International Women's Day with black and white woman and butterflies
rising rooted the next generation woman with butterflies

SHE RECOVERS® Foundation Presents

Rising Rooted: Redefining Recovery With the Next Generation


We are redefining recovery for the next generation of recovering women and non-binary individuals who identify with women’s communities – and we are shifting the paradigm. We are broadening the scope of recovery beyond addiction to include healing from mental health issues, trauma, substance use, and other life challenges. 

We are embracing individualized pathways and patchworks of recovery and rejecting systems that create barriers to wellness. We recognize recovery as a holistic experience that exists on both a spectrum and a continuum.

We are rooted in the wisdom of those who have walked this path of healing before us, and we envision a future with early intervention and recovery strengthening opportunities within recovery-oriented systems of care. 

We are rising, and we need our voices to be heard now. We need accessible resources and the relentless support of those willing to ensure we can all rise rooted in recovery. 

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

Rise with us on March 8, 2024. 

This International Women’s Day, join us and the change-makers of today to explore how we can ensure the next and future generations rise rooted in recovery! Let’s listen to their stories and talk about early intervention opportunities for young women and non-binary individuals including group support programs, recovery communities, personal development, recovery education, and recovery practices that focus on holistically healing the mind, body, emotions, and spirit. 

This online event puts the voices and recovery stories of young women and non-binary individuals who identify with women’s communities front and center. This is an opportunity to learn from them, to hold their truth, to honor their recovery, and to follow their lead as they change the world. 

We need to listen to the next generation.

Young women and non-binary individuals are telling us that what they need most is identity-based resources, professionals who understand the imperative of finding and following their own individualized pathways and patchworks of recovery, and peer-supported opportunities for connection.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that early intervention for mental health issues in young people can lead to improved outcomes, including reduced symptoms, improved functioning, and better quality of life. 

We need to start supporting the next generation now.

We know that ease of access to resources and support substantially increases the next generation’s chance of realizing long-term recovery. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says, “given the significant health consequences of loneliness and isolation, we must prioritize building social connection the same way we have prioritized other critical public health issues such as tobacco and substance use.” 

In the spirit of redefining recovery, we gather on March 8, 2024, to acknowledge our past, examine our present, and inspire infinite possibilities for the future of women’s recovery support. Young people know what they want, together we can create systems of care that enable us all to rise rooted in recovery.

This event is free for everyone to attend. Donations to the SHE RECOVERS Foundation are much appreciated—your gift will help us to raise critical funds needed to create programming and resources for the next generation.

black woman at desk


  • Redefine recovery by bringing awareness to intersecting issues specific to the next generation of women in mental health and addiction recovery
  • Amplify youth voices in recovery
  • Explore the concepts of resilience and purpose in recovery
  • Highlight organizations supporting women’s recovery on a global scale
  • Provide an opportunity for community, connection, and celebration through additional programming ( watch party ) 

We look forward to a heart-opening program full of critical dialogue, inspirational stories from young women and non-binary individuals, and thought provoking questions about what it means to support the next generation of women to rise rooted in recovery.

The Speakers

ALEXIS IRIAS (LEX) (she/her)

Young People In Recovery


Alexis Irias is representing Young People in Recovery (YPR). YPR is a national nonprofit that provides peer recovery support services for youth and young adults in recovery—or who are seeking recovery—from substance use disorder. Our programs consist of community-based chapters; life-skills curriculum programs; and advocacy to reduce stigma and create more resources for recovery. By creating a national network of young people in recovery, YPR empowers young people to get involved in their communities and take charge of their futures. YPR envisions a world where everyone can access the necessary tools to recover from substance use disorder. YPR’s mission is to provide the life skills and peer supports that young people need to thrive and be successful in long-term recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

YPR embraces all pathways to recovery including 12-step, faith-based, harm reduction, medication-assisted treatment, and others. YPR was formed in 2010 by young people in recovery (defined as under age 30) who wanted to help others. It was incorporated as a 501c3 effective 2013. YPR currently has 54 chapters in 19 states nationwide with new chapters launching throughout the year. The organization is led by Executive Director Ann Herbst, YPR’s former VP of Institutional Advancement.

