s recovery on a global scale
  5. Provide an opportunity for discussion on the value and impact of story and storytelling

Register now – for free!

An Online & Innovative Event With Global Impact

This year, you will hear from women in Africa, South America, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States and be joined by women all over the globe for a sacred event that honors yOUR story and inspires possibilities for the future of women’s recovery support. You will also join countless ambassadors and supporters from organizations who are all committed to lifting up the voices of women and amplifying the value and power of our collective stories.

This event will take place via Zoom Webinar. Language-based breakout sessions will be available in Portuguese and Spanish.

The Speakers

The Power of Story With Vanessa Bautista

Founding Member of the Leadership Council for the Global Survivor Network


Vanessa is a creative and bold advocate for survivors of violence around the world based in the US. She grew up in the Philippines and is a survivor of sexual abuse. Vanessa has served as one of the survivor leaders in the advocacy group, “Standing Together to Advocate Rights”, in Manila.

Vanessa works for the Global Programs team in IJM. Prior joining the team, she worked as an Account Executive in an Information Technology company based in Washington DC, where she worked closely with US government offices for its technology needs and purchasing efforts. She also served as an Aftercare Fellow helping to build the Global Survivor Network, then worked interim as a Campaign Coordinator with IJM Advocacy & Mobilization and Constituent Experience team in 2018. She grew up and earned her Bachelor’s degree and license in Social Work in the Philippines.

Vanessa enjoys learning multimedia arts and creating videos. In her free time, she loves to explore coffee shops and try neighborhood restaurants (so far, her favorite is still Korean and of course, Filipino food).  

Vanessa is a founding member of the Leadership Council for the Global Survivor Network, an international group of survivor leaders who desire and pursue safe communities through justice systems that protect the most vulnerable. She says, “Survivors’ voices need to be an integral part of developing programs and policies. As a part of the Leadership Council of the Global Survivor Network, I hope to continue to serve my fellow survivors and empower them to share their own expertise and talents to impact and unite leaders worldwide to end modern slavery.”   


Ariela Suster a social entrepreneur and activist turning crisis into triumph by actively empowering others to tap into their greater selves. Born and raised in El Salvador, Ariela has lived a life tainted by the unexpected having grown up during the Salvadoran Civil War. No stranger to violence, she saw firsthand the harrowing effects of war during a period that included the kidnapping of her brother, military invasions, shootings in her home, and car bombs in her neighborhood. Rocked to the core at an early age, Ariela made a conscious decision to change the sequence of events that kept her country and its people in a pervasive cycle of violence and destruction.

Leaving El Salvador as a young woman to attend Skidmore College in the United States, Ariela immersed herself in her studies, graduating and then going onto complete a Graduate Certificate Program at Harvard University. After her studies, she moved to New York where she quickly forged a name for herself in the fashion industry, holding senior editorial and stylist positions at Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky, and Instyle Magazine. Despite professional success, Ariela knew that she was not fulfilled purposefully and decided to leave the editorial world to pursue her driving force: a mission to address the issue of violence that had once affected her family back home. Taking her education and working experience in the US, Ariela saw an opportunity to influence the narrative of her country’s past by working with at-risk youth to handcraft beautiful, artisanal products that create and inspire personal transformation. In 2011, SEQUENCE was born — a handcrafted accessories company that employs young men and women who are vulnerable to gang recruitment in El Salvador. On a mission to disrupt the cycle of violence that limits at risk youth, she has effectively used her business to create employment opportunities for youth, particularly young men, in the most violent communities, as well as focusing on supporting programs that focus on their personal and professional development.

The Host


Caroline Beidler, BA, MSW is an author, recovery advocate and founder of the storytelling platform Bright Story Shine. Her new book Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery is available for pre-order. With almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry, she is the Membership and Outreach Manager for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, where she works with collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) and collegiate recovery communities (CRCs) and students in or seeking recovery from addiction across the globe. She is a team writer for the Grit and Grace Project and blogger at the global recovery platform In the Rooms. Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and four year old twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry.

