Meet Our Trainers
Ms. Davelyn Athena Hill
Davelyn Athena has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has experience as a therapist working with survivors of violence. Davelyn is a facilitator with Speaking Down Barriers. Through this role and as a therapist she has led support groups, presented research, and conducted university presentations around racial trauma and oppression. Most recently she has been coordinating with funeral personnel around issues with grief and is a part of a team of facilitators presenting public series on the grieving process.
Davelyn Athena is a Level II Reiki Practitioner of the Usuimethod. She is a spiritual director, healer, life map retreat provider and spiritual midwife.
Davelyn Hill, also known as Poetic Willow is also an author, poet, and intuitive painter. She has featured at “Say it with Slay’” in Spartanburg, SC. Her art has been displayed through Spark and Echo, the National Equity in Medicine Online Gallery, and Neue South SPACE Walk. Poetic Willow is the two time Haiku Champion at Say What Haiku slam through Wits End Poetry. She is currently working on an MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in Poetry. Davelyn believes that creativity can a medium for healing to take place.
Dr. Krista E. Hughes
An educator, writer, and community facilitator, Dr. Krista E. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in Theology & Philosophy from Drew University, an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and a B.A. from Wofford College. She has been a higher education professional for over decade and has extensive experience in church settings as both a professional and a volunteer.
Trained as a theologian, she teaches and writes at the intersection of faith, justice, and civic transformation, particularly in relation to gender, race and white identity, immigration, and religious pluralism. A child of the U.S. South who left, lived and traveled widely, and then returned to put down roots, she is committed to drawing on the beauty, richness, and warmth of the South and its peoples while grappling with its damaging legacies.
Dr. Tamara Johnson,MD FAAP
Dr. Johnson is a native of the Upstate. She is a board certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville as well as a certified lactation counselor. After completing her undergraduate education at Duke University, she moved to Philadelphia where she worked for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Autism as a research coordinator. She returned to South Carolina where she received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed her pediatric and chief residency at Greenville Health System (now PRISMA Health).
In 2019, Dr. Johnson completed the Primary Care Training and Enhancement Fellowship through a collaborative effort with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Edward Via College of Medicine (VCOM)-Carolinas Campus. Dr. Johnson is currently practicing in Spartanburg as a pediatrician. Her interests include breastfeeding, newborn care, well child care, asthma, ADHD and patient education/community outreach.
In addition to serving her community, Dr. Johnson is also a professional dancer with Vaughn Newman Dance Company. Dance has always been a lifelong passion and despite a break to pursue her medical education, she is now grateful for the opportunity to combine her two great loves.
Dr. Tashina Reeeder
Dr. Reeder holds a Doctorate in Couple and Family Therapy and a Masters in Social Work. She is a licensed social worker who holds certifications in Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy and Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model (TREM) groups for women and young girls alike. Inspiring others from various cultures and diverse backgrounds has afforded Dr. Reeder many opportunities to share her gift of knowledge. She has been a presenter at different conferences locally and abroad and has consulted with a few non-for-profit agencies for staff and administration training.
As a seasoned clinician, Dr. Reeder currently works as the Director of the Community Health Training Alliance for a federally qualified health center organization that offers a variety of comprehensive services for all health related conditions, with a specialty in HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis C treatment and cure.
Like many of us, Dr. Reeder has had her share of life challenges that has become her strength and God-given purpose. Her life experiences have afforded her opportunities to share her story of pain-to-purpose in hopes of bringing about emotional healing, self-love, and liberation in others, but more importantly, to be a witness of God’s keeping power.
Because of Dr. Reeder’s life experiences, her passion is to help women recognize their strengths and potential, build healthy relationships with themselves and with others has become her life’s work and mission.
“An Empowered Soul Has No Limits” –
Dr. Tashina Reeder
Mrs. Crystal Tennille Irby
Crystal Tennille Irby is a spoken word poetry grand slam champion, published writer, director and identifies as a #BlackMamaCreative, an artist creating work across multiple artistic disciplines centering Black women and mothering, absent of the white gaze. She is the current co-host and executive producer of Dem Black Mamas, a podcast that delves into the unique experience of Black mothers raising free children in an unfree world.
Crystal is a TEDxGreenville presenter, a Water Hole Poetry Fellow and the founder and Director of Writers Well Youth Fellowship, a program for Black girls ages 14-19 focused on writing and performance. Her recent credits include, Untitled Reconstruction Project, which she directed and co-produced and Untamed Womb: Reclaiming Wonder Through Healing, Liberation & Creativity, a Project Row Houses installation which she co-curated.
Crystal has presented at numerous conferences including Black Maternal Health Conference & Training Institute; Let’s Talk About Sex, & HIV Prevention & Education Summit. In addition to her creative endeavors, Crystal has over 15 years of experience working to dismantle systemic and institutional racism. She works as a community doula helping Black birth persons stay connected to their body and as a facilitator for Speaking Down Barriers pushing communities forward by helping Black people heal from race and gender trauma.
Crystal was a member of the international poetry collective, Colors of the Diaspora, which was comprised of female artists from the U.S. and South Africa. She traveled to South Africa and performed in the premiere of the original multi-lingual theater piece, Colors of the Diaspora, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. She was a contributing writer for For Harriet. Her work has also been published in anthologies, including Ecological Solidarities: Mobilizing Faith & Justice for an Entangled World (2019) and Hub For the Holidays (2013). She served on the board of Hub City Writers Project a non-profit press, which publishes well-crafted, high-quality works by new and established authors, with an emphasis on the Southern experience. Crystal obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Media Production and a minor in Black Studies from Florida State University.
Crystal is the mother of 4 children and shares her life with an Omega man.
Mrs. Jennifer Coaxum
Jennifer Coaxum graduated Cum Laude from Claflin University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice. She has a Master’s of Arts Degree in Professional Counseling from South University.
Jennifer was formerly a Law Enforcement Trainer with the U.S.C. School of Law, Children’s Law Center. Her trainings focused on the investigation of child sexual abuse, EPC removals, drug endangered children, multidisciplinary teams, human trafficking and a variety of best practices for all areas of child abuse investigations. Before coming to the Children’s Law Center she was an instructor/program coordinator for the Police Science Unit at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. While there, she taught Basic Law Enforcement and Advanced Training to Academy students including courses on sexual assault and child abuse.
Her law enforcement experience in the field comes from over 13 years of service to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s office where she was a Sergeant in the Patrol Division, Training Sergeant, and a Sergeant in Investigations. She specialized in investigating crimes against children and was also trained as a crisis negotiator and elder abuse instructor.
Jennifer’s background, training, and passion, provides her with a unique and in-depth perspective to serve children in crisis.