PhD, MA, BFA | Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer | Peer Support Specialist
hello! I am Jordan Laney, acommunity-accountable scholar-practitioner, writer, educator, and facilitator. I currently serve as the program manager for the Virginia Rural Health Association and Senior Research Associate and Stratagy Manager for the Institute for Liberatory Innovation.
After completing my doctorate in the ASPECT program at Virginia Tech, I received the University’s Equity and Inclusion in the US postdoc position in the Department of Religion and Culture (2018-2020) through which I continued to teach courses at the intersections of politics, place, and culture. While at Virginia Tech, I served on strategic planning and hiring committees in multiple colleges, represented my department on Diversity and Inclusion committees, and designed curriculum in Appalachian Studies, the Department of Religion and Culture, and Humanities for Public Service. I enjoyed designing and leading multiple experiential learning projects while mentoring undergraduate, graduate students, and other Graduate Teaching Assistants from across the university. My dissertation and the resulting research on the cultural politics of bluegrass festivals was awarded the International Bluegrass Music Foundation’s innagural Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award (2019).
Since 2019, I have sought ways to work beyond academia and engage liberatory praxis in and with rural communities. My work with the VRHA provides organizational leadership and educational opportunities concerning mental health and substance use disorder from trauma-informed and cultural curious perspectives, specifically in rural Virginia. I teach Mental Health First Aid courses, lead recovery-centered somatic practices, and collaborate on community-accountable research projects, publications, and exhibits.
Beyond this work, I enjoy farming, textile arts, practicing and teaching yoga, and caring for the many animals that find their way to my porch.
*This site is a collection of many projects and ideas (with more to come). It is in constant formation.