11. How the Arts Can Save Humanity with Coty Raven Morris

Season #2

Coty Raven Morris

Coty and I met at an ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) conference and immediately connected. We both were new to the Portland area, but that wasn't why we connected - I'm not sure either of us realized we both lived in Portland when we met in Spokane, Washington. We've become good friends and this episode is two friends having a conversation over lunch (actually it was before lunch). 

Now, we both serve on the Northwest Region of ACDA board together and we have so much to talk about!! Friendship, choral music, balance, building healthy relationships, personal responsibility and social justice are the themes of this episode.

About Coty Raven Morris


Coty Raven Morris is a proud alumnus of Texas State University- San Marcos where she studied with Drs. Lynn Brinckmeyer, Jonathan Bacock, and Joey Martin. She received her Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University in the Spring of 2020 under Drs. David Rayl, Jonathan Reed, and Sandra Snow. 


She is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Choir, Music Education, and Social Justice at Portland State University. Prior to this, she was the Director of Choirs at Crosby High School in the Houston area and has served as the Outreach Choir Director at the MSU Community Music School and Music Director at Grand Ledge United Methodist Church. Her choirs received consistent Sweepstakes & Division I ratings at UIL and choral festivals.      


Morris was the recipient of the Hays CISD Linebarger Academic Recognition Award for 2013 & Galena Park ISD's Dazzling Diamond Award in  2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018  for outstanding mentorship and leadership in her field. She is the Northwest Choral representative for the National Association for Music Education as well as the Community Choir Chair for the Northwest region of the American Choral Directors Association.


A newly published author and composer, Morris is a sought-after clinician and speaker across the country. She has recently served as the Clinician and Headliner for Florida ACDA, Washington MEA, and Minnesota ACDA as well as the Keynote speaker for the city of Lake Oswego’s Juneteenth festival. 

Her future engagements include the Alaska All-State Treble Choir and the Oregon Middle School Tenor Bass Choir. Morris has been a choir member of the South Texas Vocal Artists and Mirabai and has devoted over a decade of summers to working as a camp director at the Texas State, Northeastern and Lamar University summer camps.

Coty Raven Morris the Founder of Being Human Together, a budding community rooted in music education striving to normalize difficult topics in our field through conversation and connection. BHT seeks to discuss traditionally taboo topics like mental health, systemic oppression, diversity, and inclusivity.


Here are the takeaways

  1. Intentional relationships lead to authentic relationships that can expand, grow and evolve together
  2. If you are in relationship with someone who isn't growing and evolving - or if you aren't growing and evolving - the distance between you will continue to grow
  3. We can be a toxin to ourselves by maintaining relationships that no longer serve us whether that's a job, a friendship or a romantic relationship
  4. Delayed obedience is disobedience. What you don't correct, you give permission to
  5. Lean into dissonance - there is beauty there
  6. Trust your gut. If you won't listen to your own compass, it's difficult to trust yourself in a relationship
  7. Compromise can be a form of assimiliation. Be careful what you compromise on.
  8. Guilt is the body's way of asking for a time out
  9. Choir and arts give you community of people who look out for you
  10. Don't leave DEI efforts for someone else. Get involved. And do not expect people to advocate for themselves. It takes all of us.
  11. Social injustice occurs when boundaries are violated. If someone asks you to or to not do something, listen.
  12. Homelessness / houselessness doesn't look a certain way
  13. Arts has always and will continue to save humanity 
  14. It is your responsibility to set aside time to be creative so that you have the freedom to create


Contact Coty

Website: https://www.cotyravenmorris.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cotyraven/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cotyravenmorris

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@cotyraven?lang=en

Being Human Together: https://www.beinghumantogether.net/

Coty's Book - "When I Grow Up" - https://fflat-books.com/product/when-i-grow-up/?fbclid=IwAR3lP8BfOJZA9K0wX7l7HYNc6lCy4uMqpzpcGU-u2FW2GgUKvqHzx41RtIk 

Coty's Music - https://www.brileemusic.com/coty-raven-morris 



Contact Brenda

Website: brendawinkle.com 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendawinkle/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brenda.winkle111

TikTok:  https://www.tiktok.com/@brendawinkle111 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brenda-winkle-empowerment/ 

Email: [email protected] 


Free Meditation


Free Guide and Cheat Sheet to Feel Better Fast 


Oregon Coast Reiki I Retreat