Linda Alison D. Carter, also known professionally as Alison Carter, published Rainbow Stargate 33 in 2022. Her book reveals a 20-year spiritual journey that worked quietly behind the scenes, and still drew hundreds of folks from all walks of life to participate. This amazing story is told with words and her award-winning photos. It includes how-to guides to support evolving to higher loving vibrations and living our best lives.
Ms. Carter loves the spiritual side of life and is solidly grounded in the practical and professional aspects of life. As a Maryland State Administrative Officer for 20 years, she procured federal funding and administered creative projects that focused on and developed personalized, empowering community support for folks with severe mental health issues. In 1990, 1991, and 1992, she was the top scoring grant writer in the United States in the National Institute of Mental Health, Community Support System’s competitive grants category.
She was honored to receive the 2000 Visionary Award from On Our Own of Maryland for creating and funding the Anti-Stigma Project. It has educated about 1,500 people every year since its inception in 1995 and works to increase awareness and reduce stigma related to mental health issues.
Ms. Carter is multifaceted: an award-winning produced playwright; a published writer of articles and book chapters; an exhibited, published, award-winning photographer; and an energy healing facilitator who has presented workshops across the U.S. She is an activist for All Our Relations, and has worked with civil rights, women’s rights, and for our Earth home and environment.
A bit of history: In 1968, Ms. Carter embarked on her professional journey as a Management Systems Analyst with The Hartford Insurance Company. She was fortunate to receive professional training and mentorship from her boss, a Harvard professor who developed early management systems concepts. Dedicated to a “culture of excellence” and breaking the glass ceiling for women, he supported Ms. Carter to design and implement creative efficient office systems, solve problems for top executives, and become the lead figure in designing systems to implement new no-fault insurance laws nationwide.
Moving into environmental work, Ms. Carter spent the next two years with Buchart Horn Consulting Engineers. Assisting the Chief of Environmental Services, she administered a federal grant to study and abate acid mine drainage in the Loyalhanna Creek watershed in Pennsylvania. Walking the riverside collecting water samples, she discovered that residents of Latrobe were dumping and burning trash in nearby coal mine shafts. Concerned that this could lead to uncontrolled underground fires in the mine shafts, Ms. Carter contacted local authorities and convinced them to stop the trash burning and seal the mines to prevent mine fires from reaching the shafts that ran underneath the city. This saved Latrobe from the fate of nearby Centralia, which had to be abandoned after underground trash fires spread to mine shafts underneath the town. Sadly, the fires are still burning.
Ms. Carter returned to management systems analysis with the Maryland Casualty Company from 1972 to 1975.
After high school, Ms. Carter had continued her education with 13 years of night school and several semesters of college coursework. In 1976, she returned full-time to Towson State University to complete 36 credits in one year, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in urban planning.
From 1977 to 1979, Ms. Carter shifted to a health-wellness occupation doing Vocational Evaluation at Sinai Hospital’s Rehabilitation Department. She assessed clients’ job preferences and mental and skill capacities, to help them find new work after injury/illness impacted vocations. With her systems background, she left her mark redesigning evaluation protocols and reports.
In 1977, a knee injury brought Ms. Carter to energy healing practitioner, Janet McGuigan. To her amazement, her torn cartilage was healed. Ms. Carter studied with McGuigan and assisted her in teaching energy healing to doctors and other medical staff. For 18 years, on Monday nights, Ms. Carter offered free meditations and facilitated free alternative energy healing at a metaphysical bookstore.
From 1977 to 1979, Ms. Carter completed trainings in Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy. She’d experienced both approaches intensively while receiving emotional and mental health support and had the good fortune to work with accomplished experts exploring new techniques, including proteges of Eric Berne and Fritz Perls.
In 1978, Ms. Carter began her work with the State of Maryland’s Mental Hygiene Administration, where she served until her retirement in 1993. As Administrative Officer, Deputy Director of Community Support Services, Project Director and Principal Investigator, she wrote, was awarded, administered and monitored grants from the National Institute of Mental Health that totaled over $13 million, the equivalent of $43 million in 2021. Her last three annual grant submissions received the highest competitive grant scores, making her the top-scoring grant writer in her category in the United States for three years in a row.
Gaining a reputation as the “conscience” for mental health service provision, Ms. Carter was a tireless advocate for consumers of mental health services. Her grants were designed to help evolve the mental health system in providing supportive, empowering community support. Her sub-grants provided start-up funding for 12 community support programs, research at Hopkins to support seniors with mental health issues, innovative trainings, focus on caring for staff caring for others, and making sure mental health consumers had a voice in their services. One research grant was the first to study job retention for folks with severe, long-term mental illness. When the project wasn’t working for anyone involved, Ms. Carter went against research protocols, shut it down, and had the researchers redesign it, increasing the possibility of positive outcomes.
Ms. Carter considers her work with the mental health consumer movement a highlight of her career. Working closely with Mike Finkle, the Director of On Our Own of Maryland, they developed grant projects that led to the first state-funded mental health consumer-run drop-in center, the first state and nationwide conferences for mental health consumers, and the first leadership advocacy training project for consumers. Before she retired, she secured a federal grant for the Anti-Stigma Project to raise awareness and reduce negative attitudes toward folks with mental health issues and was honored to receive the Visionary Award from On Our Own of Maryland in 2000.
Every year between 1988 and 1994, Ms. Carter got new Lyme infections that forced her early retirement in 1993. Not willing to let this be the end for her, she turned her attention to activism. Working from her bed, she became a founding member and Co-Director of the Morgan County Citizen’s Coalition that blocked a major trucking highway and a polluting construction waste project to help keep her community safe and healthy. From 1998 to 2000, using Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and making “good trouble,” she helped save the life of an incarcerated friend with activist pressure that threatened public exposure if the prison system continued to refuse to provide lifesaving medical treatment. Ms. Carter’s work paved the way for further prison health services reform.
Ms. Carter cultivated her inner artist. As a successful amateur photographer, her photos were exhibited in museums and art shows, won awards, were published in magazines and newspapers, and featured in high-circulation calendars. In 2010, with blessings from two Lakota Chiefs, she curated a popular art exhibit focused on the Lakota prayer “All My Relations,” featuring 29 artists.
Ms. Carter’s writing catalogue includes plays, short stories, articles, newspaper columns and book chapters. In 2022, she published her book, Rainbow Stargate 33, a spiritual journey about the magic and mystery of life, a story told with words and her award-winning photos with how-to guides supporting us to live our best lives!