Dr. Edwards, the founder and president of Alteristic, specializes in primary prevention and provides training and consultation in power-based personal violence, workplace harassment, capacity building, program implementation, strategic planning, and community mobilization. Her work has been the focus of multiple studies that show statistically significant reductions in interpersonal violence. In a career that has spanned over 25 years, she has held multiple positions in program management, teaching in higher education, and in counseling. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University.


I do this work because I believe with everything in me that current rates of power-based personal violence are not inevitable. I do this work because if I didn’t believe this could change, I would be accepting some truths about humanity that I am just not willing to accept. As a victim myself – even as my soul bleeds for my daughter – I am here in defiant resistance to this violence. I don’t know all the answers. I try each day to do this work with integrity and humility. I may be an imperfect vessel for this movement – but I am a persistent one – and I will keep trying until something works.


The window to my soul can be found through show tunes. Defying Gravity (Wicked) speaks to my refusal to accept the status quo and determination to change the world. She Used to Be Mine (Waitress) gets to my acute awareness of my own vulnerability and imperfection yet my belief that I make a difference despite those things. Light (Next to Normal) reflects my choice to love and feel despite the inevitable pain and loss that accompanies those choices. Then, no life narrative would be complete without a song from Hamilton. Grab every breath of your life, and see what you can make happen: My Shot.

Lea Hegge