Ashley Miller is the Program Coordinator for UNSHAME Kentucky with the National Stigma Initiative at Shatterproof. She leads the story collection and community partner outreach, building trust between the campaign and larger KY community. This campaign collects inspirational stories of those affected by substance use disorder and displays them on their social media accounts to reduce stigma in the community.
Ashley has both professional and personal experience in the field of recovery. At 21 years old, Ashley began her journey as a person in recovery from a co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder and has now been in recovery for 9 years. She has used multiple pathways of recovery to heal from trauma, depression, and substance use. In 2016, Ashley designed and implemented a Collegiate Recovery Program at Colorado State University helping hundreds of students find recovery. Ashley served as a board member for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. She also has professional experience working one-on-one with people who have mental health and substance use concerns. Ashley is an advocate for young adults in recovery and people in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut and is finishing her master’s degree in Prevention Science at Colorado State University. Ashley lives in Colorado and enjoys spending time with her wife, Kaylie. In her free time, she loves to hike, play basketball and softball, and be outside in nature. Her passion continues to be recovery advocacy including writing and speaking, networking, and designing and implementing programs. Ashley is most excited to become a foster mom to kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities this year. You can get in touch with her at


Rise Recovery


After many years of homelessness and going in and out of jail I realized I was sick and tired of living a life that lead me nowhere. On June 30, 2020 I made the life-saving decision to walk into the rooms of recovery.

Since coming into the rooms, I have gained the knowledge of knowing that I wasn’t alone and I don’t have to go through this alone. I moved into my first sober living home on July 27, 2020. I can honestly say that I owe my life and every blessing I have received to my recovery, my network and my family. Through the strength of my Higher Power and the fellowship I have gain a new sense of what my purpose is in life, and that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with anyone and everyone who needs to hear this life saving message.


Black Women DO Heal

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 and mental illness, Cassandra is working to encourage other Black and Brown women to stand in their truth; breaking the barrier of silence around trauma that has kept many trapped. Through her nonprofit organization, Black Women DO Heal, founded in 2019, Cassandra is facilitating meaningful conversations to destroy the lie of the Superwoman Myth through coaching, healing conversations, respite events, and wellness activities. She firmly believes self-awareness, rest, community, and support are some of the key ingredients to taking life and power back and striving each day to ‘go be her.’

Cassandra has over thirty years of lived experience in mental health, over eight years of experience as a certified peer support specialist, a recovery coach professional and trainer of trainers, a certified WRAP facilitator, and a target health facilitator. Coach Cassie J is also the CEO of Pure Valley Educational Services, a mental health support, coaching, and consulting agency located in Louisiana.

Coach Cassie J currently resides in the greater New Orleans area. She is the Mother of three grown rugrats and GiGi of one granddaughter and two grandsons. When she is not working, she can be found enjoying nature from the safety of her window, reading, and spending time with her Family.



PEASE Academy


Catherine Holovnia is a representative of PEASE Academy. She was recruited by her long-term friend Michael Durchslag in 2017. She came from restaurant management and never expected to work in the education or recovery field. Now both settings have Catherine’s heart and she is currently working on getting her bachelor’s degree in social work!

PEASE Academy stands for Peers enjoying a sober education. We are an abstinence-based educational setting where students in grades 8-12 can come and work towards earning their diploma. We employ a full-time LADC who works 1:1 with students and also facilitates groups throughout the week. Our staff is deeply knowledgeable about recovery and mental health and we work supports into our daily schedule to benefit our students’ learning and overall well-being. 



 Circle of Chairs


Caroline Beidler, MSW is an author, recovery advocate, and founder of the storytelling platform Circle of Chairs. She is the author of Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery and her next book is launching in the fall of 2024. She is passionate about leading women into greater healing, transformation, and recovery.

With almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry, she is currently a consultant with JBS International and also a team writer for the Grit and Grace Project and blogger at the global recovery platform In the Rooms, along with founder and visionary of the annual International Women’s Day Global Recovery Event presented by the She Recovers Foundation. Caroline lives in Eastern Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry.



Association of Recovery in Higher Education


Dr. CJ holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration. She is also a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, a Certified Clinical Supervisor, and credited with being a founding member and coordinator of Aggies for Recovery, the first collegiate recovery community at an HBCU, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Dr. CJ is an advocate for dialogue regarding the current trends and topics in the field of addiction, recovery, and substance misuse.

As a woman of color, she prides herself on bringing awareness to BIPOC issues within the field. In her role as collegiate recovery champion, she provides consultation and expertise regarding innovative programming relevant to diverse campus culture. As a recovery advocate for collegiate recovery at HBCUs, Dr. CJ is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience in the areas of addiction and recovery among people of color. In her career as an Assistant Professor, Dr. CJ strives to identify, expand, and replicate the success of collegiate recovery on more– and hopefully one day all– HBCU campuses. Her other professional interests are working with veterans, identity development, biofeedback training, relaxation techniques, life-long recovery, and wellness.