Through her consulting work, speaking engagements and writing, Caroline has worked with churches, legislators, non-profits, universities, federal agencies and others to create innovative models that empower communities and people in recovery. Some of her areas of expertise include: communications, adolescent and collegiate recovery, social and peer support, grant writing, and asset-based community development. Caroline was the former Chair of the Prevention Committee for the Wisconsin State Council on Alcohol and other Drug Abuse by Governor’s Appointment, and has participated on many state and national coalitions and committees. Caroline has a passion for young people in recovery and founded two programs for college-aged youth in recovery: Live Free – Student Wellness and Recovery (now Badger Recovery), and Connect House Sober Living Foundation, Inc., a recovery residence for college-aged women, which completed a successful merger with the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation. In 2015, she won the Texas Research Society on Alcoholism, John T. and Patricia A. O’Neill Addiction Science Education Award for her research on stigma and social support for recently deployed Veterans.

The Panelists


Dr. Jordan is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and a certified peer recovery specialist (CPRS).

She is the founder of Jordan Peer Recovery (JPR). JPR is a nationally-approved training provider for culturally responsive peer recovery curriculum. She is also a professor at University of Maryland’s Bowie State University – a member institution of the University System of Maryland. She is the former Executive Director of Organizational Excellence for Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas.

Dr. Jordan is the CEO of Peerfinity, LLC, a leader in delivering personalized, culturally responsive, tech-enabled peer support to individuals diagnosed and treated for the chronic disease of addiction and mental health conditions.

Dr. Jordan is a subject matter expert on culturally responsiveness. In addition to teaching multicultural counseling for over 10 years in collegiate settings, she has presented on international platforms on race relations and has been on the front line advocating for cultural diversity and training amongst the peer recovery and behavioral health workforces. In addition, she created a proprietary educational system for developing cultural responsiveness. This system has been used in agencies throughout the U.S. for peers and other behavioral health professionals.

Dr. Jordan has been on the frontline of combating the opioid epidemic. In 2019, Dr. Jordan provided expert testimony to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on peer recovery and technologies to address the opioid epidemic. Jordan Peer Recovery has received multiple awards from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations and sub-awardee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and the Baltimore Population Health Workforce Collaborative in training close to 3000 peers who are on the frontline of the opioid epidemic in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and across the U.S.

Sheilah (SheShe) Powell


Sheilah (she/her/hers) is a woman in long-term recovery who embraced recovery and wellness in December 2015 through a variety of pathways including 12-step, Recovery Dharma, medication, advocacy, and Harm Reduction. A lifelong native of New Jersey, Sheilah wholeheartedly believes that the journey to recovery and wellness is unique to everyone. She has made it her personal and professional mission to help eradicate stigma around Substance Use Disorder, illuminate the merit of multiple pathways of recovery, and to advocate for anyone experiencing a problematic relationship with a substance or behavior. A tireless advocate, she serves on various grassroots committees and task forces throughout New Jersey. She was featured on an episode of “Here’s To Your Health” with Dr. Drew and recently toured the country on the Mobilize Recovery Across America 2022 bus tour. Sheilah is a mother of three children, and she loves the beach, yoga, and her dog.

The Founder of Chase No More, an organization that provides direct support and community outreach to individuals suffering with substance use disorder, Kay has her own personal recovery journey that began after a nine-year addiction to prescription opioids. She has a passion for helping others suffering with addiction and has made it her life’s work to help others. Kay is the author of A Life Of Kayos- My Opioid Journey through Hell Hope and Healing. She is a Peer Recovery Coach and Certified Family Recovery Specialist.

Kay has been featured in both print and broadcast media outlets around the world, including, KYW News radio Flashpoint, Recovery Today Magazine, Jersey’s Best Magazine, The Star-Ledger, Bucks County Courier Times, Burlington County Times, the Intelligencer, The Numinous Podcast, Sober Curious Podcast, Sober As A Mother Podcast, and Barbershop Conversations Podcast.

She has also been featured in a documentary produced by Penn State University, which is entitled, The Story Powered Initiative and is about addiction and recovery. Kay will be featured in an upcoming documentary this year produced by ABC and PBS entitled, ATTENTION MUST BE PAID Women Lost in the Opioid Crisis.

Kay has a partnership with Brown’s Super Stores, Inc., which operates Shop Rites chains, where she conducts hundreds of meet and greet events and has distributed more than 100 boxes of Naloxone in 16 Pennsylvania supermarkets. Kay was honored as the 2022 “Shero” for her community service by WDAS, a Philadelphia radio station and a division of iHeart.

