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Welcome to the Black Feathers Podcast!

Banner that reads "Black Feathers Podcast Disability Conversations for All." The black feathers logo is located to the left of the text.

What is the Black Feathers Podcast?

In this podcast, co-hosts Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA, and Shauna Humphries, MS, LPC, will discuss disability-related topics of interest to Tribal communities through data, storytelling, and innovative content. With this podcast, we embrace diversity, equity, and honor within our vast Tribal Nations. We will also be providing additional resources related to these topics to our audience and welcome everyone to join the conversation.

The Origin of the Black Feathers Podcast

In 2019, the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Project of National Significance asked to partner with a vast array of Tribal members to understand the journey of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families within the Tribal Nations. The genesis of Black Feathers emerged from these conversations.

Why Black Feathers?

In some Tribes, the black feather is a symbol that represents not being alone on your life’s journey and walking together without fear. To honor our Tribal roots, we have chosen the black feathers and symbol for unity as the main symbols for our podcast. These two symbols used together represent standing forward as one community, advocating for and supporting each other. The turquoise represents harmony and the red warrior. We will walk this journey with our listeners, reflecting on the vast beauty of human existence with our brothers and sisters, leaning in and standing firm.


Crystal Hernandez

Crystal Hernanadez, Psy.D., MBA

Dr. Crystal Hernandez is a proud Cherokee, psychologist, inpatient psychiatric hospital administrator for the State of Oklahoma, Tribal disabilities expert, researcher, and autism mother. She serves the DEI Officer for the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She believes in service to others and works relentlessly to improve clinical treatments, diagnosis, and equitable access to care for all. Culturally rooted supports and services are central to Dr. Hernandez and she embeds this principle in every aspect of her life.

Shauna Humphreys

Shauna Humphreys, MS, LPC

Dorothea “Shauna” Humphreys, M.S., LPC, is a proud Chahta Tribal member and has served fellow Tribal members through various roles/capacities over the last fourteen years. This includes being the hospital social workers, an outreach worker, a vocational rehab counselor, a licensed counselor, coordinating suicide prevention/substance use grants, and now the Behavioral Health Director. Shauna received her M.S. from East Central University in 2012 and later earned her Licensed Professional Counselor certification in 2014, as well as her Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor certificate in 2016. Her passion has always been in helping others and especially serving fellow Tribal members. Shauna resides around Talihina, Oklahoma where she spends her free time with her husband, Steven, and their five children.

Help Us Understand Your Journey

ACL logo

State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities logo

The Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities logo

The podcast is an initiative of the States of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Project of National Significance and The Kansas University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

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