DeSHANNON BARNES-BOWENS, MS. Counseling, is a psychotherapist, ordained Interspiritual minister through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and an initiated Orisa priestess of Osun in the Yoruba-Ifa spiritual tradition. She obtained a Master’s degree in Counseling from Pace University and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
In 2004, DeShannon founded ILERA, Inc. to provide programs and counseling support in the areas of: sexuality & spirituality, healing from sexual abuse, vicarious trauma & wellness. Currently she works as a spiritual counselor, professional development trainer and presenter. DeShannon is a contributing scholar for the State of Formation and is the author of Hush Hush: An African American Family Breaks Their Silence on Sexuality & Sexual Abuse (2007).
As a frequent speaker and group facilitator on the topics of spirituality, sexuality and sexual abuse, DeShannon has worked with wide variety of organizations. Presentations of her work have taken place at Harvard University, Washington University, Victims Assistance Services, The Children's Aid Society, University of Connecticut, New York Theological Seminary, CONNECT, AASECT, Woodhull Alliance's Sexual Freedom Summit and the Values Caucus of the United Nations. You can find out more about DeShannon at http://ilera.com or connect with her via twitter @OmiFasina.