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Keynote Topics

Learn more about Claire's keynote presentation topics. Accompanying  visuals are developed and co-directed by her daughter, Amaranthia Sepia

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A 50% Chance of Paralysis: How I Utilized Journaling as Self-Reflection During Cancer Treatment

Claire Jones was recently described as "fighting ongoing cancer." Reading that made her realize that this description did not adequately speak to her process. She realized she was not fighting ongoing cancer. She continues to fight the causes that created the effect or manifestation of cancer in her life: she was looking for herself in places where she never saw herself. She believes cancer manifested in her body because of all the traumas and stresses she suffered physically, emotionally, and psychologically.


Cancer is no longer 'ongoing' for her, but the process to combat the underlying issues that cause cancer is ongoing. Writing and speaking about her cancer journey is helping her to heal. In order for cancer to not return, she must live a disciplined life of vigilance, diligence, and consistency. She does this daily via a personal 5 step system she devised and implement daily to keep her centered called, ClarityIsJustSoHip: 'Clarity, Awareness, Presence, Acceptance and Gratitude.

Image of Claire resting horizontally on a bench. She has her white floral cane , white jumpsuit and foral kimono cardigan.

Audience Takeaways:

  • How art and writing can be used as a healing tool to cope with trauma

  • How to apply 'Clarity, Awareness, Presence, Acceptance and Gratitude' to cleanse your emotional palette on a daily basis

  • How using inspirational and motivational quotes can help galvanize your healing journey

  • How to self-advocate when you don't feel represented as a minority woman in a medical setting

  • The importance of believing in yourself and your inner power during a debilitating crisis and critical life-changing moments

  • The mental health benefits of documenting your crisis through journaling so you can view your progress

  • How to find self-love when you don't recognize yourself in the mirror

  • My Call To Action: Get Ahead of Your Life Before Your Life Gets Ahead of You

Claire wearing a red Kn95 mask with her hands clasped together against her torso. She is wearing a color red, green and orange long top with white pants. She has her big red glasses on. Next to her is a poster of the Sista Creatives Rising logo with red and yellow sunflowers under it, a Tibetan bell, red cloth on the stand and canes on each side of the poster. She is outside with lush green elaves behind her.
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A Gift From Cancer: How To Get Ahead of Life Before Life Gets Ahead of You!

Claire Jones was almost paralyzed after a cancerous lymphoma tumor was removed from her upper spine, and she initially went through the whole gamut of grief. She experienced the seven stages of grief: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, and Acceptance in a wash, rinse, and repeat cycle for months. Fortunately, Claire's practice of Buddhism centered and grounded her in "Clarity, Awareness, Presence, Acceptance, and Gratitude," a personal, healing mantra Claire created to cleanse her emotional palette. This healing tool allowed her to remain steadfast and strong as she rediscovered the joy of learning to walk again at age 59. Claire learned she was in the rare one percent to walk again after she was told pre-surgery that she had a 50% chance of paralysis. 
In October 2022, seven months after her surgery, Claire came into remission. Reflecting over the previous months, she realized that cancer was a gift that allowed her to finally lift herself out of anomie caused by being a survivor of childhood domestic violence, the trauma of which engulfed her life situation for many years until the moment of her surgery. The effect of cancer created a spark within Claire that ricocheted through to her innermost being. The disease was a catalyst for much-needed positive change. 
Claire knew she could never return to her mind-numbing self-sabotaging ways; she instinctively knew that cancer's visit could either be her end or a new beginning: she chose the latter. Claire's radical thought processes about her cancer as a gift is her way of seeing the lymphoma tumor as an opportunity for self-love and to rise and thrive, not merely survive.

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Audience Takeaways:

  • What is cancer's gift to Claire?

  • Shadow Work: Finding Clarity, Awareness, Presence, Acceptance & Gratitude by facing your inner chaos

  • How to rise from a survivor mindset to a thriving mindset

  • The preventative steps to take to get ahead of life daily

  • How to find self-love and joy in the midst of chaos

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Claire wearing a black blazer with red, purple and blue patches. She has a red and purple scarf around her neck and is wearing large red white and black tortoise glasses. She has her red cane in her right hand while smiling at the camera. Behind her is her fireplace and it's mantel covered in art and photos.
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Survivor Mothers and Survivor Daughters: Using Creativity to Face Intergenerational Trauma Head-On With Your Child

In 1999, Claire Jones gave birth to Amaranthia in her mid-30s. She never thought of herself as a mother because of a childhood spent under domestic violence. Yet, when the moment arrived, Claire submerged herself in the experience, intensely connecting to her daughter the moment their eyes met. In those early days of motherhood, she realized that her life as a childhood domestic & sexual violence survivor did little to prepare her for the connection needed to be a good parent. It took years of deep, hands-on work to find her true self, even as Claire mothered, to understand how the effects of intergenerational trauma infected and affected her and her daughter’s life, making it challenging to form authentic bonds with those around her. 


Claire realized her efforts in college through art, writing, and a research grant for her play, Shaduhs Uh Voodoo, which took her to one of the slave houses on Gorée island off the coast of Senegal in 1998, where she faced the historical and horrendous legacy of her ancestors, helped to ground her traumatized psyche while raising a daughter traumatized by bullying. It was there, standing at the door of No Return, that she determined to confront the effects of intergenerational trauma with art and writing, which she believes, in retrospect, prepared her to be the person and mother she is today.

Audience Takeaways:

  • How the effects of intergenerational trauma infects and affects one’s life as a parent

  • How art and writing can help one create a bridge from the past to the present and the future 

  • The importance of using the bridge of art and writing to help heal you and your child’s wounds

  • Utilizing a creative mindset to find emotional and mental support as a survivor/parent

  • What to do when patterns of ‘Survivorship’ endanger your relationship with your child


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