April 2014 Inspirational Person of the Month – Mike Skinner

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In honor of his birthday and child abuse awareness month, fellow musician and advocate Mike Skinner is the inspirational person for the month of April. Margaret first met Mike in 2007 at the annual ASCAP EXPO music conference in Los Angeles. In 2010, Mike served on the Board of Directors of Azalea Blossom, the Arts-based not for profit organization, which Margaret founded for the prevention, awareness and education of domestic violence and child abuse. Like Margaret, Mike is a prolific songwriter with several CD’s released on his own record label. In addition, Mike is an award-winning educator and writer. As a survivor of child abuse, Mike has used his personal trauma to address the issues of trauma, abuse and mental health concerns through public speaking, writing and his music.

Among his many appearances as a public speaker, Mike has been a keynote presenter for a conference held by the United Nations as well as being a part of the groundbreaking Oprah Winfrey Shows, which addressed the issues of males sexually abused as children. Mike’s role as a consultant and trainer for the Federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s, The National Center for Trauma Informed Care and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors has been crucial in helping to shape the policy initiatives and directives for the delivery and implementation of trauma informed care and services.

Mike is also the founder and director of the Surviving Spirit, a not for profit 501c3 organization helping those impacted by trauma, abuse and mental health challenges through the creative arts, advocacy and education. Since 1993, Michael’s uplifting and heartwarming story of Hope, Healing and Help has impacted thousands of people every year throughout the country and Internationally. His presentations at colleges, universities, mental health centers and conferences have all been received with highest acclaim. For further information about Mike, his music and his advocacy work, please visit www.survivingspirit.com and www.mskinnermusic.com