Summer is a full spectrum doula, sex educator, and theologian. In their conversations, they hope to offer trauma-informed support to community members in topics like relationship skill-building and end-of-life care. Summer received a B.A. from Seattle University in comparative religion, they are a member of Pearl Collective PNW, and volunteer on the A Sacred Passing board of directors. Summer's educational contributions draw on their experiences of harm reduction, violence prevention, and transformative justice work. Above all, they believe that doula care should be compassionate and accessible to everyone.
It is my hope to uplift and co-create grassroots healthcare education. I have six years of experience in direct end-of-life care for people who are dying, and since 2010 I have worked with sexual health education and community outreach programs in Montana and Washington. I supported in the caretaking of my community from a young age and I became familiar with grief and the way it impacted the people closest to me, many of us being some intersection of white, working poor, disabled, and queer-- many of us experiencing addiction or domestic violence. We are people who have survived life so far and are trying to shift patterns of harm we were taught. Care work means many things to me, and I continuously experience reproductive and death care work with both familiarity and mystery. In 2013, I was supporting the bedside care of my dying grandfather, and great-uncle, at home. I was also working full-time and attending high school. This was my beginning with engagement in professional full-spectrum healing. I completed my training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant at 16 and I worked in assisted living and geriatric care for four and a half years before moving to Seattle, WA. Working directly with my family, elders, and community members with disabilities is how I have developed interrelated friendships and mutual aid networks. I am grateful for the patience of those I care for, who care for me, and the patience I cultivate within myself.
In 2019, six years after beginning work in end-of-life care, I completed my B.A. at Seattle University focusing on Theology and Religious Studies while juggling three jobs. I am grateful that I survived. I appreciate the educators who walked with me at my pace whenever possible & the friends who did care work for me by sharing resources, time, and love. For my bachelor's program, I chose a multi-faith, multi-cultural approach to studying religious scripture, which included rituals, laws, and practices. I leaned on my life experience and work as a sex educator & caretaker and studied in hopes of becoming a more holistic, prepared, and loving end-of-life care provider. I was offered the opportunity to attend SU through the Sullivan Leadership Program. In my degree program, I had the opportunity to learn of social movements, political history, ritual, and scripture from across traditions. Before founding Sunflower Services, I pursued additional training outside of the University to build my professional skills as a full-spectrum doula through a rigorous, personalized two-year program where I trained with local community healers, advocates, and professionals. Throughout this process, I have had the pleasure of working with so many creative, beloved dreamers-- including those from A Sacred Passing, National Home Funeral Alliance, Big Belly Birth Services, Herbal Academy, and Queer Trans War Ban. I continue to participate with my loved ones in authentic, transparent storytelling in order to unlearn internalized stigmas and hierarchies and build stronger and safer communities. Thank you to everyone in my pods.
I know that our life journeys don't occur independently of social context. I am committed to providing the support that is attentive to the unique needs and identities of each individual and their family. Together we share the responsibility of reflecting and undoing internal bias. Many are subverting the interrelated systems that disproportionately harm communities of people of color, people who are low-income, LGBTQIA+ folks, and those who are targeted, slandered or marginalized due to their physical or mental ability, body shape or size, choice in faith or religion, or immigration status.
No matter our health or productivity we are unique, creative, and powerful.
ASSOCIATIONS & BOARD MEMBERSHIPS
National Home Funeral Alliance, Access & Equity Committee, 2020 - Present
National Notary Association, 2020 - Present
A Sacred Passing: Death Midwifery and Education, Board of Directors, 2019 - Present
Washington State Health Advocacy Association, 2019 - Present
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Emerging Business of the Year Nominee, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, 2020
Montana 25 Under 25, Forward Montana Association, 2015
Sullivan Leadership Award, Seattle University, 2015
President's Volunteer Service Award, President Barak Obama, 2014
BA Theology & Religious Studies, Seattle University, 2019
Comparative Religious Studies
Electives & Projects focus in social engagement, sociology, disability, & death