SAMHSA and the Office of Recovery

Currently serving as the Senior Advisor in the Office of Recovery, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dona supports recovery initiatives across the agency. In her previous role, she served as the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention where Dona provided executive leadership for federal efforts to improve the nation’s behavioral health through evidence-based substance use prevention approaches. Ms. Dmitrovic is an experienced executive with over 37 years in the substance use field. She has experience in raising public awareness and supporting program development and implementation for individuals with mental health and substance use conditions through advocacy, policy, and program development. Most importantly, Ms. Dmitrovic has lived experience of long-term recovery and is a family member of loved ones in recovery. This personal experience drives her passion to ensure opportunities exist to support others’ path to wellness.

Prior to her arrival at SAMHSA, she served as the Executive Director of Foundation for Recovery in Las Vegas, NV, where she developed and implemented peer recovery support programs, education, and training on peer support services and led the organization’s growth to a statewide agency. Ms. Dmitrovic also held the position of Director, National Office of Consumer Affairs for Optum Behavioral Health, UnitedHeathcare. There she used her vast experience to develop peer products and tools to support individuals with substance use disorders. As the Chief Operating Officer for the RASE Project in Pennsylvania, Ms. Dmitrovic assisted the CEO, launching the Buprenorphine Coordinator program serving opioid dependent individuals with recovery support services in medication assisted treatment (MAT); one of the first in the country which received two national awards for innovation. Dona was also the Director of Education and Advocacy at Johnson Institute in Washington, DC, and the first Executive Director of Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance, the statewide recovery community organization in Harrisburg, PA.


Young People In Recovery


Karly is a professional yoga teacher and practitioner of yoga for more than twelve years, and a person in long-term recovery who shares her passion for yoga with the Young People in Recovery Chapter in San Diego, and beyond. 



The Phoenix


Keithy Arabella Crespo’s motto is “we’re here for a good time, not a long time.” With this mindset, she’s helped produce events and experiences for people that are fun, supportive, and memorable. She’s been working with events since 2017 and has learned a lot since then. She made her jump to the nonprofit world in 2020 and has loved it so much. While working at the Phoenix, she has had the opportunity to create events of all sizes and has had the honor of seeing them accomplish their goal of establishing friendships and creating a supportive place for people in recovery. She is proud of the support they’ve given to the community in LA and looks forward to helping more people, one game night and CrossFit class at a time.

The Phoenix is a nonprofit that provides free activities and events for anyone with a continuous 48 hours of sobriety. Our events range from fitness and social activities, and include doings such as CrossFit, hikes, yoga, movie night, barbecues, and holiday parties. Our goal is to help those who have struggled with substance use disorder and give them the power to rise above their addictions.


LISA WALL (she/her)



Lisa is the SHE RECOVERS Foundation’s team lead for community care & missions programs. She joined the SR team in 2019 bringing with her sixteen years of experience working within a recovery-oriented system of care from inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment to alumni engagement, recovery management, somatic experience, program development, spiritual leadership, and recovery coaching. Lisa recognizes that connection and belonging within a community are essential aspects of individual and collective healing and she leads with courageous vulnerability, a sense of curiosity, and unwavering hope. She is a woman in recovery from codependency, moral injury, workaholism, trauma, and infant loss. Choosing a strengths-based approach to recovery helps Lisa thrive with an auto-immune disorder, disability, and ADHD.


SHE RECOVERS: The Next Generation Youth Action Committee Member 


Meg Korf-Morales is a woman in recovery who began struggling with addiction as a teenager. After many years of hardship and trauma, she decided she did not want to lead that sort of life. She had so many dreams she wanted to accomplish, and her addiction was stunting her growth. Meg thinks it is truly amazing how the right doors start to open when you set yourself on the right path, as that is precisely what happened to her.

Meg is two years into her bachelor’s degree in psychology and is a trained end-of-life doula who recently started her practice, The Loved Life. She hopes to expand someday to not only transition people with end-of-life-care but to steward recovering people to live a loved life as well. Being in recovery has taken Meg on an unbelievably eye-opening journey, and shown her life’s endless possibilities. She wholeheartedly believes in educating and supporting the next generation of young women in and seeking recovery. “We are all in this together!”



Meghann Perry Group


Meghann Perry, CARC, RCPF, is an award-winning storyteller, theater educator, curriculum designer, and addiction recovery coach professional. She creates innovative learning and performance experiences blending theater, storytelling, and coaching and is an international educator in the field of recovery coaching. Meghann is a global speaker and storytelling coach and creator of two groundbreaking programs, Recovery Storytelling, and Embodied Storytelling, and has designed countless other customized programs for such diverse groups as transgender youth and adults, adoptive caregivers, non-profit boards, and veterans. Meghann integrated theater practices into youth and young adult residential treatment services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and has worked extensively with adolescents and young adults in prevention, treatment, and recovery. She is the founder of Meghann Perry Group and leads a team of talented facilitators redefining recovery, wellness, and education by offering unique and creative programs.

