Who We Are
generationFIVE’s Leadership Team is Raquel Lavina, Chris Lymbertos, RJ Maccani, and Staci Haines (see bios below). As we transition from a staffed non-profit to a volunteer collaborative, we continue to seek opportunities to forward a Transformative Justice approach to ending child sexual abuse. We continue to bring a systemic framework to understanding child sexual abuse and forward approaches to connecting personal, community and social transformation. Our ongoing work within generative somatics, The Capacity Project in Seattle, the Challenging Male Supremacy Project in New York and the Bay Area TJ Collaborative are also sites where we are exploring ways to grow TJ and organizing to end child sexual abuse.
generationFIVE was founded by Staci K. Haines, with partners Gillian Harkins and Sara Kershnar. gen5 grew out of Staci’s work with runriot! (1995-1998), a survivor activist group in the Bay Area she formed after recognizing a lack of visible community organizing that addresses child sexual abuse as a political/social change issue. Staci brought her extensive study of personal and social change, trauma and healing, and deep grounding in somatics to this work. It was in runriot! where she met Gillian Harkins, whose academic work excavates the links between child sexual abuse and systems of oppression and challenges criminalization. In the Child Sexual Abuse Strategic Action Project (1997-1999) convened by runriot!, they met with over 150 leaders from Latino, Asian, and African-American communities, movement builders and community organizers, social service agencies, and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. A systemic/ intersectional framework to address child sexual abuse along with strategies and a clear call for action emerged out of this community based process. Sara Kershnar later joined the team that would formalize gen5 as an organization (2000), bringing her experience as a leader in the Harm Reduction movement, and analysis intersecting personal and system violence. From 2004-2006 generationFIVE gathered groups nationally to explore, figure out and articulate a community-based, social justice response to child sexual abuse, Transformative Justice (TJ). Transformative Justice looks to both respond to experiences of CSA in a transformative way, AND organize and movement build to change the social norms and political and economic conditions that are the root causes of CSA. Healing and organizing…personal and social transformation are the call of Transformative Justice.
Toward Transformative Justice
A document laying out gen5’s model, Toward Transformative Justice, was first released in 2007 at the US Social Forum in Atlanta. Toward Transformative Justice was written collaboratively by Sara Kershnar, Staci Haines, Gillian Harkins, Alan Greig, Cindy Wiesner, Mich Levy, Palak Shah with contributions from Mimi Kim and Jesse Carr.
The following people and organizations informed our understanding of what it means to develop alternatives that reflect our shared commitment to personal and political liberation and individual and social justice:
• The Atlanta Transformative Justice Collaborative and partner organizations: Georgians for Choice, Breaking the Silence Project at Raksha, Stop it NOW!, Queer Progressive Alliance and Project South.
• Paul Kivel, Vanessa Moses, Grace Poore, Kay Whitlock, and Micah Frazier.
• INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, Critical Resistance, Justice NOW!, Creative Interventions, Harm Free Zones, CONNECT, CARA, Stop it NOW!, Sista II Sista, and The Black Church and Domestic Violence Project.
We are currently finishing a revised document (due out this year)! The gen5 Leadership Team (Chris Lymbertos, Raquel Lavina, RJ Maccani and Staci Haines) is working on bringing the work into the current moment and making it more accessible and applicable.
The new document will include current trends and experiments in TJ, our learning over these last years and changes in the political and social landscape related to child sexual abuse. We will speak to a wider progressive audience and break down both TJ interventions and the need for community-based campaigns to change people’s hearts, minds and actions related to CSA. We have talked with folks around the country about their attempts at Transformative Justice and the processes of building local Transformative Justice Collaboratives, and will share these reflections as well. The updated TJ doc will be available online.
Chris Lymbertos has been working in and with Social Justice non-profit organizations in the Bay Area since 1991 including San Francisco Women Against Rape, Women of Color Resource Center, Center for Media Justice, and the DataCenter, among others, and is currently a collective/Board member of the Arab Resource and Organization Center. She has been involved with generationFIVE since 2002 in various capacities including consulting, Board Member, on staff as Director, and presently a member of the Board and Leadership Team. Currently, Chris is the Deputy Director at generative somatics/Strozzi Institute, a non-profit/for-profit tandem organization whose mission is to grow a transformative social and environmental justice movement that integrates personal and social transformation to forward systemic change.
Raquel Lavina has over 25 years of experience in activism and organizing. As an organizer she focused on helping to build youth organizing as a discipline within a broader community organizing field. She served as the National Program Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, supervising 20 staff in 3 cities; the Executive Director of the Youth Empowerment Center, which housed 5 youth groups in Oakland, CA including SOUL, the School of Unity and Liberation; and as the Interim Executive Director of FIERCE!, a nationally recognized LGBT youth organization. During the last 12 years, she has focused on using her experience to help organizations develop efficient and healthy internal systems, grounded in social justice values, to better enable grassroots organizations to wage external campaigns.
RJ Maccani has played many different roles in social and environmental justice organizing over the past 15 years. His ongoing work focuses on building transformative justice responses to violence against women, queer and trans people, and children. He realizes this as a co-founder and organizer of the Challenging Male Supremacy Project, a Leadership Team member of generationFIVE, and as a generative somatics practitioner. He is currently Co-Leader and Community Programs Producer of The Foundry Theatre, facilitating collaborations between members of grassroots social justice organizations and working theatre artists in NYC.
Staci K. Haines is a founder of generationFIVE. She has been working and organizing for child sexual abuse prevention since 1992. She is the author of Healing Sex: A Mind Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma (Cleis 1999, 2007), which has also been adapted into a DVD featuring actors and real life testimonials, focusing on using somatics to heal from various forms of sexual trauma. Staci is also the founder of generative somatics and the Somatics and Trauma courses. She is currently the Executive Director at generative somatics/Strozzi Institute, a non-profit/for-profit tandem organization whose mission is to grow a transformative social and environmental justice movement that integrates personal and social transformation to forward systemic change. Staci is committed to the intersection of personal healing, community organizing and social justice movement building, to bring the change and justice we want in the world.
For additional information: