Cassandra Avenatti, MSW, LCSW
Founder & CEO, Heartland Healing
Cassandra Avenatti (she/they) is a radical social worker, educator, activist and artist based in the Midwest. They are a queer feminist crip, with nearly 15 years of experience in community organizing, non-profit leadership, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and direct clinical work with marginalized communities.
Cassandra completed their graduate degree at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where they studied under queer scholars while engaging in street-based organizing in Chicago's queer and sex worker communities. Cassandra's undergraduate training was in Music & Creative Writing, and she believes profoundly in the therapeutic and transformative potential of music and story-telling in healing processes. Cassandra's early clinical experience focused on complex trauma, working with survivors of political torture, and this work shaped the foundations of her clinical approach.
Cassandra has provided hundreds of educational workshops over her career, and has served as adjunct faculty in Social Work & Human Sexuality at several Chicago-area colleges. They are deeply invested in accessible education.
Cassandra is also the founder of Project Fierce Chicago, a grassroots organization providing housing resources for LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness, and is the founder of Queering Indy, an organization aimed at creating spaces for queer and trans folks in conservative localities.
High-Quality Licensure Preparation
Are you seeking experienced and consistent consultation and supervision toward your clinical licensure? Does your current organization not have the specialized staff to supervise you? Cassandra is dedicated to supporting clinicians as they grow.
Individualized weekly supervision plans based on your goals
Consultation and training in care with special populations and with a wide range of modalities, including expressive therapies
Training & Consultation
Cassandra has provided dynamic, interactive training workshops at conferences, non-profit organizations, and corporations across the United States since 2008, with a focus on issues of gender identity and sexual health, harm reduction, sex worker rights, conscious social work practice, and disability justice.
For additional information about any of the workshops and presentations listed below, please contact us. Trainings can be adapted for your organization's specific needs, and include presentations such as:
Cultural Competency with LGBTQIAP+ Communities
Culturally Competent Care with Sex Workers
Church Hurt: Supporting Survivors of Religious Trauma
Roots In the Storm: Boundaries & Identity In Activist Work
Supporting Gender Transition & Reducing Gatekeeping
Harm Reduction In Action
Sex Work Is Work: Erotic Services As a Labor Rights Issue
World-Making for Queer Crip & Chronically Ill Humans