And We’re Back…

It’s been a whillleee since I’ve taken the time to create and engage but I’m back and I’m hoping better! In the past 6-ish months, I have had some great miles stones and they are amazing. I am a full-time graduate student at NYU Silver School of Social Work on the advanced standing track. I mention the advanced standing track to let you know that this thing is kicking my butt! But honestly, in the past 6-ish months, I have been able to reflect and honor a lot of what Undeniable Grace is and will eventually become.

I currently am placed at a public middle school in the Bronx area as a social work intern and it has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had within the Department of Education and in the social work field. In various ways, I have seen the levels of damage that can be done and the lack of awareness of the damage and cause of such damage. Quite frankly, I was very concerned for what schools would look like post-pandemic as well as the lives we lead. Teachers, students, families, administrators, and staff have endured the roughest year and change ever. It’s almost impossible to imagine a world that doesn’t have even the slightest crimp in its side. Now, I am not writing to talk about the devastation of this pandemic but rather question what is the light at the end of the tunnel and when will we all walk through it? This is definitely an opinion piece and will suggest that I am writing to one audience but rather engage in an authentic conversation, so to speak.

With that being said, I have seen some amazing strides entering this year, and I applauded many for standing even when the rushing waters came crushing against them. I for one have buckled and am now coming up for breath.

Thinking about education and the idea of transformative practice, I think about my students. I think about what exactly the point of education is to a student who goes home to chaos, or a student who has to assist their Spanish-speaking parents or even the student who is too poor to have access to the internet in this new remote society. It has been a deep awakening to me as an educator and as a social worker to what it means to be providing a service that is for the students and their families. Whether it is providing restorative justice services, or leaning on a strengths-based approach, I find myself asking over and over again, “Are you okay? How can I support you?”. So I ask myself what is the light at the end of this tunnel? My answer really comes down to this, hope. This is super cliche but one thing I’ve learned working in schools but even just emerging from a time of isolation, not having hope will break your ability to empathize, your ability to have insight, and your ability to be effective. Many of us are entering new fields or being reintroduced to a field that has shifted from what we knew. The only thing that has kept me above sea level is hope, hope that we will the change that can shift generations after us.

My kids are my hope because even in this very traumatic style of education, they are still showing up! I have hope that to get through the rest of this school year we need just a bit more hope.

Undeniable Grace will be hosting its second food drive!! Any support would be amazing! Be sure to check out our apparel at

Much Love Always!!!

Amanda ❤

Healing: Mind, Body and Soul

Before I begin to write this, whomever comes across this, know that your healing may look different from mines and thats okay. It may not be today, but keep the faith. *TRIGGER WARNING*, I will be mentioning suicide and sexual assault.

Growing up, it was almost normal to have a sense of disfunction and chaos in my everyday life and surroundings. But as I take the time right now to be vulnerable and honest, I want to begin to write about healing and why we must strive for it. Now, I am not expert and will not claim to be one, but having studied the impacts of person-in-environment and the psychosocial emotional development in the human experience, I have dove into my own lived experience and the joy that has come from pursuing my own healing. I remember the first time I realized that I needed healing andI I had to seek it out. I was in in the 7th grade and I was being bullied almost every day and I hated everything about it. I would begin to hate my own existence the point of wanting to not exist, and for years this mindset would follow me. I would find myself fighting thoughts of “life would be better not here” and it has been a fight to choose life. My high school experience would shift for many reasons, one being that I became a follower of Jesus Christ at one of what I would described as the lowest point in my life. I was 16 years old and I had given up, I truly saw no purpose to life and things after thing kept happening. I would find myself at 16 years old, losing all my friends, my father walking out , dealing with PTSD from being mo*ested and still having that person in my life. It was a time!!! I felt depleted and drained and I wanted to tap out! But God! I will not say that my faith was the immediate remedy to my life issues but I will say it helped me know that healing was for me. It was an up hill battle from there. I began to lean not on my own strength because, honestly I had none, but I leaned on a hope that I will know freedom in my mind, in this body and in my soul.

When I was 18 years old, I found myself fighting in this battle of feeling loved and trying to elbow throw the pain of abandonment. And I do really mean a fight, tears, sweat and TIME was involved. By this point in my life, I was now entering a new atmosphere, moving away from home and going to college and having almost no one to guide me in this transition. Day after day, I was feeling lonely, feeling hopeless and anxious. For a time I hit, what felt like rock bottom, I developed a really bad drinking habit and thought if I can escape myself, maybe the pain, the anger and fear would just leave. That wasn’t what happened at all, instead it just amplified everything. I felt such a guilt and shame, but even in the midst of that I was reminded that nothing can separate the love of God from me. See, I was used to being abandoned, I was used to people giving up on me and this time, I was reminded that even if everyone around me disappears, Jesus will be right there. Many nights, many tears, many breakdowns, and many moments of loneliness, heck even moments of saying, “I’m done!” But I wasn’t, I couldn’t be even if I wanted to.

