Education & Leadership
The Alliance for Ecotherapy & Social Justice
We are an Intergenerational, Interdisciplinary, multi-cultural alliance that provides Ecotherapy education and leadership through an intersectional framework aligned with Social Justice and community care.
Our Founder, J. Phoenix Smith, earned a Graduate Certificate in Ecotherapy in 2011 from JFK University in the world’s first ever Graduate Ecotherapy Certificate program and a Masters in Social Work from the historically-black Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to coming to the field of Ecotherapy, she has been a public health leader in the field of HIV for over 25 years, managing and leading public health programs in the U.S. They are also an Initiated Elder in the Indigenous Afro-Cuban religion Lucumi to the Oricha, or Deity of Nature known as Aganyu, the Spirit of the Volcano and of the Wilderness. They provide spiritual counseling and guidance including divination and Ecotherapy.
As a Black Queer person, they have been involved in healing justice projects and communities for over 20 years and bring an intersectional, public health perspective to the field of Ecotherapy. In 2020, they created the Alliance for Ecotherapy & Social Justice to expand the field for greater access to mental health support rooted in nature that is aligned with social justice and equity.
I give thanks to my ancestors for their guidance and vision for this work.