Cherene has been committed to state, national and international reform of pathology-based, oppressive systems, practices and policies for 28 years. Cherene came by this passion honestly as a 13 year-old girl whose behavior was labeled as mental illness, rather than understood as trauma. This was the first of eight mental health diagnoses and it would take many years for Cherene to heal and find her voice. After working over a decade in conventional mental health systems, Cherene began using her voice to ignite social justice related change that is routed in trauma healing and peer-to-peer support. In 2006, Cherene founded the Charlotte based non-profit, Promise Resource Network (PRN), that operates 16 open access initiatives that are led and staffed by a team of 85 people that are psychiatric, suicide attempt, trauma, substance use, incarceration and houselessness survivors.