Women and Psychedelics Forum CIIS, November 19, 3 pm to 9 pm

Women and Psychedelics Forum

CIIS, November 19, 3 pm to 9 pm

Promotion: Chacruna and CIIS East-West Psychology Program

Full program to be announced soon.


2:00 – 3:00pm – Registration

3:00 – 3:15pm – Opening – Bia Labate

3:15 – 4:00pm – Keynote Address – Kathleen Harrison – Feminism, The Feminine, and Psychedelics: The Past 50 years

4:00 – 6:00pm – Panel 1

Moderator: Jae Sevellius
Annette Williams – Women, Spirituality and Plant Based Medicines (working title)
Val Corral – Women and The Movement of Medical Marijuana Legalization (working title)
Wendy Chapkis – Trouble in Paradise: Lessons in Gender, Race, and Class Inequality in Marijuana Legalization
Michelle Corbin – The personal is political:  The feminist possibilities of psychedelic praxis

6:00 – 7:00pm – Dinner break

7:00 – 9:00pm – Panel 2

Moderator: Maria Mangini
Alicia Danforth – Coming Down from the Psychedelic Power Trip
Clancy Cavnar – Gender, Patriarchalism and Power in Ayahuasca Communities
Annie Oak – Radical Risk Reduction and Community Conflict Resolution
Jodie Evans – Bringing Gifts from Ayahuasca into Form


Beatriz Caiuby Labate has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and Visiting Professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara. She is Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is co-founder of the Drugs, Politics, and Culture Collective, in Mexico (http://drogaspoliticacultura.net), and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil, as well as editor of NEIP’s website (http://www.neip.info). She is also Chief Editor at Chacruna (https://chacruna.net). She is author, co-author, and co-editor of eighteen books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles (http://bialabate.net).

Kathleen Harrison, M.A., is an ethnobotanist who teaches internationally about global and regional beliefs and practices involving plants and fungi. She specializes in the study of ritual and mythical relationships with nature. Her four decades of recurrent fieldwork include research in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Hawaii. She contributed a chapter to the book Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer’s Guide to an Ancient Plant Spirit Ally (Inner Traditions, 2017). In her investigations with indigenous people, and her personal experience, she often focuses on the persona or perceived active essence of a ceremonial plant or mushroom species. Kat co-founded Botanical Dimensions in 1985, with Terence McKenna. This non-profit organization has sponsored ethnobotany research and documentation projects in various countries. BD is based north of San Francisco, California, where it hosts the unique Botanical Dimensions Ethnobotany Library and offers classes, taught by Kat and others. www.botanicaldimensions.org

Alicia Danforth, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in California. She has worked as a researcher on clinical trials with psilocybin- and MDMA-assisted therapies since 2006 at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She currently is a lead clinician on a pilot study at UC San Francisco on psilocybin-assisted group therapy for psychological distress in long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS. At the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, she co-developed and taught the first graduate-level course on psychedelic theory, research, and clinical considerations for therapists and researchers in training. Alicia also has a private practice in Los Gatos, with a specialty in psychotherapy tailored to the needs and preferences of autistic adults.

Dr. Michelle Corbin currently serves as Associate Professor of Sociology and Affiliate Faculty of Women’s Studies at Worcester State University. Dr. Corbin earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and her Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies in 2010 from the University of Maryland. Her research on psychedelic sciences is grounded in her academic specializations in sociology of knowledge and feminist science studies. She is particularly interested in contributing to social scientific and social justice explorations of psychedelic sciences and communities.

Wendy Chapkis is a Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Southern Maine.  Her publications include three books, Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine(co-authored with Richard J. Webb, New York University Press, 2008); Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor(Routledge, 1997); and Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance(South End Press, 1986).  She is the author of numerous articles in the field of drug policy including “Terms of Surrender: marijuana legalization in the United States” (Contexts, 2015), The Trouble with Mary Jane’s Gender: gender politics in the marijuana policy reform movement,” (Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, 2013) and “Cannabis, Consciousness and Healing,” (Contemporary Justice Review 2007). Dr. Chapkis has served as the Vice-President of the national Society for the Study of Social Problemsand was honored in 2016 as the recipient of the American Sociological Association’sSenior Scholar Award for work on alcohol, drugs and tobacco. She is currently studying marijuana legalization efforts in the state of Maine.

Clancy Cavnar has a doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. She currently works in private practice in San Francisco, and is an associate editor at Chacruna (https://chacruna.net), a venue for publication of high-quality academic short texts on plant medicines. She is also a research associate of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP). She combines an eclectic array of interests and activities as clinical psychologist, artist, and researcher. She has a master of fine arts in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University, and she completed the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is author and co-author of articles in several peer-reviewed journals and co-editor, with Beatriz Caiuby Labate, of eight books. For more information see: http://neip.info/pesquisadore/clancy-cavnar

Jae Sevelius, PhD is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and is a licensed clinical psychologist. At the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, Dr. Sevelius’ community-led research is focused on leveraging data to develop and evaluate transgender–specific, trauma-informed interventions to promote holistic health and wellness among transgender people, with an emphasis on serving transgender women of color and those affected by HIV in California and São Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Sevelius holds a Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Sevelius’ research and clinical interests lie at the intersections of social justice, sexuality, health, and identity.

Jodie Evans has been a peace, environmental, women’s rights and social justice activist for over forty-five years. She is the co-founder of CODEPINK that works to stop US Military interventions overseas, promotes diplomatic solutions and Peace. She served in the administration of Governor Jerry Brown and ran his presidential campaigns. She published two books, “Stop the Next War Now” and “Twilight of Empire,” and produced several documentary films, including the Oscar and Emmy-nominated “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” and “The Square.” and Naomi Klein’s; “This Changes Everything”. She sits on many boards, including 826LA, Rainforest Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Global Girl Media, Center for New Economy and Drug Policy Alliance. She facilitated the conversation on Psychedelics at the bi-annual conventions of Drug Policy Alliance and Bioneers. The Grandmother has been a part of her life for 30 years.

Valerie Leveroni Corral is the co-founder and the director of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the longest running medical marijuana collective in the US, founded 1993 in Santa Cruz, Ca. WAMM is a patient centric collective, informed by our membership and those serving critically ill members of our community on a donation basis and at no cost. Under Valerie’s directorship, WAMM continues to grow and develop all of our organic products for our members and with their participation when possible. This is accomplished within the context a holistic and individualized approach to healing. We conduct our weekly support meetings and encourage interaction among our seriously ill community buy providing educational and social activities for our members. Valerie was co-author of Proposition 215, acting SB420 advisory board member, community and state advisor on medical cannabis and its therapeutic applications. Was a plaintiff in two federal lawsuits, Conant v. McCaffrey and co-plaintiff with the city and county in Santa Cruz v. Ashcroft. Valerie works closely with and has garnered the support of the city, county and local law enforcement community. Valerie’s work has spanned the nation and the globe in the political, legislative arena and in direct services and patient care with medical cannabis through direct services, education, political, social and hospice care, advising US Congress, the Middle East, the British Commonwealth and other EU countries. She has conducted anecdotal research through WAMM, a patient centric collective serving to relieve suffering. As part of her mission, Valerie has maintained vision to provide care for the seriously ill and financially marginalized for over a generation. Valerie’s greatest work is in serving our dying members and being available at their bedsides. WAMM has developed a sister end of life care organization to address the many concerns of our homebound members and those who face death.

Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has been a family nurse midwife for 25 years. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries. She has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. Her current project is the development of a Thanatology Program for the study of death and dying. She completed her doctorate in Community Health Nursing at UCSF, where her research centered on drug use and drug policy. Currently, she is the director of the MSN/FNP program at Holy Names University in Oakland, which is consistently ranked by US News & World Report as one of the most ethnically diverse campus communities in the nation (over 60% URM). She is the Interim Director of the CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic Therapies and Research. She has 31 years of experience in family practice and women’s health, including 22 years with the primary care practice of Dr. Frank Lucido, one of the pioneers of the medical cannabis movement. Their practice was one of the first to implement the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 when it became law.

Annie Oak is the founder of the Full Circle Tea House and the Women’s Visionary Council (WVC). The WVC produces the Women’s Visionary Congress, a gathering of psychedelic women and their allies. She is the author of the WVC’s Safety Tips for Participating in Ceremonies That Use Psychoactive Substances  and is co-author of the Manual of Psychedelic Support. Annie is also a founding partner of Take 3 Presents, a San Francisco-based event production company that creates private, immersive art parties. She develops risk reduction and safety systems for participants including the creation of protocols to address conflict and sexual assault. When not producing events, Annie works with a human rights organization that analyzes state-sponsored violence and provides data analysis for truth and reconciliation commissions and the International Criminal Court.

Annette Lyn Williams is chair and core faculty in the Women’s Spirituality program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She holds a doctorate in Philosophy and Religion with specialization in Women’s Spirituality. Research interests have centered on soul healing from sexual trauma including reclamation of the powerful erotic and libidinal energies spoken to by Audre Lorde and Carl Jung, respectively, and on the theme of women’s spiritual power and agency within the Yorùbá Ifá tradition, with specific reference to the primordial feminine authority of àjẹ́. She collaborated with Lucia Birnbaum and Karen Villanueva on the compilation of She is Everywhere! An Anthology of Writing in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality,Vol. 2, and has authored “The Divine Feminine in Yoruba Cosmology” found in Goddesses in Myth, History, and Culture. Her entry, “Drumming,” appears in the forthcoming Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History, and she is currently co-editing a Motherline anthology.