Our Teaching Nest
Each member of this learning community landed at our nest with unique gifts --they are leaders, teachers, peacebuilders, writers, artists, therapists, and amazing healers. While we may have different backgrounds, we all share a common goal of serving humanity while we are here. Thank you for taking the time to meet this amazing array of humans, who call the Heart Nest their home.
Dr Sabrina N'Diaye, founder
Associate professor, Metropolitan State University
Raj is a recovering criminologist, alcoholic, and survivor of sexual abuse, with over 20 years of community-based activism as a researcher and educator. Inspired by the resilience of our youth and the men in our prison systems, he trains school staff, probation agents, community members, and justice personnel on restorative practices, trauma and healing, value-centered leadership, community building, and unpacking implicit biases. He believes in raising consciousness utilizing the restorative circle process. In his latest work, raj explores the depths of our justice system and creates a framework in which knowledge and heart become the root of our practices.
SHIELDUS is a non-profit organization offering wellness retreats to first responders and their loved ones; promoting healing and posttraumatic growth.
Mirian “Bev” is a former police officer, detective and leader in her squad, she served the Prince George’s County Police Department for ten years. After her experience as a police officer and her educational background she has now dedicated her life to sharing her story of overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and depression. Mirian is a motivational speaker and wellness coach; her goal is to educate, inspire, and break down the stigma of mental health amongst First Responders. Mirian is a certified lifeguard through the Red Cross, member of Diversity in Aquatics and a US Master Swimming-(Adult Learn to Swim)- Instructor. Mirian has used these certifications combined with her training with the Center For Mind Body Medicine to become a practitioner of the Blue-Mindfulness method, where water and mindfulness are combined to encourage Post-Traumatic Growth.
Other certifications Mirian has obtained are: CPR & Frist Aid Certification through the Red Cross, Psychological First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, ASIST Training Certified (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), Wellness Recovery Action Plan Certification (W.R.A.P), Motivational Interviewing and is soon to be a Peer-Support Specialist through the state of Florida.
Sharon E. Cooper
Sharon E. Cooper is a yoga teacher, workshop leader/healer, writing coach, and an award-winning internationally produced and published playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker. Her short plays have been produced in India, Hungary, Singapore, Australia, England, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and across the U.S. She is published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2019, as well as Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays and several college textbooks. Sharon’s award-winning comedic films “The Seven Men of Hanukkah” and “Believin’” have screened across North America and South Asia. Sharon has a compassionate approach in all of her work—as a yoga teacher for over fifteen years, as a writing coach for individuals, groups, schools and companies, and as a workshop facilitator in creating and leading programs for white people in nonjudgmental spaces to work on eliminating racism. Her work changes people’s lives.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Nafisah Harley is a mental health advocate who is passionate about helping individuals heal & reducing stigma, particularly in the Black community. Nafisah obtained her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and is currently serving as a practitioner at the Heart Nest. After meeting with Dr. Sabrina N’Diaye, she began learning mind-body skills to help individuals process trauma and begin their journey of healing. Since then, she has completed certification and has facilitated multiple mind-body skills groups for African-American women (Black Blossoms), Muslim women (Majestic Muslimahs), and members of the Black community (Melanin Minds). Nafisah is deeply humbled by the opportunity to work with men and women of all ages, as she is empathetic, passionate, and dedicated to her work. Nafisah believes that the journey to healing is a process that helps unearth our potential and further develops the gift within to be a better version of our true self.
Benuuas Kenya Pope
Benuuas Kenya Pope is a COmmunity Healer, with rhythm, words, dance, sound, affirmations, herbs, and meditation. For the last 7 years, as a Life and Leadership Coach in the realm of ontology, she served as a midwife for individual or group clients to “become their next best version of themselves. Taking the birthing to its literal sense, she ushers birthing families through one of the greatest natural events - childbirth. As a Full Circle Birthing Doula, she supports the birthing of their entire family, using genograms, family stories, and advocacy and support. Soon to be Certified Practitioner for The Center for Mind-Body-Medicine, Benuuas creates sacred space in groups for those at the crossroads of their own rebirth- Black parents of Black sons (across the globe), Afro-Latinas who speak English, Spanish, or Span-glish, Black men,
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