Who We Are & What We Do
Who We Are
Resilient Warriors of Peace and Catalysts for Change...
Project Peaceful Warriors is a non-profit organization located in New Orleans, LA.
Our mission is to provide young people with equitable access to the social and emotional tools that they need for success, both in and out of the traditional learning environment. We support heaving centered learning environments in New Orleans through the tools of trauma informed yoga and mindfulness.
We are a team of educators, social workers, eduction policy makers, and much more. We are a community committed to shifting the scope of education to meet the needs of all students and teachers through the tools of trauma informed yoga and mindfulness.
What We Do
Integrating Yoga and Mindfulness in Education ...
Since launching in February of 2016, we have served 13 schools and 10+ community-based organizations, reaching over 3500 students, and 750 educators.
Project Peaceful Warriors provides small group yoga classes that support students in navigating challenging emotions, cultivating resilience, self confidence, and lifelong tools that extend far beyond the classroom.
We hold professional development workshops for school teachers on how to teach from a more trauma-sensitive, healing-centered lens, and how to bring tools of yoga and mindfulness into the classroom.
We also provide staff yoga classes for all educators to support their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Why We Do It
...to Inspire Minds and Communities Through Peace
In New Orleans (NOLA), our students experience trauma at a shockingly disproportionate rate compared the rest of the country. According to the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) “In That Number” Campaign (2015) which surveyed New Orleans youth ages 11-15, 54 percent of youth in New Orleans have lost someone close to them, to murder; 40 percent have seen someone shot, stabbed, or beaten; and 29 percent worry about not being loved. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rate among NOLA youth is four times the rate of the national average (IWES, 2015). As their educators, we cannot change the circumstances or violent communities that they live in, but we can give them tools so they can change how they handle them. Our job is to inspire them to use the tools they need to grow as impactful members of our community.
Founder, Executive Director
Chelsea Hylton is a New Orleans based educator and Founder of Project Peaceful Warriors, a non-profit organization developed to bring the tools of Trauma-Informed Yoga and Mindfulness to students and educators. Originally from Alexandria Virginia, Chelsea has been serving students and schools through Yoga and Mindfulness since 2009 starting in Charleston, SC where she received her B.S. in Physical Education at the College of Charleston. Upon moving to New Orleans in 2014, Chelsea began working with charter schools within the Recovery School District where she served as both an K-6 enrichment and middle school english teacher. As a teacher, she gained invaluable communication skills and learned pedagogical practices that continue to influence the way she trains and approaches her work with youth today.
As Founding Director of Project Peaceful Warriors, she has taught over 6,000 hours of yoga in the classroom, trained over 500 teachers, and taught over 3,000 students in the City of New Orleans. Her work with Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was published in March of 2018 in the Journal of Psychology Research and Behavior Management. Chelsea has is a 500 hour ERYT, RCYT, and YACEP.
Chelsea aims to create community minded and user centered programming that creates safe and healthy learning environments in schools and all students have equitable access to the tools that they need for success. Her vision is to see a shift in the focus of education beyond academic success to address the social emotional needs and success of young people.
Programs and Community Outreach Coordinator, Public Ally
Lauryn Young is a New Orleans native and 2018 Edna Karr High School graduate. She studied pre-pharmacy at Louisiana State University of Eunice. She is our Program and Community Engagement Coordinator and newest team member through Public Allies. While attending Edna Karr she was introduced to practicing mindfulness. There she witnessed the power of mindfulness and how important it is that students use it . Her passion is defending human rights and spreading peace all over the globe. Lauryn believes we all have a role in bettering the future for our children and we are responsible for their success. She is excited to be apart of an amazing organization and spread awareness about the impact mindfulness and yoga possesses.
Director of Community Engagement, Creative Genius
Cindy has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She has been teaching for six years in both the charter and private school sectors in New Orleans.
She has restarted her yoga journey by joining Project Peaceful Warriors to work not only with the academic minds of children, but the whole child through their mind, body, and spirit. Cindy completed her 95-hour yoga certification with Yoga Ed, and is in the process of completing her 200 hour RYT training.
Cindy is very excited to be a part of Project Peaceful Warriors family. Her goal is to connect with youth to teach them different mindfulness tools so they can learn to work through the rigor, stress, and anxiety in their lives. Cindy has endless enthusiasm to teach yoga. She loves to explore yoga and art together to orchestrate a fun, creative and playful lesson. Through all of these experiences, children are
able to explore the movements with their minds and bodies, as well as reflect on their experiences in an inspired and open-ended way.
Breathe With Us
What We're Up To
learn with us, hang with us.
Learn With Us
Join us for a workshop, training, or professional development.
We provide educators with tangible tools from a culturally competent lens to increase focus, engagement, positive relationships, and positive classroom culture. Our programming:
Empowers students with tools to develop self-awareness and self-regulation skills that enhance social, physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being;
Facilitates the application of yoga and mindfulness skills to other academic and social environments;
Empowers teachers to bring trauma informed yoga, mindfulness, and self-care into their classrooms in order to decrease behavior problems in the classroom, and reduce student stress and anxiety;
Supports teacher to reduce stress and burnout, and equips educators with tools and practices to support healthy and sustainable work-life balance;
Cultivates a culture that promotes health and wellness in students, educators, staff, parents, and the greater community.
Community Makes the World Go Round
Schools and Community Programs
What We Offer
Project Peaceful Warriors’ school programming utilizes a collaborative curriculum to integrate trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness education into academic environments. Our program is distinguished by the simultaneous implementation of student yoga classes, staff yoga classes, and professional development workshops. These core components work together to sustainably improve overall school climate, with a focus on the mind-body wellness of students and educators.
While we do provide programming à la carte, for maximum impact, we recommend that schools participate in the student and staff yoga classes and professional development workshops. We believe that you will see the best results when you implement our more inclusive and comprehensive programming, taking a whole-school approach that incorporates yoga, mindfulness, and self-care for students and educators. If your school is interested, we will work with you to design and implement measures of a variety of positive programming outcomes such as: improvements in school climate (for example, less suspensions, discipline referrals, and behavioral incidents), reduced levels of stress and anxiety in educators and students, and improved social emotional learning skills.
Dr. Charles Corprew
What's Your Revolution?
Dr. Charles S. Corprew, III is a transformational consultant, speaker, and leader. He dares to ask individuals and organizations, “What’s Your Revolution?” With his engaging speech and dynamic method of building relationships with stakeholders coupled with experiences as a scholar/activist, Charles has become sought after for his ability to provide innovative solutions that aid individuals and organizations to reform the world.
Jeff Supak is the Community Resiliency Program Associate at Global Green and is one of the founders of the Water Wise NOLA program. The Water Wise program was founded after the release of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan as an effort to engage residents in rethinking how New Orleans lives with water. Through Jeff and the team’s dedication in conducting authentic outreach, partnership building and responding to the needs of residents in these neighborhoods, Water Wise was able to build a network of community leaders in advancing green infrastructure. In conjunction with this work, Jeff also collaborated with other organizations and individuals to launch the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative. In 2016, Jeff Supak was awarded the Advancing Resiliency award by the Mayor of New Orleans at the annual Neighborhood Summit. He also was awarded the Service Person Award presented by State Farm at the 2017 Millennial Summit. Jeff is also a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and teaches at Free to Be Power Yoga in New Orleans.
Jesse Hartley began her career as a clinical therapist and now brings her understanding of human behavior and psychology to higher education and alumni relations. No stranger to fund development and the non-profit world, Jesse served as state director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Louisiana and executive director of a local children’s advocacy center. Jesse holds a Bachelors of Psychology from University of Southern Mississippi and a Masters of Clinical Psychology from Mississippi State University, graduating top of her class, and is a published author. Jesse has a career portfolio that includes work with children, adolescents and women, specifically trauma assessments and resolution as well as fundraising and non-profit management. After experiencing the value of yoga in her own
life, Jesse is completing a 200 hour RYS YTT at Ashtanga Yoga Room in order to teach in a volunteer capacity. She lives in New Orleans with her rescue pup, Sadie, aka Beast.
Kimberly Doley is a native New Orleanian who attended Ben Franklin High School, University of Georgia, and New York University Law School. During her 11 years in New York, she worked on Wall Street and at a large international law firm. Upon returning home to NOLA in 2012, Kimberly discovered her yoga practice and completed a 200 hour teacher training at Free to Be Power Yoga in early 2014. She continues to deepen her understanding of the healing nature of the practice of yoga through self study and additional trainings. Trainings attended include Baptiste Level One and Art of Assisting as well as Yoga Therapy, Restorative Yoga, Reiki One, and Ayurveda One at Swan River Yoga. Kimberly currently teaches at Free to Be Power Yoga and the Church of Yoga. She also teaches children’s yoga, meditation, and mindfulness at Crocker College Prep and Noble Minds through Navigate NOLA, a local nonprofit that focuses on social and community wellness. Besides teaching yoga, Kimberly is a holistic life coach who teaches her clients mindfulness practices and encourages self reflection to bring awareness to habitual behaviors, limiting belief systems, and areas of life where they are feeling challenged, She provides support for her clients to find alignment with their purpose and to consciously create a healthy, more energetic, and fulfilling lives. She facilitates a new moon circle and workshops around understanding how energy works in our lives at Rosalie Apothecary. She also facilitates workshops around goal setting and living a healthy lifestyle. Kimberly loves to share about what it means to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle and is excited to be offering more programming and serving a broader population in New Orleans and beyond.
