Regional Literacy Directors

Jessica Lowell Mason ~ Inter-regional

Jessica has served as MITA’s inter-regional literacy director since the organization was co-founded in 2017. As inter-regional literacy director, Jess dedicates much of her time to developing the organization and expanding the reach of the organization’s impact. Much of her time is also devoted to planning, developing, and facilitating meetings and events, engaging in outreach with other organizations, handling public relations for meetings and events, offering membership support to members and allies, managing MITA’s social media accounts and communications, developing and maintaining the organization’s website, and serving as a representative of the organization. Her voluntary work as a regional and inter-regional meeting leader, events coordinator, and project developer/facilitator is crucial to the survival of the organization.

Melissa Bennett ~ Buffalo (NY) Region

Melissa has served as a MITA literacy director for the Buffalo region (Erie County, NY) since the organization was co-founded in 2017. Her leadership and dedication were vital to the creation and legitimization of the organization, at its inception, and her work as an ally to women and gender non-conforming people affected by the mental health system has helped to sustain and carry out MITA’s mission. Her voluntary work as a regional meeting leader, events coordinator, and project facilitator is crucial to the survival of the organization.

Hanna Etu ~ Rochester (NY) Region

Hanna has served as a MITA literacy director since the organization’s first year, in 2017. She started out as a member, but took on greater responsibilities and a leadership role within the organization from an early point in its development, leading meetings, providing editorial consultation, and offering time and expertise steadfastly. Her voluntary work as a regional meeting leader, events coordinator, and project facilitator is invaluable to the survival of the organization. In 2020, Hanna became our literacy director for the Rochester Region (Monroe County, NY).

Summer Javadi ~ Kansas City (Missouri) Region

Summer joined MITA in 2019 and began serving as a MITA literacy director for the the Kansas City, Missouri region in 2020. She is planning service collaborations with Poetry for Personal Power in January as well as providing literacy projects within the intergenerational trauma action program. Summer was MITA’s July 2020 featured writer and has just published her work Zen Tao Ghi: DNA Untangled, which she will use as a platform to help create dialogue and advocacy for mad pride literacy campaigns. She is also assisting with an intercultural relations approach among those with mental health adversities.


If you are interested in becoming a volunteer regional literacy director in your area, please contact us at madwomenofwny@gmail.com with a letter of interest and intent. Please include information about why you are interested and want to be a volunteer literacy director,  your relevant experience with mental health or madness literacy, and why you feel will make you an effective literacy director in your local area. Literacy directors will stay in touch with MITA to send us agendas for local meetings – we ask that certain rituals be practiced, such as efforts to create a safer space for LGBTQ+ folx and an anti-racist non-coercive space, reading aloud the work of MITA’s featured writer of the month, and incorporating open sharing, support, and literacy projects into meetings.

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