Mandy Manners

Mandy Manners is an ICF Accredited Trauma-Informed Life and Recovery Coach. She is co-author of two books: Love Yourself Sober and Love Your Sober Year.

Mandy is a public speaker on panels, podcasts and providing workshops to raise awareness and de-stigmatize experiences of trauma, mental illness and substance use disorders. Professional coach trainer for the internationally recognized training provider The Coaching Academy (London), Mandy is a specialist in behavioral health and habit change.

Originally from England, Mandy has lived in France for the past 18 years with her husband and two children. She successfully runs her coaching practice both in French and English, working internationally with individuals, agencies and treatment centers.

Emily Killeen

Emily Killeen is sobriety coach, spiritual yoga teacher and a transformational retreat facilitator. She believes that connection, community and accountability along with SOME sort of spirituality and health and wellness are essential for sobriety success!

After 15 years of bouncing in and out of recovery she’s committed FULLY to sobriety, with 4 years of continuous sobriety under her belt and is on a mission to help others discover their own path to recovery to experience the gifts of living an amazing sober life!

Emily helps women find freedom, joy and abundance in sobriety. Her signature virtual program is called Recovery Revival which is a 3 Month Sobriety Group Coaching Journey for women that supports them on a holistic path to sobriety incorporating connection, extreme self care and learning mindset shifts so that they can build work on self forgiveness, building confidence and get clear on a vision for the future. The participants are having wild success and the friendships created are truly priceless.

In addition, she hosts a FREE Sober Girls Book Club on Tuesday nights which is open to the public and held on zoom of course! Emily also hosts in-person retreats which is her favorite way to connect! She also loves to connect on Instagram, so send her a message and say hi! She WILL reply!

Lisa is the Founder and Executive Director of Praising Through Recovery, Inc. a non-profit outreach ministry/organization providing spiritual and recovery support to adults seeking to overcome their dependency on drugs and alcohol. She is an ordained minister, businesswoman, mentor, international missionary, teacher of life, and an active partner of Bridgeway Community Church where she leads the Praising Through Recovery ministry and serves as a Co-Lead for the Ukraine Mission Team. Lisa has just launched the “Next Level Recovery Mentorship Program for Women and has dedicated her life to serving others while advocating and educating on the topics of caring for stigmatized and marginalized populations and how to overcome and persevere when everything in you wants to throw in the towel.

She has worked in the clinical & mental health fields for over 15 years and has completed over 20 years of coursework in the fields of trauma, addiction & recovery and has over 17 years of administrative & management experience.
Lisa hopes to share her story, her mission, and her deliverance with all, while educating professional & faith-based communities on the importance of inclusion for people like her.

Not forgetting where she comes from, her life is an open book as she leads by example humbly displaying the Brilliant Light of Jesus Christ which led her out of darkness.

Ana L. Chavez-Mancillas, MSW currently works at the National Latino Behavioral Health Association and the National Hispanic and Latino Addiction Technology Transfer Center, serving as Co-Director. Prior to this position Ana worked for over 20 years providing bilingual and bicultural mental health and substance abuse services to children and families. Over the years she served in different roles, including substance abuse counselor/specialist, case manager, therapist, program coordinator, Team Supervisor and Program Director. Ana has 10+ years of experience supervising and managing teams, she is a collaborative leader with expertise in mental health, substance abuse and team management. 

Ana graduated from the University of California Riverside with a BA in Philosophy, received her MSW with a concentration in families and aging from California State University Los Angeles in 2010. She has a Certification and a AS in Substance Abuse and Alcohol Counseling from Mount San Antonio College. Ana is a 2021 Fellow graduate from the National Hispanic and Latino Executive Leadership and Fellowship Program, and she is currently a Doctoral student at the University of Southern California and is expected to graduate in 2024.

Ana came to the United States in 1985 from Guatemala not speaking a word of English and has been living in California ever since. She has 23+ years in recovery and strives to help others not only with substance abuse issues but also other mental health issues as she fully understands that these issues more times than not go together hand in hand. She is happily married and has 2 beautiful girls. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and helping others.


