Suzette Shaw is an African American activist, poet, blogger, and women's advocate. Not long ago due to circumstances beyond her control she was a homeless resident of Skid Row where she now continues to reside...housed. Ms. Shaw studied health science education and mental health over thirty years ago, and previously worked in human services and resources. Since being displaced to Skid Row, her focus has been mental health advocacy. As a former person of the middle class who has repeatedly been displaced, Ms. Shaw has run the gamut of displacement, fighting to gain sustainable employment and suffering through long daily commutes to seek work. She offers a compelling story of her struggle for equality, equity, and sustainability while her health has been continually jeopardized.

Physically, emotionally and spiritually, Ms. Shaw has had to rebuild herself and her life from ruins while living in distress, in a community that houses the highest homeless population of America, where people are residing in living conditions below United Nations standards, yet are surrounded by high rise luxury apartments. Daily access to basic hygiene, clean water, and quality healthy foods are scarce and the right to rest is regularly challenged by law enforcement.

Join us as we listen to Ms. Shaw share her story as well as draw contrast to the other stories which intertwine with hers by a single thread. Her understanding goes back decades and even generations as her mother was a trailblazer who implemented social service programs in Arizona, yet, today lives in poverty with her health stricken due to the stresses of disparities and inequities. Sadly, the trauma of what happens to family members is only further exacerbated by continued intergenerational trauma. The juxtaposition of Suzette Shaw navigating through these varying worlds and her broad perspective is compelling. As she has sought to heal, she has been compelled to understand her own idiosyncrasies along with those of her family, people and community. Poetry became her lifeline while she was homeless and traumatized and now weaves throughout her story, advocacy, and policy work today.