Carol J. Matthews-Shifflett, CEO & Consultant ~ MA, Community Leadership
Carol Jean Matthews-Shifflett, Owner an CEO of The Sojourner Group, earned a Master of Arts in Community Leadership after earning her BA in Anthropology, with a focus on culture. Both areas of academic study led her to pursue a career focusing on the well-being of women and children. Ms. Shifflett is committed to ensuring that victims/survivors who identify as Black, are defined as Black, and those who identify with the historical context of the African American experience find healthy spaces to convey their underlying trauma.
Based on personal narratives from Black/African American and Black multi-racial women regarding their experiences with mainstream social service providers and advocates revealed that there is a lack of ability to relate to and comprehend their experiences fully. The lack of cultural familiarity, understanding and sensitivity leaves many victims/survivors to suffer in silence. And sadly, a silenced victim/survivor stands unprepared, yet likely, to experience a lifetime of poor mental health.
An active community leader, Ms. Shifflett believes leadership involves collective groups of people and personalities with a common goal of working toward best practices for survivors. Her principles are respect, integrity, communication, and commitment, all of which are beneficial in improving the quality of life for groups seeking an understanding of the journey of healing. Her life experience as an advocate, working with women of color, and her education has created her passion for doing this work.
Social Service Consultants
Sherry Long, Certified Social Worker ~ BS in Psychology
Sherry Long is a Certified Social Worker. Earning a BS in Psychology, she has dedicated her career to clients with various mental health issues. Sherry serves as the primary facilitator for Utah’s Sistah Circle of The Sojourner Group. Sherry currently serves as a Social Worker for Journey of Hope. For over 25 years she devoted her passion to clients at Valley Mental Health (Valley Behavioral Health). Sherry has worked with patients struggling with Serious Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI), had a large clientele of patients while managing the Drug and Alcohol unit; while specifically concentrating on women and children’s issues. In addition, Sherry contributed as both leader and co-leader in this unit.
Throughout her career, Sherry played a key role in developing innovated programs, assisted with establishing policies and procedures, and advocated for clients. Sherry has worked with community partners and agencies, setting up team meetings to help clients coordinate services and resources. She laid out treatment plans, safety plans, and trained peer leaders while supervising them to ensure that patients were receiving proper care. Sherry has run aftercare groups, helped with vocational rehab, case management (intensive) assisted with housing assignments, and was both motivational and inspirational in helping clients see their best potential. She has prepared clients for speaking engagements to tell their stories at high schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs, on college campuses, etc. Her life’s work is committed to providing the best care possible to those working towards a healthier way of living.