Cormac is the Executive Director and Lead Meditation Instructor for Elm Village. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and worked as a hospital chaplain for six years. As a hospital chaplain he had the opportunity to offer meditation to people struggling with addiction and mental health issues. It was in this setting that he first developed a passion for teaching meditation to people struggling with mental health and addiction issues. He has been teaching meditation for almost a decade and is currently a teacher in the New Haven Insight meditation community.
Raven Rodriguez is a racial equity strategist, educator, and organizational change leader. Since 2010, she has worked with over a dozen academic institutions and mission-driven organizations, using her expertise on race, intersectionality, and adaptive leadership to design programs and strategic initiatives that aim to shift cultural norms, internal systems, processes, and values in a way that centers race and its intersections. Raven is extremely passionate about equity-focused leadership development and helping individuals cultivate anti-oppressive mindsets, practices, and cultures. She is dedicated to providing trauma-informed services for marginalized communities, and specializes in helping individuals hone and develop critical mindsets and practices that can be used to interrupt oppressive systems, implicit biases, and behaviors that perpetuate inequity.
Puma Simone is an award winning recording artist and producer based in New Haven. She incorporates her knacks for listening and asking important questions within her teaching style. An avid reader and active member in the local and global art community, Simone engages students through honest lyrical content and popular culture references.
Sarah Tracy-Wanck (TW)
Sarah Tracy-Wanck (TW) is an educator, farmer, organizer who works with Elm Village, New Haven Farms, CEIO, and other collectives to advance justice and healing. Her work is propelled by the principle that awareness is a critical starting point for undoing the roots of systemic racism and oppression and moving towards wholeness. She is deeply grateful to the book by Thich Nhat Hahn that fell on her mother's head when she was 7, initiating a meditation practice that has been at the center of this life journey ever since.
TW is a trained mindfulness facilitator through Mindful Schools, and iBme, and an anti-racist organizer and facilitator with CEIO (Co-Creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations) and Beyond Diversity 101. She is also a project-based learning educator, with experience in building school-wide leadership initiatives. She holds a B.A. in African American Studies and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University. Spiritual practices and dancing are what connect TW to her inner power and capacity to dream into collective liberation.
Yahkeem Howard (Keemy)
Yahkeem is the Operations Director, Youth Mentor, Veteran Advocate, and Life Coach. He’s also currently serving as a Sergeant in the Connecticut Army National Guard, since 2010. Mindfulness has played huge a role in his life and is why he gravitated towards bringing awareness to mental health. His work is bases around his passion for Human and Personal Development. His mission is to help others improve self-awareness, create an empowering identity, unleash latent potential, enhance one’s quality of life, improve social status, increase earning potential, determine one’s primary life purpose, and facilitate the achievement of personal causes and aspirations that will leave behind a personal legacy.