Our Board

Meet our Board Members

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Mirian "Bev" Perez

Mirian “Bev” Perez is the CEO/Founder of ShieldUs- a non-profit focused on breaking the stigma of mental health amongst police officers, offering them a safe place to be heard and supported with the goal of ending the suicide epidemic amongst police officers and first responders everywhere.

Mirian “Bev” is a former police officer, detective and leader in her squad, she served the Prince George’s County Police Department for ten years.  After her experience as a police officer and her educational background she has now dedicated her life to sharing her story of overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and depression. Mirian is a Motivational speaker and Wellness Coach; her goal is to educate, inspire, and break down the stigma of mental health amongst First Responders. Mirian is a certified lifeguard through the Red Cross, member of Diversity in Aquatics and a US Master Swimming-(Adult Learn to Swim)- Instructor, Chair of the Wellness Council under Diversity in Aquatics. Mirian has used these certifications combined with her training with the Center for Mind Body Medicine to become a practitioner of the Blue-Mindfulness method, where water and mindfulness are combined to encourage Post-Traumatic Growth. 

Bev's certifications include:

  • Mind-Body skills practitioner through the Center for Mind Body Medicine

  • Blue-Mindfulness Practitioner

  • Psychological First Aid/Mental Health First Aid

  • ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training)

  • WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Peer Support Specialist

  • Trauma-Informed

  • Soon to be Adaptive Surf Coach Certified

  • Soon to be Law Enforcement Psychological Autopsy Certified

Alaina Gay

Alaina is the SHIELDUS Board Secretary. Alaina is also a former police officer, with 19 years of experience, and a deep passion for helping people. She began her career with the Baltimore City Police Department and transitioned to the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, where she served for the majority of her career. She was an active member of the PGCSO Peer Support Team and a Certified Police Training Instructor, who also focused on mental health. She is an adjunct professor at Prince George's Community College and is dedicated to helping police agencies across the country modify their policies and practices to ensure that the mental well being of police officers is a priority. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Alaina obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management with a minor concentration in Terrorism from Walden University, where she is also currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work.

Alana Ashley

Alana is a former police officer with 10 years of experience in both Florida and New York. She was familiar with traumatic life experiences prior to becoming an officer and  thought her law enforcement career would help her heal by allowing her to help others. Instead, her career added levels of stress and even more trauma. She sought assistance through her former department's advocate services, but they weren’t fully equipped to help her and she ultimately resigned. Alana has since found healing and renewed joy for life through therapy, astrology, peer support groups, massage therapy, Reiki, and the support of her loving family. She also enjoys many hobbies including crafting with wood, painting, making music, working on cars, photography, traveling, and swimming. As a SHIELDUS Board Member, she hopes to help other law enforcement officers truly find a place to help them heal from the trauma they face as a result of their experiences both on and off the job. Alana graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice.

Raj

Raj is a recovering criminologist, alcoholic, and survivor of sexual abuse, with over 20 years of community-based activism as a researcher and educator. Inspired by the resilience of our youth and the men in our prison systems, he trains school staff, probation agents, community members, and justice personnel on restorative practices, trauma and healing, value-centered leadership, community building, and unpacking implicit biases. He believes in raising consciousness utilizing the restorative circle process. In his latest work, raj explores the depths of our justice system and creates a framework in which knowledge and heart become the root of our practices. raj is an associate professor at Metropolitan State University and holds a Doctorate in Philosophy and Sociology from Texas Woman's University.

Dr. A'Tasha Christian

Dr. Christian is an avid supporter of culturally-sensitive treatment for marginalized communities and believes in the importance of intentional inclusivity to ensure that communities that are often overlooked are given a voice. Her clinical work is largely based in the Black community and she has 15 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. In addition to sitting on the SHIELDUS Board, Dr. Christian also serves as Director of Operations at Guided Paths, Inc., an adjunct faculty at University of Southern California, and a member of the MARCUS Alert Statewide Stakeholders Group. She was recently appointed to the American Counseling Association’s Cultural Encounters Task Force, as well. Dr. Christian graduated from Morgan State University a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology. She also holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice from VCU, an M.A. in Professional Counseling from South University – Richmond, and received her Doctorate of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision.