Members of the TLA network include poets, novelists, therapists and counselor, ministers, grant-writers, youth development workers, computer programmers, school teachers, English professors, master composers, and folks from many walk of life that want to connect to each other and support the development of language used for liberation, growth, and celebration. For more information about some of the individuals in our Membership, a great place to look is in the TLA Practitioners Directory & Map.
Hanne Weedon comes to TLAN with 20 years of leadership and program development experience in not-for-profit and government-funded organizations. A longtime community, arts and social justice advocate, she resonates with the goals and values of the TLA Network. A first-generation American, Hanne's ties to family and friends overseas run deep, and her appreciation for, understanding of and dedication to building representative, inclusive and diverse communities is a core aspect in all her work. To say her name (it's Norwegian): Hah-nah.
TLA Network is governed by a council, the membership of which is arrived upon annually. In council, we come together as equals, all drawing on our gifts and working with our challenges cooperatively to forward the mission of the Network. The council convenes by phone regularly and in person at the annual meeting.
Council Members & Committee Chairs for 2019-2020 are Liz Burke-Cravens (chair), Jade Eby (conference chair) Caleb Winebrenner (Chrysalis collective), Joe Maldonado (social media), Lyn Ford (classes committee), Brenda Magnetti (membership), Wendy Thompson (certification committee), Beth Turner (podcast series), Vanita Leatherwood (blog curator), and Lesley Dobis (treasurer-in-process), with ex-officio member Hanne Weedon. Additionally, Joanna Tebbs Young serves as Certification Chair and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is classes chair.
Liz Burke-Cravens is a poet, interdisciplinary educator, and writing coach passionate about narrative and arts-based approaches to personal and social transformation. She works with adult students, working-class identified groups, university faculty, LGBTQIA+ communities, women living with the aftermath of sexual assault and harassment, feminist activists, and poets/writers of all kinds. She serves as TLAN's Council Chair.
Caleb Winebrenner is a storyteller, poet, and teaching artist who explores the intersections of the arts and humanities. He is fascinated by the knowledge and wisdom in a room when people gather to learn and create, and he believes that teaching is a form of TLA.He serves on the conference and classes committees, and he's the review editor of our professional and creative journal, Chrysalis: A Journal of Transformative Language Arts.
Joe Maldonado is a supervisor at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York and has a degree in counseling from Long Island University. A long-time TLA practitioner, he serves on TLAN's social media committee. He also helps the TLA Network podcast series and coordinates social media for TLAN.
Poet/artist Vanita Leatherwood, M.A., T.L.A., has over 30 years of experience in facilitating wellness and community education programming. She serves as the Director of Community Engagement at HopeWorks where her work includes facilitating Transformative Language Arts private sessions and workshops for survivors of trauma. She is also in private practice with the Restorative Counseling and Wellness Center. Her facilitation work features poetry, expressive arts activities and mindfulness practices that promote healing, transformation, and self-alliance. Vanita curates our blog.
Empathy. It’s a powerful experience to understand someone else’s condition from their point of view Brenda Magnetti has built a strong industry reputation for being one of the best brand experience planning experts to amplify the role of empathy in changing buyer behavior. She spent her most recent years developing award winning digital marketing and commerce strategies for Beltone, Glanbia Sports Nutrition, Michelin, Wrigley, J&J, Unilever and Mondelez International. As a life-long learning advocate, Brenda just finished advanced marketing strategy, analytics and technology certification from Northwestern. And she recently earned her Brain-Based Coaching credentials from the NeuroLeadership Institute on her path toward ICF certification and her consulting practice. These additional expertise areas amplify Brenda’s commitment to the power of words and her focus on Right Livelihood in both corporate and non-profit settings. Brenda heads our membership campaign.
Many titles, one big ol' heart, Lyn Ford is: a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller; a teaching artist and story coach; an award-winning author; a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a great-grandma. Lyn has facilitated TLA online classes and Power of Words Conference workshops, and, through her "Heartworks," invests in the promise of empathy, creative thinking and world community. Lyn serves on the classes committee.
Beth Turner is an Emmy-award winning television journalist who loves words and the power they carry to encourage, empower and equip all of us. She is a professional expressive writing facilitator and healing storyteller who hosts workshops, retreats, conferences because she sees over and over the transformative power of words. Beth is an author, published poet, wife, and mom to three boys, an adorable mutt named Squirt, a rabbit named Esther, and a few wayward backyard chickens. She is a TLA board member, a POW conference presenter, and an overall hands-in-the-air-fist-bump-sold-out believer in the transformative power of language! Beth works on our podcasts.
Lesley Dobis: Writing stories about my dad lead me to my current work as a financial educator and coach. Being a massage therapist for the last 20 years taught me the importance of money management to survive in any entrepreneurial profession. In my spare time, I blog, share stories, and raise chickens on my Fabulous Farmette in northern New York state. Lesley works with us on finances and budgeting.
Wendy Thompson, MFA is an arts educator and freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest. A self-proclaimed ARTivist, she employs all the arts to facilitate transformation and healing. Her TLA workshops support a variety of communities including LGBTQ+, faith groups, folks in recovery, and children of immigrants facing deportation.In addition to the TLAN Council, she also serves on the TLA Certification Committee.
Jade Eby is certified Trauma Recovery Book Coach and published author who specializes inempowering trauma survivors to work on their recovery and stop the cycle of intergenerational trauma through the use of expressive arts. She runs an experimental workshop & community called Writing Fiction to Heal and loves being involved in organizations like TLA Network. Jade is our 2020 Power of Words conference chair.
Advisor: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg founded TLA at Goddard College and the Power of Words conference. The former poet laureate of Kansas, she is the author of over 20 books of poetry, memoir, and fiction, and offers workshops, coaching, presentations, and readings widely. With Laura Packer, she co-leads Your Right Livelihood.
Council photos (from the top): Liz, Caleb & Joe, Vanita, Brenda, Lyn, Beth, Lesley, Wendy, and Jade. Please see the contact us page to get in touch.