As soon as Lauren Darnell finished college, she set her sights on helping children. It was Harlem, New York, 2004, and Lauren was volunteering on the tennis court, showing middle school students how to rally and win. These simple lessons were an early hint of what was to become her life's mission: cultivating potential in young people, particularly boys and girls of color. These days, Lauren has been able to turn her passion into producing real results in her career, most recently at Son of a Saint, New Orleans College Prep, and Yoga Power Play.
At Son of a Saint, she improved operations, marketing, public relations, and development through organization and strategic planning. Son of a Saint grew exponentially with Lauren’s support, curation and acquisition of major partnerships, including the University of New Orleans. She created training to streamline the vetting and onboarding of new mentors, mentees, and volunteers. Lauren in partnership secured substantial donations from foundations, individual donors, on-line campaigns, and signature fundraising events. Lauren also succeeded in securing grants to revitalize the mental health, tutoring and scholarship programs.
As the founding Director of Yoga Power Play, a non-profit developed to teach trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness to students in schools to address stress, she delivered 3,500 hours of yoga in the classroom in 10 schools. She trained volunteers and teachers to assist in delivering a weekly curriculum across Orleans Parish. She is currently working with the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies providing yoga for young women of color 11-19 in their C.A.T.S (Creating a Truer Self) program.
As a New Orleans College Prep Lead Science and Social Studies Teacher, Lauren achieved monumental success with 54 students, 100% of whom achieved at least Basic or Above Basic on their standardized tests in Science (unheard of results for a first year teacher). She gained invaluable communication skills and learned pedagogical practices that continue to influence the way she trains and approaches work with youth.
Lauren also gives back in her spare time, serving on the Boards of Project Peaceful Warriors, a yoga and mindfulness program in schools and Abeona House, a Reggio Emilia school for children from six weeks to five years based in mid-city New Orleans.
Lauren also brings a sense of adventure and worldliness to whatever she does. She earned a Bachelor’s degree with a focus in anthropology and women’s studies and speaks basic Spanish and Italian. Lauren also worked for several years in the UK, based in London. She doesn't believe that we are ever truly finished learning, so she attends annual continuing education training at THE SPACE Como in Lake Como, Italy, where she continues to learn and hone her teaching skills with like-minded people from around the globe. She brings all this back home, in hopes of making life in New Orleans better for those who are in need the most.
As Executive Director of Chefs Move Foundation, she intends to focus on supporting young women and men who have a passion for cooking and are determined to make a difference for their community and greater New Orleans.
Lisa Collins has more than 15 years of experience in TV news as a news and promotions producer.
She first worked as a reporter, photographer, producer and sports anchor for KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri. After working as a news producer at WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge, she moved to New Orleans as a promotions producer at WDSU-TV. Collins returned to the newsroom in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, serving as the executive producer of special coverage for multiple high-profile events, as well as producing daily newscasts.
She has won numerous local, state and regional awards and serves as a judge for Emmy and Press Club chapters around the country.
Collins continues to work in newsrooms on a freelance basis.
She has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Margaux Krane is the Communications and Marketing Manager at the New Orleans Museum of Art, merging her passion for social media, digital marketing, and art history. Her professional efforts have resulted in a benchmark-defying Twitter partnership, award-winning surprise and delight and social media campaigns, and being named the Social Media Ad Person of the Year by the Advertising Club of New Orleans in 2015. Margaux enjoys volunteering with the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans as their VP of Communications, and advocating for trauma-informed yoga through Project Peaceful Warriors. With the support of her board, Margaux launched Social Media Group in 2017, whose mission is to bring together industry experts to discuss emerging trends, share best practices, communicate strategies, and brainstorm around creative. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Art History and Archaeology, Margaux found her way to New Orleans by way of Baltimore. She is inspired by whiskey, pop culture, and digital strategy, in that order.
Selamawit Terrefe, PhD
Dr. Selamawit D. Terrefe is an Assistant Professor in English specializing in Global Black Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Psychoanalysis, Continental Philosophy, Critical Theory, and Radical and Revolutionary Politics. Attending to the intersections between race and gender, popular culture and fantasy, and violence and desire, she has published in Theory and Event, Rhizomes, Oxford Bibliographies, The Feminist Wire, and has publications forthcoming by Rowman & Littlefield and Random House’s Oneworld. Her current manuscript, Impossible Blackness: Violence and the Psychic Life of Slavery, deploys psychoanalytic interventions centering on anti-Black violence to generate alternative paradigms of thought regarding race, sex, gender, the Black intramural, and revolutionary politics. Terrefe’s future research, conceptualized as a ‘semio(n)tics of Blackness,’ theorizes what she deems the ontics of Black maritime by turning attention to the ontic entity of the slave-in-flight in contemporary discourses of global Black migration and through Afro-futurist visual arts. Terrefe earned her PhD in English from the University of California, Irvine. Before coming to Tulane, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Black Atlantic Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany, in the department of English Speaking Cultures.