A Soul Sickness Killed Off My Entire Family...But I Survived!

Hard Truths Served with Compassion and Empathy

If you have struggled with the legacy of trauma; racial injustice, addiction, depression, sexism, abuse, neglect, suicide…This website delivers strategies on how to survive in the pain, how to thrive in the aftermath and how to help end the transmission of hurtful behavior down family lines. Mixed Girl Survival School is the name of my book, this website and a new brand of learning and teaching in this diverse world. 


This site hosts:

  • my blog on the educationalracial and gender norms in America’s schools, families and society at large: An empathic call to action;
  • excerpts from my memoir: Mixed Girl Survival School;
  • events for people to come together such lectures, readings, workshops and other nourishing activities; and
  • my poems: A dive into the images and impressions of trauma and healing.

About Me

I write poetry, have completed a memoir, written and performed a one-woman show about my life in several venues. I love to cook fresh from my garden and local farms as a way to entertain and nurture family and friends, as well playing on my bike, kayak, hiking trails and golf courses. I’m a movie buff and am thrilled my grown children still like to hang out with me. I’ve worked hard to obtain this peace, to incorporate the regret that my siblings didn’t survive to share in it with me. That’s why I am a compelled to extend the methods that broke the cycle of dysfunction in my own family line to others.

Real Talk

From this sharecropping field in Arkansas to Berkeley during the 60s, my memoir, describes how I grew up with a White mother and brother, a Black father, a Black and White Brother, a Japanese and Black brother and a Korean and Black sister. It illustrates how an admirable racial experiment went terribly wrong.

But Not All of it Was a Bummer

A lot of funny, OMG moments occurred that are ultimately amazing and inspiring. From how the cast of Bonanza interacted with my hair, to Boogie Nights at the golf course I literally lived at and the racial sorting on the playground that rivals anything in the Lord of the Flies. I have wisdom to share with today’s mixed families that may prevent teasing, awkward interactions and boundary violations.

Advance Praise for the Memoir

WOW WOW!!! Incredible!!!

Caitlin Flanagan
Contributing Editor to The Atlantic, Author of To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife and Girl Land

Laurie Panther’s loving story about being the last healthy survivor of her “rainbow family” of origin sheds light on the mechanics of neglect, reckoning, and resilience so prevalent in the American experience. Her light narrative touch lets the reader empathize without being traumatized, joining her hopeful personal journey through the center of a sad epic.

Kristen Caven

President of the California Writers Club, Berkeley Branch, Author

Don’t Miss My Blog!

The Bomb, Joji, A Vermont Museum

The Bomb, Joji, A Vermont Museum

My brother Joji was born into post-bomb-drop Japan. A "brown-skinned-bastard" from a Black American soldier. I imagine his young Japanese mother, as the earth shook for a moment, then blew away. What could she have thought about the new world of sickness, terror and a...

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I’m Back

I’m Back

Just my luck! I moved to Vermont for a more peaceful life, and the craziness of the world just followed me here. Yes. Vermont is very much engaged in the fight for social justice. In my small town we have Trump supporters & graying hippies living side by side. And...

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Steps: From Soul-Sick to Soul-Healthy

Steps: From Soul-Sick to Soul-Healthy

(This is part 2 of a 2-Part article. Read Part 1 first ) I was soul-sick. No doubt about it. When I should have been bonding with my mother as an infant, she was nurturing her career and I was left with a babysitter & bottle. When I could have turned to her for...

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My Poetry


Creative Relations Poetry Brunch

Creative Relations Poetry Brunch

Creative Relations Poetry Brunch Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 11:00 am - 1:00 pm In line with this theme of Creative Relations, I will be sharing a collection of poetry that intimately explores my personal and cultural trauma. Through my poetry, I aspire to strengthen our...

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REGENERATIONS: Reckoning with Radioactivity

REGENERATIONS: Reckoning with Radioactivity

A collaborative interdisciplinary performance project of poetry, dance, projection and live music that explores the impact of nuclear energy around the world. I will be performing my poem, Blink, which is a prayer for nature to lift us up in the face of tragic...

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How This Workshop Came To Be

How This Workshop Came To Be

This workshop for women blends my post graduate studies on human development, and experience facilitating Adult Survivors of Child Abuse meetings with my recent somatic training by Padma Gordon of the Responsive Body Movement. I look forward to leading us (I'm still...

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May My Mixed-Up, Mixed-Race Family Rest In Peace.

They were… “Just a Dream Some of Us Had” Joni Mitchell

Samuel Lacy Jr. (Father) Died 2/2/1999
Lee Allen Lacy (Youngest Brother) 2/2/1999 – Brain trauma and paralysis from drug overdose
Joji Lacy (Middle Brother) Died 2/16/2000
Larry Samuel Lacy (Eldest Brother) Died 7/26/2001
Betty Jean Lacy (Mother) Died 5/5/2011
Kim Aileen Esquer (Sister) Died 3/1/2012


Inspired by what I've shared? Or have your own survival story to share? I'd love to hear from you.

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