Annalice Argyle a recoverist passionate about accelerating gender recovery and wellbeing TRAC UK The Recovery Advocates WOMEN ONLY RECOVERY WOW ‘Women Only Wellness’ GATHERING

In short, my mission is to Empower, Educate and Advocate. I am passionate about accelerating gender recovery and wellbeing. I too have a vision and part of this is that my service will no longer needed but for now creating an event such as #WOW will help me become fully sustaining without the need for difficult to find funding and the red tape that brings. My message is that women can and do overcome adversity and reclaim their lives and to continue to be the change they aspire to be. If I can do it, so can you. TRAC UK The Recovery Advocates WOW! Women Only Wellness Gathering 2023 Women Only Recovery Lobster Recovery cic

Gentry Jones

On May 1st 2018, Gentry drove into her garage broken, defeated and convinced there was no way to stop the train wreck she had become. It was in that moment of feeling like there was no way out, that Gentry finally submitted to the only way out. After struggling with alcohol abuse for over 10 years, she surrendered to sobriety. Since that day she has been dedicated to learning as much as she can about her addiction, mental health and personal development so she can use her voice to help bring support and community to others suffering. Gentry built her social media platforms around her life as a sober single mom and sharing the joy and confidence that can come after addiction. After receiving so much love and support from sharing her journey online, she wanted to do more to give back to the sober community and got her life and recovery coaching certificate. Being from a long line of well-respected educators and coaches, she’s using her natural abilities and continued education to teach others how to get and stay sober and reclaim their lives. Her goal is use her influence to provide hope and humor to the mental health struggles of navigating sobriety and life as a single mom. Gentry is dedicated to inspire, entertain and end the stigma of addiction.

Luciana Lage

Graduação em Pedagogia (UFF), Curso Técnico em Guia de Turismo (SENAC) e Aconselhamento em Dependência Química pela UNIAD (em parceria com o Centro de Estudos do Departamento de Psiquiatria da UNIFESP) fazem parte do meu percurso formativo. Já ministrei palestras em empresas e escolas (públicas e privadas), dentre elas a Wilson Sons, H. Strattner, ISQ Brasil, BR MED, Instituto Nossa Senhora da Piedade, Colégio Santa Marcelina, Colégio Israelita Brasileiro A. Liessin, Escola SAP, Polo Educacional Sesc, Remanso Fraterno, Colégio Universitário Geraldo Reis – Coluni-UFF e Colégio Estadual Hilário Ribeiro.

Degree in Pedagogy (UFF), Technical Course in Tourism Guide (SENAC) and Advice on Chemical Dependence by UNIAD (in partnership with the Center for Studies of the Department of Psychiatry at UNIFESP) are part of my training path. I have given lectures at companies and schools (public and private), including Wilson Sons, H. Strattner, ISQ Brasil, BR MED, Instituto Nossa Senhora da Piedade, Colégio Santa Marcelina, Colégio Israelita Brasileiro A. Liessin, Escola SAP, Polo Educacional Sesc, Remanso Fraterno, Colégio Universitário Geraldo Reis – Coluni-UFF and Colégio Estadual Hilário Ribeiro.


Meghann Perry, CARC, RCPF, is an award-winning Storyteller, Theater Practitioner, Facilitator, Curriculum Designer and Addiction Recovery Coach Professional. She creates unique learning, growth and performance experiences for people of all ages utilizing a blended practice of Theatre, Storytelling, and Coaching principles, and is a nationally-known educator in the field of Recovery Coaching. She has designed and facilitated countless workshops for diverse groups, including those with mental health and substance use challenges, transgender youth, adults and allies, adoptive caregivers, non-profit boards, and others. Meghann recently integrated Theatre and Storytelling practices into Youth and Young Adult residential treatment services for the MA Dept. of Public Health and has worked extensively with adolescents and young adults as a Recovery Coach and Theatre Practitioner. She is the creator of the nationally-renowned Phoenix Tales Recovery Storytelling workshop which is currently under research as an evidence-based recovery support by the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice at Northeastern University. She served as an Actor, Playwright, and Facilitator of Youth Workshops with the Theatre Prevention organization Improbable Players, and now serves as the Theatre Education Consultant for the Boston-based theater organization, 2nd Act. She recently co-directed the musical This is Treatment, about women in a residential substance addiction treatment program, with students at Northeastern University. She holds a B.S. in Theatre Education from Emerson College. You can learn more about her at

Dr. MAYMUNAH YUSUF KADIRI (aka DR. MAY) is a multiple award-winning Mental Health Physician, Advocate & Coach. She is the Medical Director and Psychiatrist-In-Chief at Pinnacle Medical Services, Nigeria’s leading and foremost Psychology and Mental health clinic prominent in the application of innovative clinical approaches in the management/treatment of a wide range of psychological, emotional, and behavioral related disorders. Dr. Kadiri is a dynamic Consultant Neuro- Psychiatrist and a Fellow of the National Post- Graduate Medical College of Nigeria (FMCPsych) with almost 20 years’ experience as a practicing Physician. She is a trained and certified Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapist from Albert Ellis Institute, New York, USA. She is also a certified Trauma Counsellor and Neurofeedback Practitioner. The founder of Pinnacle Health Radio, African’s #1 online health radio and a non-for-profit organization, “Pinnacle Medicals SPEAKOUT Initiative” which is geared towards creating Mental Health literacy in Nigeria and beyond. The Executive producer of award-winning movies, Pepper soup (focused on drug abuse) and Little Drops of Happy (focused on depression, postpartum depression and suicide) and creator of the most innovative mental health app in Africa, HOW BODI. Currently piloting the first mobile counseling booths for the underserved communities in Nigeria. A Goldman Sachs scholar, Vital Voices Fellow, Tony Elumelu Foundation Alumna, an Ashoka changemaker, a global thought leader and has been recognized locally and globally for her movement in the field of health and wellness, especially mental health. An alumnus of the US State Department, International Visitors Leadership program (IVLP), Aspen New Voices Fellow. & VV Visionaries Fellow. Dr Kadiri’s driving force is to live, to learn and to impact generations positively. When not working as a Physician, she loves to tour the world, work on disruptive innovations and talk fashion.

Cassandra James-Weathersby

Cassandra James-Weathersby is a Recovery Life Coach and an advocate and champion for Mental Wellness and Women’s Emotional Healing. As a ‘survivor turned thriver’ of her own battles with trauma & mental illness, Cassandra is working to encourage other Black and Brown Women to stand in their truth; breaking the silence barrier around trauma that has kept many trapped. Through her nonprofit organization Black Women DO Heal, founded in 2019, Cassandra is facilitating those meaningful conversations to destroy the lie of the ‘Superwoman Myth’ through their coaching, healing conversations, respite events, and wellness activities

Cassandra has over 30 years of lived experience in mental health, she believes self awareness, rest, community and support are some of the key ingredients to taking our lives and power back-striving each day to ‘go be her.’

Rosario del Pilar Diaz Garavito

Rosario is a young activist and the Founder and Executive Director of The Millennials Movement and member of the Youth Advisory Board for the Youth and Human Rights initiative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Silatech and Education About All. In 2019 Rosario was awarded as Obama Foundation Scholar 2019-2020, graduating from the Master´s Program on International Development and Policy at the University of Chicago.

Rosario served as Elected Focal Point for Children and Youth of the Latin American and the Caribbean Civil Society Participation Mechanism MesCLAC / MGCY, for the formal review of the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations 2020 – 2022. In 2014 she was appointed as Youth Advocate by the UN Millennium Campaign for the post 2015 process. Rosario is an alumni of the LAC Women Empower Program 2022- 2023, Ban Ki Moon Center and the Young Leader of the Americas Initiative – YLAI 2016, U.S Department of State.

Grazi Santoro

Sóbria há múltiplos anos, é Terapeuta em Transtornos por Uso de Substâncias, Especialista em Alcoolismo Feminino, Coach de Vida, Analista Comportamental, Idealizadora, Cofundadora e Presidente da Associação Alcoolismo Feminino.

Sober for several years, she is a Therapist in Substance Use Disorders, Specialist in Female Alcoholism, Life Coach, Behavioral Analyst, Founder, Co-Founder and President of Associação Alcoolismo Feminino.

Event Program

We look forward to a heart-opening program full of critical dialogue, inspirational stories from recovery change-makers and thought provoking questions about what it means to amplify women’s stories in recovery advocacy. Our program includes:

  • Introductions
  • Inspirational Speakers
  • Breakout Sessions: The Value of Story
  • Sacred Pause: An Invitational Guided Practice & Bio Break
  • Breakout Session Reflections
  • Panel Discussion

Register Now For Free!

Get ready to be inspired and amplify women’s voices in recovery advocacy on March 8, 2023.

Support our lifeline organization and the women we serve by attending the event or making a donation. All are encouraged and welcome to participate. 

A Deep Bow of Gratitude to Our Event Supporters


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