Stepping Up to Elevate the Voices of Lived Experience

Past Event
October 17, 2023, 1:00- 2:30pm , Eastern

Hosted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, the Langeloth Foundation, and C4 Innovations

The Council of State Governments Justice Center is partnering with C4 Innovations and the Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) to discuss elevating the voices of people with lived expertise in the behavioral health and criminal justice systems. The LEAP consists of eight people from across the country with diverse backgrounds who have experiences with mental health treatment and recovery supports before, during, and after incarceration. C4 and the LEAP members worked together to conduct focus groups with additional individuals with lived expertise, as well as family members, to gather recommendations for how counties can reduce the over-incarceration of people with mental illness. They also worked to meaningfully and intentionally include the voices of people with lived experience in developing and executing the recommended strategies. Additionally, the LEAP members reviewed foundational Stepping Up documents and developed recommendations for how the Stepping Up framework can include and amplify the voices of lived experience to achieve the goals of Stepping Up.

During this webinar, C4 and the LEAP will provide an overview of the LEAP’s work, from formation to final recommendations. They will offer key takeaways from their focus groups, explore strategies for effectively integrating their lived expertise to drive impactful systems change, and discuss what meaningful engagement entails when collaborating with people who have lived expertise. C4 and the LEAP will underscore the importance of creating avenues for individuals with lived expertise to be meaningfully engaged and included in executing the goals of Stepping Up and reducing the over-incarceration of people with mental illness.


  • Parker Chamberlin, Director of Operations, ReEvolution, LEAP
  • Phillip Cooper, Executive Director, Operation Gateway, LEAP
  • Megan Davidson, Program Director, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center
  • Larry (Leo) Davis, Health Policy Research Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Navigator Case Manager II, Bright Point
  • Manuel Gomez, Peer Specialist, Department of Veterans Affairs, LEAP
  • Daisy Hernandez, REC Director of Peer Recovery TA, C4 Innovations 
  • Keon Lewis, Health Equity Subject Matter Expert, C4 Innovations
  • Ronald Marshall, Chief Policy Analyst, VOTE: VOICE OF THE EXPERIENCE, LEAP
  • Kate Reed, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center 
  • Helen “Skip” Skipper, Executive Director, The NYC Justice Peer Initiative, LEAP 
  • Ashley Stewart, Director of Health Equity & Racial Equity, Subject Matter Expert, C4 Innovations 
  • Edwin Suarez, Certified Addictions Recovery Coach, Eliot Community Human Services, LEAP 
  • Ruth Utnage, Community Heart Sharer & Unapologetically Vulnerable, LEAP
  • Dwayne Watkins, Health Equity Manager II, C4 Innovations

Event Recording

You might also be interested in