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About us

***Board Recruitment Notice*** CHRUSP is seeking new board members to help us build and expand.  Please read carefully and  contact us with a letter of interest.  pdf  doc

Current board members


Tina Minkowitz represented the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in the drafting and negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons witih Disabilities. She served on the steering committee of the International Disability Caucus and was a member of the 40-person drafting group that created the official text of the treaty for negotiation. She is credited with much of the paradigm-shifting character of the CRPD in the areas of legal capacity, liberty and respect for integrity of the person. Ms. Minkowitz is an attorney admitted in the state of New York. She is a survivor of psychiatry and believes in the development of authentic user/survivor perspectives in human rights.



Erick Fabris is a psychiatric survivor who lectures in disability studies at Ryerson University. He has collaborated on projects like: Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto, Mad Pride, No Force Coalition, and Repeal Mental Health Laws. His book, Tranquil Prisons, is a narrative study against forced treatment.



Emmy Charissa identifies as Mad, as a user and survivor of psychiatry, and as a person disabled by psychosocial norms and associated practices. Her background is in legislative advocacy, disability studies, Deaf studies and anthropology. In addition to her activism at both the international and national levels on issues concerning Mad people, she has been engaged in various social justice projects at the national level in her country, Singapore. These include research and advocacy on the issues confronting disabled women and girls, pan-disabillity advocacy, cross-disability solidarity-building, and civil society coalition-building. She believes in the power of solidarity, movement-bridging and coalition-building. 


We honor Sonjinetta Cooper Searight "Sonji" who passed away unexpectedly on August 20, 2014.  Sonji was a board member of CHRUSP and a valued and beloved member of many communities including the peer/anti-psychiatric abuse community.  


"Human Rights like Oxygen is our birth right. It's not rocket science ."

Sonji is an avid Human Rights Activist. Civil and Human Rights Activism were standard practices in Sonji's home while growing up. Her fervor for Civil and Human Rights Activism was further ignited in the early eighties during her teenage years, when she was an undergrad studying Criminal Justice at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield CT. Her Criminology professor / mentor encouraged her to research her cultural history. This process not only reintroduced her to the movement, it offered her confirmation within the crux of who she knew herself to be. The message of the civil rights struggle aligned with her core beliefs. This was an extremely enriching and self-validating experience. It was life changing for her. She became empowered to be a confident and bold advocate for herself and eventually others.

Sonji has held many different positions in the Human Service Field: Counselor, Case Manager, Project Developer, Advocate, Trainer and Mentor. She is a former Jr. Olympic Girls Basketball Coach, and also coached girls basketball at several schools throughout New England. Sonji served on a friendship team that worked with Bhutanese refugee teens in Loudonville NY. As a certified researcher, she has conducted research for Peer Run Programs and the Nurturing Family Network. In 2012 Sonji received endorsement for a Human Rights Fellowship at the Urban Justice Center (Working With Women of Color). Current projects include studying for her CASAC certification and working on establishing The Genesis Network program, of which she is the Founder. The Genesis Network is a membership group of multicultural business owners, entrepreneurs, students and community members. The objective is to create leaders, build businesses, develop programs and partner with existing agencies which provided services that correspond with The Genesis Network's Philosophy of Strengthening Communities and empowering families.

Sonji's Proclamation

"I am not a survivor. I am an Overcomer I am More than a Conqueror______"