my name is dr. amy j howton. i am a healer, facilitator, story weaver, and writer. my work over the past twenty-five years has focused in the areas of trauma, racial + gender justice, spiritual leadership, community building, and organizational leadership development. 

the natural world has been my most enduring classroom, grounding my practice in living systems, systems thinking, and emergent theory. i have taught at the university-level and practiced in various contexts including higher education, community-based nonprofits, faith-based institutions with experience working with individuals, organizations, and in network-building. communities of practice as a model for transformative change have been a focus of my research and practice throughout my work and i continue to believe in the power of bringing people together through intentional cycles of action and reflection.

my most important training has been life and my own healing. with thanks to the lessons learned through occupying this white, female body, i draw on the wisdom gained from a life of unlearning Whiteness and the balancing of healthy Feminine and Masculine energies. i’ve been privileged to have been in personal study and apprenticeship with elders, guides, shamans, healers, and spiritual leaders from various wisdom traditions and lineages. i hold an MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a doctorate in Ecological Counseling. i am a licensed professional counselor in the state of Ohio, experienced in participatory action research, human-centered design, and trained in the Art of Hosting. i continue to focus study in the Christian contemplative and mystical traditions and somatic healing of trauma.

elders + lineages

Margaret Wheatley and Jerry Granellli as a senior student in the Warrior for the Human Spirit training (2017-2021)

Quanita Roberson and Tenneson Woolf as an apprentice in Fire and Water (2019-present)

Fr. Richard Rohr, Barbara Holmes, James Finley, Brian MacLaren and Mirabai Starr as a student in the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School (2021-present)

co-conspirators + partners

QUANITA ROBERSON I am a facilitator dedicated to addressing embedded trauma. I am a spiritual teacher, speaker, author, life coach, and a storyteller. My work over the past 20 years has been focused in the areas of healing, initiation, grief, leadership, diversity, and inclusion. I have a background in Organizational Management and Development with a concentration in Integral Theory which has supported me in looking at the world in a more holistic way. I also have had the privilege of studying with some amazing elders including Sobonfu Some and Jojopah Maria Nsoroma, keepers of ancient indigenous wisdom from the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso; Fanchon Shur in Embodying Creative Leadership through Growth in Motion; and Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea of The Circle Way. 


I have known Amy for about three years now. We have most recently co-authored a book titled  The UnderGround Railroad: A 40 Day Journey to Remembering Soul & Spirit. In this book she  shares her journey to freedom as a White woman from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and  I share mine as a Black woman from the Ohio side of the Ohio River.  
Another way that I have gotten to know Amy is through a program that I have co-founded  called, Fire & Water. Fire & Water is a 16 month Leadership/Rites of Passage Journey. She  served as an apprentice for our inaugural group. In this journey I had the opportunity to witness  her willingness to take on hard things, discover creative solutions, dive into deep heartedness,  and do the healing journey rooted in humility and humanity.  
The best endorsement that I can give you in support of Amy is to tell you that I don’t trust many  people with my work but I have trusted her. The places that I take people are deep, wise and  soulful places. They are often places that require navigation of trauma, grief, growth, and heal ing. These places require great skill and deep heart and she has both.  

Quanita Roberson

Amy leads bravely and inclusively.  

Whatever Amy does, she does with an immense amount of care. She is thoughtful and intentional, whether allocating funds, creating a budget, meeting with stakeholders, or gently guiding participants. Amy grounds everything in love and believes that what she is doing matters. She believes that everyone involved matters. Isn’t that what we all crave? To be seen and to be relevant?

Miriam McKenney


interested in connecting?

reach out! you can reach me at amy@wildrootsinc.com or 513.746.6199

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