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!

Dragon Free Zone

Dragon Free Zone

I'm part of a spiritual program that's helps me abstain from destructive substances because "There Be Dragons" waiting off the edge of that map, and that dragon already ate my entire family, so I'm pretty sure he's licking his chops waiting patiently to finish off the...

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She Is Not A Gift – Girl Scouts Dry-Up Holiday Brainwashing

She Is Not A Gift – Girl Scouts Dry-Up Holiday Brainwashing

She's lovely, innocent, and deserves to enjoy a developmentally appropriate holiday free of un-wanted touch, and yet that human right is often undermined by "socially accepted" norms. In an article about brainwashing,  the writer Julia Layton states, In psychology,...

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My Poetry


New Glasses & And A Bit More Gray

New Glasses & And A Bit More Gray

Read my interview as the featured member and guest speaker for the California Writers Club Berkeley here. Included is the link to my Moth Story Slam.  

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Trauma Recovery Reading in Berkeley October 29th

Trauma Recovery Reading in Berkeley October 29th

Date: Sunday October 29 Time: 12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Sports Basement 2727 Milvia St. Berkeley A reading from Laurie Panther’s memoir: true stories Interspersed with a discussion of trauma research and recovery. RSVP for this event on Facebook.

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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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