Dr. Rosenna Bakari, Philadelphia native, is an empowerment expert psychologist, Author, and speaker. Her 6th book is set to launch on July 1, 202. It’s titled “Relationships And Emotional Wellness.” She is the founder of Talking Trees, Inc., the only international organization that focuses exclusively on empowering adults who experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18. She created the Living Openly Model of Advocacy and Support based on her work with survivors around the world. She currently works with clients from around the world online using one-on-one and group platforms to support life changes, heal trauma, and reset healthy life narratives.
Rosenna Bakari earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2000, many years after receiving her M.S. in Counseling from the State University of New York. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Cornell University in 1984. Her professional career includes drug and alcohol counseling, psychiatric technician, college campus therapist, and teaching at community and four-year colleges. Bakari is currently the Executive Director of Talking Trees, Inc. a nonprofit empowerment organization for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. As the founder, she has grown the organization to over 5500 international followers that gather online daily to read her updated post for discussion. In addition to creating online resources to support survivors, Talking Trees, Inc. holds a National Safe Space Day Conference every April 15 to celebrate the resilience of survivors. Talking Trees, Inc. is the first organization to encourage and support survivors living openly to heal. The Colorado Springs Business Journal recently acknowledged Rosenna Bakari for her work with survivors. The elite journal honored her as a “2017 Woman of Influence.” Her work for survivors includes authoring books. "Tree Leaves: Breaking the Fall of the Loud Silence (2016)" is a daily reader to motivate adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. "Original Sin: Understanding the Movement Towards Female Agency (2016)" addresses the evolution of male-female relationships regarding female bodily autonomy. "Self-Love: Developing and Maintaining Self Esteem for The Black Woman" (1994), addresses intersectionality of race and gender and their influence on self-esteem. Dr. Bakari’s interest in survivors evolved as she began searching for resources to help her heal from childhood sexual abuse. Her disappointment in the lack of accessible information beyond scholarly research prompted her to create a FaceBook page to disseminate information that she found helpful. Her goal was to create a narrative about experiences that no one wanted anyone to know existed. “We were never supposed to talk about this, so we didn’t know how.” Dr. Bakari says she had drawn upon her professional training, knowledge of martial arts and diverse spiritual influences to build a community of trust with other survivors and create a safe space to heal. A decade after she began living openly, Dr. Bakari has written her memoir about her life of living in denial. “Too Much Love is Not Enough" will launch on April 15, 2018. Her goal is to travel the world to talk about the importance of female bodily autonomy to empower women to live their best lives and show men how they benefit when women live their best lives. Dr. Bakari believes that the key to success is finding people that are willing to come into your space and see what it is about. Sometimes people admire what you are doing and try to help without coming into the space with you. That does not work as well as having someone in the space with you, even if only for a short time, just long enough to help you move to the next level. Dr. Bakari says that her greatest accomplishment has been turning "Talking Trees” into a healing resource. People heavily rely on the organization and they often take the time to email me to tell me so. But she knows that she could not have been successful without her Ph.D. in psychology. She is also proud that her advancement to a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo coincided with her healing journey. She continues to apply many principles of martial arts to the art of healing. Dr. Bakari hopes to take advantage of all the benefits that the International Alumni Association has to offer. She is looking forward to meeting new listeners who are willing to create safe space in the world. She hopes that the organization will support her mission to help survivors heal by empowering them with knowledge about oppressive social structures that foster sexual abuse, not just their personal experience of abuse. Dr. Bakari has two websites where she can be reached, Talkingtreessurvivors.com and Rosennabakari.com