my name is amy j howton. wild roots is my vision and my practice.
wild roots is my promise.
wild roots is dedicated to creating spaces for deep listening, connecting, and healing. it is born from the knowing that it is through returning to the roots of who we are–as spiritual beings having human experiences–that we experience life, love, and liberation.
my work over the past twenty years has focused in the areas of trauma response, racial + gender justice, spiritual leadership, community building, and social change + communal healing. i am a learner and listener and writing is a core way i make meaning of my life’s journey; i believe there is powerful medicine in the sharing of our stories.
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.
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 and human-centered design and trained in the Art of Hosting.
Kentucky is my home, where i am surrounded by my plants, my beasts (including my three children!), and my books. i sing and dance every chance i get and revel in the delight of mortifying my kiddos when i do. i believe laughter is the best medicine and crack myself up all the time…because what’s the fun in taking ourselves so seriously?
for decades, the following quote from Aboriginal activists group, Queensland (1970s) has guided my work: “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
over time, i have sought out teachers, elders, and co-conspirators to help me understand, experience, and reveal this “bounded-up-togetherness”. in my academic training, i’ve been fortunate to study with teachers including Dr. Patricia Hill Collins and Dr. Mary Brydon-Miller . in my soul’s journey, i trained as a Warrior for the Human Spirit for four years with Margaret Wheatley and Jerry Granelli. Gloria Anzaldua, bell hooks, and Pema Chodron have been my teachers for decades. in 2019-2020, i served as apprentice in Fire and Water, a leadership and rites of passage journey guided by Quanita Roberson and Tenneson Woolf.