Zuri Pryor-Graves (she/her) is a professional in the world of general mental health, sexuality therapy, and sexuality education. A Howard University graduate from the School of Communications and a two time graduate of Widener University with a Master in Education and a Master in Social work, both in the field of sexuality, she is at the top of her field.
Since graduation, she has been actively involved in sexuality advocacy especially with LGBTQ marginalized youth. She is well versed in cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma work, LGBTQ support, kink-positivity, and is certified in Mental Health First Aid. In addition to individual, couple, and family therapy, Zuri leads groups and workshops pertaining to LGBTQ issues, enthusiastic consent, kink, sexuality education and sex positivity.
Prior to her venture into the mental health profession, she worked in television and film production. There, she gained knowledge and appreciation for the industry and has been trying to find a way to bring both of her professional worlds together.
Currently, she is making strides to get into the intimacy coordination field while continuing her mental health practice. Outside of her professional and educational background, she is a world traveled roller derby athlete and coach, a weekend disc jockey, and a dog obsessed self-proclaimed foodie.
A letter from Zuri:
Love Making Scenarios. Sex Scenes. Make Out Shots.
These are consistent elements in the television and film industry standard.
Enthusiastic Consent. Negotiated Nudity. Prioritized Safety. General Mental Health.
Thanks to Intimacy Coordination, a cultural shift in the industry has introduced these terms as the new standard and foundation of negotiation in television and film. My unique professionally rounded background and my general passions for mental health, sex positivity, clear communication/direction, and education make me believe I am ideal for the field of Intimacy Coordination.
My work with BET, CBS, and Discovery Networks, provided me with a vast skill base of set language, etiquette, and general production knowledge. Afterwards, I returned to school to pursue a MEd and MSW in Sexuality. These professional degrees allowed me to become a certified sexuality therapist as well as a master level sexuality educator. Since, I have been seeking an opportunity to combine my television and film, education/teaching, and sexuality clinical training into the career path of my dreams. I searched until I found Intimacy Coordination, the perfect fit.
My recent move to the Atlanta area, has provided me with a new angle into the production world. This time around I am in front of the camera. Doing background exposes me to the nuances and intricacies of set vulnerabilities. Directors are there to illuminate reality and the actors are charged with the responsibility to create and take part in that reality. It does not always seem like there is a liaison to communicate and advocate on the behalf of the actor’s needs and limitations or balance the space between acting and directing. In addition to that, I recently discovered the alarming statistic that the average lifespan of an AD is 56 years of age. Whether it be intimacy coordination or general mental health support on a stressful set, there is a need for more people in this line of work and I want one of those people to be me.
I believe mental health and sex positivity should be the foundation of all safe spaces in and out of the industry. The creation of Intimacy Coordination and Direction is such a powerful necessity. I am grateful to be a part of a production community who celebrates it and sees the value in this field.