Biographies of the WVC 2014 Speakers

Gabrielle Agin-Liebes

Gabrielle Agin-Liebes is the Research Coordinator for the New York University
Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study. The study seeks to examine whether changes in perception and awareness prompted by the ingestion of psilocybin can improve the anxiety, depression and pain experienced by people diagnosed with cancer. Agin-Liebes is the former coordinator of the NYU Child Study Center at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine.

Susan Boyd, PhD

Susan Boyd, PhD, is a professor in the Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria and a member of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition's steering committee and the chair of their policy working group. She also works with local community groups such as End Prohibition and the NAOMI Patients Association in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Her research contributions have been in the areas of women, drug law, policy and history, maternal/state conflicts, harm reduction, drug films, media and culture. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including: Hooked: Drug films in Britain, Canada, and the U.S.; From Witches to Crack Moms: Women, Drug Law, and Policy; Mothers and Illicit Drugs: Transcending the Myths, and co-author of Raise Shit! Social action saving lives. Her upcoming co-authored book is titled: Killer Weed: Marijuana grow-ops, media, and justice.

Clancy Cavnar

Clancy Cavnar is currently completing her postdoctoral hours in clinical psychology at the Marin Treatment Center, a methadone clinic in San Rafael, California. In 2011, she received a doctorate in clinical psychology (PsyD) from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California, with a dissertation on gay and lesbian people's experiences with ayahuasca. She attended New College of the University of South Florida and completed an undergraduate degree in liberal arts in 1982. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a Master of Fine Art in painting in 1985. In 1993, she received a certificate in substance abuse counseling from the extension program of the University of California at Berkeley and, in 1997, she graduated with a master's in counseling from San Francisco State University. In that same year, she got in touch with the Santo Daime in the USA, and has traveled several times to Brazil since then. She is Research Associate of the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and co-editor, with Beatriz Caiuby Labate, of three books: The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca (Springer, 2014); Prohibition, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights: Regulating Traditional Drug Use (Springer, 2014) and Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Valerie Corral

Valerie Corral is the co-founder of the
Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), a pioneering medical marijuana collective and cooperative. Valerie was a key player in the crafting and passage of Proposition 215 (also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996), which allowed patients with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana medicinally. WAMM became the first medical marijuana collective to be granted non-profit status in the United States.



Shonagh Home

Shonagh Home is an author, shaman and spell breaker, who takes people beyond the cultural mass-trance and into the territory of the sacred. She works with both individuals and groups to foster new paradigms and awaken self-healing through her classes and immersions. Shonagh shares mystery teachings about the magic of the body, the reclaiming of the Divine Feminine within, and our ability to engage with the technology of nature. She is author of the books, Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine, and Love and Spirit Medicine. She teaches in the Pacific Northwest and offers workshops around the country.

Beatriz Caiuby Labate

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 psychoactive substances, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Visiting Professor at the Drug Policy Program of the Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE) in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She is also Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University, co-founder of the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and editor of NEIP's website. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twelve books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles.

La Laurrien

I am a visionary wordcrafter and community activator. My life focus is conscious coevolution of self and world through creative collaborations with like minded explorers. I am an art-maker of various mediums, and I am living life as if it is my most realized art piece. Working together with a group called Atlan, we are in the process of building an intentional land based community in the Columbia Gorge. What matters most to me is learning how to live and sharing the process with others. My inquiry into what life is and how it works, fuels my spiritual path of Art, Medicine and Visionary Community. And these pursuits fuel in turn, my Spirit unfolding. I believe that this quest is something we all share however varied our approach. As I question the ways of the world, I also realize the importance of questioning my own assumptions. I have come to recognize that language is a force for change in the world, created by those who use it. And for me, playing with words is one of my favorite ways to commune with the Mystery.

Mariavittoria Mangini

Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has been a family nurse midwife for twenty five years. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. Her current project is the development of a "death midwifery" practice providing services to dying persons and their families.

Joanna Naughton

Annie Oak

Annie Oak is the founder of the
Women's Visionary Congress (WVC). She is a journalist, event organizer, and founder of the Full Circle Tea House. She lives in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco and writes about the impact of psychedelics on science and creativity.

Krysten Pixten

Doug Robinson

Diana Slattery

Diana Reed Slattery is a novelist, psychonaut, xenolinguist, and video performance artist. She completed a Ph.D. in psychedelics and language at the University of Plymouth, UK, in 2010.

Elizabeth Stephens

Elizabeth Stephens is an artist, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a filmmaker. Her new film, "Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story", examines mountain top removal, a particularly destructive form of coal mining now used in her home state of West Virginia. Together with her partner, the artist Annie Sprinkle, Stephens has created a pioneering
ecosex manifesto.

Annie Sprinkle

Annie Sprinkle was a prostitute and porn star for twenty years. She became a pivotal player in the sex positive feminist movement, an internationally known performance artist, and the first porn star to earn a Ph.D. Sprinkle and her partner Elizabeth Stephens have been living and working together for thirteen fertile years. More information about Beth and Annie's work and their pioneering ecosex manifesto can be found at

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Image of crocheted Lorenz Manifold equation that describes the nature of chaotic systems, courtesy of
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