* I was honored to finally meet in person and co-present with my Plain Rainbows podcast co-host Mary Byler at the 15th Annual Champions of Children Conference on Amish issues (presented by the Children's Advocacy Center of Illinois). 

March 5-7, 2024 15th Annual Champions of Children Conference Speaker Spotlight 

Mary Byler, Born Amish, is the CEO of The Misfit Amish, an organization they founded to create and provide meaningful and educational resources for survivors, medical and legal support systems. They are certified in social and behavioral research by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative and serves as a researcher and cultural advisor for the Lock Haven University study on child sexual abuse in conservative Anabaptist communities. They are actively working on publication of a peer reviewed study on Amish and Anabaptist Child Sexual Abuse with Tara Mitchell PHD, Lock Haven University, presenting educational information to Healthcare Providers, Domestic Violence Advocates and CYS/DHS to bridge the cultural gaps, while collaborating with The Plain People’s Podcast, other professionals and experts to continue creating resources that will enable Amish and Mennonites to access information that meets them where they are.

As an educator and advocate for Amish children, they collaborate with other organizations and agencies to provide research supported and evidence-based best practice-based resources for Amish / Plain communities and survivors. A medical coder by profession, Byler also holds a Master certificate in life coaching, multiple certifications in trauma awareness, and specializes in working with survivors from cults and conservative sectarian religious groups. Byler was a co-creator of an exhibit in Lancaster County on Amish/Plain clothing and sexual assault. They produce audio and video recordings of Amish / Plain survivor stories, focusing on LGBTQ survivor stories.



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