Meghann Perry Group provides experiential education and professional training using storytelling, theatre, and recovery coaching as a foundation for learning, growth, and skill development. We offer training, workshops, keynotes, and individual coaching in speaking, storytelling, peer support, and more. We specialize in working with people in the margins, those experiencing highly stigmatized challenges, young people, and all who support them. We believe that genuine connection, creativity, play, and belonging are essential to the learning and growth process and that everyone needs their cultures, identities, values, and beliefs welcomed and respected in the learning environment.


MULKA NISIC(she/her)

UNGASS & Celebrate Recovery

Mulka Nisic is a doctoral student, researcher, and consultant for UNGASS, the World Federation Against Drugs, and the European Network for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery as well as Celebrate Recovery. Her research and work revolve around recovery pathways, the stigma attached to addiction, building communities, recovery cities, and recovery capital.


Northeastern University

Natalie DeLaCruz is an experienced activist, passionate college student, and resilient DEI advocate. Natalie graduated high school a year early to pursue her passion for making the world more equitable and just. At just 19 years old, Natalie is now a third-year student at Northeastern University where they are a political science & human services major and Spanish minor. Natalie previously worked as Herren Project’s Youth Engagement Specialist for two years where they ran the youth ambassador program and hosted the Purple Effect Podcast.

Natalie had the honor of moderating the 2022 Mobilize Recovery panel on centering youth voices in the recovery movement and presenting at ARHE’s 2023 conference about building more inclusive recovery communities for young people. As an activist, Natalie has worked in politics at all levels and organized protests for Stop Asian Hate and against the “don’t say gay” law. Extremely passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, Natalie serves as Northeastern Student Government Association’s Vice President of DEI, where she is overseeing a policy proposal to create a women’s center on campus. She also serves as a LeanonMe Peer Supporter, research assistant in the Belonging and Social Identities Lab, and is her chapter of Student Demand Action’s Advocacy Lead.

After struggling with their mental health and substance use starting at age 12, Natalie has been in recovery for over six years. They hope to continue to break the stigma associated with recovery and connect historically marginalized communities to resources.


Nia Patterson is a well-respected Black and Queer mental health advocate, social activist, artist, content creator, podcaster, and business and body image coach. They are the creator behind @TheFriendINeverWanted and the artist behind @SelfLoveToolChest. They are also the host and producer of the Body Trauma Podcast @BodyTraumaPod. Their work is mainly centered around Eating Disorder Recovery, Body Liberation, Fat Activism, LGBTQIA2S+, and Body Acceptance work. Nia is passionate about advocating for people in marginalized bodies and seeks to bring resources to those who do not readily see representation and healthcare for themselves.



HEAL Behavioral Health

HEAL Behavioral Health is designed to be an intimate, evidence-based treatment program that caters to people who struggle with substance use or mental health. Their main objective is to treat the family as a whole, rather than just the issue itself. HEAL guides families through every step of the treatment process as each patient progresses in their levels of care.

Nitya Sivakumar is the co-owner of HEAL Behavioral Health and is currently completing a Master’s program in industrial organizational psychology. Her interest in trauma treatment and the recovery industry stemmed from her own experience with mental health issues and addiction. She is a firm believer that uncomfortable conversations in safe places can create change and cultures of prevention. Nitya is passionate about bringing mental health awareness and resources to Indian-American communities.

She has worked in the behavioral health space for the last six years. Her expertise lies in branding, advertising, digital marketing, admissions, customer relationship management technologies, and her own lived experience. Nitya has been involved in HEAL since its inception, making its behavioral health treatment and resources more accessible to families and individuals around the country.

Nitya also works as a consultant with law enforcement agencies and state and local governments to bring about systemic changes to their approaches toward mental health and substance use, and she provides training and education to create diversionary programs for individuals within the judicial system who are themselves struggling. Nitya speaks regularly in high schools, to parent and community organizations, and to school district administrations about preventative drug and alcohol interventions for adolescents.



Rise Recovery


A San Antonio native, Paloma Sifuentes is a woman with four years of recovery. She is a mother of two and a performing artist. She was once a client of Rise Recovery – at the beginning of her recovery journey – and she is incredibly grateful to be able to give back to others what was so very graciously given to her.

Paloma is representing Rise Recovery Center. Rise Recovery Center strives to help people who are living with substance use disorder as well as their family and loved ones. Their team is comprised of a collection of many years of recovery and sobriety. Also, San Antonio’s first recovery high school is housed under the Rise Recovery umbrella.


New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition

Sheilah Powell is representing New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition (NJHRC). They work in coalition to create a New Jersey that values the safety and dignity of all people who use drugs, and to make evidence-informed harm reduction public health resources widely available to everyone in our state. NJHRC is working toward a world where there is no drug war or stigma against people who use drugs. They imagine a world where people who use drugs — and all people, regardless of their drug use status — have all the resources needed to stay alive and thrive. Harm reduction is essential. A harm reduction approach to drug use is the best strategy we have to end the overdose crisis, reduce risks associated with drug use, and affirm the dignity and bodily autonomy of every New Jerseyan.

Sheilah is a communications expert and a recovery support leader whose work is informed by her lived experience as a person in recovery and an affected family member. She also has direct lived experience and recovery with intimate partner and domestic violence and disordered eating. Sheilah will grow her role with NJHRC’s free and confidential mailing of naloxone and fentanyl test strips to people who use drugs and their networks across New Jersey. This mail-based program, in operation since 2019, delivers lifesaving supplies to the “first of the first” responders, empowering residents to reverse overdoses within their communities.





Suzie Spitfyre is a self-proclaimed people person, culture-vulture, ally-and-advocate, and artist-at-large who started her recovery journey on a Tuesday in 2013 in a Yoga For Recovery class with Taryn Strong, but she didn’t know it yet. 

After experiencing increases in poor mental health, disordered eating, substance misuse, and low self-worth when faced with the disparity between her perceived ideal and her corporeality, Suzie was done with courting social acceptance by shrinking her body via diet and exercise to conform to the pervasive belief that thin is the pinnacle of health, beauty, and success. Determined to change the culture that surrounds our bodies, Suzie started an online group for individuals longing to be more comfortable in their own skin, herself included. 

As a SHE RECOVERS Dance Facilitator, Suzie regularly invites others to reclaim their bodies and the space that they take up. Everyone deserves to heal. She is grateful to be able to drive social change and connect, support, and empower more women in or seeking recovery through bodyful intuitive movement. Since 2022, Suzie has been the marketing and communications lead for the SHE RECOVERS Foundation and is grateful to be able to champion food and body neutrality as a way of confronting anti-fat bias and the effects of diet culture in the recovery community.


University of Calgary


I am an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary (UCalgary), and the founder and director of the UCalgary Recovery Community (UCRC), and Recovery on Campus Alberta (ROC). As a registered social worker, educator, researcher, and engaged activist, I have worked in the areas of homelessness and addiction-recovery for over 15 years.

I combine my lived experience of addiction, recovery, and disability with a passion for creative, community-based participatory methodologies, to reduce stigma for marginalized populations in scholarly and mainstream spaces alike.


Event Schedule

Land acknowledgement

Welcoming remarks

Opening breath work

Storytelling session

Break – guided intentional movement/yoga practice

Policy updates

Introduction to the SHE RECOVERS: Next Generation

Youth Advisory Committee

Shoutouts to watch parties and harm reduction discussion

Break – guided intentional movement/SHE RECOVERS Dance

Youth storytelling session

Giveaways and gratitude

Invitation to attend the afterparty

Closing remarks

Host a watch party for SHE RECOVERS Rising Rooted: Redefining Recovery With The Next Generation International Women’s Day Event

Organizing a community or campus event can feel overwhelming. To help make planning and executing your watch party a little easier, SHE RECOVERS in partnership with Eating Recovery Center, has populated a toolkit with everything you need to host a successful event.

Join us on March 8, 2024 – and throughout the year – to hear:

  • Young women and non-binary mental health advocates rise rooted by sharing their lived experiences with mental health and recovery
  • Professionals and leaders dedicated to redefining recovery for the next generation of recovering youth
  • About invaluable resources for yourself, your peers, and those you serve from individuals and organizations paving the way to create a new recovery paradigm for future generations

A Deep Bow of Gratitude to Our Event Supporters


Watch Party Sponsor


Want to help the SHE RECOVERS Foundation and the next generation of women to rise rooted in recovery?

Get involved now! We are looking for:

If you would like to help recovering women from around the world find community, connect, and celebrate this International Women’s Day, we invite you to fill out the corresponding application form. 

Your contributions will bolster our event intentions of redefining recovery, addressing issues affecting the next generation of recovering women, amplifying young women’s voices in recovery, and creating awareness around developments in trauma, mental health, and addiction recovery on a global scale.  

Registration Open Now!

Get ready to be inspired on March 8, 2024.

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

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