This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 3 & 17

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 3 & 17

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Gayle Danley, national & international poetry slam champion

Gayle Performing in Frederick, MD
Gayle Performing in Frederick, MD

Gayle’s first session left a lasting impression! Please join her for round 2!

Slam poetry began in Chicago’s bars and coffeehouses in the late 1980’s. This phenomenal blend of spoken and written word turns every willing soul into a poet while providing relief from the stresses of the day. Master teaching artist Gayle Danley has shared her down-on-the-floor style of performance poetry all over the country in classrooms, lecture halls, theatres and even on CBS’ 60 minutes.

Join her for much laughter, emotion, comfort, understanding and instruction in the art of slam poetry. Her 4-step process has been tried in the fire and proven to be an effective antidote to the blues of the day and the isolation that threatens to drive us mad!

Suggested Donation: $15


Poem for my Sisters With Sons:
Breathe:
Pull a clean fist of air inside your self
and let it rest there
wide and unfrightened inside your belly
asking for nothing
Remember when the baby boy was there
Stirring and fighting and kicking things around
inside of you.
And where is he now?
Kicking at air
asking for everything
Defiance rippling on the edge of his skin
Beautiful as water
And do not worry if your brown boy 
doesn’t smile enough
as long as he still smiles at you:
over dinner
over the news
from beneath a curtain of hair tangled and sprawled,
it is enough
Does he still know your name?
Good.
Does he still reach for you when there is blood
Does he still make you want to kill him on Monday mornings
and kill FOR him on Saturday nights?
Good
Is he still
breathing
good 
good 
good
Your turn:
breathe
again
until all
the air you can find
makes home
 within your body
Your black sad
scared hopeful body
Round and trembling
like your mother’s
Rest now
tomorrow will come before you know it
with her hair on fire and her knee on your neck
Your son knows you are his home
He has memorized all the valleys in your voice
every scream and grin
He ain’t going anywhere far
He is not leaving you
He will not vanish
he will not stray
Your breath is his
Your love is his
Never leaving
never dying
never going
away

And, check out more of Gayle’s work on YouTube here!


About Gayle Danley

Gayle Danley

Soon after crushing the competition at Asheville’s National Poetry Slam in 1994, Gayle Danley entered America’s classrooms teaching thousands of children how to access their emotions through the force of words. She performed and taught her way from Maryland Young Audience’s Artist of the Year, to National Young Audience’s Artist of the Year. She’s also both a former national and international poetry slam champion. CBS 60 Minutes profiled her work with middle schoolers as well as the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and New York Times.

For the past five years, Gayle’s Grieffriend sessions have helped women who are living with AIDS, widows, incarcerated youth and those struggling with drug addiction and recovery use poetry to cope and bravely face life’s challenges.

Gayle was recently named Maryland Library Association Poet of the Year.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • February 3 & 17
  • March 3 & 17

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is now full. Please email kiersten@smithcenter.org to be added to the waitlist.

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.

– Jim Butcher, White Night

We don’t often look at anger as a tool to heal. But, what if it could be? Anger can wake us up. It can tell us something important. 

Join us in a four-part workshop series to explore the theme of anger  through the written word, within a supportive community. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices.

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on January 26th.

Program Dates:

  • January 26
  • February 2
  • February 9
  • February 16

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is now full. Please email kiersten@smithcenter.org to be added to the waitlist.

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.

– Jim Butcher, White Night

We don’t often look at anger as a tool to heal. But, what if it could be? Anger can wake us up. It can tell us something important. 

Join us in a four-part workshop series to explore the theme of anger  through the written word, within a supportive community. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices.

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on January 26th.

Program Dates:

  • January 26
  • February 2
  • February 9
  • February 16

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kathleen O’Toole

Starlings by Kathleen O'Toole

This interactive session with its focus on noticing the small details in the winter world around us, may offer comfort and inspiration as the dark days of deepest winter shorten to allow more light, and a turn toward spring. In this 90-minute session Kathleen O’Toole will share both haiku and short lyric or narrative poems that are grounded in attention to the natural world, as it presents itself as winter turns toward spring, and invite participants to join her in some “practices” (and writing prompts) aimed at being attentive to fleeting experiences that we can all capture in short poems.

No previous poetry writing experience required, just an openness to playing with words. Bring an open heart, and any recent (or remembered) experiences with “winter turning toward spring.”

Suggested Donation: $15


About Kathleen O’Toole

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole is the author of 4 books of poetry (find her at https://kathleenotoolepoetry.com). She has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. As evident in her longer work, she often seeks inspiration and consolation in nature. For more than thirty years she has been writing haiku as a spiritual practice of attention, and to deepen her experience of the natural world.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • February 3 & 17
  • March 3 & 17

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is now full. Please email kiersten@smithcenter.org to be added to the waitlist.

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.

– Jim Butcher, White Night

We don’t often look at anger as a tool to heal. But, what if it could be? Anger can wake us up. It can tell us something important. 

Join us in a four-part workshop series to explore the theme of anger  through the written word, within a supportive community. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices.

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on January 26th.

Program Dates:

  • January 26
  • February 2
  • February 9
  • February 16

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. If you missed the first sessions, please email carla@smithcenter.org to register.

with John Casey

Sustainable Journaling

The Sustainable Journaling Workshop helps participants create a journaling practice that can be maintained for an indefinite period of time. By concentrating more on the practice of journaling than on the content and intention behind it, the strategies shared allow participants to approach journaling less as a means to an end and more as an end in itself. This can help to create a sustainable and fulfilling practice which stands on its own but which can also be applied to other journaling strategies.

Topics discussed will include:

  • Easy strategies for starting and maintaining a journal
  • The advantages of creating a daily habit of journaling and the benefits of both the practice and the product
  • Strategies for overcoming obstacles to creating a daily practice
  • Privacy concerns
  • How to start your journal at any point in the past
  • How to continue with the practice if days are missed
  • Creating a practice that is structured yet adaptable to one’s lifestyle and preferred approach to journaling

Each meeting incorporates presentations as well as opportunities for group and chat room sharing that caters to different engagement styles. Although homework is assigned, it easily accommodates participants with busy schedules.


Sustainable Journaling will be offered as a four-part workshop on the following dates: 

  • Saturday, January 9th, 10 – 11 AM
  • Saturday, January 16th, 10 – 11 AM
  • Saturday, January 23rd, 10 – 11 AM
  • Saturday, January 30th, 10 – 11 AM

Participants are encouraged to attend all four workshop sessions to get the most out of the Sustainable Journaling process. By registering above, you will be registered for all four sessions. Please let us know in advance if you will not be able to attend all four sessions.

Suggested Donation: $30 (for entire workshop)


About John Casey

John Casey

John Casey works as a barber in Brooklyn, NY. This trade affords him the opportunity to meet and talk with many different people on a daily basis. Learning that many of his customers shared his interest in keeping a journal but didn’t know how to start or to maintain one, he decided to create a workshop that would allow him to share what he’d learned about this rewarding practice.
In his free time, John loves being in his car and is grateful for any opportunity he gets to drive through to the Hudson Valley where he grew up. He has a BFA in Painting and enjoys drawing, painting and visiting art museums. His favorite conversation topics are music, film and anything pertaining to behavioral psychology.

https://www.sustainablejournaling.com/