Well Beings: Centering the Mental Health of Black Youth

As a part of the national Well Beings initiative, KCTS 9 is working with programming partners WA Therapy Fund Foundation and The Root of Our Youth for a virtual event to address youth mental health and well-being. The event will center and support Black youth as they continue to build their power, and the friends, family and community that surround them. Participants will hear from national and local organizations and individuals who are addressing the mental health needs of Black youth every day. The panelists will discuss barriers, reducing stigma and successful strategies for mental health and well-being within the Black community, featuring the testimony of teens and young adults with lived experience.

The content of the virtual event is appropriate for ages 13 and up.

Learn more and register here.

  • Tickets are free and those who register will receive reminder emails from KCTS 9 about the event.
  • After February 25, people will be able to watch a recording of the event on www.WellBeings.org/KCTS9 and the KCTS 9 and Well Beings Facebook pages (links above). The recording will also be emailed to everyone who registered through the link above.

About the speakers:

Toni Williams is a black Christian therapist from Seattle, WA who believes “Every life has value, and everyone deserves to find their healing space.” Toni currently has a private practice in Renton, Washington with over nine years of experience working with individuals from all walks of life. Toni is a graduate of Grambling State University where she received a BA in Psychology, Sociology, and Early Childhood Education. She then went on to receive her Master’s in Counseling and Psychology from City University of Seattle, specializing in Adult and Childhood Trauma; providing clients with tools and strategies to reclaim the trajectory of their lives. Toni uses Solution Based Therapy (SBT) and has worked in a variety of settings ranging from government, non-profit, K-12, and with families of all backgrounds, religions, and cultural groups.

Mia Dabney is a Junior at Cleveland High School and uses she/her pronouns. She is a member of the NAACP Youth Council. Ever since she was seven years old her goal in life was to leave this earth better than when she entered it. Getting the chance to speak about something so important to her, like mental health specifically regarding black youth is a passion of hers. She states it’s a great way to dive deeper into this important conversation.

SirKeenan Hart is a freshman at O’Dea High School and a member of the O’Dea Black Student Union. It’s been one of his goals to get into O’Dea High School since he was in the 5th grade, and he is proud to be a member of the fighting Irish Class of 2024. When he was in elementary, his Dad told him that life is short, and to stand for something or fall for anything. So when he wakes up every morning, he makes sure he prioritizes his time, and takes advantage of every minute. His goal is to be better than he was yesterday!

Kendrick Glover is a Founder and the Executive Director of Glover EmpowerMentoring Program (G.E.M.) serving males ages 13 to 21 with one-on-one and group mentoring to young men in and around the Kent Washington. Working together with the City of Kent and other various community based organizations, G.E.M. seeks to provide mentoring, academic tutoring, and life skills. Glover grew up in Natchez, Mississippi and moved to the Seattle area in 2005. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Seattle University and a master’s degree in education and counseling from City University. He interned for King County Councilmember Larry Gossett and has worked as a mentor, a school counselor and as a program manager for Puget Sound College and Career Network for the Puget Sound Educational Service District. In addition to his role at G.E.M. he is currently an adjunct instructor for City University of Seattle, Albert School of Education-Masters of Education Program Guidance and Counseling.

Deaunte Damper (moderator) born in Seattle, has focused his work on bringing HIV awareness and LGBTQ-affirming education to marginalized communities throughout the City of Seattle. This started thru his non-profit work at POCAAN as a Peer Navigator for the Department of Health. In April 2019, Damper made History as the NAACP’S first LGBTQIA Chair, the first in 110 years of the organization. In October 2019, Damper began as a Transitional Specialist for the Washington State Department of Corrections. And as of November 2019, he is Rainier Beach High School’s Black Student Union Advisor. He also started a support group for young men of color, B.R.O.T.H.A (Blacks Recovering Overcoming Trauma Health and Awareness). Deaunte was recently named the Incoming Board Chair for Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County.

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