Mission Statement – To help people understand social-sexual behaviors within an ecological framework and offer innovative strategies, skills and solutions.
To help people understand social-sexual behaviors within an ecological framework and offer innovative strategies, skills and solutions.
The guiding philosophy of Among Friends’ Social-Sexual Support Services is that every person, regardless of their life situation, needs and deserves accurate, comprehensive, and dignified information regarding sexuality, relationships, and their bodies in order to make informed decisions and live their fullest potential.
Our values regarding our services are adapted from the Our Whole Lives Comprehensive Sexuality Curriculum:
- Every person is entitled to dignity and self-worth
- Every person is entitled to their own attitudes and beliefs
- Every person deserves support in making their own decisions
- Every person deserves to be in safe, healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are:
- Developmentally appropriate
- Based on mutual expectations and caring
- Every person is entitled to fully explore their sexuality, relationships, and their body
- Every person is sexual and sexuality is a positive part of the human experience
- Sexuality includes much more than sexual behavior(s)
- Human beings are sexual from the time they are born until they die
- Sexuality in our society is damaged by violence, exploitation, alienation, dishonesty, abuse of power, and the treatment of persons as objects
If these values resonate with you then Among Friends’ social-sexual support services may be the right fit for you. Please peruse the rest of our site for more information.
About Shanya Luther, M.Div
Shanya Luther is a social-sexual ecologist and the founder and director of Among Friends. She is a speaker and trainer specializing in healthy relationships, sexual development, and gender identity. She also conducts workshops and factilitates events to teach embodied consent practices and social-emotional learning.
*Please note, we will be updating Shanya’s education and professional training in 2023. Thank you for your patience!
Shanya Luther has an eclectic blend of life experience, job training, and formal education.
Born in Zimbabwe, Africa, Shanya is the product of a loving, adventurous, and undeniably quirky family. Her parents were young adults through historical and cultural events such as the equal rights movement, the women’s movement, the summer of love and the 70’s. They instilled their children with many formative ideologies – not the least of which were equality and justice for all people, being open to new experiences, and having a healthy, positive sexuality. Interestingly, Shanya’s father was also a minister so she grew up in a progressive Christian household. Consequently, she developed both a deep appreciation for, and a critical view of, all world religions and for the institution of church.
Over the years Shanya has held a wide variety of jobs while putting herself through school. Since childhood she had wanted to help people, but it wasn’t until about halfway through college that Shanya discovered her passion for education, advocacy, and social justice in the field of Human Sexuality. To gain experience she has worked in three internships related to human sexuality and justice and trained as an educator of a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum. She has also created and redesigned three other curricula, customized and presented workshops, written a monthly sexuality column, and worked in HIV/AIDS prevention.
Shanya holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human & Environmental Sciences with a focus on women’s studies and human development. Her coursework included topics such as interpersonal relations, social issues, family communication, parenting, and child & adolescent development. While working towards her B.A. she also earned a certificate in Family Life Education, which included courses in reproductive biology, anatomy, and physiology, as well as counseling courses in gender roles and human sexuality. After college Shanya attended seminary and completed her Master of Divinity degree, specializing in the study of religion and sexuality.
In addition to her work, Shanya loves to cook, dance, and spend time with her dog. She is a junkie for adventure ‘sports’ such as hang-gliding, sky-diving, zorbing and cave tubing. Shanya has journeyed to five out of the seven continents of the world and has an incredible passion for travel. But above all else, she feels tremendously graced to have wonderful friends and an amazing family who support, encourage, and believe in her.
Shanya’s work is also inspired by her study and experience of:
- Trauma-Informed Care
- Dignity of Risk Movement
- Developments in Relational Neurobiology
- Adult Attachment Theory
- Non-Violent Communication
- Dance, Art, Movement, Sound and other Somatic Therapies
- Therapeutic Photography
- Spiritual Direction
- NLP, EMDR
- Energy Healing, Breathwork
- Reflexology, Acupuncture, Muscle Testing
- Tantra and Sexological Bodywork
- Chakra Healing, Soul Retrieval, and Dream Interpretation
- Meyers-Briggs, Enneagram
Past and Present Professional Affiliations
- Member of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence
- Member of the International Movement Educators’ Association
- Member of the Association of Sexual Energy Professionals
- Member of the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists