Tonier Cain takes an audience on a journey to places and subjects that most find too difficult or uncomfortable to fathom. But it is Tonier “Neen” Cain’s joyous spirit and astonishing inner-strength that leaps directly into audience hearts, inspiring renewed hope and compassion for those still living on the fringes. For two decades, Neen hustled on the streets of Annapolis, Maryland, desperately feeding an insatiable crack addiction and racking up 83 arrests along the way. Rapes and beatings were a routine part of life; home was underneath a bridge or inside the locked cage of a prison. In 2004, pregnant and incarcerated for violation of parole, she was provided the opportunity to go to a community trauma, mental health, and addictions program.
Feeling safe for the first time in her life, Neen confronted the haunting childhood memories that she tried to numb with drugs: filth and chronic hunger, sexual assaults by neighborhood men, routine physical and mental abuse dished out by her mother. Realizing for the first time that she had been a victim, she began to heal and reclaim power over her life, embarking on a remarkable “upward spiral,” that has no limit. Today, she’s the founder and CEO of Healing Neen Inc., she works for the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, dedicating her life to being a voice for those still lost and still silent. Traveling the world to give speeches and work one on one with women in prisons and hospitals, Neen continues to transform her own life while helping others to embrace her motto “where there’s breath, there’s hope.”