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SOBRIETY IN THE SCENE

A focus on addiction in the world of entertainment. 

When you think “rockstar lifestyle,” do you think sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll? Cringeworthy phrases, but nonethless, these cliche representations of an artist’s lifestyle hold weight to the substance abuse issues in the world of arts and entertainment.

Working in and navigating a scene whose backdrop so often involves alcohol and other substances can take a toll on our physical and mental health, but how do we maneuver through this environment sober AF? Join us as we talk with artists, comedians, and local mental health and recovery resources about the why in sobriety, living substance free, staying sane, and finding resources and support.

MJ PETERS

Moderator

The Creative Directory

MJ Peters has worked in the film industry for nearly a decade. Starting in 2010 as an actress and model, MJ furthered her career by exploring different positions in film and commercial productions. Today, Peters performs as pop musician Mad Darling and is the Co-Founder of Omaha Creative Directory.

CATHERINE POMPEO

Yoga of Recovery Teacher

Catherine is a 200 hour Yoga teacher and certified Y12SR (Yoga of Recovery) space holder. She is trained in Yoga of Recovery and in the Prison Yoga Project and is a grateful member of Al-Anon.

Cathy has led Lincoln’s Y12SR meeting since January of 2015 and also teaches at The Bridge.

JONATHAN NICKOLAS LEACH

Musician/Producer

Jonathan Leach is a Black-American musician and producer based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. A storyteller at heart, Leach produces music that is raw and deeply rooted in human experience. Whether a song includes vocals or is purely instrumental, its complexity invites the listener to lean into what they are hearing

GRANT PARSONS

Comedian

Grant is a standup comedian and filmmaker originally from Lincoln NE. As a comic he has toured the country winning fans and friends everywhere he goes with his uniquely self-deprecating and sarcastic brand of humor.

He was selected to perform at the 2014 San Diego Comedy Festival and moved to Los Angeles shortly after. He ran several of his own shows in LA before making the move to his current city, Austin TX. He’s worked alongside comedians such as Doug Benson, Sean Patton, Kyle Kinane, former SNL castmate Brooks Wheelan and many more.

Since living in Austin, Grant has immersed himself into the indie film scene. He has found a home as a writer and director with The Curious Cactus Network – a prickly bunch of filmmakers and storytellers on a mission to produce a variety of unique, sincere and thought provoking content. While continuing to pursue standup, Grant is excited to take what he’s learned over the years from the stage and storytelling and translate it onto film. You can check out his debut film The Prodigal(ish) Son exclusively on The Curious Cactus Network.

SADIE THOMPSON

Wellbeing Initiative, Inc. 

Sadie is the Chief Implementation Officer of Wellbeing Initiative, Inc. and is the Curriculum Development Coordinator of the Nebraska Coalition for Peer Delivered Services and Trainer Supervisor for the Emergency Response Covid-19 Program.

She is the co-author of Peeriodical Nebraska Peer Support Curriculum which supports the training and education of Peer Support Specialists across Nebraska. Sadie is an Advanced Level Facilitator in WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and an expert in Mindfulness Related Training. She is a social justice advocate that is passionate about serving people experiencing a wide variety of life’s challenges.

Sadie serves as the Vice President of Consumer Affairs for the Nebraska Association of  Behavioral Health Organizations in Nebraska.  Sadie believes that recovery is possible for anyone, and peers are some of the most amazing, resilient people in our community. Sadie has lived experience with physical health and mental health challenges and hopes to bring physical health peer support to Nebraska in the future.

INCREASING OUR HEALTH WEALTH

CLOSING THE INEQUALITY GAP

Racial, gender, and socioeconomic disparities have affected access, quality, and the overall healthcare experience of Nebraskans for decades. How can we raise the bar from the current imperative to “do no harm?”

Insights gained from the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism in America have highlighted these longstanding inequalities in the healthcare system and have provided an invaluable opportunity to create permanent change. This panel will focus on barriers to access, strategies for closing the inequality gap, and what to expect as Nebraska implements Medicaid expansion. Join physicians, policymakers, researchers, and healthcare advocates in a conversation about healthcare issues and opportunities facing Nebraskans today, and explore what you can do to increase health wealth across the state. 

MOLLY McCLEERY

Moderator

Nebraska Appleseed

Molly McCleery, J.D., is the Director of the Health Care Access Program at Nebraska Appleseed, a nonprofit advocacy organization that fights for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans, where she engages in policy and advocacy work related to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Molly graduated from Truman State University and Creighton University School of Law.

BOB RAUNER, MD, MPH CMO

Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, One Health Nebraska

Bob Rauner splits his time between 2 jobs, 30% as President of Partnership for a Heathy Lincoln and 70% as Chief Medical Officer of OneHealth Nebraska ACO a network of 23 clinics in Lincoln, Grand Island, Auburn, and Crete.

He is also serving on the board of directors for both Lincoln Public Schools and the Nebraska Association of School Boards, and is a member of the National Quality Forum’s standing committee on Health Disparities. 

Bob received his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Creighton University, his medical degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and his master of public health degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

DR. ANGELA PALMER-WACKERLY

UNL Minorities Health Disparities Initiative

Angela Palmer-Wackerly is an assistant professor, specializing in health communication in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is motivated by working with others to solve complex health problems, so that together, they can create a more empathetic, supportive, and equitable world.

In striving to achieve that goal, she collaborates with academic and community partners to understand how family, friends, and health care providers influence patients’ health and treatment decisions, particularly in infertility, cancer, and rural and minority health.

DEBORAH TURNER, MD

Planned Parenthood, LWVUS President

Deborah has served on the LWVUS National Board from 2016-present. She served as vice president of LWV Iowa from 2011–2015 and President of LWV Des Moines Metropolitan from 2010–2015. She obtained her JD from Drake University and her MD from University of Iowa. She has been a Gynecologic Oncologist for 30 years.

Deborah served on the Board Regents for the State of Iowa (1999-2006),and was entered into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. She lives in Nebraska and has two grown children – a son and a niece.

“I believe no child should be restrained by the circumstances of their birth. The League, through our leadership in the democracy space, can make this dream a reality.”

SENATOR TONY VARGAS

Senator Tony Vargas has devoted his career to public service and advocacy. Tony earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Rochester and a Master’s in Education at Pace University.

Tony began his career as a public school teacher in New York City with Teach for America. Elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2016, Vargas has spent the last two years successfully working on a variety of policy issues, including equity in education, encouraging technology and innovation, juvenile justice, and healthcare access. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he has led efforts to prioritize state funding to benefit the most vulnerable in our communities, especially children and families from low-income backgrounds.

Previous to his election to the Nebraska Legislature, Vargas was a member of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education, serving more than 52,000 students and 86 schools across the city. Tony’s most recent title was earned in February of this year when him and his wife Lauren became parents and welcomed their daughter, Ava Kaye, into the world. 

WORKSHOPS

SOUND MEDITATION with JENNIFER LEONARD

Jennifer Leonard believes that the extraordinary healing power of sound is due to harmonics (the color of vibration) and intention. “Everything is energy. Everything is frequency”.

Jennifer’s teaching incorporates yoga nidra, a systematic method of inducing physical, mental, and emotional relaxation and sacred sounds. This encourages the body back into coherence which then nurtures a deeper level of inner spiritual growth.

She has been a student of yoga and tantric practices for 20 years and continues her studies with her Guru Ma, Sree Devi Bringi. Jennifer brings a personnel and planetary healing. She has received certifications from Yoga World Reach SEVA School and Shakti Institute which include her YTT-200, Yoga Nidra and studying with sound guru Jonathan Goldmen, this has cultivated a powerful meditation and relaxation practice. Jennifer also has regularly scheduled yoga asana classes, which releases tension and prepares the body for meditation through breath work, movement, and alignment.

TRANSFORMATIONAL BREATWORK with NICOLE RAGER

Nicole Rager is a Nebraska native who has been interested in spirituality and well-being since she was a child. This passion has led her to explore various self-healing/discovery modalities, including Transformational Breath®, which she considers to be one of the ultimate tools for physical, emotional, and spiritual connection and transformation.

She has been sharing this work as a Certified Transformational Breath® Facilitator and Trainer for the last seven years with groups and individuals across the globe.  The incredible relationship and potential that each person has with their own breath, and the joy and wisdom they can awaken within continues to inspire and amaze her with every session.

LIBERATION BASED HEALING with BRIANNA KEY

Brianne Key is an LGBTQ+ trauma-informed Certified Massage Therapist, social justice advocate, liberation & self-healing focused coach & radical self-care guide.

She is a dedicated somatic sorceress with a goal of helping marginalized bodies in need realize their value & begin mending their mind, body, spirit energies through rest, personal nervous system care & therapeutic education for daily integration. 

Virtual healing sessions are available by email request anytime & Brianne is in the Lincoln area the fourth week of each month. She offers masked bodywork sessions at The Sage House on Ryons St & is currently booking existing & referral clients!

MUSIC. ART. INNOVATION.