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Ellen Fox

Community Member

Ellen Fox is a renowned social worker and therapist who has dedicated her career to fighting social

injustices and empowering marginalized communities. Born on February 3rd, 1950, Ellen graduated

from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972 with a degree in

Community Organization. Her master's thesis focused on institutional racism, which later became

known as structural racism. Ellen co-wrote a funded proposal to examine the practices of institutional racism in social work in the Bay Area.

In 1975, Ellen moved to Santa Fe, where she joined the nascent department of Social Work at the

College of Santa Fe. One year later, she was recruited by Joel Hochman, MD, to join his practice,

where she worked with Tomas Atencio to write a proposal for the first Community Mental Health

Center in Santa Fe, which was successfully funded. Ellen attended an intensive course in family

therapy at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic in 1976, after which she began offering training and workshops in family therapy and the family therapy of addictions in Santa Fe.

Ellen established her private practice in 1980, where she continued to offer training in behavioral

health. She also taught family therapy in the department of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands

University. From 1980 to 1994, Ellen practiced clinical social work in Santa Fe before relocating to

Seattle for the next eleven years. During this time, she continued her private practice and teaching.

Throughout her career, Ellen has challenged the American narrative of the "individual" and the

bootstrap myth. She believes in the power of examining one's dilemmas as contextualized in the

forces of sexism, racism, homo and transphobia, and the demonizing of immigration as a means to

"depathologize" and empower her clients. Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a guiding

template for Ellen's work, and she strongly believes in the arts as a pathway to social and political

consciousness and action, as well as a source of empowerment and leadership.

Ellen was fortunate to be educated in the culture and history of Northern New Mexico by Tomas

Atencio, Consuelo Pacheco, Alejandro Lopez, and other native scholars, which informs her work. She is committed to shaping Live Arts as an inclusive, historically and culturally relevant offering to the communities of Santa Fe, especially to marginalized communities. Besides her work, Ellen has studied acting and improv with Maura Dhu Studhi, Wendy Chapin, Ruth Zapporah, Ben Taxi, and others, and has performed on stage. She is also a writer of Creative Non-Fiction and poetry.

Ellen Fox
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