NEC TAC Welcomes Kimberly Ewing!
Kimberly D. Ewing joined the National Empowerment Center as the new Coordinator/Consultant of Emotional CPR in October 2021. As a person with lived experience and one who crosses many paths of intersectionality, Kim is passionate about mental wellness, racial healing, social justice, racial equality, human rights, bullying prevention, empowering allies and educating humans of all ages. Kim is an international eCPR Trainer, Implicit Bias Trainer, Anti-Racist Trainer, Diversity Trainer, a Certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer, and a Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) Facilitator. Her favorite hashtag is #ImStillHealing and she believes that we all are doing some version of it. She believes in speaking truth coupled with compassion and that eCPR is the very foundation of being human. One of her only regrets is that she wished she knew eCPR as a young person because it would have made a huge difference with those she encountered along the way.
Kim holds a BS in Communications from the University of Indianapolis and a MS in Higher Education from Indiana State University.
Youth Corner
Every issue of our newsletter will feature a YOUTH CORNER update written by Shira Collings, our Youth Coordinator. 
Youth Leadership Series
NEC has hosted two webinars in our youth leadership series this quarter. In September, youth leader Henry Zhu shared some key insights from his first year working at The Jed Foundation (JED), a national mental health non-profit focused on protecting the emotional health and preventing suicide for teens and young adults. He highlighted ways in which his perspective as a recent college graduate has advanced JED’s mission and impact, several youth-focused initiatives that he has contributed to or led within JED, and offered practical recommendations for those hoping to contribute to youth-focused mental health programming, support, and/or advocacy efforts. In October, researchers Kristin Thorp, Kelly Davis, Ben Ballman, and Shannon Padgon participated in a panel showcasing different ways in which youth leaders are influencing research and using research in order to challenge existing ideas and practices and to further advocacy for systems change. Projects conducted both within and outside traditional academic settings were featured in this webinar. These webinars can be viewed here and here.
We CARE Circle Update 
During this quarter, the We CARE Circle continued to meet biweekly to discuss how to center equity in the eCPR framework as it continues to gain traction as a peer-led public health program that can help individuals support themselves and others in emotional distress. This is a particularly important discussion as we continue to navigate a global pandemic and its compounding impact on different communities.
The We CARE Circle has been working on a statement that articulates its purpose, core values, and vision. Once a draft of the statement is prepared, We CARE Circle will distribute it among eCPR trainers and the public to garner feedback. Then, the draft will be revised and published to share with the global eCPR community.
During this quarter, the We CARE Circle also participated in a 2-day Implicit Bias training. The Circle worked together to create a brave space in which to reflect on and share their personal experiences with bias and racism. The Circle also examined how interlocking forms of structural and institutional oppression and violence continue to impact minoritized communities in different settings, including in mental health care. The Circle is exploring how this type of training can be made available to eCPR trainers and eCPR communities.
If you are interested in being part of the We CARE Circle, please reach out to the National Empowerment Center eCPR Coordinator at
Emotional CPR Update
Emotional CPR continues to take great strides both domestically and abroad.  In October, trainers Lauren Spiro, Kimberly Ewing, Flora Releford, Sean Perry, and Carolyn Pifer, along with several apprentices from Asia and Africa led an Emotional CPR training for 46 people representing several countries in Asia and Africa.  This is the largest training we have ever conducted and it reached parts of the world we have never reached before.  The training was a huge success, with participants sharing that they had never experienced a forum like this where they felt comfortable to share things and connect with others.  For some, it was the first time they shared certain things about themselves and could support others in doing the same.  The fact that eCPR worked so well in this training speaks to how connecting on an emotional level is really a universal language that can be applied anywhere in the world. 
eCPR Reaches a Juvenile Detention Center in Missouri

Also last month, we were able to teach our new Emotional CPR for Law Enforcement curriculum to staff at the Normile Family Center Juvenile Detention Center in Missouri, including a police officer and a former police officer.  The trainers were Oryx Cohen, Jeff Miller (a former police officer who wrote the curriculum), and Felicity Krueger (who works with Youth MOVE Kentucky and is 18). This marks the first time we have taught this curriculum and it went very well.  It went so well, in fact, that we are now contracted to do 3 more trainings for them, with the hopes they will end up with their own Educators by the end of the process. Eventually we are also hoping that we can teach Youth eCPR to the residents of the detention center.
International Peer Respite/Soteria Summit
The National Empowerment Center (NEC) supported a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers with hosting the first international Peer Respite/Soteria Summit: Creating Compassionate Alternatives to Mainstream Interventions for People in Crisis and Distress. The Summit took place on October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2021. The panel sessions included an introduction to and overview of peer-run respites and Soteria Houses, “nuts and bolts” workshops covering topics such as philosophy and principles, organizational structure and funding, staffing and programming, and an interactive discussion about how to move forward.
More information about the Summit can be found here:
Over 700 individuals from 38 countries registered for the Summit and each session had over 200 participants, many of whom stayed well after the end of presentations in order to share their stories, connect with the panelists and other attendees, and express their passion for more compassionate alternatives. The Summit demonstrated there is a global passion and need for justice and equity in mental health, replacing the use of force and coercion with self-determination and empowerment. The Summit also became a space for mutual support, learning opportunities, and resource repository. 
NEC staff, Judene Shelley, Sae Kim, and Shira Collings, were deeply grateful for the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded advocates, assist with planning and outreach, and provide logistical support to facilitate the event. We hope that NEC can continue to work with the Summit volunteers and participants to make peer respites and Soteria Houses a reality all over the world. 

In Memoriam
Our movement lost two great leaders, Darby Penney and Jacki McKinney.  You are missed. Your legacies live on.
(1952 - 2021)
For a Tribute to Darby Penney please click here
(1934 - 2021)
For a Tribute to Jacki McKinney please click here
This newsletter was developed [in part] under grant number SM082648 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.