People’s Health Sanctuary presents: End-of-Life in the Age of Covid

Date(s) - Friday 12/04/2020
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Marne Lucas
Skull and snakes from Marne Lucas’s Bardo Project (Photo credit: Marne Lucas)

The event is over, but you can watch the video here!  And here’s the chat window from the workshop!

In the midst of unprecedented personal, national and global oppression, suffering and death, how do we process loss to maintain hopeful connections?  End-of-Life in the Age of Covid features conversations about our experiences of death, end of life care, and the creation of social and spiritual community during the pandemic. How do we honor the memory and voices of the dying? How can our grief inform and inspire us to create a new world that is inclusive, and responsive to the needs of marginalized populations most hard hit by Covid?  Join us for an initial conversation to process our personal and collective grief and loss.


Corinne Carey is a political & public affairs strategist taking on bold public health initiatives backed by sound evidence & human rights. Carey is the campaign director of Compassion & Choices New York.  Compassion & Choices improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey.


Compassion & Choices’ award-winning video features the groundbreaking filmmaker Hammer urging New York lawmakers to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act. “My cancer is incurable … I will reach a very debilitated state,”she says in the video, in which she notes that she suffered through more than 100 chemo treatments for ovarian cancer over 12 years before entering hospice in late 2018. “I would so much like to be able to manage my own death by choosing the time and the person I’d like to have with me so that I can die in comfort and with compassion and not in pain and morphine-drugged.” Hammer died on March 16, 2019, at age 79 in her Manhattan home without access to this gently dying option. In February, Oscars in Memoriam honored her for her legacy as an experimental filmmaker. Watch the entire award-winning video of Barbara Hammer urging New York lawmakers to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act.

Corinne Carey is a radio producer with Hudson Mohawk Magazine on WOOC 105.3 FM. 


Naomi Edmondson, Going with Grace

I was moved to begin this journey in 2014, after the death of a close mother figure. During her dying process, I unknowingly fell into the role of a Death Guide. I provided safe, loving space for her to freely express her thoughts around dying. I sat vigil, recorded her stories and listened to the concerns of her family. Inhabiting that tender space with her/them was tremendous. Years later, wanting to provide that same safe space to others, I completed my Death Doula training via Going With Grace, participated as a Student Guide, and trained as a Hospice Volunteer. Drawing upon my compassionate listening skills, background in art, Breathwork training and personal experience creating rituals, I look forward to walking alongside you.

Certification And Education: 31 years in a Black, Queer Body; A Lifelong Brooklynite/New Yorker; Sarah Lawrence College, BA in Biblical Literature, Studio Art and History; Going with Grace Graduate and Student Guide Leader; Member of NEDA Alliance (National End of Life Doula Alliance); Hospice Volunteer with Visiting Nurse Services; Friendly Phone Volunteer with Griot Circle ; Compassionate Listening Training with A Sacred Passing; Level I Breathwork Healer Training with Erin Telford; Level 1 Grief Literacy Training with Being Here Human. InstagramCheck out Glorius Hum resources. 

Lisa Good, MSW, is founding the director of Urban Grief, a trauma-informed community-based organization that educates on the effects of violence and supports those affected through outreach and victim advocacy. She is the former director of SNUG (formerly known as Cure Violence) and has over 25 years of human service experience. She is an experienced speaker and trainer, facilitating trauma-informed workshops such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and community events, and faith-based workshops aimed at creating healing spaces and empowering community members through information about trauma, grief, and resilience.

Carizma Whitaker, MSW, is an alum of Winston Salem State University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Studies (2014). She continued on to pursue her Master of Social Work degree at the State University of New York at Albany (2017). She has been working in the human services and healthcare field for about eight years. In starting her career as a School Social Worker, she was awarded with the Social Worker of the year award, while working in the education field. She currently works as a Trauma Therapist for Urban Grief through Trinity Alliance, where she works as an advocate in the community to educate on the effects of violence and supports those affected through outreach and victim advocacy. Her passion for joining the human services field comes from personal family experiences. She thrives to engage, educate and inspire others. Her motto she likes to go by is, “we will figure it out together.”

Urban Grief is trauma informed and healing centered 501(c)(3) community-based organization. Urban Grief responds to the traumatic impact of community violence, death and loss through community education, crisis response, victim advocacy and grief support. Urban Grief provides relevant and relatable information about trauma, grief, self-care, resiliency, and victim services. UG acknowledges the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), along with chronic exposure to traumatic events, and strives to avoid further re-traumatization.

Marne Lucas is an artist and end of life doula. As a multidisciplinary artist her work investigates social justice related projects such as Bardo ∞ Project, an ongoing exploration of creativity as a form of spiritual end of life care, and video installations using infrared imaging technology to reference surveillance culture and the fragility of human existence. She is in-training at Parker Jewish Institute to be an INELDA certified end-of-life doula, and currently serves as a client board member at URAM, a Harlem United health agency.

End-of-Life in the Age of COVID organizing team

Dr. Xavier Coughlin, Kathy High, Corinne Carey, Nancy Weber, Branda Miller


People’s Health Sanctuary‘s goal is to establish a central space to share health skills, provide basic integrative care and explore ways to build networks of community health. We are celebrating a year of organizing around this project, initiated under the organizing name Health Autonomy Clinic and after listening sessions with our surrounding community, re-named People’s Health Sanctuary. Our goal is to embrace models of open sharing of health knowledge, and empower all of the growing collective of community members to seek their independent health goals, as opposed to the traditional, hierarchical top-down approach of clinical medical practice. Though caring for our elders, our children, or cooking soul-nourishing food for family or friends may not be deemed ‘real’ healthcare, they know that in fact, it’s what holds us together and keeps us sane. Our growing network sharing skills to build a space where creative, joyful health is possible and accessible.

In this current crisis, we are more than even committed to the potential that People’s Health Sanctuary can offer.  Everyone it seems is struggling to keep up with the flood of information about the current crisis, the ways those in power are forcing us back to a “normal,” the over-reliance of the economy as a marker of anything lending towards health.  And then we have the horrific news from Georgia and Minneapolis, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, a stark reminder of the crisis behind the crisis. COVID has only exacerbated the social oppression and disparities that mark the “normal” so many of the elites want to return to.  

People’s Health Sanctuary is a project of NATURE Lab with Media Sanctuary.