When I got to my junior year, I was no longer responding to things the same way, my mental health was a priority, my faith was foundational and I knew I had to keep on this path if I was going to walk in true healing. I have seen set backs and have felt like I was out for the count but here and now I stand, not perfect but progressing and not the 16 year old girl who thought not existing was the answer. This was and continues to be the fight for my life, and you know what I’ve gained some new battle tactics!

I stand today walking in healing and despite popular belief, we must chose everyday to do that. I choose to fix my mind on things that are “true, honorable, right and pure, lovely and admirable” (Philippians 4:8). Taking every moment and seeing them and their impacts. I’ve chosen to live instead of just be alive. This doesn’t mean that when depression creeps up, and memories come, that I ignore them, but I choose to see my right now. One of the things that I had to learn in my healing process is that everything that begins in my mind is a choice. When the thought comes I have to capture it analyze it but never let it shift everything. This means making sure that I have everything I need for my soul, making sure my toolbox is full. Why? Well because it is very easy to get swooped up and for me, having scripture, art, community, etc, is vital. If my soul is being filled with things that will fade, the results will be a very short lived joy. When my soul is filled, my body, my emotions, my mind flow on a higher frequency. This is for me, my faith has been critical for me in this mental health walk and this healing process. Find foundation because depending on what it is, your house being you, will either sink or stand.

Throughout the years, I have seen how my process has forced me into a space where I found myself feeling extremely lonely, and I share this because sometimes in healing people tell you, “go find community” but it takes time to find the right community. This has been my truth and I wouldn’t change this any respect because I’ve learned this, everyone is in their own process and it looks different for everyone. I have also learned that not everyone is capable to being a support and that is also okay. While there has been moments of process by myself, my growth is proven to not be dependent on who is around or not. It’s dependent on my willingness to grow and for that I am grateful.

Now that I have given a short look into my process, I really want whoever reads this to be encouraged and leave with this

  1. It really is okay to not be okay
  2. No one’s process looks the same
  3. If you feel like you are doing this alone, you just might be but don’t let that stop you
  4. You are loved!
  5. Healing is FOR YOU!

Sending so much love and grace to you all!

Amanda, Undeniable Grace Education

PS: I will be holding a community dialogue and will be sharing more details soon! STAY TUNED!

The Stories Untold

When you walk into a classroom, look into the eyes of the students, those who seem engaged and those who are imagining a new world. There are stories hidden behind their eyes, worlds of experiences unspoken. And how do we begin to know these stories, we listen to the pain, the beauty and the intricacies. I am writing to the dreamers, those who weren’t afraid sketch, write or imagine a world of freedom, of love or of joy. You are the source of change!

A lived experience is unique, uncertain and specific to each and everyone of us. Though we may go through similar events, the processing of these event are always going to be different. I have been learning and unlearning the multifaceted nature of understanding others experiences because, as I work with students, with organizers, with anyone, I have to come face to face with the way I have internalized and personalized oppression in myself. And this is oppression in all of its forms, mentally, emotionally and physically, why? Well because in every way, supremacy in EVERY form has indoctrinated the world and has thrown freedom off the map, or so I thought.

I thought that freedom, education and liberation was obtained through external powers that be. That the government will have to bend and break and freedom will overflow like a spring. But like Gil Scott-Heron said, “The revolution will not be televised”. What does that mean? Well, I’m glad you asked. the revolution, starts with you and its starts with me, it’s starts with us. Gil Scott-Heron’s intentionality of these words sit with me in a deep place because I begin to see the other worlds imagined. The revolution begins with our heart being released from the shackles of oppression and we began to reimagine the unconditional love of God. Where our love for one another go beyond what we say and into what we do. When we march, when we demand, when we engage in dialogue, we must come ready to learn freedom in ourselves. I often think about this when it comes to restorative practices; many systems are using restorative practices in their communities and while thats amazing, are the implementers implementing it within themselves? I know so many that are, but I also know some who use the term and have no comprehension the authenticity of RJ. It goes beyond terminology! Students don’t benefit from terminology, but the actions that follow.

