Rosa Cabrera: Founder + Curriculum Developer + Facilitator

Rosa is a Harlem native, born to Dominican parents, and is a single mother of a magical child scientist. She has published personal essays and fiction writing on motherhood, sexuality, Black feminism, and transnational identity. She has taught English in New York City and Oakland high schools for a total of 5 years, and currently resides in Oakland, California. Her previous work as a rape crisis counselor for SF WAR and her own personal experiences in surviving domestic violence, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence while attempting to love informs her teaching and writing endeavors. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Mills College, MS in English Education from University of Rochester as an Urban Teaching Leadership Fellow, and a BA in Black and Latino Urban Studies from San Francisco State University. Currently she teaches English at Chabot College and Diablo Valley College, and founded InkRise, a writing workshop for survivors of violence in 2012.

Amy Paulson: Curriculum Developer + facilitator

Left eBay Europe in 2011 to co-found Gratitude Alliance after 14 years of working in finance, operations, project management, accounting/tax in the U.S. and Europe for Deloitte, SAP, eBay, and the US Embassy in Berlin.


Once an orphan herself, Amy is passionate about creating spaces for healing and transformation for children who have lost their mothers and for trauma survivors who most need to reclaim their inner mother.  She's served in the non-profit sector as a volunteer, international program manager, finance manager, and board member focusing on projects benefiting orphaned and vulnerable children in the US and abroad.


Based in San Francisco, Amy serves as CEO at Gratitude Alliance where she also facilitates community education workshops and healing circles. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Global Studies from Northeastern University and a certificate in Trauma-Informed Interventions (UC Berkeley). Back in the day, Amy earned her BS in Business/Accounting and is a licensed CPA (inactive) in California.


Amy is also working on her first book, The Wound Myth, about her journey as a transracial, transnational adoptee, reuniting with her birth parents, and learning to embrace gratitude as a powerful catalyst for change.

Antone Olivier: Facilitator + Curriculum Developer 

A native of  the San Francisco Bay Area, he received a BFA  in fine art painting from UC Berkeley, and completed post graduate studies with curricular emphasis on the performing arts of theatre and music at CSU East Bay.  He has enjoyed a 42 year career of teaching visual and performing arts, primarily at Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, California, and being the Artistic Director for 60+ theatrical productions.  In addition, he has developed and directed multiple performance programs for many schools and community organizations throughout the East Bay with the Theatrical Directors for the City of Oakland Dramatic Arts program, through the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department for a total of 10 years since 1980.  As a performer he is a recipient of a Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle Award for acting, and a National College Theatre Award winner as Performer, Musical Director, and Composer of Original Music for a production of “OEDIPUS REX,”performed at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C.

Sal Tran: Facilitator 

Sal Tran is a queer Vietnamese filmmaker and touring speaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are one of the co-founders of SunKissed Productions - an independent queer Asian film collective. Sal’s work is rooted within the power of storytelling in film, visual and performative art. They focus on mental health advocacy work within queer trans Asian Pacific Islander (QTAPI) communities. Their work has been featured in UC Berkeley's Queer & Asian Conference, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Seattle Transgender Film Festival, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) Conference, NYC Queer Asian Short Films, As[I]Am Magazine, UC Santa Barbara - Queer Trans People of Color Conference and many more.

Vic Aguirre: Facilitator

Vic Aguirre is a CA Certified Massage Therapist and Health Educator serving the SF Bay Area for the last 6 years. Their mission is to prioritize the empowerment of Queer Trans and POC’s reclamation of their bodies by sharing knowledge and experiences in anatomy, physiology and the effects of living within systems and cycles of violence as an individual with intersectional identities.

Sage Hayes: Facilitator

Sage Hayes, SEP, LMT, RYT offers a unique integrated approach to therapeutic change and transformation.  Offering Somatic Experiencing (SE), craniosacral therapy and massage, Sage facilitates thoughtful reflection and embodied change particular to each client's intentions. Sage brings a holistic perspective which can explore multigenerational trauma inheritance, cultural contexts and practices, and ongoing adaptation to oppression and an unsteady world.  Social and systemic inequality, prejudice, and discrimination produce stress, a physiological state of threat and danger, and an ongoing hypervigilance or disassociation for those in non-dominant groups. Sage Co-facilitated our 2020 Healing Cycles of Harm White Accomplice cohort.

sTART up Supporters

We owe a huge thanks for the material support, the mentorship and guidance, the opening up of space and resources, the holding of space, the valued affirmation, and the love and blessing of the following people and organizations. These people believed in this work during its inception, watered the seed, and tended its soil. 

Dr. Cesar Cruz


Homies Empowerment 

Shayna Cureton

of Abundant Beginnings.

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Daisy Ozim of 

Resilient Wellness.

Releasing attachments to abuse.

Regenerating communities. 

Reclaiming Our Own Transcendence.