Professional Staff &
We turn to you, holding your dignity as closely as our own, believing that together is the only way we will peaceably and successfully arrive, celebrating our unique identities, and build a thriving and generous community that
equally values every life.
Let's Create Safe and Healing Spaces Together
Our Mission: To heal the brokenness of our world, illuminating the gift of our humanity so to foster Benevolent Communities, working together to abolish fear and hate – and create the healthy relationships, environments and systems needed to honestly engage in the challenge of reconciling with the truth of our past so to build pathways of healing and well-being that hold every person’s dignity, story, and health as closely as we hold our own.
Lori Schulman Yadin
Founder and CCO
Lori is a Human Advocate who deeply believes that healthy relationships support healthy lives and communities. A seasoned Retreat Facilitator, Experiential Educator, Writer and Coach Practitioner who has internalized her learning of forty years of experience with individuals, teams and organizations to inform methodologies that support: achieving human potential, reaching personal and professional goals, maintaining clear vision in line with values necessary for sustained success and living a contented life. Her work and experience has taught her the great value of Creating Safe Space, the focus of her practice and life. Lori has a creative spirit, love for the natural world and her family. In her free time she enjoys visits with her young adult sons , daughters, and grandchildren, designing home and garden, kayaking, reading and writing. A native of the Washington, DC area she now resides in Savannah, Georgia. Contact Lori: Director@CreateSafeSpace.org
Certified Executive and Life Coach focusing on relationship, mindfulness practice and leadership
Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management, Executive Coaching Certification
Coach Training Alliance, Life Coaching Certification
Center for Courage and Renewal, Facilitator trained by Parker J. Palmer
Greater Good Science Center, Pro-Social Human Development, Summer Institute for Educators, University of California, Berkeley
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Training
Experiential Education, B.A. Prescott College
George Washington University, Masters Certification, Landscape Design: Understanding human connection to land, space and place.
Hood College, Post Graduate work Educational Psychology, Diversity, and Research
International Coach Federation
Association for Experiential Education
Center for Courage & Renewal
Sarah Routman has a BA in English and a BFA in Photography from Ohio University and a Master’s in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. After teaching high school English and Drama in Florida and Georgia, Sarah spent 18 years running 2 non-profits in the Jewish community in Minneapolis, MN working primarily with high school and college students. Currently a Wellness Advocate and Adjunct Leadership Instructor at the University of Minnesota, Sarah believes passionately that we make the biggest difference in life one person at a time.
A life-long learner, she gleans much from her students and is skilled at connecting people and finding the relevance and connection in unsuspecting places. She has trained in Reiki and Reflexology and cares deeply about health and wellness. Having travelled extensively, Sarah created and ran a cultural exchange program in Bulgaria, uniting teens from North America, Israel and Bulgaria for the purpose of creating meaningful conversations about similarities, differences and personal identity while finding ways to serve the community needs.
As a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher, Sarah very consciously creates a safe space with no judgment were people open up, take risks and allow themselves to become vulnerable through shared laughter, which helps to build bridges and encourages important conversations about staying mentally and physically healthy. She inspires others to lead happier, healthier, more meaningful lives through laughter, which ultimately helps them to unlock their full potential.
Myra Brown is founder and president of MBrownGroup LLC, a consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has almost 30 years of experience managing, consulting, directing and developing business opportunities for health care companies, device manufacturers, health insurers, entrepreneurs, and individual health care providers.
MBrownGroup works with companies ranging from new business start-ups to multinational entities, developing strategic business, brand marketing and content and social media marketing plans.
Myra has a deep focus in patient facing marketing, and is a fierce advocate for empowering healthcare consumers with information and decision making tools. Today’s healthcare system is driving shorter encounters between providers and patients, and consumers need to be educated with reliable and accurate information to maximize physician interaction, becoming their own advocates.
She has a special expertise in the consumer sleep market, interacting with the media, consumers, retailers and providers through product development, branding, licensing, public relations and social media.
Prior to establishing MBrownGroup, Myra held various management positions with Hospital Corporation of America, and served as the chief operating officer of The Bill Wilkerson Center, an internationally recognized speech, hearing and head trauma center affiliated with Vanderbilt University.
She is passionate about mentoring young women as they enter and move through the workforce. As the mother of three daughters, she is committed to helping young women understand that all options and choices are available to them.
Myra has a BA in English from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has served on the boards of the Akiva School in Nashville, the Jewish Federation of Middle Tennessee, and as a member of the finance committee of The Davis Academy in Atlanta. She was a founder of the Keren Or Jewish High School in Atlanta, a high school program serving the educational needs of developmentally different teens in an inclusive environment with their neurotypical peers.
Myra lives in Atlanta with her husband Dan, a healthcare attorney. They became empty nesters in the fall of 2014, and ecstatic new grandparents when their granddaughter was born earlier this year.
Max Nissen, Board Member: Max Nissen is a rabbi and educator. He is a graduate of t the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he is also received an MA in Jewish Education. Max has served as a Jewish educator in religious schools, summer camps, and synagogue communities, and has worked with learners at every stage of life.
He serves as the Director of Youth and Family Education at a Synagogue in Philadelphia. Max is also his pastoral care certification at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital.