The educational system was founded on being oppressors and dividers to freedom in our minds. Paulo Freire would say, “The truth is, however, that the oppressed are not “marginals,” are not people living “outside” society. They have always been “inside”—inside the structure which made them “beings for others.” The solution is not to “integrate” them into the structure of oppression, but to transform that structure so that they can become “beings for themselves.” Such transformation, of course, would undermine the oppressors purposes; hence their utilization of the banking concept of education to avoid the threat of student conscientização.” Conscientização meaning critical consciousness.

To give room to the stories untold, and to engage in the internal process of freedom, and fully understand how the revolution will not be televised, we must deconstruct the oppressor in us. This is one of the greatest things that I have found myself doing, and this isn’t to say that I got everything together. On a scale to one to freedom, I am definitely in the process of deconstructing and questioning. I say all this to say, to reimagine the world you did before you were told it was unrealistic. Reimagine the world that was untouched, unknown, and unexplored because those stories hold something powerful. Critical consciousness doesn’t happen over night but is something worth working towards.

If there’s one thing that you can take from this post, begin to point out the places where in your life you’ve been told to dim your light and explore why? Change occurs externally when it is processed internally! Much love ❤

Lets Talk About it: Restorative Practices and Mental Health

If you didn’t know by now, I am a Social Work student about to graduate in May, and I started Undeniable Grace on the foundation of restorative justice, restorative practices and dialogue.

One of the many areas that I have gravitated towards in the past couple of years would be, mental health. I too, have gone through and am still processing the way’s my own mental health has impacted me. Today I am going to write about both restorative practices and mental health and the power of uniting them both. This is based on research as well as some personal experiences. I will link resources at the end.

Mental health is a conversation that needs to be had, whether that be in schools, our communities, our workplaces and/or our homes. I know for me I grew up with very independent women who told me time after time that, “you have to keep it together” or “don’t let anyone know your weaknesses”. After a while, I realized just how closed off I was to my emotions, and to others emotions as well. I essentially built as many walls as I could and called it my safe place. Now this isn’t me saying get rid of boundaries, but to think about the ways you may have disconnected from the root of your emotions. I know for me, I embodied the words spoken to me by the trailblazers before me and truly did not allow others to see my emotions or mental state, but it came to a point where I had difficulties identifying the root of my mental-emotional well being which led down a very long and trying path.

With that being said, restorative practices have become such a prominent aspect of not only my approach with myself, but within my social work internships and family relationships. Restorative practices emphasize the power of relationships and the radical nature of empathy and care. Restorative practice lead to change within our mindsets that can impact the trajectory of our lives. Some examples of restorative practices impacting mental health can be seen in interpersonal relationships and the concept of accountability and empathy.

When someone is harmed by another, whether that is physical, mental or emotional, the root cause of that particular situation can impact the way in which we think. Moreover, if not interrupted can also impact our behaviors, emotionally and physically.

For Example: Person A and Person B get into a heated argument and some harsh comments are made towards Person B. Person B leaves this interaction with a heavy heart and mind. Repeating the situation over and over again and as time goes go on but keeps that impact to themselves. In the near future, Person A approaches Person B, and Person B has not dealt with the pain or ramification of the previous argument, so Person A decides it’s not the best time to talk again. Again they run into one another and Person A realizes since the argument Person B has not wanted to talk to them and takes it upon themselves to initiate an apology. Person A explains that there was no excuse to make the comments that were made and should have acknowledge that they could have caused harm and honors to take Persons A feelings into account. Person A explains that such comments were harsh but accepts the apology and also honors to speak up when their mental health has been impacted.

This example in its simplicity, point out a couple of things in regards to restorative practices and mental health. Accountability, empathy, vulnerability, and trust. Accountability is hard! Why because we have to reflect and acknowledge we can be wrong. That is hard because it deals with a part of everyone’s pride. However, its vital! For such a long time, I did not want to be held accountable for the ways I spoke or how I may have handled a situation, but when I finally stepped to the plate, I was able to see the impact of it. It is easy to understand a situation from your own perspective Furthermore, when addressing accountability, theres a level of empathy that is required to hold oneself accountable. Being able to empathize and put yourself in another shoes gives you perspective.

Empathy is not a diluted term that can be thrown around, being able to empathize is an action, a moment of doing with intentionality. To empathize is too see someone drowning and instead of looking at them from the boat, you throw over you life raft and you extend yourself, heck you do all you can to understand even if that means jumping from your boat and helping them up.

Vulnerability and trust can go hand in hand, especially when it comes to using restorative practices. In the example above, Person A had to step in a vulnerable, accountable space and admit to their wrongs. Person B had to trust that Person A was being truthful about their accountability. However, I am a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words but this is the first step to change.

