Hello! My name is Nicole Brocato (she/her). I am a white, medically disabled, cis-hetero woman born to mid-Western parents from low-SES backgrounds. My father was drafted during the Vietnam war, and so I spent my childhood moving frequently. I continued a somewhat itinerant lifestyle as a young adult, trying multiple universities, professions, and locations before completing a PhD in psychology in my 30s.
All that traveling and moving taught me at a very young age that the world is made vibrant and fulfilling because we are all unique. Unfortunately, I also quickly learned that our societies do not give everyone equitable access to the resources we need.
Over the last 15 years of my psychology career, I’ve dedicated my work to helping people access the personal, social, financial, and societal resources they need to live more fulfilling lives. In the first half of those 15 years I worked as a therapist in a variety of community and forensic settings, primarily supporting victims of abuse, families with neuro-divergent and abused children, and woman-identified perpetrators of abuse. The second half of this career has been spent at Wake Forest University leading a national survey research project to better understand undergraduate students’ wellbeing. The research clearly shows what so many of us know: that wellbeing is inseparable from social justice.
When I’m not working at Wake, I’m providing wellbeing and research services to nonprofit organizations, participating in social justice re-education for white people, and persistently advocating for equity in the resources available to people with medical disabilities.
18 Spring has been an important part of my lifelong wisdom journey, providing the exact healing and learning opportunities I was looking for at exactly the right time. I am grateful for the opportunity to support this beautiful organization that also believes in the inseparability of wellbeing and social justice.