Max is passionate about transmitting spiritual tradition, and framing conversations of meaning, around the assumption that our belief systems can - and should - be both intelligent and compassionate. He enjoys finding and creating safe spaces in which to challenge himself and others to grow, considering why we believe what we do and what we are going to do about it. Max is especially interested in the connection between behavior and belief, and the ways in which we construct communities in order to support one another in reaching higher moral, intellectual, and emotional heights.
Denise A. Davis, DrPH, MPA
Advisor to the Board
Dr. Denise Davis is a retired public health researcher and program specialist with extensive experience and management skills within a variety of health care and academic settings. Positions she has held include Project Director, Senior Policy Analyst, Researcher, Deputy Director for foundation-funded national projects and Adjunct Instructor. In these various roles, her responsibilities have included broad project management and program evaluation, portfolio management and administration, research and program evaluation, proposal review and assessment, grant and article writing, curriculum development and instruction, and spearheading special projects.
While transitioning residences from New Jersey to Delaware, Dr. Davis worked as a Diabetes Health Educator for the Quality Innovative Network where she provided instruction to diabetes patients on evidence-based self-management techniques. Dr. Davis has also held positions in hospital settings in New Jersey and Delaware as a Project Director overseeing project operations, managing multi-disciplinary teams, and assuring achievement of on-time project deliverables.
As project director at Nemours Children’s Hospital, within the National Office of Policy and Prevention, she contributed to policy development, health prevention, promotion and advocacy efforts of the National Office. Prior to joining Nemours, she served as a principal in MSB Philanthropy Advisors, a social justice firm in New York City, N.Y. where she led the technical assistance and training services provided by the firm in the area of health. Dr. Davis was also an adjunct instructor for San Jose State University where she taught several courses including research methods, and health administration and management. She has also been a program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she worked on several portfolios including disparities, nursing and human capital programming. There she developed and led several Foundation grant initiatives, spearheaded special projects and published research articles based on funded grant programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Denise was a senior policy analyst, at the Center for State Health Policy Institute for Health Care Policy & Aging Research at Rutgers University heading research teams and collaborating with other colleagues on numerous research projects.
Denise also served as a deputy director of the Information Access Program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she provided extensive training to Turning Point program grantees in the use of Web materials that highlighted best practices in the use of population data for community level decision-making and broad-based health improvement. She also served at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) as deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s $10 million dollar initiative, the Information for State Health Policy Program.
Dr. Davis earned her Dr. P.H. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in health policy and administration, an M.P.A. in public policy and administration from New York University, and a B.A. from Ithaca College in Allied Health.
Advisor to the Board
Dave Ellis aims to start a serious conversation among African-American men and boys that he says will jump-start social change.
He is one of 10 persons from around the region recently named Bush Fellows by the Bush Foundation and awarded funds to implement or expand programs to change and strengthen their communities. Others will be named in July and September.
Ellis, whose history includes 23 years working in the Minnesota correctional system in jobs from prison guard to director, wants to engage African-American men in what he calls blameless conversations of “how their behavior is impacting how their children grow up.’’ He now has established Dave Ellis Consulting.
“What I’m trying to do is create a way of presenting information to men in a conversational rather than confrontational way,’’ Ellis says. He has asked for $80,000 to fund his project over two years.
“We’re not crazy; there’s nothing wrong with us,’’ says Ellis, an African-American whose grandfather was a slave. It’s that, he says, black men have lived through historic trauma, including slavery as well as generational trauma.
“These things are embedded in us in ways we don’t even recognize,’’ Ellis says.
He plans to use academic research from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study to demonstrate how factors such as child abuse, emotional neglect, domestic violence, drug use and a parents’ incarceration can affect the brain development of a young child starting before birth. Such experiences impact a child’s emotional and physical well-being and his learning, Ellis says.
He says the discussions will open the men’s eyes to the importance of acting as role models for their children and being responsible providers, fathers and partners.
The knowledge about child development will make the men more accepting of their personal histories and upbringing and lead them to change their lives, he says. Long range, that will mean higher graduation rates, less incarceration and fewer young males in special education programs in the schools, he says.
“If you want a different outcome, you want to do something differently,’’ he says.
Advisor to the Board
Selena Sermeno, Advisor to the Board of Directors
Selena is a psychologist, educator, and facilitator. Her doctoral dissertation, "The Impact of Political and Social Violence on the Moral Development, Potential for Antisocial Behavior, and Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder of Adolescents," explores the suffering and post-traumatic ramifications of socio-political violence on Salvadoran youth.
Currently, Selena serves as the Ambassadorial Chair for the Bartos Institute for the Constructive Engagement of Conflict of the United World College-USA, where she serves as a mentor to adolescents from over 80 countries, guiding them on the fundamentals of compassionate dialogue, human rights, peace education, diplomacy and reconciliation processes.
Selena is also a consulting psychologist to the Juvenile Justice branch of the State of NM Children, Youth and Families department. Her scope of work with this population focuses on the training of Human Dignity Models for youth rehabilitation.
In the fall of 2009, Selena became an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for the counties of San Miguel and Ouray in Western Colorado. Her focus on young children highlights the importance of the early years on the development of empathy and conscience development as foundational for a meaningful and responsible life.
Selena’s focus on human rights, trauma recovery, and cross cultural understanding has been inspired by her experience with civil war growing up in El Salvador and work across the world with survivors of traumatic events. Currently, she divides her time between Ridgway, Colorado, Santa Fe, NM and Central America.