So how does restorative practice and mental health go hand in hand, well in a Restorative Practices for Empowerment: A Social Work Lens, there is a key identifier when addressing mental health, identity and trauma, which is that it is always present. (Lustick, Norton, Lopez, & Greene-Rooks, 2020). The erasure of how each and everyone of us show up can be so easy, but it takes an intentional framework to acknowledge everyone isn’t showing up 100%. This article was referencing student and teacher relationships, but I would go even further into thinking about our interpersonal relationships and how we should show up for others.

To close, I do acknowledge that this is an opinion piece, however this has worked for me. It’s important to introduce restorative practices into our work, our relationships and our approached. While restorative justice and restorative practices aren’t the solution, they can be a road map to success.

If you enjoyed this piece please like, re-share and leave a comment! Thanks for reading this far! If there is any suggestions for posts you would like to see feel free to email or message me on social media, until next time.

Amanda, Undeniable Grace Education


Lustick, H., Norton, C., Lopez, S. R., & Greene-Rooks, J. H. (2020). Restorative practices for empowerment: A social work lens. Children & Schools, 42(2), 89-97. doi:10.1093/cs/cdaa006

Walking Down the Water Aisle

One of the many fascinating concepts that I learned in the process of developing Undeniable Grace Education, would be to not compare my business to another. I heard on a podcast, ” If you ever begin to feel like what you are doing is insignificant, go to your local grocery store and walk down the water aisle.” What does that mean?

Well let’s look at it walking down the aisle, you have a plethora of options, Poland Spring, Aquafina, Evian, Perrier, etc. Some of the water containers are glass and some are plastic but in the end, they are all just water. It becomes almost normal in life to look at someone else’s progress and compare it to your own and in truth, no one is the same. I didn’t come to my work at the same point someone else has, and therefore, if I live like that I will trip over the very thing in front of me.

My love and passion for education reform and justice goes beyond what Ive learned in the classroom but goes into the life that I have lived and grown in. Undeniable Grace Education is very much so connected to my personhood and the lives that I have been privileged to connect with. I will not start out with millions but the work that I put into and am continuing to put into this business is valuable no matter what I see, hear, or think.

So the moral of this post is that if you begin to believe what you are working towards is not valuable, remember that there is only one of YOU! You are unique and you are loved.

Amanda, Undeniable Grace Education

Here’s Why You’re Here…

It is always a new experience when I begin to write an about me. I never know what I should share, what would be beneficial for the readers or just entertaining to read. But here goes nothing!

My name is Amanda and I am the CEO and Founder of Undeniable Grace Education. I am a current senior at Skidmore College, finishing up my BSW and this journey has been amazing, even through the trials. I was born and raised in what some may call the “Concrete Jungle”. New York City has been my home now for 22 years, and here is where I have been shaped and rooted. Part of my journey towards education, restorative justice, dialogue and facilitation, would be simply because it was not present in my education system.

New York City Public School system has always needed and continues to need reform, a shift in its culture and a passion for change. I have always been a very observant individual and over the course of many years, I have seen educational discriminations towards students of color and students from lower socioeconomic statuses. In this, questions began to rise in me, but I could never find answers. Teachers never wanted to open up to my question, and so I never received true clarification for why students were categorized and then forgotten.

Back in 2016, I had the fortunate opportunity to being interning at Kids Creative, an art-based, Peace Education program. This experience would be my first time being involved in an organization that focused on the students ability and capability. It was seemingly instant that a passion and fire for reforming education truly formed within me and from that point forth, I would begin my research in 2019.

Now in 2021, I am about to graduate with a Social Work Bachelors in Science from Skidmore College. With my teaching experience at Kids Creative, Social Work studies, and in depth research that I have engaged in at Skidmore, I have been able to build foundation for Undeniable Grace Education.

I am invested in providing a service that is focused on spreading empathy love, radical change and being a catalyst for justice. Students and educators have grown in a system that is unable to nurture the whole being, therefore, Undeniable Grace Education wants to be the place that brings strength and community.

So what is Undeniable Grace Education?

  • This program is based on restorative practices engaging in individuals whole beings, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
  • Using restorative practices, Undeniable Grace Education will provide trainings, workshops and consultations for indviduals and groups. Primary focus is on educational setting, but is open to organizational and group work.
  • I am Undeniable Grace Education, I am a Social Worker, I am an advocate, I am a sister, I am a daughter, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. This program is based on my lived experiences, and the experiences of those I’ve encounter. Undeniable Grace is for every student I have worked with, who was misunderstood, looked over and punished by educators who lacked conflict resolution skills.
  • Undeniable Grace Education is giving students, looked over educators, families and staff back their voice. With much grace, through faith.

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