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Our Team

Carolyn Keller, LMSW, DSW 

Treasurer

Carolyn Keller, LMSW, DSW is a certified school social worker working with children struggling with emotional difficulties. She provides professional development on social emotional learning, positive behavior interventions, and trauma informed practices. She has created training modules for staff on de-escalation in crisis situations and creating trauma sensitive classrooms. She also works with displaced families and those with food insecurity to find resources. She brings to Text Power Telling her expertise in utilizing trauma writing as a healing tool.

Laura Hyppolite

Secretary

Laura Hyppolite is a writer and media communicator. She has a passion for poetic storytelling, and wants her voice to empower readers and writers to dive deeper within themselves to reflect, express, and heal. She co-founded Back to Our Roots: Kinks & Kurls, a natural hair organization and movement that encourages dialogue about kinky hair appreciation, with her sister, Rose. Laura’s work transcends the personal and draws on connections with history and society. She is the author of Ordinary, a poetry collection that explores the intersections of culture, immigration, and identity.

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Anita Lakshman, M.A.

Board Member

Anita Lakshman, M.A., Editor-in-Chief of Text Power Telling Magazine, saw firsthand the disparities in care for sexual assault victims and oppression of the already oppressed. Her time working as a crisis hotline volunteer for WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence was pivotal in deepening her desire to advocate for some of the most unseen people in our society. She is passionate about education, utilizing art for social justice, and supporting the marginalized and underrepresented. She is a founding member of Eanes for Equity (E4E), a parent-led nonprofit within her school district that supports students by creating a learning environment that prioritizes equity and inclusion. As a member of the Board of Asian Family Support Services (AFSSA), which aids Asian and other immigrant families dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking, she has seen the incredible impact of helping mothers escape from unimaginable circumstances. Formerly, she managed youth arts programs and taught writing workshops for teen girls at the Asian Arts Initiative, a nonprofit that connects cultural expression with social change.

Jackie Regan, Ph.D

Co-Chair

Jackie Regan, Ph.D., co-founder of Text Power Telling, is a survivor of childhood sexual assault by a priest at the Catholic school she attended. For many years, she wrote about her experiences, sharing in writing groups and with trusted others. Not until she attended an anonymous writing workshop for sexual assault survivors was she finally honest about what happened and stopped protecting herself from the details and feelings that resulted from the repeated assaults. She found the experience life-changing, and it provided a major step in her self-healing and acceptance. She has published work about her experience with Memoir Magazine and Awakened Voices. Jackie is a trained Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate for Bergen County. In her professional life, she teaches in the Writing Studies Department at Montclair State University. Her research focuses on supporting academically underprepared students and sociocultural approaches to teaching writing.

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Jess Restaino, Ph.D

Co-Chair

Jess Restaino, Ph.D., co-founder of Text Power Telling, grew up in (and out of) a sexually abusive home. Her childhood and adolescence were shaped by her mother’s chronic trauma and her own. As a scholar of feminist rhetorics and composition studies, she seeks to understand how we use language to make sense (for ourselves and with each other) of some of the most challenging aspects of human experience. She has published two monographs–First Semester: Graduate Students, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle Ground; and Surrender: Feminist Rhetoric and Ethics in Love and Illness–and one edited collection, with Laurie Cella, Unsustainable: Re-imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning, and the University. Her essays and book chapters appear widely, and she routinely presents her work at a range of professional venues. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Writing Studies at Montclair State University, and often also teaches in Montclair’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program. She served for nine years, with the last two as chair, as a board trustee for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey.

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