- Howie the Harp
- Joe Rogers: Self-Help
- Jim Rye: Human Rights
- Judi Chamberlin: Author
- Peter Ashenden: Self-Help
- David Gonzalez: Recovery
- Dan Fisher: Empowerment
- Shery Mead: Peer Support
- David Oaks: MindFreedom
- Celia Brown: Peer Specialist
- Julius Green: Peer Specialist
- Dwayne Mayes: Employment
- Mary Ellen Copeland: WRAP
- Larry Fricks: P.S. Certification
- Pat Deegan: Personal Medicine
- Harvey Rosenthal: Rehabilitation
- Eric Jackson: Author & Advocate
- Ron Bassman: Author & Educator
- Ron Schraiber: Well-Being Project
Hope and Transformation
The Empowerment Center’s Executive Director for eight years, Mr. James Rye has experienced a variety of voluntary and forced mental health and substance abuse services. Jim has had many successful years as an activist, organizer and advocate as well as agrant writer and fundraiser for the cause of preserving and protecting the rights of people. He is presently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mental Patient Liberation Alliance as well as a member of the Board of Directors for Pathways to Housing. Jim has also participated in Patch Adam’s workshop on changing the paradigm of life to joy from pain and despair. He was a recipient of New York State Senate Resolution for Community Achievement.
Jim was reared Catholic and attended Catholic schools for 12 years. He earned his undergraduate Bachelors of Science from the Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant Michigan and Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, New York.
Jim believes in meeting people in their own world. In their own world, is a cherished place that he himself has experienced at each end. That is to say, he has danced with friends who were in altered realities and has taken the lead in the dance when he was overcome by unusual realities. Jim believes a person's altered state is a natural response to extreme events. He has found listening to a person, believing and validating their experience leads to the doorway of that person’s world. That doorway is a privileged gift and one should only walk through the door carrying the reciprocal gifts of honor, trust, and respect.To pathologicalize a person's behavior is to trivialize, euphemize and dehumanize the person’s experience. Respecting, validating and believing a person’s expressions cultivates trust that leads to the formidable task of living in harmony with each other.