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FACILITATOR BIOGRAPHIES

A note: All of our facilitators offer their gender pronouns as a way of letting you know how they like to be referred to. For example, oftentimes people do not use the appropriate gender pronouns for trans people, so trans folks need to announce their pronouns, which can give the impression that they are the only people who need to share pronouns. But it’s good practice for us all to be clear in our identities! This is a practice we use to be in solidarity with trans/nonbinary people -- or because we, ourselves, hold those identities.

Marisa "Sasa" Taborga Byrne (she/hers)

Holistic Sexuality
13 Moons Curriculum creatrix
Rites of Passage

Greetings, I am Marisa Taborga Byrne, or Sasa, and I am a light-bearer for what I call the Global Sexual Healing Revolution. My soul work is providing holistic sexual education and holding healing space, especially for survivors of sexual trauma and youth. As an incest survivor, I walk the path of integrating self, ancestral, familial and community restoration. As a ceremonialist, rites of passage facilitator, and nature connection guide, I am shaped in my offerings by la Pachamama, my Bolivian and Irish ancestry, radical love, choosing faith over fear, and many teachers along the way, including la Guerrera, Kalani Souza, Hua Anwa, and Gigi Coyle. Jallalla!

Kruti Parekh (she/hers)

Ecology of Power + Privilege
Transformative Justice

Kruti has been working synergistically with young people and families in the most marginalized communities in both New York and Los Angeles for over 20 years. Kruti’s experience includes: coordinator of the Los Angeles Youth Uprising coalition, Coach for Healing & Justice, adult ally at the Youth Justice Coalition, organizing to transform the juvenile and criminal injustice systems; director for youth programs, including YouthBuild, Teen Court, and Workforce Investment Act Programs as well as domestic violence accountability, workforce development, youth empowerment, youth leadership and wellness programs. She would like to use her experience to help create the necessary infrastructure within Los Angeles City and County to prevent harm, death and incarceration for youth and increase graduation rates, financial independence and positive social contribution. Kruti has a Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis University, a Masters Degree in Social Work from Hunter College and a self-proclaimed PhD (People’s health Degree) from the Youth Justice Coalition.

Sobey Wing (he/him)

Decolonization
Cross-Cultural Protocols

Sobey Wing currently holds the role of President of Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Society based in the Unceded Coast Salish Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. The goals of the society are to continue to support reindigenizing and decolonizing as pilipino diaspora living away from our homelands. This includes with it a focus on rites of passage. We consult with indigenous people both in the Philippines and with the First Nations people of Turtle Island in doing our work and partner with many organizations. We also strive to be in solidarity with both the indigenous peoples of the Philippines especially those in Mindinao as well as on Turtle Island. Sobey serves as an Advisor to Youth Passageway which seeks to unite local and international rites of passage practitioners, wilderness guides and youth mentors to integrate services, create a clearing house for best practices, and help awaken mainstream educators to the elemental language of ritual.

Ramon Parish (he/him)

Ritual / Rites of Passage
Ecology of Power and Privilege
Somatics / Embodiment

Ramon (he/him) is a family man deep in the mysteries and magic of marriage and fatherhood. An instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies at Naropa University he teaches core courses in diversity and social identity, contemplative practice, community engagement and environmental justice. Ramon is a graduate of the first cohort of SomaSource, a movement based rites of passage experience developed by Melissa Michaels. He recently stepped back from five years of service on the Stewardship Council of Youth Passageways, and was one of the founding members of the Cross-Cultural Protocols Working Group.

Clement Wilson, MSW (they/them)

Rites of Passage
Queer + Trans + Gender Literacy

Clement is a gender diversity educator, a member of Youth Passageways’ Advisory Circle Council, a public high school social worker, and a queer rite of passage guide. Clement has worked extensively with youth in outdoor behavioral health settings and inpatient residential treatment centers as both a supervisor and direct care staff. Currently, Clement guides cisgender teachers and administration in building more authentic relationships with transgender and non-binary youth in the public school system. Beyond this effort, Clement focuses their direct social work practice and research on developing and implementing culturally responsive social-emotional learning programs for students and staff in public education. An experienced educator and public speaker, Clement has designed and facilitated interactive gender diversity workshops for the National Wilderness Therapy Symposium, Youth Passageways, Oregon School Social Work Conference, and for Portland Public Schools.

Siri Gunnarson (she/they)



Siri is a bridge person and pollinator, she has been nomadic for most of her adult life moving with purpose between projects with transformational vision including Three Creeks, Tamera, The Ojai Foundation, Ways of Council, School of Lost Borders, Youth Passageways, Soma Source, and Beyond Boundaries, an intergenerational ‘response team for our times’. Seeking to support youth in their transition into adulthood Siri has worked with diverse educational programs from consulting and guiding high school programs to teaching with LEAPNOW: Transforming Education and Naropa University’s Gap Year Program. A council trainer and guide with the School of Lost Borders, she is currently anchoring their Young Adult and Nature of Council programs. She is passionate about love and community, anti-oppression and equity, embodiment and movement, and permaculture and water. She is a deep believer in self-study as a way of insight into the human being and compassion for self and others. Siri currently lives in a small land based community on Southern Pomo lands in Sebastopol CA.

Darcy Ottey (she/her)



Rites of Passage have been part of Darcy’s life since her coming of age journey when she was 13. This path has led her to guide wilderness trips for teens, serve as Executive Director of the program she took part in as a youth, venture to the lands of her ancestors to understand more of her history, and more. Currently, she serves as Co-Director for Youth Passageways. She loves dancing (especially under the full moon), learning to make Slavic folks dolls, and exploring ways to help herself and others with racial, gender, and class privilege understand their history; reclaim ancestral traditions and connections with their bodies and nature; and take responsibility for ongoing injustice. Darcy’s ancestors include early Quaker settlers of Turtle Island from Wales and England, British coal miners, and Ukrainian peasants, and she makes her home now in the Methow Valley in Okanogan County, Washington, the traditional territory of the Mətxʷú people. She is grateful for her teachers and mentors, including Stan Crow, Gigi Coyle, Melissa Michaels, Elder Paul Hill, and her amazing mom, Edith Kusnic. Areas of focus: Equity work in rite of passage practices, Culturally-appropriate ceremonial design, Guidance on individual initiatory journeys, Ancestral healing and recovery, Mobilizing resource flow (aka fundraising and financial management), Nature-based threshold experiences and ceremonial forms, Rite of passage program development, Anti-racism and anti-oppression education

Jett Cazeaux (they/them)

Gender & Sexuality Justice
Queering Rites of Passage
SOMASOURCE® Lifecycle Practitioner

Jett loves creating spaces and opportunities for their fellow Queer & Trans Rite of Passage Guides, colleagues and friends to gather in community. Committed to bringing queer & trans focused experiences to those organizations already familiar with Rite of Passage frameworks. And introducing ROP teachings to organizations working with the LGBT2QIA+ community.

As a white, differently-abled, genderqueer of European descent, holding both oppressed and oppressor identities informs their liberatory work in the ways they engage with the world. They do their best to chronicle their experiences on Queer Odyssey.

Areas of interest & support: LGBTQ2IA+, Queer & Trans communities, Council and other social technologies, Guidance on individual initiatory journeys, Equity work in rite of passage practices, Anti-racism and anti-oppression, Rite of passage program development.

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