Join us for the first Judi’s Room of 2024

Detroit Peer Respite and the Kiva Centers, Different Models with the Same End: Centering People with Lived Experience to Support Individuals in Distress

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 3 PM PST

Registration is required.

Despite experiencing recent reductions in staff, MindFreedom International will continue to host its monthly Judi’s Room in conjunction with partnering disability rights organization, I Love You, Lead On. After taking a break in January, we welcome you back!

The first scheduled Judi’s Room of 2024, put together by a small team of dedicated volunteers, will feature co-founders and organizers of the newly formed Detroit Peer Respite, as well as staff members of the Kiva Centers.

This will be an opportunity to compare two models with the same end, centering people with lived experience, with each choosing a different pathway to delivering services to people who are perceived to be in crisis. The Detroit Peer Respite calls itself an abolitionist mental health crisis alternative and does not receive government funding, while the Kiva Center, as with many peer run organizations, partners with the government to deliver services.

The Detroit Peer Respite claims on its website that involuntary hospitalization is “violent and harmful, and rooted in carceral ideology.” Their organizers define disability justice as a “framework for demanding the liberation of disabled people and communities, founded on the understanding that ableism is intersecting with and co-constructed by white supremacy, carcerality, colonialism, capitalism, and gendered oppression.”

Kiva Centers are nationally recognized peer-run and trauma-informed groups that offer training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities across Massachusetts, including MA CPS Training, the Massachusetts Statewide Peer Network, Karaya and Juniper Peer-Run Respites, and the Central Mass Recovery Learning Community (CMRLC). These centers focus on the development and promotion of healing communities for people experiencing trauma, mental health issues, and substance use.

Join us for a unique opportunity to compare two models, one which eschews government funding and one in which people with lived experience partner with the government.


Lance Hicks

Lance Hicks (he/him) is a mixed race, Black, queer, trans femme from Detroit, Michigan. He’s an abolitionist organizer, trauma therapist, and psychiatric survivor who has spent the past 20+ years organizing alongside trans and gender-expansive youth and young adults, as well as d/Disabled, Black, and Brown folks of all ages, for queer + trans liberation and racial justice. Lance has been engaged in suicide prevention, crisis care, and other direct support for folks living in the margins, since age 16. Currently, he’s a founding organizer of Detroit Peer Respite. He also operates an abolitionist therapy practice that primarily provides somatic trauma care for trans and gender-expansive folks.

Amanda Hill

Amanda Hill is a conjurer of freedom by way of community organizing and energy work. She is an abolitionist working to co-create just – and therefore safe – communities through individual and communal transformative processes. Amanda is director of Healing by Choice! and co-founder of Motor City Mobile Wellness. She is also a Reiki practitioner who incorporates acudetox, emotional support and accessible tools such as plant medicines, sound healing, and breath into whole-person wellness.

Shulamith Acevedo

Shulamith Acevedo, Kiva Centers Director of Development, started her career as a Peer Bridger, supporting people to re-enter the community after psychiatric incarceration. Her own lived experience, and the trauma she witnessed in psych institutions drove her to help develop a trauma-informed and community alternative. She was instrumental in securing the funding and developing the policies, procedures and philosophy that underpin the “Model A” respite– a home-like environment where Guests can find peer support, community connection and where self-determination is always at the forefront. The Model A respite ensures that Guests have access to community programming  even after they leave, through its integration with the Recovery Learning Community model. Guests can also access additional clinical consultation if requested. This model blended Shulamith’s own lived experience as a psychiatric and trauma survivor, who overcame an eating disorder with her passion for disability justice and mutual aid. In her personal life, Shulamith is a writer, avid hiker, practices martial arts and prioritizes seeking joy.

Jasmine Quinones

(bio to come)

About Judi’s Room

If you need accommodation for this event, please notify us at

Judi’s Room, named after the late Judi Chamberlin, a human rights leader, is jointly presented by MindFreedom International and “I Love You, Lead On” to offer opportunities for an ongoing cross-disabilities dialogue. Judi’s Room is free and open to the public; it usually starts with one or more expert presenters followed by a public discussion. Donations to support Judi’s Room can be made either to MindFreedom or ‘I Love You Lead On. If you wish to receive future invitations to Judi’s Room please send an email to office@mindfreedom with ‘Add me to Judi’s Room’ in the subject heading.